By Andrew Catania
Feels like yesterday when I met Jimi Bell 35 years ago. Jimi’s story is known throughout the industry. Runner-up to Zakk Wylde to replace Jake E. Lee in Ozzy Osbourne, his band Joined Forces, had a role in a movie with Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett, to more current House Of Lords and most recent joining Autograph replacing founder and guitarist Steve Lynch.
A giant on the guitar, Bell has used his talent to work with many top artists in music and the entertainment industry. I spoke briefly with the inventor of the Shredneck about Autograph’s new song “Souls On Fire.”
How did your first song with Autograph come together?
JB: I came up with the open riff, then the verse, bridge. I sent it to the guys to see if they liked where it was going, and they loved it. Simon called me on the phone, and we worked on the chorus. We decided to change key for the chorus section, then it all came together. Randy and Marc then added their ideas to the track. It was a great collaboration for our first time together. I’m very pleased.
How has the transition been into Autograph?
JB: Coming into the band went way smoother than anybody anticipated. The fans have been incredible to me. That’s usually unheard of, especially with Steve Lynch being an icon and an original member. I think a lot has to do with our first show together was spectacular. Before I went to LA, I knew everything perfectly. We rehearsed, and the band clicked immediately. It sounded like we’ve been playing for years. I’m very excited to be in Autograph.
You’re now an official endorsed of Charvel Guitars?
JB: I’m extremely honored to be part of the Charvel family.
Are you guys scheduled to record an album soon?
JB: We’re planning on releasing a single at a time. This is what we figured we would do as opposed to an entire album for now. What’s next in line for us is to be back out performing live as much as possible. We love and miss all our fans so much, and we can’t wait until the world gets back on track.