Stef Burns: We met here in San Francisco around the year 2000. I heard him play at a solo concert and I said let's get together and play. After we did a benefit concert for a local school we both decided together to record a CD and do some touring.
Stef Burns: We recorded everything together in the studio, but we had trouble in the first studio getting a good electric guitar sound, so I re-recorded most of my guitar in a different studio.
Stef Burns: It was completely Peppino and I together just playing what came naturally. I love the "sweet clean" strat tone that I used. I think it fit well with Peppino's style and the style of the compositions.
Stef Burns: I was able to try some new things that I had not really recorded before, like a western tremolo twang type of sound and some tones that were jazzier than I had done before. I recorded "Manha de Carnaval" and "Birdland" with a Gibson ES335.
Stef Burns: Everything was improvised. That is the way I prefer to do it.
Stef Burns: Sai che no lo so? (You know what? I don't know...in perfect Italian) Maybe a year and a half.
Stef Burns: The tour with Peppino, Juan and Walter in February 2006 was our best ever. We had such a good feeling between each other and with our fans.
Stef Burns: It's fantastic. It's a whole other wonderful world. Being free to improvise and fill up the sound just with his acoustic and my electric is a great musical journey. It's a different side to my music that was missing before.
Stef Burns: These two great musicians from The Netherlands were brought in by Peppino. He and Juan have toured and done a DVD together. Juan and Walter play together often. I am very fortunate to be able to play with them. I also have just recorded some songs with them for my next Stef Burns CD.
Stef Burns: Well, it is of that time. But many things have changed since then. My ideas are different and my sound. I really like that CD and I am proud of it. The people that you mentioned were a dream to play with.
Stef Burns: Nothing really. Just a strange beverage.
Stef Burns: It was Peppno's idea. He wanted to try new voicings with an alternate tuning. It also gave me a chance to play a softer, more intimate version.
Stef Burns: Yes. I have started recording some songs with Juan and Walter. I hope to complete the rest this fall and release early next year. I am working towards releasing something with Ultra Records in Milan and Family Affair Dist.
Stef Burns: After Vasco's producer, Guido Elmi, heard me play on Alice Cooper's "Hey Stoopid", he hired me to record on the "Gli Spari Sopra" album in Los Angeles, thanks to my friend Stephen Hart who was the engineer on that album. Then I met Vasco at rehearsals for "Rock sotto l'assedio" San Siro Stadium, Milan 1995.
Stef Burns: Well, when I recorded with him in Los Angeles I had never heard of him. When they asked me to play live in Italy I was happy to come, but I was so shocked when I came on stage in the stadium and experienced the immense size of the crowd and the passion of Vasco's fans. They sang every word and loved all the songs with intensity. It was wonderfully overwhelming.
Stef Burns: It was great. A very lovely event. I wish it did not rain but maybe that added to the magic a little. But I felt sorry for the people getting soaking wet.
Stef Burns: I was thrilled to play with three incredible guitarists such as Satriani, Vai and Fripp. I was a little nervous at first but then it just became this wonderful jam. Jeff Campitelli (drums) and Matt Bissonette (bass) were also wonderful.
Stef Burns: No! I'm just a goofy guy sometimes and I like to have fun with the people. I enjoy humor in music as well.
Stef Burns: Both were great hard rock experiences. Alice Cooper was a more expressive situation for me and I was very involved in the recordings and live arrangements. Alice is such a cool guy and I miss him very much. I had to stop playing with him when I became too busy playing with Vasco. Y&T was so cool also. A tough, blusey hard rock band. It was great to be a part of that for so many years. It was like heavy metal school for me.
Stef Burns: Nice reference! I love playing with Huey and the guys. I feel very fortunate to play with so many diverse artists, each with their own style that enriches my musical experience. With Huey we play a very tight, funky, bluesy type of rock 'n' roll that is so much fun. I love playing all the hits that I heard so much in the '80s on the radio, They really are one of the few bands from the '80s whose music still holds up today. This summer we are touring together with Chicago. It's fun also because, like Vasco and Alice, there are a lot of guitar solos.
Stef Burns: The guitars are mostly the same with each band. My main guitar is a 1991 Stratocaster built for me by Larry Brooks in the Fender Custom Shop. It has a Duncan JB in the bridge position with a coil tap and Texas specials in the neck and middle. I have some other Strats and Telecasters that I love. Some tunes with Vasco I play a Les Paul Custom. Amps with Vasco are Marshall JCM 900. With Peppino I use either the Marshall or a Fender Hot Rod DeVille 4x10. With Huey I use the Fenders though this year I may add the Marshall for a better lead sound. I use a few pedals for different distortions and gain, Wah, Whammy, Tremolo, Compressor/sustainer and Advance Cat Drive Boost made in Italy, great for clean solos! For delay, chorus and reverb I use the old Alessis Quadraverb.
Stef Burns: Usually the same gear, though on the "Bayshore Road" CD I also used a Bruno Amp that belonged to Masaki Liu, the engineer on the record. Very nice and smooth.
Stef Burns: Keep playing, keep trying new things as well as listening to and learning the old ones. Try to listen and play with your heart. Play with other musicians as much as possible and when you are getting good enough, be heard in public as much as you can. Play gigs often as well as practicing. Stay healthy and don't do drugs.
Stef Burns: That is the beauty of music. I like it because I like melody and chord changes. Although, I am planning on singing on my next record so watch out!
Stef Burns: An architect because I love to design and build houses. Maybe a forest ranger because I love the wilderness.
Stef Burns: I hope to see you all out there on tour! Thanks for listening!