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BLUES SARACENO New Trasmission - By Matt Cafissi

Blues SaracenoBlues , tell me about your new band and new album ...

Transmission OK is my new band. I made this new record (The sky, the stars
and the great beyond available on BEYOND records) because I got tired of not
hearing any guitar oriented music that had any legitimacy to it.

In my opinion your "Plaid" album is a masterpiece of the 90's !

I was really grateful to make the three solo records that I made on guitar
recordings . They allowed me to showcase my guitar skills.

Other artists like Andy Timmons , Dave Uhrich , Paul Gilbert , Steve Vai and Richie Kotzen play guitars and sing . This is a trend or is simply a mature inspirations ?

I like to see other artists grow and stretch out . If it happens to be vocal
and guitar oriented then all the better.

Blues SaracenoIn next future you'll have in program new instrumental albums ?

There are no plans in the immediate future for any instrumental records.

Now you have a new guitars and other endorsments ... and the strange Dirty Boy ?

I'm using VACCARO guitars along with a couple of mainstay guitars. My main
amplifier is a DIRTY BOY amplifier that was built by my father on the kitchen
table . For more info on the band and my DIRTY BOY amplifier you can go to my website.

BORISLAV MITIC Young Passion - By Matt Cafissi

Borislav MiticBorislav ... how old are you?

I have been playing guitar for 18 years but I'm still quite young (I was
born on 28th July the same year Jimi Hendrix died)!

Tell me about your last cd called "Fantasy" . This is a concept , a
concert ... Is it a new or old album ?

"Fantasy" is my debut album which was published in 1996 only in Yugoslavia
(my homeland). That is also the album that I sent to Mike Varney of Shrapnel
Records as my presentation while I was still in Yugoslavia and that album
lead to my contract with Shrapnel.
"Fantasy" is an instrumental guitar album featuring my arrangements of some
of my favorite classical pieces by Paganini, Bach, Handel. There are also my
own original compositions on that album which are more hard rock/metal
oriented and also a few electric and acoustic ballads-which are maybe my
strongest musical points. In my opinion I displayed some of my technically
most challenging playing on "Fantasy".
This 2000 re-release version is remastered and the cover artwork is new.
It's available through my WebPage (
and some online distributors like Guitar 9.

Why your "Fantasy" is not distributed from Shrapnel?

The idea to re-release it came to me because a lot of my fans were asking
where and how they could find and buy "Fantasy"-because they liked my first
Shrapnel album. So it's more like an "in between" album between two Shrapnel
albums made available for people who would like to have my previous work. So
that's why I did it on my own -at least for now. Perhaps it will appear on
Shrapnel later on but I'm not 100% sure about that.

In your opinion , Mr Varney is ready for a new Neoclassical Invasion or
his a trender?

In my opinion Mike Varney is a guy who is to be regarded as somebody who
presented to the world some of the best guitar talents. It all started when
he discovered Yngwie Malmsteen and brought him to US to record (Steeler) and
made Yngwie's introduction to the music world. That is exactly the thing
that ignited the "neoclassical instrumental guitar" fire and opened the
doors to many guitar talents that appeared after that.
Shrapnel always brought great and also- stylistically different guitar
players: Yngwie Malmsteen, Greg Howe, Jason Becker, Michael Lee Firkins,
Vinnie Moore, Ron Thal, Paul Gilbert, Marty Friedman, Borislav Mitic,.
Shrapnel also has artists like: Frank Gambale, John Norum, Scott Henderson,
Michael Schenker, Jerry Goodmann, Steve Smith, Larry Coryell, Glenn
Hughes,.and many others recording for them.
So Shrapnel were always very diverse. And as far as "following Trends" - one
just has to look at the latest guitar magazines to realize that virtuoso
-guitar doesn't seem to be "in trend" right now (which is something that I
hope will change soon).

Borislav MiticFor me Malmsteen is different from the other Neoclassical guitarist
because the others are mega fast but without the feeling and vibrato's
Yngwie ...

Personally Yngwie is one of my favorite players and a big influence but I
guess it's all a matter of taste. Every guitar player has something of his
own that is unique. So everybody is special in his own way. For me there is
usually something new and interesting to discover in almost anybody's style.
I personally find that the composition and the way a musician is projecting
his emotions through his music to the listener is the most important. Speed
in playing doesn't mean much if it's not accompanied by a skillfully and
tastefully crafted song. I also like music to have a melodic quality to it.
As for vibrato-it's a very personal thing and it shows well how passionate
and experienced the player is. But it mainly shows the personality of a
player. For example: Yngwie Malmsteen, Santana, Django Reinhardt, Eric
Clapton, Mike Oldfield, Angus Young (AC/DC), B.B.King, Eric Johnson, SRV, or
Steve Morse-all have very different but great vibratos.

... Next projects ?

Right now I am working on compositions for my next album for Shrapnel
scheduled for 2001. Musically it will cover even more ground and present
more of my various influences than even the previous one did (ethno, metal,
blues, techno,.) blending it all into something new. I will also try to push
the technical side of playing further (but never neglecting the melodic
side). It should surpass everything I've done so far and it should also
include a few vocal oriented songs. Stay tuned for that one!
My best regards to you Matt and all the readers of this interview!!!

