Friday, October 19, 2012

''GUITAR GODS: Neil Zaza''

- David :Skinny Devil" McLean
originally published at Tinfoil Music
Date: Monday, March 14 2005 @ 02:36:28 GMT

Neil Zaza is an amazing player who has been a staple on the guitar hero scene for over a decade. He has performed across the globe, holds more endorsements than you can shake a stick at, has released 8 solo albums and is featured on 2 compilations, and has shared the stage with the like of Joe Satriani, and was recently featured at the NAMM All-Star Jam, hitting the stage with Nuno Bettencourt, Tom Morello, Yngwie Malmsteen, George Lynch, and more!

Neil's playing is lightning fast and he knows every trick in the book, but the prime element is how melodic and soulful he can be. Give a listen to his new disc, "Melodica", and you'll be astonished with his lyrical approach to instrumental guitar music! Tracks like the opener, "On With the Show", the gorgeous title track, or the quiet "Good-Bye" will have you asking why Neil's face doesn't grace the cover of every guitar magazine across the globe with more regularity!

You can hear clips from all his albums plus get info on gigs, gear, and more from his official web-site. I had a chance to talk to Neil recently (he was just finishing the new disc, which is now in stores) - check it out!


1) What are your current projects?

I just finished work on my latest CD called "Melodica". We are in the mixing stage right now and it looks as if 14 tunes have made the cut. I am also excited about a Neil Zaza signature guitar hitting the market in October. I can't speak of any details about it at this point, but trust me when I say it is a smokin' guitar! (ed note: the guitar, by Cort, is now on the market - see it on Neil's site)

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

"Melodica" is different as it has more extremes to the overall sound. It is more modern and "high tech" sounding with different loops, synths, and grooves while at the same time the melodies are stronger than ever. More time and attention was paid to the arrangements and songwriting than ever before.
I really feel that it has encapsulated the best of what I have been working towards the past few years.

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

At this point, I would have to say "Melodica".

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

You may want to head to my website for this info!

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

Early on I cut my teeth on Eddie Van Halen, Neal Schon, Michael Schenker, Randy Rhoads, Brian May, Frampton...I really love Steve Lukather, Andy Timmons, and Eric Johnson now.

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

Stay true to what you want to do musically. Don't be influenced too much by trends. Find out what your individual voice is on the guitar and explore that. There are already too many Slashes or Yngwies on the guitar. They were original and found their voice on the instrument. Now it is your turn.
7) What are your future plans?


8) Thanx for talking to us, Neil!

Totally my pleasure. 

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