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JONATHAN MOVER Satch Experiences And Other - By Matt Cafissi
Jonathan , tell me about your last studio-project .
I just recently finished working on a few at around the same time. one is my second solo release entitled "einstein too", another was for a female singer recently signed to lava/atlantic named amy fairchild, two others were done at the same time at dizzyland studios in new hampshire for "hank decken" and "sonic joyride", also i've been working on composing for a film called "kamikaze" being shot here in new york later this summer. there are so many things i'm involved with at the moment due to now being available through my web site. not only do i have my regular producers and contacts calling me, but i also have artists from around the world now able to get in touch me directly, unlike before. since i've got my own studio here in the city, if they can't afford to fly me across the world, they can just send me their tapes, leave it to me to put the drums down and send them right back. it saves them money and it's great for me because i never would have been available like that in the past. next up for me is some recording with legendary bassist tm stevens, with possible tour dates later this year.
It's true the your collaboration on Rama's Toshi Iseda Project ?
Yes that is correct. toshi and andy (west) contacted me last year about laying a few drum tracks down for the rama project. it was an interesting process as i explained previously. they sent me the scratch tracks on da88, i then dumped them to 2" at my studio, laid down the 3 tracks during a dinner break while working on another session, then dumped the tracks back to da88 and sent them off. i've yet to hear the finished mixes, but am looking forward to the end results.
You are famous also for a great performances (on studio and on stage) with the master Joe Satriani . Your memories on this piece of life ?
Hooking up with joe was one of those situations of being in the right place at the right time. i had just finished a few years of work with steve howe and steve hackett in a band called gtr. things were up in the air about what the band was going to do next, leaving me with thoughts of moving on and possibly moving back to the states from london. a trip to the hoshino factory to sign with tama introduced me to joe who was there to do the same with ibanez. we talked about playing, one gig led to another, the next thing i knew we were on the road and i was moving back to the states. it was very exciting and enjoyable time for us back at the beginning. we were just an instrumental fusion trio looking to tear up every gig and blow away as many in the audience as possible. things changed later on though when the gig got more popular and joe tried singing to capture an even larger audience. although i still enjoyed a lot of what we did at the time, that was a turning point for me. joe thought it was time to 'calm down' the chops and concentrate on trying to get a single on the radio and that's not really where i wanted to go in that playing situation. i play on top 40 and top 100 recordings all the time in my session work, so with joe i really wanted to remain a 'players band'. of course, it's his band, his music and his career, so it was his call.
Now you are friend of Satch or not ?
Not really at the moment .
Why don't more collaborations with him ?
Well, i never expected to work with joe for as long as i did. one of the reasons i did stay that long was that around my touring and recording with him, i was also free to do many other gigs. aretha franklin, alice cooper, frank gambale and others. for me, that was important because i have a tendency to get bored with playing the same music all of the time, unless i'm absolutely in love with the gig. so playing with others allowed me to constantly go back to joe somewhat fresh. but by the time we had finished the 'time machine' record and tour, i was kind of tired with it and really looking to do more sessions. i was missing a lot of work while being out and away with joe. by the time 95 rolled around, i was already well into the network of the new york session scene, as well as just about to finish up my first "einstein" cd when joe called and asked me to do another tour. i listened to his new cd and my first response was no, due to not really liking his new direction as well as all that was going on for me in the city. he was very persistent, so we eventually agreed that if other opportunities arose that i wanted/needed to pursue, i would give him my notice and leave the tour at an opportune moment. i guess he never thought that moment would come around, but it did and i gave my notice to leave after about 10 months of being out. he was pretty upset and i hope one day that it will be water under the bridge, but i would've been such a fool to continually pass on the gigs that were being offered. the first recording i did upon leaving joe was for "fuel" on sony. i don't know how popular they are in italy, but they're one of the biggest alternative bands here and have been certified gold and platinum in various countries. that recording has led to so much more, so no regrets here.
The experience with Rudy Roberts ?
