Interview: Gabe Treiyer

Dan McAvinchey: Thanks for doing this interview for Guitar Nine Alex. So when did you first get interested in guitar, and how did you progress as a player?

Gabe Treiyer: Well, as long as I can remember, I always been interested in music. My first memories of it are watching TV when I was a 4 year old kid and KISS' "Dynasty" commercial aired, that was my first memory. The other one was when I watched Dire Strait's "Sultans Of Swing" live, and seeing Mark Knopfler's mesmerizing guitar was beyond belief for a 11 year old kid. The definitive break came when I heard Steve Vai's "Passion And Warfare", that was the moment when I said: OK, this is what I want to be. That's when I started to clock in eight hours of practice each day. I was totally immersed in the guitar, I lived, breathed and ate music during the whole day. Now it's my job, so I try to stay focused as much as I can, but of course, you tons tons of extra stuff to do when you're married: going to the supermarket, getting yelled at by the wife, etc.

Dan McAvinchey: Was your album "Unsung Hero" self-released?

Gabe Treiyer: My album was released throught my own label "Planet G Records". I tried to contact other labels, but suddenly, I realized that no one will do the right amount of promo but me, so, because the label was already set up, I said, "What the hell, I'll release it myself". Today if you have the right amount of knowledge abou he social media and networking, you can do it yourself. Of course, it's time consuming, but hey, you're working for yourself!

Dan McAvinchey: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?

Gabe Treiyer: That's a hard one to answer. I could say my music is a reflection of what I am as a musician. I have no boundaries in my mind. I could write a straight balls-to-the-wall rock tune, a blues song, a country tune, a pop song, a prog-rock tune, an electronic music piece or blend any of those together. I listen to so many music styles that it's impossible for me to say, "This is my favorite style or song." It depends on the day, my mood, etc. If it sounds good, it's good, period.

I have my influences of course, but nothing specific. And I think that was a blessing when I started getting the gigs with Gene Loves Jezebel, Bobby Kimball from Toto, Steve Rothery from Marillion, and Joe Lynn Turner, just to name a few.

interview pic

Dan McAvinchey: How did you write the songs for your most recent album?

Gabe Treiyer: Well, I was living in different parts of the world, so I had no musicians available at the right times, so I decided to play all the instruments. I also was the engineer and producer (even did the artwork!), so you can say it really was a solo album.

I had around 50 demos when it came the time to do the album. So I decided to put all the instrumentals together to give the album an identity and leave the songs for the next one. The only voice-oriented song was Hendrix's "Spanish Castle Magic", because I love the song and I had the right singer for it (Dagarod from the band Guru).

Dan McAvinchey: How do you feel about guitar-oriented magazines and how they are currently covering instrumental music?

Gabe Treiyer: The guitar oriented market is almost dead. Besides Vai, Satriani and Malmsteen (even they need to work their asses off), everybody else is struggling to get their music heard. Outside the market boundaries, I've seen a shred revival during the last few years, but the downside is that everybody plays the same! Everyone wants to be Yngwie, Vai or Satriani, and the bad news is that they already exist, and the world doesn't need another one, or a carbon copy of them. And also the guitar magazines became so metal oriented that it bores me, I love metal, but not all the time, I want to know new acts doing something fresh, but sometimes I think it's too much to ask, it's the trend I suppose.

I love the guys who push the guitar to the masses and forge new paths: Matt Bellamy from Muse, U2's The Edge, Eddie Van Halen, Brian May, etc. They're guitar giants but also hit makers. I always say, a solo without a good song is useless.

Dan McAvinchey: Are you using any social media sites to promote your album and music career?

Gabe Treiyer: Of course! I owe my entire career to the internet and social media sites. If Mark Zuckerberg knows how much Facebook developed my career I probably need to pay royalties to him! I became very aware of how helpful these tools could be, I took advantage of them, and now you can be in contact with anyone, famous or not, even if you're on he other side of he planet. I use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram mainly, and even Linkedin, which is very helpful also. You need to have a presence on the web, no doubt about it.

Dan McAvinchey: From a publicity and promotion standpoint, what do you find is working best for you at the moment?

Gabe Treiyer: Like I've said, social media and internet is the way to go nowadays.

You got also things like Kickstarter and all the crowdfunding things which are marvelous! Hey, Marillion invented that and they can do their thing because of their fans with no record label in the middle. From my point of view, playing this kind of music became useless - and this is my own point of view - why? Because there's no live market for it, unless you do a clinic/show, which is more dynamic. Otherwise you'll only be playing for 20 friends the first time, and the second show for five, unless you can hook up with a festival or a great tour, so, there's no point on doing it right now. On the other hand, you can film a live performance in the studio with great cameras and sound and post it on internet, and reach more people than you've ever imagined, and maybe start a successful career. I'm very blessed to play with all these legends and reach a market that I'd never reach on my own, so, I take advantage of that.

Dan McAvinchey: What do you personally find to be the advantages and disadvantages of being an independent musician?

Gabe Treiyer: Being independent allows you to do whatever the hell you want without he pressure of a record label - of course, you need to be very focused on what you want for your career and how to get it. The downside of it is that the label can get you some great spots on concerts, magazines, etc. And they could reach more people than you because they have their network already developed.

Dan McAvinchey: Other than guitar-oriented music, what kind of music do you like to listen to?

Gabe Treiyer: It's impossible to name all the styles! I listen to everything, no boundaries, if it sounds good, it's good. I can listen to pop, rock, classical, instrumental, metal, country, electronica, jazz, prog-rock. Depends of the day, the mood, etc. I just love good music and you can find it everywhere. I think being so open minded helped me a lot in developing my career when I got the gigs with the artists I've played with. You have a pretty wide universe between Gene Loves Jezebel, Toto and Marillion, to name a few.

Dan McAvinchey: Finally, what's up next for you, what are some of your plans for the future?

Gabe Treiyer: I'm going to film a live session in the studio with songs from my album and post it on the web. I've already started recording my next album and I have some big tours next year. A lot of stuff - life is good and you need to be ready for whatever it throws your way.

interview picture
Argentinian Gabe Treiyer is a guitar player who has played and toured with artists such as Gene Loves Jezebel, Bobby Kimball (the original lead singer from TOTO), Steve Rothery (Marillion), and Jimi Jamison (Survivor), among others. He has just released his debut solo album entitled "Unsung Hero".

Dan McAvinchey held a long distance interview with Treiyer to discuss his wide ranging musical tastes, as well as where he feels instrumental music fits into the big picture.