By Andrew Catania
Matthew Mills began playing guitar at the age of fifteen after being blown away by Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Trilogy” album. Taking guitar very seriously, Matthew began practicing as much as 6 to 8 hours a day while listening to Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Jason Becker, Tony MacAlpine, Joe Stump Al Di Meola and George Bellas
In 2008 Matthew was voted as one the 50 fastest guitarists of all time by the July 2008 Guitar World Magazine.
Matthew has released seven solo albums including Matthew Mills “Neoclassical Rock Guitar”, Matthew Mills “Neoclassical Rock Guitar Part 2”, Matthew Mills “Neoclassical Spirit“, and Matthew Mills “The Neoclassical Journey”. Guest soloists on “Neoclassical Spirit” include Joe Stump and George Bellas. David Shankle (formerly of “Manowar”) also contributed guitar solos to the album and to “The Neoclassical Journey”. The album “Neoclassical Rock Guitar” was the number one top seller on the Neo-Classical Metal section of Guitar Nine Records and the number two best Neo-Classical Matthew Mills also recorded an album with the band “Forgotten Realm” in 2009, (self-titled on Sonic Age Records), distributed through Century Media and The End Records. The “Forgotten Realm” members are vocalist David Fefolt (formerly of “Masi”), with drums done by Rhino of the band “Manowar” and drummer Reynold Carlson (Joey Tafolla, Jag Panzer), and Brian Sanders.
Matthew has also released the all Acoustic album Acoustic Visions that features Matthew’s Flamenco style and Jazz influence. Matthew released the album Flamenco Fusion Fire that is a mixture of samba bosa nova and Flamenco Music in 2013.
Matthew and I spoke while he was driving home from Summer NAMM.
It was great! This NAMM show is probably the most playing I’ve ever done at one.
Were you being asked to play in other booths that you usually wouldn’t?
My friends asked me to play at there booths. It was great. I picked up some new endorsements as well.
You’re endorsed by Ovation and I know you were with Schecter for a while.
I was endorsed by Schecter from 2007-2011. I loved the Schecter USA Custom shop stuff. I was playing more acoustic guitar at the time. I’m playing more electric guitar now and would love to reestablish my relationship with Schecter.
Are you working on a new album?
I’m actually working on one. I’m thinking it’s going to be an acoustic and electric guitar combo. I have hardcore fans that like my acoustic and hardcore fans that like my electric playing. This way, people can see both. I expect it to be released in 2019.
Do you prefer acoustic over electric guitar playing?
I can’t live without either. I need both to express myself fully. They balance each other out. There are things you can only do on acoustic and others on electric.
Would you consider your playing neoclassical?
In some ways, yes. I think I’m a mix of different styles. I almost call it like fusion music. It’s a lot of improvisation and still do all the, all the signature arpeggios ideas that a neoclassical guy does. So, if someone wants to call me a neoclassical guy, that’s cool. But, I think of myself as a classical fusion player
Do you have one album you’ve done that you like the best?
One album I did call Neoclassical Spirit. That’s a special album to me as it had two of my greatest influences guest on it. Joe Stump and George Bellas.
Al Di Meola has been a big influence on you?
100%. I really got into the Latin fusion music to an extreme that my electric guitar fans thought I abandoned them. Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin were big influences on me.
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