Patrick Rondat: It was in 1977, and I had the chance to listen to the first Ronnie Montrose album. I loved it. The sound was amazing. So I decided to buy my first guitar. Even I don't consider myself a guitar hero. Hendrix, Van Halen, yes - not me!
Patrick Rondat: A long time ago. Many bands, many demos. And one day a guy wanted to produce a metal compilation so he went to Hard Rock magazine in France to listen to some demos. Mine was there, and he loved it. So first I signed for this compilation, and then for my first solo album. Why "Just For Fun"? I always thought that in many people's minds playing instrumental music is more a show off ability, and for me it's fun. I play that kind of music because I love it - not to prove or show anything. So - just for fun!
Patrick Rondat:Django was an incredible musician. We all have to thank him for what he brought to guitar players. I love "Nuages" - it's a great song. I just wanted to play it in a different way, more bluesy, and with a slow tempo. I was a metal player when I first listen to Al DiMeola and It changed my entire approach to playing guitar. Then for a while I listened to many bands in the jazz and jazz/rock fusion scene and went back to metal later, mixing both styles.
Patrick Rondat: This is one of my favorite pieces ever. I wanted to compose a big piece of music with all the emotions I felt. I knew It would be a long one with a few different parts - heavy ones, acoustic ones, etc. I wanted to compose it in a classical form, with melodies and riffs that appear at different moments of the song. If you listen carefully to it, you will notice that, for example, the first riff of part 2 is back at the end of part 6; the end of part 3 is the main melody of part 4; and the end of part 5 is the same as the end of part 2. It was a lot of work, but I had it all in mind from the beginning.
Patrick Rondat: He was a very nice guy with a great sense of humor, and of course was an incredible pianist. I met him first at a big JM Jarre show at Paris' Eiffel Tower (800,000 people attending). I played the Vivaldi Presto there and Michel came to me after the show to tell me he loved it.. Later he asked me to sign my "Amphibia" album. I was so honored I asked him if he would agree to play on my new "On The Edge" album, and he said yes! I was so happy we had plans to work on some songs together - unfortunately he died a couple of month later. I was so sad, I miss the guy.
Patrick Rondat: I played with his brother Francis (piano) on my first album. We were signed to the same record company, so I asked him to play on the same song as Michel. I thought it was a great idea to mix jazz soloing with the Tommy Aldridge métal drumming!
Patrick Rondat: I am very proud of this album. It's really what I wanted to create. I took my time to compose it, and when I didn't have new ideas I'd just do something else, such as play with other people like Elegy or Jarre. It brought me some fresh air. I have always tried to do albums that sounded different without losing my individual style.
Patrick Rondat: That's very difficult you know, it's been a long time. What I can say is on every album I try to compose songs that fit together and record the album using a wide range of emotions and atmospheres. What I mean is, If I think I have enough speed/technique songs, I work on an atmospheric one, or an acoustic number. I always try to balance elements such as technique, melody; fast or medium/slow rhythms, etc.
Patrick Rondat: I guess I need that, you know, or I would not be able to compose new albums. Without these experiences, I would probanly repeat the same story. I love to play with these guys. I was in Poland last summer with Jean-Michel, and it was incredible. He has some shows planned for this summer.
Patrick Rondat: I have a few Ibanez RG Prestiges, some are customized some not. We are working together on a signature model - a mahogany body with a flamed maple top, a piezo transducer, two Dimarzio Pickups, Humbucker from hell/neck, and Virtual Hot PAF Bridge.
I use a few Peavey amps - a slightly modified TripleX, and an Ultra A classic 50. Sometimes I use an Ibanez Tube Screamer, sometimes reverb and delay (but not so much). I have a Xavier Petit acoustic guitar. I use Ernie Ball strings (10/46 electric, 11/52 acoustic) with Ibanez 1.2mm Rondat picks.
Patrick Rondat: Yes, most of the time. For recording sometimes I've used different Peavey amps - on stage only one. Guitars are the same.
Patrick Rondat: Between four and eight hours every day, for more than 20 years.
Patrick Rondat: You are right, even though I think to be able to appreciate a style or genre of music your ears must be trained for it. I mean it's also a kind of culture; people throughout the world can listen to my music, but if you are not used to metal guitar sounds, and a certain amount of complexity, it can be strange at first! For every kind of music I guess, you need the keys.
Patrick Rondat: Every kind of music played with passion for people with the same passion - from metal to classical music.
Patrick Rondat: I am working on a new album - a very different one. It will be a duet with electric guitar and piano. As I told you earlier, I need to do something different before composing a new album. I have also a live DVD, a "best of" CD, and an Ibanez signature model guitar planed for 2006.
Patrick Rondat: Thanks to you all for your support. Keep on playing and listening to music. Take care.