Category Archives: Guitar World Interviews
It’s been a busy year for former Heart guitarist Howard Leese. The man who played alongside sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson for more than twenty years has spent much of 2013 performing in the Las Vegas musical “Raiding The Rock Vault”.
In addition, Leese will once again be joining Paul Rodgers and Bad Company for the band’s 40th anniversary tour which kicks off this summer. Then there’s the little matter of his recent induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and reunion with the rest of Heart. With a successful Vegas show in full gear and having worked with arguably the greatest male and female vocalists in rock history, Leese shows no sign of slowing down.
I spoke with Leese from his home in Malibu where we talked Raiding The Rock Vault, Heart, Bad Company and of course, guitars!
Read my entire interview with Howard Leese by Clicking Here
Former Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm pulls no punches in his new autobiography, Juke Box Hero.
In the book, which was co-written with Scott Pitoniak, Gramm leads readers on a journey from his humble beginnings in Rochester, New York, to the biggest stages in the world. He recounts his stint with Black Sheep, plus the ups and downs of working with guitarist Mick Jones in the band that made him famous.
From the diagnosis that nearly took his life to his solo career success and fascination for muscle cars, Gramm’s book is an honest portrayal of self-reflection from one of the greatest voices in rock history.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Gramm to discuss Juke Box Hero and get his thoughts on being inducted with Jones into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 13th.
You Can read my complete Guitar World interview with Lou by Clicking Here!
With an incredible catalog of songs accumulated over the course of his life, Michael Jackson’s music was something that transcended many different styles and influenced a generation of listeners. Growing up, I remember not only being glued to the television watching the Jackson 5 cartoon show, but also being on the front lines for the “Thriller” and “Bad” album phenomenons (the former still ranks as the biggest selling album of all time).
People just couldn’t get enough of his music; and many a child of the 80′s will tell you (albeit, secretly) that they regularly paid homage to Jackson by imitating his moonwalk or wearing the same jacket and glove style he made famous.
Like me, Grammy winning jazz guitarist Norman Brown never had the opportunity to meet the King of Pop, but his work on the new BWB album “Human Nature” channels the connection Jackson had between himself and his music in a cool and powerful way.
Fans have lamented that more than a decade has passed since Brown and BWB (with fellow jazz greats Kirk Whalum on sax and Rick Braun on trumpet) released their last album, “Groovin”. With “Human Nature”, not only has the supergroup reunited, but the reunion also allowed them the opportunity of putting their own unique spin on eleven Michael Jackson classics; including tasty renditions of “Billie Jean”, “Beat It” and “Man in The Mirror”.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Brown and discussing “Human Nature” and more in this exclusive Guitar World interview.
Human Nature will be released on June 18th, 2013
For more on Norman Brown and BWB, check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/normanbrownfans
Whether it’s writing, producing or recording straight ahead jazz records for himself or for other artists, Fabrizzio Sotti has done it all. But when it comes to his latest album, “Right Now”, Sotti does something completely different from anything he’s ever done before. Included among six brand new, original tracks are songs that have inspired the jazz guitarist from his youth. Classic songs that have been re-worked into mesmerizing jazz-pop gems, including Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” Jimi Hendrix’s “The Wind Cries Mary,” Bob Marley’s “Waitin’ In Vain and ” U2’s “One”.
Among many guest artists, Sotti is joined on “Right Now” by R&B powerhouse Melanie Fiona, reggae superstar Shaggy and hip-hop icons Ice T and M-1 of Dead Prez. The album’s cohesive sound stems from the band, which is made up of Sotti on electric, acoustic and classical guitar, Tony Grey on bass and Mino Cinélu on drums and percussion.
I spoke with Sotti about the new album and more in an exclusive Guitar World Interview!
Gina Stile has been involved in several successful projects over the years including the 80’s bands Poison Dollys and Envy. She’s opened for Aerosmith on a string of dates, had an album produced by Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and her current all-female project, Thunderbox is generating a lot of buzz in the New York area. In addition to all of her success, she’s also one hell of a guitar player.
In the mid 90′s (and after the break-up of the band Vixen), Stile began working on a new project with drummer Roxy Petrucci and singer Janet Gardner. Although never intended to be labeled ‘Vixen’ because of its heavier edge, the new music nevertheless became known and was toured as the “Tangerine” album.
In 2012, Stile was already busy with Thunderbox when she was again approached by Gardner, Petrucci and now former Vixen bassist Share Ross about forming the new project, JSRG. With the line-up intact, Stile is performing with Petrucci and Gardner for the first time in 14 years. I spoke with her about the new project as well as her playing and her other heavier edged group, Thunderbox.
