Tag Archives: vinnie moore

Tony MacAlpine Discusses His New Record Death Of Roses

By Andrew Catania

The existence of the soul within often reflects on the accomplishments on the outside. Tony MacAlpine unearthed the alchemy of soulfulness in the mirth of music from when his fingers played with the keys of the piano at the age of 5.

Strumming through the cords as a solo, rock instrumentalist, pianist, and guitarist, Tony MacAlpine has artfully succeeded in coalescing the elements of jazz, hard rock, metal and classic beats on both, guitar and keyboard – crafting melodies as sinful as they are virtuous.

The dominating dazzle of neoclassical rock, the Hartford graduate, released his debut masterpieces – Edge of Insanity and Maximum Security in the late 80’s. But Tony’s teeming talents stretch beyond abysmal. In mid-1986 his thuds as a heavy metal guitarist in M.A.R.S drove flocks of frats wild, uncloaking an all new side of this innovative rock star.

A more commercially inclined endeavor in the hard rock led to the manifestation of Eyes of The World in the 90’s, but with the strike of realization, Tony resumed his passion for instruments and consecutively crafted magnum opuses as renowned as Madness, Premonition, Evolution and Violent Machine. Truly outshining his work, Tony sealed the decade of success with a blockbuster album Master of Paradise where he contributed with his authentic vocals as well.

The sweep trapping trickster was compelled to join aboard a hiatus when he revealed a health scare in the last couple of years.  After the release of Concrete Gardens, MacAlpine was pummeled with the revelation of a colon cancer, marking a pause to his musical accomplishments.

But like an unstoppable tornado, the legend has stormed back into the realm of harmonies with his album, Death of Roses.

Is this EP part of a set?

TM: it’s the start of we have another. It’s an ep we have a set of songs coming out shortly to complete the whole process of this writing of 14 songs.

What made you split the EP’s up?

TM:  I’m composing some material that I would say is descriptive exposure to a particular style that I’m unveiling now. I mean the next songs are something from a different era. They’re all part of the same suite, but they’re flavor and a different type a whole different approach. So I didn’t want to put the two on the same record because you said that your records are connected, so that’s why I chose to separate them.

Where did you find Nasser Abdalla?

TM:  Nass played in a band that opened for me a couple of tours ago.  He caught my attention back then and when it came time to find players I gave him a call.  He was all ready for it.

You have tour dates for September and October.  Do you have any plans to tour Europe?

TM: I delayed the European tour when I was sick, and the instability of situations going on in Europe happened at once.  I’m doing fine now.  Trying to book this tour came about we just realized that it’s just not a safe environment right now.  So we’re going to wait and see what happens.

Are you 100% healthy now?

TM:  Yeah, everything is fine. I’m doing great, and I’m happy to be out there and healthy just working again.

How did you creatively coming up with the music for Death of Roses?

TM:  Each record that I do is an exposee of where I’m at. And so at least five months or a year before when the record comes out, I’ve moved on to some other things that I find musically interesting, but I play lots of music. I play lots of piano music. I play music from many different genres, and so my influences are very far and wide. But the problem is with music that you become known for if you’re a solo artist you know you can’t just keep changing you don’t know the direction as soon as you feel like you know you need to you have to kind of bring things along at a slower pace because you know people build up a certain listening to your memory. And for them to be able to play when he records they want to hear something that they think reminds them of your style. Even so, your style might be evolving. It’s important for an artist to do things slowly. So I mean there’s so much stuff that I do, but just having the right combinations of musicians is one of the things that makes it whether or not it’s you know plausible or not. And that mix of musicians is here now. Obviously piano was my first instrument, so I’m employing lots of keyboards live now on this thing, and then we have not spent a lot of different guitar parts. We do a lot of guitar parts to be together. So it’s this music this whole thing is more of a freedom of sounds, and when the listeners get down, they get to more of your adventure instead of a songwriter that from one direction. So that’s really what it is. It’s just a combination.

Has your rig changed?

TM:  It’s always evolving.  Live now I’m using Hughes and Kettner Core Blades which are all tube heads with all of the processing built inside of the head. So it’s a real simple setup but very consistent. I also I also use the Hughes and Kettner GrandMeister Deluxe 40 which is the same idea of that it’s a better amp and a much smaller package about the size of a lunchbox.  Everything’s evolving,  the guitars are.  I’m using an extended range seven string. Even as guitars with various EMG setups you know the guitars are active and have one passive guitar.

Did you recover your gear that was stolen in Texas?

We got all the guitars back except one.  I didn’t get the TV back or the floorboard.  That’s easily replaceable.  All of the Ibanez guitars are back.  I had some friends in Mexico that went to a guitar swap and they some them there.  They brought them back for me.

Do you have a signature guitar coming out?

We’re working on something.  I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. So unless I come up with something that I think is a must for all players to have I don’t know if I’m going to do it, but we’ll see what happens regarding a future.

Any advice for aspiring guitarists?