I met rudy while playing together at the cannes music passion festival back in 95 i believe. we were the headline 'rock' outfit that week, along with john maclaughlin (who i got to play with) and jean michel jarre. anyway, after meeting and playing with rudy, he asked me if i would be interested in recording with him on his next cd. i liked him and his music, so of course i said yes. i flew to france during a short break on satriani's tour and did the tracks. he then came to new york later on and mixed the cd at my studio. he was a lot of fun to work, play and hang with.
You are one Solo-Studio-Album : tell me about the music of this album and the artists inside .
As i mentioned earlier, my solo project is entitled 'einstein'. it's basically a showcase for my compositions, as well as a bit of my playing, although it's definitely not a drummers solo record per se. meaning, it's not just all instrumental songs with over the top playing. there is a bit of that, but it's mostly a vocal record in the heavy progressive rock vein. lots of odd time and counter-melodies. where i think the band shines is a combination of the clever melodies, rhythms and polyrhythms played very smoothly. i like to take odd time, make it feel straight and do the opposite with straight time. the first einstein cd is a trio made up of myself and two friends, stan jankowski (ld vox & gtr) and jani mangini (keys). the new einstein entitled "einstein too" has stan featured again as the lead vocalist, but this time around i enlisted the help of a few friends as guest artists for the solos. trey gunn, al pitrelli, jens johannsen, derek sherinian, dc cooper and a few others all lent their talents. it's actually being pressed at the moment and should be available by early august. information on those cd's and a lot more can be found on my web site .
ANDERS JOHANSSON Killer Drummer - By Guido Mercati
When did you start play drums and listening to what in particoular ?
14 years old . I used to listen to Deep Purple , Billy Cobhan , return To Forever , UK (with Terry Bozzio) , Frank Zappa (with Terry Bozzio) and Rush .
How about your love for jazz and fusion drumming ?
My father was a jazz musician so i had always heard jazz at home . That might be why i liked Deep Purple so much . They have a blues jazz feel to many of their songs and in their way of playing . I guess i wanted to proceed as a drummer and the only way was to get into fusion and synphonic rock .
I think you was great with Shawn Lane and Jonas Hellborg at the Disma Music Rimini in Italy , 3 years ago , because their music needs a so rocky groovy at the same time kind of drumming . Have you ever thought to record something with them in studio ?
Thanks ! I also think they need more heavy drummer . I wanted to record/tour with them but they wanted to go in a more soft direction . I get the feeling the don't like the heavy fusion style . We (my brother Jens and I) did record an album with Jonas that came out pretty cool , i think , called Jonas Hellborg Group ...
The Yngwie's years . Do you like to re-listen those albums and why ?
No , but it's because i have my albums in a place where it's hard to get to them . We used to have a lot of fun with Yngwie .
Right now which are you projects ?
Little here and there . I'm nowdays also a full member of Swedish Metal Band called HammerFall . we are going to record a third album and do a tour .
Did you compose all the Benny Jansson's tracks together with him ? Very cool , man ... truly cool !
No , Benny composed everything himself . I got the tapes with guitar and i just added on the drums . I was alone by myself when i recorded my parts and that might be the reason why the drums play many fills all the time . Normally people tell me to not play so much , just keep time . Benny liked it , though .
Are you going to be a Disma in Italy this year too ? Please ...
I wouldn't mind but Jonas wants more mellow/slow drums so i will unfortunately not come . I think Shawn Lane is cool with pretty much everything and would't mind me and my playing . He's easy to deal with . Jonas on the other hand has strange ideas always . He didn't really like my metal fusion style even though he is great with that style himself . he wants to find new challenges and new styles . In a way i think it's good for him to keep trying but it's also a pity since he handles the metal-funk-fusion best of all his styles !!!
Thans so much ...
... Best , Anders .
DEREK SHERINIAN Next Planet Please? - By Guido Mercati
How did "little Derek Sherinian" get started playing keys ?
I started banging away at age five .
How do you go about composing your music ?
I just wait for inspiration , and let it flow !
What are your most recently completed projects and what are you currently working on ?
Right now , i am focusing my time on Planet X and getting it on an international level .
Are you influenced by some guitar shredder in particoular about the way you play your keys ?
Eddie Van Halen would have to be my biggest influence .
How did you choose your bandmates in Planet X ?
Mike Varney was responsable for hooking me up with Virgil Donati and MacAlpine .
