Interview: Jason Sadites

Dan McAvinchey: Jason, when did you first get interested in guitar, and how did you learn and progress as a player?

Jason Sadites: I first picked up the guitar around age 10. My aunt had left an old Suzuki classical guitar in our basement. I started with that and an old Hal
Leonard method book. That taught me to read basic notes and get my fingers
working. Shortly after I began reading guitar magazines like Guitar Player
and Guitar World. I ended up learning a lot, at that stage, from the various
articles and lessons that those magazines had to offer.

From there I would just read and study music theory on my own, with the help of a lot of books along with many, many hours of physical practice on the guitar itself. By
the time I was 16, I was teaching guitar at a local music store and it didn't take long before I ended up with a roster of 60-70 students a week.

Dan McAvinchey: Tell us a little about the gear you use to get your sound.

Jason Sadites: The single most important element of my sound, as far as equipment goes, is my Budda amplifier. I play a Budda Superdrive 30 head through a Budda 1210 cabinet. Let me tell you, these amps are just amazing! They are
extremely responsive to the players touch and can give you everything from
gorgeous clean sounds to the heaviest of heavy tones, while never losing
clarity! The Budda 1210 cabinet is awesome also! It combines 2-12 inch and
2-10 inch speakers all in one cab. The 2 - 10's are open back while the 2 -
12's are closed back. So you can imagine the versatility it offers in the
studio. The combination of the Budda 30 head with the Budda cab gave me
everything I needed to get all of the different tones on my CD "Orbit", it
was all I used, so that is what you hearing on every track! All the guitars
were recorded with the guitar plugged straight into the amp with any effects
added at the mix.

As far as guitars go, I currently own two Fender American Strats. One is an
American Standard and the other a newer American Deluxe. The Standard is
loaded with Kinman pickups, which are just incredible noiseless single coils
that sound amazing! I also have a handmade acoustic guitar built by a
luthier from Toronto named G.W Barry. It is a really beautiful instrument -
Incredible craftsmanship and gorgeous tone!

As far as effects go, playing live all I use currently is a Guyatone delay
and a Budda Budwah wah pedal. That is another great Budda product, really
great sounding wah. I used the Budda wah on a number of tracks on my disc

Dan McAvinchey: What are you striving to achieve musically, particularly on "Orbit"?

Jason Sadites: I have always been a huge fan of instrumental guitar music and great guitar playing in general. My goal was to not just make a guitar album that
was full of over the top technical playing. Not to say I was going to steer
clear of playing anything technically proficient because I love hearing a
player really cut loose, but I wanted to make sure that I used those
passages sparingly to serve the song. Having said that, I really focused a
lot on melody and arrangements. I really wanted to write instrumental guitar
songs, not just vehicles for me to solo for a whole album! My goal was to
have people walk away humming the melodies of the songs while still having
the listener feel that they heard some really great guitar playing.

I also really focused a lot on getting great guitar tones on tape, I am a real
fanatic when it comes to tone! Those are my goals as a player and writer and
I really hope I accomplished these things on my CD "Orbit"!

Dan McAvinchey: Why do you think certain music fans prefer instrumental music over traditional vocal oriented music?

Jason Sadites: That is a great question. I personally am a music fan in general and love so many styles and so many artists of different musical styles. Having said that, I just love instrumental guitar music. There is something great
about hearing somebody write music that will keep people's interest without
having the vocal to rely on. As a listener, I am always interested in the
way the instrumental composer/player is going to keep me interested, using
different variations on melodies and themes, different interplay between
instruments, different tones etc. The fact that the vocal is not there
really opens up a lot of room for so many things that normally wouldn't be
possible because they would interfere with the vocal line and be
inappropriate in a mainstream vocal oriented song.

Dan McAvinchey: Do you get the opportunity to perform your original music in front of an audience?

Jason Sadites: I recently relocated to a new city, so as of now I haven't had the chance to put together a new live band. That is something I will be working
on in the near future so I can get out and promote my CD through live
performances. As of now there are plans in the works this summer to do a
live show in my hometown in Canada with my band mates from there. We will be
performing a number of songs off of my CD.

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

Jason Sadites: I think recently instrumental music is finally receiving the attention it deserves. I guess these things go in cycles and we all know how little
attention the genre got throughout the 'grunge' period in the '90's, so it is nice to see it starting to get some coverage again. I guess all of us involved directly in the instrumental guitar genre would always love to see more coverage, but I think recently things have been improving in that department.

Dan McAvinchey: What went into the decision to release an independent record?

Jason Sadites: I guess mostly growing up listening to so many different instrumental artists and loving the genre so much. The fact that I don't really sing also
adds to that. It was always a goal of mine to release an instrumental album
from the time I got my first cassette four-track when I was about 14.

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

Jason Sadites: Probably the biggest positive is the artistic freedom to do what you want to do. You don't need to answer to anybody about choices such as
songwriting and production ideas.

The downside is obviously the promotional aspect. It is a real challenge to
get your name out there and get noticed so that people will actually take
the time to listen.

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

Jason Sadites: I have tried various things. I have been very fortunate up to now to have had the support of a lot of great people who have helped with the
promotion and have given me great feedback on my album. I have received some
great reviews.

I have done some print advertising in various publications, posted free lessons on my website and done some columns through Guitar 9. I must say that you are doing a great job at helping instrumental guitarists get their music out there. So from myself and on behalf of all of the other guitarists on your site, I would like to thank you Dan!

Also, I am currently doing a promotion with Budda Amplification, we are
giving away a free Budda Wahpedal. (Anyone interested can enter at my site, ends May 31, 2006). All of these things have been helping to get some attention towards the CD.

I really try and keep my website updated with new things to keep people
coming back. So far, all of these things have been working out pretty well
for me!

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Dan McAvinchey: Have you heard any new guitarists that have really caught your ear in the past couple of years?

Jason Sadites: Oh yeah! Kevin Breit is a guitarist from Toronto, who is just downright scary and relatively unknown. He plays weekly (Monday nights) at a small
club in Toronto called The Orbit Room, which is partly owned by Alex Lifeson. Other than that, guys like Bumblefoot and Mattias Eklundh are just amazing! There are probably a lot more I am just not thinking of right now.

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

Jason Sadites: I have lots of things I would like to accomplish. I would love to
release some instructional materials, maybe a DVD in the future. I am also available to do studio work, either adding guitar parts to other peoples projects or mixing and recording. Details of all that are at my other site

Also, recently I had the opportunity and incredible honor to record a new track with Gregg and Matt Bissonette. Gregg and Matt have played with so many great artists including Vai and Satriani among so many others. So, it was really incredible to hear them playing on one of my songs! They are truly incredible musicians and great all around guys! That song will actually be available very soon as a free download. Keep your eye on my website for news about that new track! I am really happy with the way it turned out.

Other than that I am also writing new material for another CD!

Dan McAvinchey: If you could do a once-off album project with any guitarist in the world, who would it be?

Jason Sadites: Hmmm... it is tough to narrow it down to just one! Let's see... as of this minute, I would have to say Jeff Beck!

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Jason Sadites is a Canadian born guitarist who has demonstrated a knack for writing and recording instrumental music that skillfully blends melody, technique and tone, keeping everything in proper balance. His CD, "Orbit" is a testament to his ability to satisfy both guitar freaks, as well as general rock and hard rock fans.

With this in mind, Dan McAvinchey hooked up with Sadites to discuss instrumental guitar music and the perspectives of an independent musician.