I'm Not Afraid of the Police' is the first song I wrote and recorded since moving back to Los Angeles. It's a loud-pop, crazy-guitar, big-harmony song with all the police sirens created by guitars and ADA flangers.
While I was writing the songs for 'Fuzz Universe,' I was immersing myself in Bulgarian Female Choir music, Baroque lute and violin pieces, Johnny Cash songs about trains, cows, mules, and mining coal, the Bee Gees, and Ronnie James Dio.
Teaching is just something that has come naturally to me. I didn't set out to be a teacher. I wanted to be a Beatle! But there were only four of them, so the job openings were really limited.
I went from wanting to be a Beatle to becoming a ‘widdly-widdly' guitar player.
Before I even became a guitar player, I wanted to be a Beatle. That was my first dream as a musician, was to be like a Beatle.
I am trying to build the biggest callus possible on my first finger so I can do one-finger bends and vibrato like B.B. King.
It took me years to get my hair right… after years of perms, conditioning… Nirvana came out and it wasn't cool to have big hair anymore. It was just a horrible injustice.
I remember walking into a department store and you would hear an instrumental version of a Beatles song and it was usually kinda cheesy and very un-rock. Kenny G, for example, is a musician that I certainly dont want to sound like, but technically he is flawless but somehow the rock and roll aspect has been sucked out of it.
In the morning, I know everyone has two things: an empty stomach and a fresh brain.
My basic setup is my Ibanez Fireman guitars and for pedals, the TC Electronic MojoMojo is the mainstay of my board, along with a Catalinbread Calissto Chorus.
The first song on my first album is not a song - it's a guitar solo! It's called 'Frenzy,' and it's pretty much nonstop maniacal guitar playing. I had just turned 19, and I had some serious muscle then.
Gilbert Hotel' is my first all-acoustic record.
My first official teaching job was at GIT, which was fantastic because I wanted to pay the rent and I got to stay in the building, which is an inspiring place to be - the vibe was there. My first gig was doing private lessons. It went great. Then they decided to promote me to a classroom teacher. I taught a class called Single String Technique.
When I look back at the span that Mr. Big lasted, we had some unbelievable times. But there were grueling times, too.
I love all my guitar solos.
After 35 years of bone-crushing rock guitar playing, I'm finally starting to get my head out of the harmonic sand and learning how to play over chord changes.
I prefer playing in songs where I have a tempo, groove and harmonic map to hang on to.
As human beings we're visual creatures, and it's so easy to play the guitar by looking at it. It's a real challenge to go from that visual way of perceiving the guitar to getting back to that pure sound connecting to the instrument.
Tony MacAlpine not only plays guitar, but is a stunning classical piano player, so he can show how that influence molded his guitar playing.
With Racer X, whenever we have time, we try to put a record together. And that's always fun because the guys in the band are great friends and I don't think I ever laugh as hard as I do when I'm with the Racer X guys.