Guitar Nine Columns: Interviews

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Enjoy over 20 years of staff columns, guest columns, interviews and more!

October-November 2009

I wanted to be very careful not to have a CD that seemed to ramble on endlessly. I wanted to put out a CD that the listener could listen to front to end and feel musically satisfied when it was over.

August-September 2009

I have found that by recording and adding a few "cover tunes" to my CDs as well as my originals, has helped get folks online to discover me. After they`ve listened to my arrangements of their familiar pop tunes, they may decided to check out my original music, too.

August-September 2009

There was no internet when I started and file sharing has been the most destructive force to the music business and it`s been the most positive force in a fan`s world.

June-July 2009

Musician`s Institute (which was then GIT) was the best thing I could have done. I do well in competitive scenes. I progressed fast in those years.

June-July 2009

We decided to write something and we asked Gian to join this project. We were looking for something different to create separation between us and the other thousands of shredders in the world, so we decided to use the 8-string guitar.

June-July 2009

This project is one that has 100% of all CD sales, no matter where purchased, going to support LilliansJourney.com, the foundation we began for my mother. LilliansJourney.com supports and donates all of its funds to Project ALS.

April-May 2009

Try to become a better musician every day. Listen to music actively - try to understand what those great musicians felt when they wrote your favorite song or played your favorite solo.

April-May 2009

When you play with somebody else, you have to worry about playing well and being in your place at every moment. When you play your own songs, in any venue, you show how you are, because they are your own work.

February-March 2009

There is always something you don`t know. Thinking of the end result is a distraction and more importantly, there is no end result. You will be learning for the rest of your life.

December-January 2008

I will be back doing more instructional videos in January with Joe Satriani. I can`t tell you how humbling it is to work with one of your mentors. Simply unbelievable!

December-January 2008

We often cannot pinpoint exactly what it is we like about a certain piece of instrumental music, but the music nonetheless resonates within us on a deep, personal level.

December-January 2008

I tend to discover guitarists that have been there for a long time and have many records, but hadn`t catch my attention until recently, like Derek Trucks or Alex Machacek.

October-November 2008

The fact that downloading is a problem can`t prevent you from doing music. And you are right, a lot of guys are actually releasing their first albums, but that doesn`t mean they are good or different from what`s been done before.

October-November 2008

When I do a project like this, I give total creative liberty to each artist because I want their personal flavor as an artist and producer, not mine.

October-November 2008

Usually when I work on my own compositions, I immediately follow my instincts, putting down ideas quickly that come from inspiration - without following any set pattern.

October-November 2008

When Mike Varney got a copy of my mostly acoustic solo record and signed me, he suggested doing more metal. I was thrilled because at that point in time it seemed nobody cared for metal solos.

October-November 2008

I titled my songs to represent varying degrees of thought; for example, "The Afterlife" is a musical speculation on what it would sound like on your spiritual journey to the next world, if there is indeed one!

August-September 2008

It is all about the music, which can be similar to some people, but for me, it`s really different. Also, the attention of the crowd is different. The trio format demands more from each musician as well.

June-July 2008

To be a musician, especially in countries like Italy where music is not treated like it deserves, it`s a hard job. Every day you have to wake up and learn, you have to be prepared, you need to be professional.

April-May 2008

I`m more interested in songs than in players. I love the last Coldplay album, because there`s great melody. There`s new guys like Derek Trucks and Joe Bonamassa, who really play well and say something emotional.

April-May 2008

I love live performances. If they come out well, they capture the beauty of improvisation. That is one of the things that I love about music and this band, the moments of improvisation that change from gig to gig are wonderful.

April-May 2008

I think that the song itself is the most important thing, because what we remember after the listening of a track is not a shred phrase but the central theme.

February-March 2008

I thought it would be easier with a band with vocals, to push and sell it. It wasn`t any easier. I`m still selling more instrumental CDs than Skulgrinder CDs.

December-January 2007

My favorite album is "Phoenix Rising". The expectations after the success of "Into The Eye Of The Storm" were high, but everyone was highly motivated and we really put everything into it.

December-January 2007

I like to compose instrumental songs, without the use of words, to communicate my emotions and my way of life. I`m not a singer, but I`m a guitarist, so I try "to speak" with my guitar.

August-September 2007

It was really important to me that all of the crazy shred guitar on the record be song driven and not the other way around. As a listener, I want to hear songs, not a brief melodic section and then eight minutes of jamming.

June-July 2007

I advise to all those who can, to work in their own recording studio, so you can be free from conditions such as timetables and costs! I opened my studio in 1996 when I worked doing TV spots and was tired of spending money and time at other recording studios.

June-July 2007

My main aim with this album was to write songs that had really strong melodies and structure and that would be appreciated by a wide range of listeners other than just guitar players.

April-May 2007

I`ve never had a specific practice routine other than practicing everything out there! When I`m writing I tend to focus on any problems a song throws up, and I put a lot of work into melody and solo construction.

April-May 2007

With this album I attempted to express all my musical influences throughout the years. I expected the album to go straight to the listener without being too simple.

April-May 2007

I like to listen to players who take you on a journey and have a clear direction and build-up to their solos. Kind of like a composition within the composition.

December-January 2006

Since instrumental guitar music isn`t a big seller, it gets short changed quite often. As a matter of fact, finding the Guitar Nine website was a revelation to me. I didn`t realize there were so many musicians doing instrumental music.

December-January 2006

I don`t care if things could go wrong because the most important thing is that someone like Mike Varney believes in me and in my music.

October-November 2006

You know, what`s really weird about me is that I`m an artist, I consider myself as an artist and musician first, and a guitar player secondly, you know, guitar is not the thing that motivates me. Music is.

October-November 2006

Having Steve Vai`s name associated with my project helped my credibility in the guitar community. I have a lot of respect for Steve, not only as a musician but as a businessman. I knew I could learn a lot - and I have!

August-September 2006

I want to make it as easy as possible for instrumental guitar fans to find the music they really want, and that means constantly improving the site, a little bit every week and every month.

August-September 2006

Music is one of the deepest forms of communication and when you stop focusing on trying to impress people and focus on trying to communicate with them, it goes to an entirely new level.

June-July 2006

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.

June-July 2006

That`s the beauty of instrumental music, when listening to it, you can imagine or feel whatever you want.

June-July 2006

When I turned 19 I realized that I was in love with guitar and I wasn`t doing anything else but practicing all day. Only then I understood that nothing could make me any happier than music!

June-July 2006

I listen to all types of music, which helps me to keep up with the times, above all rock-fusion jazz, blues, and some Italian bands like Negramaro and Neutra.

April-May 2006

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.

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