RUSTY COOLEY The Creative Guitar - By Matt Cafissi

Rusty CooleyRusty , why only compilations and not a true solo album !
The reason I do the compilation cd's is just to help get my name out there until my first cd is done , It should be ready early 2001 .
Your playing is very fast and aggressive with furious riffs and Metal impact ...
That about sums it up heavy ,aggressive, lots of chops .
What do you think of the last trend Guitar/Techno music like Satriani , Beck , Buckethead etc ?
Well I love the Buckethead stuff I think he's really insane. I haven't heard the knew Beck or Satriani .
Your guitars , effects , amps ...
I'm currently using and endorsing Jackson guitars and Seymour Duncan pickups. I have a fender M-80 preamp , Rocktron multi efx,and power amps, Marshall 4x12 cabinets and various floorpedals oh yea I have one of those line 6 pods those are really cool .
Do you have some suggestions for young guitarists ?
Yes stick to your guns man don't let trends influence your music , be true to yourself and practice,practice, practice. Oh yea don't forget to buy my cd!!!!!!

ASHEN Poet's Life - By Matt Cafissi

AshenFirst of all tell me about your new band called The Crash Poets , the
future album and the "dead" of the name Roy !

OK…hmmm…where to begin. As you know, the new band is called THE CRASH POETS,
and it's really always been the ultimate goal of mine to have an amazing band
of players with similar tastes in music and energy. This band rocks!
I've always liked music that had funky beats and soulful lyrics and there's
no better feeling than surrounding yourself with talented, creative
musicians. The band's debut CD, "Big Bang theory" will be available in
January  on our website ( and people who are interested
in the music can come to the website now and listen to some FREE advance
tracks from the CD. Many people say they hear hints of Lenny Kravitz, David Bowie, and Prince in
the music. All I know is that it sounds like me…and it makes the girls dance,
baby! It's being produced by myself and my good friend Michael James. Michael has
mixed Cd's for Hole, Janes Addiction, New Radicals, and lot of other bands.
He's a great co-producer and we're having a blast recording the music. We've
been working at Westlake studios in L.A. where everyone from Bruce
Springsteen and Michael Jackson, to Limp Bizkit and NIN have recorded. Very
cool. As for the name change…it really no big deal. My friends all call me "ashen"
- so I decided to go only by my last name. I like the way it sounds and it
feels right to me. I figure I'm in good company…Bono, Sting,
Prince….Ashen…ha ha!

When The Crash Poets on MTV ?!

Ahhh…the mighty MTV. I'd love to get on the air with The Crash Poets. We just
played to 6,000 people at Universal Studios in LA and had tons of people
singing and dancing to the grooves. I think if we keep spreading the word on
this band…it's just a matter of time. It would be a lot of fun.

Your first solo album is a great album of beautiful songs ... do you have
other solo projects in your mind ...

Thank you! That's a very nice thing to say. Over the years I've realized that
the most important thing about music is the opportunity to share emotions and
experiences that people can relate to. I love writing lyrics that can connect
with hearts and souls and my first solo CD "A Little Drop of Something Not
Quite Blood"  was my chance to begin that process.
We actually sold out of the first pressing of the CD and I'm planning to make
it available through early next year for our new fans.
Because I write the songs for The Crash Poets - it really gives me a great
amount of room to express myself. But I'm sure there will be another solo
album in the future sometime. Maybe a film soundtrack, too. But this band is
really my passion and I can't wait for people to hear the new CD. Lots of
funky guitar, some cool textures and the songs are some of the best I've

... because i don't have see information on your site about the "A Little
Drop Of Something ..."'s album !!!

We'll be adding the info on ordering the Solo cd very soon! If people come to
the site - they can sign our "mailing list" and we'll keep them updated on
tours, CD's and more.

Your style is changed in these years , no more Shred & Iper-Tapping in
your hands ...

Yes, that's true. For me - my guitar playing is a reflection of my life and
my emotions. When I was 18 years old…I really didn't have a lot to say with
my lyrics and my songs. So I put all my energy into my guitar playing and had
a lot of fun seeing how far I could push myself as a player.
But along the way - if you're living your life and falling in love and
connecting with the world….you realize that there are LOTS of ways to
communicate feelings and emotions. And that's why I started to develop my
singing, songwriting, lyrics, etc.
Most people go through big changes between the ages of 18 and 26. You start
to decide what you want your life to be. And you hopefull can grow as a
writer, producer, singer, and guitarist. My big influences were always
bands…so this is really the right direction for me. I have friends who always
wanted to be like Steve Vai, which is great. But I always wanted to be more
like..say, Prince. He's a great player, but more importantly a great singer
and songwriter, too.

AshenG.I.T. ... is a old memory ?

I had a lot of fun at the school. So it's a good memory. It was a good way
for me to get from Texas to Los Angeles. And I made some good friends and
learned that there are many different reasons people become musicians. Some
just want to be players…some want to write…some want to just be famous…some
just want to be in band to meet girls…ha!
But life is about change…and moving forward, right! Being true to yourself
and your dreams…
So - for anyone reading this, I'll leave you with a quote by Albert Einstein
(I have it on the wall of my studio)
The definition of Insanity: "Doing the exact same thing over and over again
but expecting different results"
The definition of Genius: "carrying the sprit of childhood into maturity"


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