Read the full Guitar World article, see pics and watch the new Thunderbox video by Clicking Here
For more info on Gina Stile and her current projects:
Since the formation of their partnership in the early 1970s, Daryl Hall & John Oates have gone on to become the most successful duo in rock history. Together, they’ve sold over 80 million albums; scored ten number one records; amassed more than twenty top 40 hits and have toured the world over for decades.
John Oates’ latest solo project, “Good Road To Follow” gives the guitarist the opportunity to branch out and work with musicians from many different genres. Oates plans to release a new song every month for the foreseeable future and not be bound to the demands and restrictions of making a traditional album. Having this creative control also allows him to create music that will appeal to a wider audience. The project’s first single, “Stand Strong” is already receiving attention, having introduced the Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway this past March.
I spoke with Oates about his new single and “Good Road To Follow” project as well as his playing, songwriting and future plans with Hall and Oates.
You can read the entire interview by clicking here.
Since the release of their debut album and #1 breakout smash “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”, the husband and wife team of Thompson Square (Keifer and Shawna Thompson) have been setting the music world on fire.
In addition to a run of sold out shows in tour support of Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum, Thompson Square has earned over 25 major award nominations in the last two years including winning back to back ACM Vocal Duo or the Year awards and being recognized by the Grammys, American Music and CMA Awards. The duo is currently out on the road supporting their new album, “Just Feels Good”.
I sat down with guitarist Keifer Thompson to discuss the ACM award, the new Thompson Square album and what he believes makes country music so special.
You and Shawna [Thompson] recently won your second consecutive ACM Award for Vocal Duo of the Year. What was that experience like?
It was just amazing and complete euphoria. Many of the artists that we’ve looked up to all of our lives were out in the crowd watching. The first year I think they were probably thinking, “Who the heck is this?” because they didn’t know who we were. This year, it seems like we’ve become more solidified in our country music family. It was cool; especially now that everyone knows who we are and that we’re not a ‘fly by night’ thing.
Read the rest of my Guitar World Interview with Keifer Thompson by Clicking Here!
It’s been a long process for Matt Baird, but the Spoken vocalist is glad the band’s new album, Illusion is finally out.
After fulfilling their obligation with Tooth and Nail records in 2007, the band decided to play the field to build momentum and see what fate had in store for them. Over the next few years the band continued to tour and was able to find time in between shows to start writing. The result is an album that appeals to both hard rock and metal enthusiasts. From the opening screams of “Stand Alone” to the anthemic“Through It All”, a song that really hits home, the band is firing on all cylinders.
While on tour with Volbeat, we sat down with Baird to get the inside scoop on Spoken’s new album, Illusion.
Why such a long wait in between albums?
Our fans have been awesome with being patient. We really didn’t plan on it taking 2 1/2 years to write a record. The fact is, we all live in different parts of the country and are touring eight months out of the year. So, it’s really hard to take a month off to write a proper record. We did make time to write and record if we had a few days off in between shows. It was a process, but it was worth the wait. A lot of life happened during those 2 1/2 years and gave us a lot of material to write about. Some of the first songs we wrote were written during times of bitterness and confusion. I’m not talking about within the band, but within our own personal lives and dealing with relationships on the brink of disaster. Then, some of the last songs we wrote were about grace and redemption. So it literally went full circle.
In 2008, Frontiers Records asked guitarist and producer Erik Martensson (Eclipse) to write six songs for an album project with Jeff Scott Soto (Talisman) on vocals. At the same time, keyboardist/guitarist Robert Säll (Work Of Art) was also asked to contribute six songs of his own to the project. After listening to each other’s material and discovering how differently it sounded, the duo decided to scrap the songs and start writing together. Soto loved the result of their efforts so much that what started out as a solo project instead morphed into the super group W.E.T. (whose initials stand for the names of each member’s other respective bands).
“Rise Up”, the new sophomore album from W.E.T. continues to build upon the cohesion of talent that won critical acclaim for Martensson, Säll and Soto. Together with guitarist Magnus Henriksson and drummer Robban Bäck, the album presents a combination of massive production quality, impressive songwriting and blistering solos by Henriksson that takes the new “classic rock” sound well into the 21st century.
I spoke with Martensson about the new “Rise Up” album and more in this interview.
This new W.E.T. project has been a long time coming.
It has. The album was actually finished at the end of May 2012, but after a summer break we decided to go back and do three more songs. “Walk Away”, “Rise Up” And “The Moment” were the ones we recorded. I remember we drank a lot of coffee, but came up with a lot of great songs. [laughs]
You can read the rest of my Guitar World Interview With Erik Martensson
by Clicking Here.