Guitar Nine Columns: Interviews

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

April-May 1998

I decided to do the independent route because that is the only route that is available to me at the present time. I have had releases on A&M Canada and Legato Records but I can`t wait for the "grown ups" to decide whether or not to release the music. I want to have my music out there like anybody else and if I have to do it all myself--so be it!

April-May 1998

I just released my first CD after 27 years of playing. For me it represents the end of a struggle to accept my influences, yet still feel I have a voice of my own. I also wanted to express the fact that I just love to play, and that I love music without borders. Most importantly, I want to create music that expresses my true heart, and that inspires the listener to do the same.

February-March 1998

Be prepared do a lot of work promoting and marketing. I strongly suggest people make a plan detailing how they will be selling and marketing their record. Rather than trying to sell one CD at a time, shop it for licensing and other types of deals, since ultimately, that is where a large number of sales will come from.

February-March 1998

I can`t ever remember deciding to release a CD, it`s just something I always dreamed of. I think every musician would like to, deep down. I did it for myself, and I suggest others do the same. Don`t put out your first CD and expect to get rich, because it just doesn`t happen that way.

December-January 1997

I`d really like to develop into a good composer. I`m not a Greg Howe or an Allan Holdsworth when it comes to soloing, so I have no choice but to work on developing my compositional skills so that people will have a reason to listen! To me, the ideal is someone like Scott Henderson, or Shawn Lane, who are not only amazing players, but equally strong, if not better, composers. That`s the pinnacle, to me.

October-November 1997

The bottom line is: I believe in my music. As an instrumental artist you`re not going to land a huge deal with a major label. If you do get a deal the label is going to take a huge chunk of money, and even if they do sign you, they may not even distribute your CD. Some friends of mine signed with a major label, and the label has not done a thing with them. So they have a great product that they can`t do anything with.

October-November 1997

I do as much pre-production as humanly possible at home. When you`re ready to record, and I can`t stress this enough, have everything rehearsed to death and a production plan ready. I did my latest CD at a commercial place, but my dream is to do my next one at home.

August-September 1997

Even though these days it takes a lot of idealism to produce an instrumental record, I strongly encourage everybody who`s playing around with the idea to do so. Just don`t expect to get any money out of it, regardless of the quality of your product. It might happen, but it`s very likely that it won`t. But you will have the best musical business card there is and a unique document of your own creativity.

August-September 1997

The one thing I always try to do is be in a creative state of mind when I compose. It seems that the ideas flow better if you are working on it on an ongoing basis. For a lot of my instrumental tunes, I sometimes get a mental picture of something in my head, and then ask myself what music goes with this scene. This is much like scoring for film--except the film is in my head!

June-July 1997

I record at home in my 16 track (analog) studio. It took me lots of time, energy and money but I`m glad that I`ve got one. Nothing can beat a home studio. You can go there anytime you want and not be bothered by anyone other than yourself. You don`t have to book time, and pay by the hour. Unless you`re a lunatic, that is.

June-July 1997

You have to have a good promotion budget and don`t skimp corners when it comes to this. You can have the greatest album and if no one knows that you have one out and available, it really is no good. Utilize all that you can with local publications and national ones as well. Always think of the nation as your market and not just your town. You can be the biggest thing in your hometown and unless they know you around, it really is not going to help you.

April-May 1997

Many of the first seeds of a song come to me when I`m mountain biking or jogging. It is at that time when my head gets totally clear and the creative juices start to flow. The tricky part is to remember your ideas until you get somewhere that you can write them down! Then it`s just a matter of developing the songs.

April-May 1997

Get on the Internet!! It`s the best way to get your music heard by millions of people all over the world. Get someone in the music industry to help you (if you`re lucky). Get a web-site and push your music and never stop. If you have a dream go for it and don`t let anything stop you! Get out there and perform your music live as much as possible.

February-March 1997

We all write together at rehearsal. We never set out to write something new, it always happens that one of us will be tuning up with an idea or just jamming on something, and the other two will jump on it. By the time we realize it, half the song is already written. We look at each other and say, `I guess we`re gonna` write today!`

February-March 1997

I`ve mostly been motivated by wanting to hear something that`s already in my head. For the classical tunes, I always thought Paganini`s Caprice No. 5 would sound amazing on an electric guitar and just really wanted to hear it. If someone else had a recording out first, I probably would have bought it and then just listened to it instead of playing it.

December-January 1996

My long-term goals are simple, continue improving and have fun! I don`t care really if I don`t become a `rock star` or a `guitar hero`, as long as I`m happy with my music and maybe someone else likes it too.

December-January 1996

I`ve sold thousands of copies of the "Dreamscapes" CD. You have to realize that 95% of all my sales come from traditional print advertising. Reviews don`t sell your product. Marketing and advertising do! I`m amazed at the amounts of money bands and artists put into the recording and manufacturing of their product and then have no idea on how to sell it. Marketing and promotion go hand in hand; you need to do both.

December-January 1996

I was offered a couple of small record deals, but the contracts were ridiculous so I invested my own money, and it`s starting to pay off. At least this way you own your product.

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