By Andrew Catania
Guitarist Steve Bello is set to release his new album “Marblehead” on May 15th, 2018. Steve spoke to All That Shreds about his background, playing and future plans.
What made you start playing guitar?
SB: I was always into music from an early age but never thought about playing guitar. Started when I was 9 but didn’t take it seriously until I saw Ritchie Blackmore on MTV, as well as Jimi Hendrix footage at Monterey. Then the wheels turned in my brain; I had to be a guitarist for life after those two moments.
Who are your influences?
SB: Aside from the two players I mentioned, I was also into Yngwie Malmsteen for a while. Then along came Uli Roth, then Steve Vai…he turned my ear upside-down. Vernon Reid definitely as well. On the non-metal side, Eliot Fisk, John McLaughlin, Allan Holdsworth and Prince.
When you were making this record, did you have a particular sound you wanted to accomplish?
SB: I tend to write what feels good and run with that. I like mixing things up and seeing what comes out. This is definitely the clearest-sounding album I’ve done to date, thanks to bassist Chris Davison. He really captured the overall tones well; also have to give his guitarist Chris Macock (both are in the band The Inversion Circus) props for making my guitars sound really full and amazing.
What does your rig consist of?
SB: I have an Orange CR120H into a PPC212OB cabinet, definitely the best sound I’ve ever had in my life. Used to want super high-gain tones but after hearing Orange back in 2014, I was convinced that was the sound for me. All my guitars are Ibanez, strung with GHS Strings. My pedals are Morley Maverick wah, Digitech Whammy 5, Electro Harmonix Neo-Mistress flanger, and I have two signature pedals with Checkered Pedals: Nuclear Paradise (dual chorus/phaser) and Layers Of Time (triple delay/boost/overdrive). Spectraflex cables, including my signature BelloFlex cables.
Are you endorsed by anyone?
SB: Ibanez, GHS Strings, Morley, Digitech, Orange Amplifiers, Spectraflex, Lock-It Straps, Checkered Pedals, Swiss Picks, and Metal-Shop Pedal Boards
Do you have any tour plans?
SB: I would love to get back on the road, as it has been four years. So if there are any rooms with electricity, sign me up!
What is your opinion about the music industry today? Do you think instrumental music still has a place?
SB: The music industry is in shambles, no other way of putting it. Record labels and entrepreneurial types are being crushed under their own weight. They failed to recognize artists for what they are: creative and passionate. Instead, it was all a numbers game and playing with their livelihood. So in a way, it’s good the most rock and metal artists are taking a grass-roots approach instead of catering to some guy being a fancy desk who is out of touch.
Do I think instrumental music still has a place? I would like to think so. But the general consensus is that “If there are no lyrics, it’s invalid” and “I can’t identify because there’s no singer there I can relate to.” I never expected to have a career in instrumental music. I honestly thought I would do a couple of CDs, have fun, and hope a big band would pick me up. But somehow this fell into my lap and I ran with the ball. I see artists such as Animals As Leaders, Consider The Source, and Scale The Summit doing wonderful things; while I am nowhere close to the level of those bands, I hold my own and people are finally coming around.
How long did it take you to finish your album?
SB: Started recording on February 18th and mixdown was on March 25th, so a little over a month. Everyone did their homework, so that made everything smooth.
Any special guests?
SB: The line-up for this album is me, Chris Davison (basses), and Ronnie Mormino (drums; also of The Inversion Circus).
What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
SB: Get this album in everyone’s hands and ears, get a lot of airplay, and hopefully, score a decent tour. And finally get some sleep.
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