23.09.2010

ALEX MASI - A small slice of hell...

Av Rune
(Lion Music)

 

(...this interview is in English...)
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ALEX MASI
er en italiensk sologitarist som spilte i bandene Dark Lord, Sound Barrier og Masi før han ga ut sitt første soloalbum i 1989. Han fortsatte med Masi frem til 2001, da deres til nå siste album kom ut. Alex er en svoren fan av Jimi Hendrix og Jeff Beck, selv om det var Pink Floyd og Led Zeppelin som i første omgang fikk karen til å begynne å spille gitar. Han har veldig bestemte meninger rundt emnet sponsing, hans drømmegitar er en 58 Stratocaster og han har fortsatt sin første gitar. Les mer om dette og mer til i The G-String Series med Alex Masi.

 

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When did you start playing the guitar? In what age and which band was actually the one that made you wanting to grab a guitar and start playing?

I started playing guitar when I was twelve years old, before that I had started to play piano and the drums. Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin were the first bands that made me want to be a guitar player.

What actually makes a guitarist unique? Feeling or technique? Many people for example cannot stand Satriani...who is absolutely a master when it comes to technique!

It's very subjective; the idea of what technique is vary a lot as well. In reality on the guitar technique isn't just playing very fast which is something millions of people can do nowadays anyway...no, technique on the guitar is also intonation, vibrato, bending, tone...Hendrix and Jeff Beck to these day are the hardest guitarists to imitate because of those elements whereas the "faster" guitar players are quite easy to imitate...with the exception of Shawn Lane of course.

What was your first guitar? Do you still have it?

My first guitar was Crumar, an Italian classical guitar, it's still at my parents' house...one day I will restring it....

Do you think that the guitarist is making the quality or maybe the equipment can do magic?

The most amazing and expensive equipment on earth cannot make any music by itself or make a shitty player sound good...on the other hand I've seen people like Jeff Beck play thru very cheap amps and effects and sound godlike...

What kind of equipment do you use? Guitars...pick ups...amps...? Do you use different equipment in the studio and different while playing live? If yes then what is the reason?

I use a lot of different things, lately I've been playing Music Man guitars a lot, but I also love Charvel and Carvin, I have a lot of them...I play thru Framus amps these days but I still have a soft spot in my heart for Marshall Plexi...a lot of times I use whatever amp is provided by the promoter if I'm playing gigs in Europe or parts of the world where taking my own amps wouldn't be feasible...I use pedals to compensate for the tonal difference. Tube overdrives and various types of delays and compressors.

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Construct the guitar of your dreams...brand, pick ups, strings..everything!

I think it would be a 58 Stratocaster with 24 frets and not much else

Now form the band of your dreams...with you participating of course...Which individuals you think would fit like a glove to your style?

Billy Cobham on drums, Jaco Pastorius on bass, Herbie Hancock on keys, Eric Gales on vocals and guitar and if there's any room left for me I'll happily jump in...

Are you participating in the composing of your bands material or you're just a performer? How important is it for an artist to be able to express himself? I mean, if for example you were in a band only for performing someone else's musical themes...would you handle it not participating...not being able to express yourself?

I've always played in bands where I was an integral part of the blend...never been a hired gun in a permanent band situation...I wouldn't rule out ever being in that position if I loved the music of the band but to be in a band taking orders while not particularly caring for the material strikes me as a small slice of hell...

Have you ever run out of ideas while composing a new album? How did you fight it? What was the solution?

I take a lot of breaks, I can afford it since I work in my home studio...take walks on the hills, go to a restaurant, watch a movie, hang out with some friends, read a book, anything to spark the creative flame again

Do you have endorsements? Do you think endorsements are important for an artist?

Music Man guitars, Framus amps, endorsements are only important if you get what you like in terms of instruments but to be endorsed only for the sake of being endorsed doesn't mean anything...

In all the years that you've been playing did something go totally wrong during a concert of yours? If yes, what was it? Please go ahead!

Lots of amps blowing up, effects not working, shit falling from the light structures etc

Ok then...thank you for answering these questions. One last thing now! Who is the guitarist that you admire or that you would like to "punish" by have him answering these same questions?

Thanks again and good luck with your project(s).

I love John Mclaughlin, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Allan Holdsworth, Eric Johnson, Shawn Lane and more...I don't want to punish anyone...at least not with these questions ;-) thanks, later

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