Is going to be your real band for the future ?
I hope Planet X is my band forever !!!
Tell me something concerning Metropolis 2 (composed by you and Dream Theater ... you know) , pleaseeeeeeee ?!?!?!
We wrote it years ago , they have rewritten it since then .
And about Brad Gillis and his "shredding ranch" ?
This was my first record . Brad is a great player and a great friend .
Which kind of music do you like more right now . neoclassical or prog/fusion or jazz or ...
Prog Fusion , Planet X music !...
What do you think about the future of the Guitar Shred music ? The interview is going to finish ...
I think Tony MacAlpine will be the man to watch !!!
STEVE SMITH Vital Bit Tones - By Guido Mercati
How about Tone Center ? Is the real Rock Fusion department of Shrapnel Group or a personal Steve Smith's solo super project label ?!?!
Mike Varney started this by asking me to so a high energy fusion Cd for Shrapnel with the players of my choice . I choice Scott Henderson and Victor Wooten . We decided to start a new label because Shrapnel has a Metal connotation and we wanted the Cd in the Jazz section of the record stores . Then Varney asked me to put more projects together for this new label . So you know about the other projects . He owns the label and has put other projects . he owns the label and has put other projects togethr without my involvemernt . CAB , Rachel Z , Bass extremes , Greg Howe etc ... He does listen to my input and likes many of my ideas .
Give me some news about Hyperacuity , the new Greg Howe album if you know something or played on it .
I didn't play on it and i don't know who did , but they are not well known players . I have heard it and it's very creative and Greg sounds incredible on it . He has a lot of Holdsworth influence and thankfully doesn't sound like a heavy metal player on it .
How about working with Scott Henderson and Frank Gambale , two of the greatest modern musicians : aby particular story about recording those album ?
With Scott , he is very critical and is very focus on his sound . He spends a lot of time getting the right sound and he is critical about each note he plays , is it in tune ? In time ? Does it feel right ? Is it in the Chord ? He is a very funny guy and has all of us laughing all the time . Frank is much looser about his sound , though he cares about it , but not to a obsessive degree , Frank is also more of an in the moment improviser who plays and says "...that was a good performance for everyone , lets keep it !" . He also cares a lot about playing the right notes , but lets some things go just because they feel right . They have many similarities but also many differents .
Any interesting upcoming project on Tone Center for the next future ?
We are talking with Jeff Berlin , Jimmy Herring and others but i have nothing planned right now .
A new studio Cd will be soon release by Vital Information and a live album is out just now but what about the Jazz Fusion right now , do you see some interesting new musicians out there in the vein of Vital Information , Dixie dregs , Vertu' etc ... ?
I don't see too much in the way of good high energy jazz/rock/fusion . there are some great bands beside Vital Information there is Mike Stern , Scofield , Weckl , Tribal Tech , Zawinul , Yellow Jackets and i don't know who else , but that is not many bands . I look for Blues , Swing , Be-Bop , Funk and players with experience , meaning they have apprenticed with some masters . This is a kind of music you can't just teach yourself , the master/apprentice approach is crucial . All of the great Jazz players came thru someone's band or many bands , this is becoming a lost tradition and the music suffers as a result .
Your comment about the Cd Players with Henderson , T.Lavitz and Jeff Berlin ...
That was a great group musically and we all got along well and lot of fun . I talk to all of those guys at least every mounth .
Your thoughts about Fiafaga with Corrado rustici on guitars ?
Fiafaga was our "computer" and "quantized" period . I like the music but it is much more controlled than what we do now . I have worded with Corrado a lot , with him as the producer . tha latest is Claudio Baglioni's new Cd . I asked Corrado to play a type of Octave playing like Benson or wes montgomery , which was very foreign to him . But he is such a professional that he figured it out and did a great job . I have a lot of respect for him and he is very nice man !
How many album do you recorded in the last 2 years , Steve ?!?!?! Is it possible for a human being to learn all those incredible drum's patterns and do them perfectly ? really congrats , GuitarChef is always with you !!!
I think i've recorded at least 10 records in the last two years . that is a lot , but i sit down and play , new ideas come out all the time , so it's not too hard to come up with all those grooves and patterns .
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