By Andrew Catania
Jacky Vincent is a famous name in the present-age music industry who is receiving a constant influx of product endorsements and brand ambassadorships, has released his personal hit solo album, is equipped with his signature Dean guitar, and writes a monthly column titled ‘United Stringdom’ in the Guitar World Magazine.
All these feats combined and a roster heavily punctuated with years’ tours in advance – Jacky Vincent, at the young age of 27, has bagged more accomplished feats and accolades to his professional profile than most of his compatriots. This is a sure-tell sign that he is going places, and that the present age celebrity is a burgeoning legend of the future generations.
Jacky Vincent is the present-age music sensation that has exploded onto the musical horizon, jolting the contemporary trends through his expeditious, reverberating, and swift-sweeping playing techniques. His style stems from its core, and this is precisely what accentuates his music’s originality.
His technique is an amalgam of nuances and extremity, with blistering effects and chiming sweeps. Besides that, his true discontentment towards the common trends and humdrum techniques compels him to experiment and play his magic.
His sweep picking, infused with taps that he introduced in his solos, has received a tremendous applaud from the audience’s and the critics’ camps alike. While many of his coevals are still in their learning phase, Jacky Vincent has already mastered his signature technique and has engraved his name in the list of the most promising musicians of the present and the future.
A look back at his career is an innuendo of his extraordinary brilliance. Whatever he has been into, he has come out of it by acing it. Incepting his professional career at the platform of ‘Falling in Reverse,’ a band formed by a controversial musician, was a quite risky feat. It turned out to be just the right decision since the group gained significant prominence in the music industry.
Jacky Vincent’s association with ‘Falling in Reverse’ spans over half-a-decade, from 2008 to 2013, and is punctuated with his contribution as the lead guitarist and backup vocalist. Vincent has managed to infuse his magic that takes ‘Falling in Reverse’ from its initial striving years and landed him at a stature where its hardcore, metal, pop, punk and glam-blended music is blazing through the modern age music spheres.
Last year, the ‘Axe-Man’ of ‘Falling in Reverse’ announced that he was bidding farewell to the band on good terms and with consent, and is intending to focus more on building his solo résumé. His debut solo album, titled ‘Star X Speed Story,’ was released in 2013, under the Shrapnel Records Label.
His portfolio entails three studio albums, titled ‘The Drug in Me is You,’ ‘Fashionably Late’ and ‘Just Like You,’ under the label of ‘Falling in Reverse.’ Aside from working on his solo feats, he is also playing the guitar for the acclaimed ‘Cry Venom.’ Jacky was awarded as the ‘Guitarist of the Year’ in 2012 by the Alternative Press. Jacky Vincent, with all these feats, is a promising talent that is destined to set new milestones and raise the bar for the rest to come. Jacky was gracious enough to sit in the Shreds lounge and answer some questions.
When did you first pick up a guitar? Was there a particular artist that influenced you?
I started playing around age 6 or 7 after I heard Guns N’ Roses and Joe Satriani. My dad had these albums around the house, and he is a great guitar player. My older brother too.
While growing up, did you take any lessons or were you self-taught?
I took lessons as much as I could at school and taught myself Iron Maiden songs when I got home. I was lucky enough to study at music school when I got older.
What was your first guitar?
I had a Tiny 12 fret nylon strings acoustic kid’s guitar that my brother and sister had used before me. My first electric was a tangle wood Stratocaster. It was pretty much my best friend for many years.
What was your practice regime like?
It’s changed a lot over the years. Right now, I split five areas into little 20 min training sessions throughout the day. I will interchange these periodically to introduce new learning material.
As you got older, who were some of your influences?
As I’m getting older, I’m starting to love more blues style players. Andy Timmons is a big one for me lately. My core influences have remained the same. Some of my favorites are Shawn Lane, Alan Holdsworth, Greg Howe, Scott Henderson, Derryl Gabel, Rick Graham, Frank Gambale, Paul Gilbert and Jason Becker. But that list can go on for hours, so I’ll leave it there.
I know Falling in Reverse found you on Myspace, and I watched on your DVD that you were staying in contact with Ronnie while he was serving prison time. Did you play guitar for him over the phone?
Yeah, that’s an actual story. I played some arpeggios over the phone, and he thought we were pranking him, and it wasn’t true ha-ha. I was happy about that.
When you came to the US, Was there any cultural shock coming from England?
I came by myself. It was a huge culture shock coming from a small town to Vegas. But I love America.
You were with FIR from 2009-2015. You have a very diverse fan base. You have your FIR fans, and you have fans of your solo stuff. I’ve heard people say you should be in a heavier band than FIR. What are your feelings about that?
I joined in 2009. I think a lot of people could tell I was influenced by a lot of genres outside of that world. I don’t know about heavier, but I went on to start a fast melodic metal band, Cry Venom. I’m not really into a lot of heavy music. I like it sometimes. But I love the melodic stuff. I listen to a lot of X Japan, Galneryus, Angra, etc.
Your solo album, Star X Speed Story, has received incredible reviews. I haven’t seen one bad one. I gave it 9 out of 10 stars. How does it feel to get praise from such veterans as Joe Satriani, Michael Angelo Batio, Vinnie Moore and others?
It makes me happy when someone gets a kick out of the album. It was supposed to be a fun guitar record.
Your new band, Cry Venom, you say has more of a “power metal” sound to it than FIR. Is this new band going to fit your style of playing better than FIR? Or both bands fit your style?
I’ll be able to express myself a lot more in Cry Venom as I’m the primary songwriter. But my style is pretty free. I’ll jam over anything.
The stereotypes of music, does it bother you that one person might not like another genre of music you play?
In the words of Jimi Hendrix “All I’m going to do is just go on and do what I feel.” I never worried about whether someone would like my music or not. It doesn’t change what I am.
How would you describe your style of playing?
I’d say it’s like Kenny G meets neo-classical ha-ha. I try to sound almost like a futuristic saxophone/synthesizer mix. My goal is to not sound like a guitar at all. I would probably be a keyboardist if I had taken to it like I did with the guitar.
With the praise, you’ve gotten on your playing from veteran players, excellent reviews, I wrote an article calling you the next Yngwie Malmsteen of the new genre of rock/metal guitarists. How does it feel hearing all of that?
That is very flattering! Although I don’t see myself in that league whatsoever. I am a huge lover of Yngwie’s music and playing.
Your Dean Jacky Vincent Signature Guitar, how much input did you have in the development of it?
I told them everything I wanted from scratch. I flew out to Tampa to have the neck shaved down to how I wanted it. I love super Strats, and I was going for that 80s vibe. What amazing guitars Dean makes. I am I love with my JCVX.
Will we see another solo album on Shrapnel Records from you?
The 2nd solo record is definitely in the works. I haven’t spoken to Shrapnel about it yet, but I would love to put it out with them. Being a Shrapnel artist has to be one of the greatest achievements of my life, and what a cool/ influential guy Mike Varney is. I love Shrapnel.