Tuesday, August 7, 2012

'GUITAR GODS: Troy Stetina''

- David "Skinny Devil" McLean
originally published at Tinfoil Music
Date: Monday, April 19 2004 @ 16:39:32 BST
If you play guitar, you've probably heard of Troy Stetina - author of over 30 instructional books for Hal Leonard, owner of Artist Underground recording studio, contributing writer for Guitar One Magazine, former director of rock guitar at the Wisconsin Conservatory... 

What you may not know, however, is that Troy has released three CDs of incredible music - music that you need to hear now.
Troy first picked up a guitar at the ripe old age of 12, learning songs by Kiss and Zeppelin. As he developed and learned increasingly difficult pieces (Van Halen, Ozzy's Randy Rhoads, and the like) he became interested in classical guitar and then in performing. He started his first band at 18 and was soon gigging constantly, and began teaching guitar.

This led him on a long journey with publisher Hal Leonard and a stint at the aforementioned conservatory. By the late 1990s, Troy, who had traveled the country as a working musician, settled in Milwaukee and built his recording facility. He now teaches privately (his students include Mark Tremonti of Creed), runs his recording studio, offers free lessons on-line, and awards the "Best Guitar Award" to top-flight players and web-sites on the web.

One listen to Troy lets you know this guy means business and has the means to deliver. His furious yet fluid lines run throughout songs like "Firewalker" and "Sunrise" from "Exotica", "Rain Song" and "Crazy" from "Set the World on Fire" (the solo in "Rain Song" is a perfect display of Stetina's burning chops and emotive explosions), and more. Troy Stetina's music belongs in the collection of every lover of heavy music!

You can listen to his music, see his lessons, order merchandise, and stay up to date by visiting Troy's web-site.

I had a chance to speak to Troy recently - check it out!


1) What are your current projects?

I have a band project I've been working since the start of last year. Mark Tremonti was helping me with the arrangements. Last fall we put some of it online at my web-site (check out this page) and got a very positive response to the music, but it turned out that the folks at Wind Up weren't into the vocalist so he decided to do something different at that point. After much searching, we found a replacement and we're back up to bat.

2) How does this (do these) differ from your past work?

Totally different. It's modern rock with vocals.

3) Do you have one project that you are most proud of as a guitarist?

I think it's gonna be this project, when it finally gets released. The songs are good and the guitar playing supports that. There are of course fewer moments of lead work than in my instrumental guitar CD "Exottica" where guitar work is all over the place, but the music is better in the current songs. I've always preferred vocal music anyway.

4) Can you give our readers a run-down of your basic gear (live and/or studio)?

My main guitar is still my Jackson Soloist equipped with a Sustainiac sustainer and Seymour Duncan pickups. These days I'm using a Line6 POD running into a Peavy 50/50 tube amp and Marshall 4x12 cabs.

5) Who would you cite as early influences, and who are you favorite new players?

Early influences were Kiss, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Rush, the classical masters, and I guess pretty much all the popular 70s and 80s players to some extent. I also went through a brief Al Dimeola phase way back then. Though the 90s I was influenced to some degree by all the players I did books on, having to record their stuff note for note. Satriani was probably the most difficult. These days I tend to like specific songs and/or solos rather than players.

6) Can you give a few tips to aspiring players?

Sure... follow your heart. It's as simple as that. Learn the music you are driven to learn by your own enthusiasm, and put yourself into it. There are a bunch of more specific tips posted on my website.

7) What are your future plans?

I'm just rolling along with where life takes me these days. Guess I'd like to take this new band live and tour. That would be a lot of fun. And I've got one more book to wrap up, too. I like working with other players on recordings as well.

8) Thanx for talking to us, Troy!
Thanks, David. Good luck to you!

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