Interview: Francesco Fareri

Dan McAvinchey: Francesco, how did you all get started in music, and what led to your selecting guitar as your primary instrument?

Francesco Fareri: I began playing guitar when I was at school because during a
school concert one friend of mine impressed me a lot with his covers of Vai, Satriani and above all with his technique. I had never heard a whole instrumental song and I felt totally enchanted by that music. In fact, for the first three months I took lessons from him but then I kept on alone because I discovered the neo-classical style.

Dan McAvinchey: When did you first realize you had the ability to write original music?

Francesco Fareri: For the first two years I tried to improve my technique and learn from my past great influences, like Jason Becker, but when I understood I had some ideas of my own I tried to record some demos which helped me to make concerts and be "less
undiscovered"; then I relaxed for a few months to record new ideas and new
demos (included "Mind Boggling", which I sent you for review), then I recorded
some more -- but just to better develop my new guitar style that now I'm now displaying
with my CD "Suspension".

Dan McAvinchey: Your music has a heavy neo-classical feel. Who are your biggest influences in this style of music?

Francesco Fareri: Now I'm totally involved with Vitalij Kuprij's music, in particular I love "High Definition", it is the best album of the trio in my opinion, Greg Howe's performance is awesome and the drummer Jon Doman is very impressive and he
brings out all the music. I really like it also because it showed a new way
to play in a neo-classical style -- very different from the past as MacAlpine, Moore
or Tafolla had done... I mean, I like them too, but now this CD has totally
changed my guitar style! I like also George Bellas and Shawn Lane... but I
discovered a very cool thing -- that they are, above all, very kind people!

Dan McAvinchey: What gear did you use to record your CD and how important a role do you think the selection of recording equipment and instruments plays in the final quality of the album?

Francesco Fareri: I used a computer with an Audiowerk.8 audiocard and Logic Audio software, a Shure SM57 microphone, DG1000 pre-amp, Alesis Microverb4 reverb, Peavey 31 band equalizer, a Marshall power amp and my favorite guitar, an Ibanez RG550 -- an old model with a maple fretboard. I think that is very important to have a semi-professional home studio because I try to make my CD always sound better... as a "real" CD should. Because I don't feel satisfied with CDs which don't sound cool. I tried to improve my album's sound by listening to quality CDs. For example, if you listen to "High Definition" you can recognize all the instruments clearly and the mixing is awesome -- on the left channel you can hear something cool and on the right channel you can hear something different, which is also cool!

Dan McAvinchey: Do you get a chance to perform the material from your CD live?

Francesco Fareri: In May I'll play live here in Rome, but unfortunately in Italy there aren't as many possibilities for an instrumental guitar player to perform live. If
I had a chance, I would even travel abroad! If anyone organizes a concert
and he would like to invite me I would be happy!

Dan McAvinchey: How do you plan to spread the word about your new CD?

Francesco Fareri: I have no idea... I hope in the future to do some interviews and get some reviews of the CD, and if I play concerts I can show my music live!

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Dan McAvinchey: How do you feel about the national press (Guitar One, Guitar Player, Guitar World, etc.) and how they are currently covering guitar-oriented music? Do you think there is a bias against instrumental artists?

Francesco Fareri: Yes, I think that for these great guitar magazines the most important thing is to sell copies, so they are "compelled" to put on covers and dedicate as much space as they can to the most famous guitarists -- in fact, there are always the same names featured! It would be cool to some day see a cover with all the undiscovered ones!

Dan McAvinchey: What do you think the future holds for digitally distributed music such as mp3s or other forms of digital music?

Francesco Fareri: It is a great way to show a little sample of our songs, in fact I've put on my site 2 or 3 mp3s for each song, but not the entire songs,
otherwise it would be useless manufacturing and printing CDs. I know abour Napster,
but I prefer to download something from the site of the artist that I choose. I also prefer to buy the album if I like it, because I like the CD itself, with it's cover, photos and other information!

Dan McAvinchey: What do you have planned for the next year or two?

Francesco Fareri: I hope to publicize my CD as best I can and try to collaborate with a music school to give a class! Then I hope to have some fresh ideas for a new album, and I hope to record it with some guest players and not with my drum machine. My dream is a CD with Vitalij Kuprij and Jon Doman, but it is only a dream! I would really like to thank you Dan for your support during the years, you were the first to review my first demo and it all started at that point! Thanks!

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Francesco Fareri is a guitarist from Italy, who, even though he has only been playing since 1995, is ready to take the neo-classical world by storm. After recording several demos in 1997 and 1998, Fareri submitted his 1999 demo to our Undiscovered Artists program, and we were presented with a series of songs which featured mind boggling, head numbing speed, especially on his use of swept licks. Since then, he has readied his first full length CD release, soon to be available on the Guitar Nine site, entitled "Suspension".

Dan McAvinchey was able to get Fareri to open up on a series of questions about his guitar playing, and the events which led up to his focus on neo-classical music.