Music is its art, and an artist is fostered by practicing and confidence. And one of the things that you really must come to the realization is whether you love you know the sacrifices you have to make because it’s a huge one. You know the time that it takes to write practice songs and cause the other bands and do that type of thing is it’s the rewards are not as great as many we think. You know they come along in time and so just really make sure that this is something you want to do and work extremely hard at it and love it.


British Rock Legends UFO To Release First Ever Covers Album “The Salentino Cuts”

British rock legends UFO offer up their first ever covers album paying homage to a dozen of their personal favorites! “The Salentino Cuts” includes several unexpected choices such as Mad Seasons’sRiver Of Deceit,” John Mellencamp’s “Paper In Fire,” and Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” alongside more traditional but thrilling versions such as The Yardbirds’ “Heartful Of Soul,” ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid” and lots more!

UFO’s current line-up features original members Phil Mogg on vocals and Andy Parker on drums. Keyboardist/guitarist Paul Raymond joined the band in 1976. Lead guitarist Vinnie Moore has been a permanent member of the group since 2003, and American bassist Rob De Luca joined the fold in 2012.

Vinnie says, “Making this covers record was a blast for me. I thoroughly enjoyed putting a little of my spin on these tunes that I grew up with. I played ZZ Top and Robin Trower songs about gazillion times onstage over the years. It was great actually to get to record some of my old faves.”

UFO’sThe Salentino Cuts” will be released on September 29th and will be available on both CD & 2 limited vinyl pressings, one splatter vinyl, and one white vinyl!

Track List:
1. Heartful Of Soul
2. Break On Through (To The Other Side)
3. River Of Deceit
4. The Pusher
5. Paper In Fire
6. Rock Candy
7. Mississippi Queen
8. Ain’t No Sunshine
9. Honey-Bee
10. Too Rolling Stoned
11. Just Got Paid
12. It’s My Life

In September & October, the band will be embarking on a monster tour of North America with fellow classic rockers Saxon!

UFO European tour dates:

August 11 – Leyendas del Rock Festival XII – Villena – Spain
August 13 – Alcatraz Open Air- Kortrijk – Belgium
September 7 – Germany – Dortmund – Musiktheater Piano
September 8 – Holland – Eindhoven – Cityrock Festival
September 9 – Holland – Leeuwarden – Cityrock Festival
September 10 – France – Raismes – Raismes Fest
September 12 – England – Southampton – The Brook
September 14 – England – Dorking – Dorking Halls
September 15 – England – Holmfirth – Picturedrome
September 16 – England – Northampton – Roadmender

UFO & SAXON US Tour Dates – Round 2:

September 22 – Newton, NJ – Newton Theater
September 23 – Huntington, NY – Paramount Theater
September 24 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
September 26 – Philadelphia, PA – Theater Of The Living Arts
September 28 – Plymouth, NH – Flying Monkey
September 29 – Worcester, MA – Palladium
September 30 – Hartford, CT – Webster Theater
October 1 – Portland, ME – Aura
October 3 – Toronto, ON – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
October 4 – Montreal, QU – Corona Theatre
October 6 – Flint, MI – Machine Shop
October 7 – Traverse City, MI – Ground Zero
October 8 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall
October 9 – Akron, OH – Tangier Cabaret Room
October 11 – Pittsburgh, PA – Jergels
October 12 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts
October 13 – Merrillville, IN – Star Plaza
October 14 – Indianapolis, IN – The Egyptian

UFO was formed in London in 1969. They became a transitional group between early hard rock and heavy metal and the new wave of British heavy metal. Over a career spanning 48 years, UFO has released 22 studio albums, 14 live recordings and 16 compilation albums. They achieved success with several albums and singles in the UK and US Top 40 charts, and have sold over 10 million records worldwide. UFO is considered one of the classic hard rock acts, and have influenced many notable rock bands. The band was ranked number 84 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.”

For more information:

How Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai And Vinnie Moore Changed Guitar Playing

By Andrew Catania

Yngwіе Mаlmѕtееn’ѕ fіrѕt fеw rеlеаѕеѕ, bоth hіѕ bаnd (Alсаtrаzz/Stееlеr) аnd ѕоlо рrоjесtѕ (Rіѕіng Fоrсе), аrе іnfluеntіаl. Rеgаrdіng аltеrіng thе dіrесtіоn іn whісh guіtаrіѕtѕ wоuld gо, wіth Yngwіе’ѕ blаzіng tесhnіԛuе ореnіng mаnу реорlе’ѕ еуеѕ tо thе соnсерt оf сlаѕѕісаl muѕіс ѕеt іn a rосk guіtаr соntеxt.

Thіѕ іѕ Steve Vаі’ѕ mоѕt thеmаtіс аnd ѕtruсturеd, nоt tо mеntіоn соmmеrсіаllу ѕuссеѕѕful аlbum. Pаѕѕіоn аnd Wаrfаrе ѕееѕ thе guіtаrіѕt сhаnnеlіng hіѕ vеrѕаtіlіtу аnd іntrіguіng іdеаѕ іntо a fаr mоrе соhеѕіvе whоlе thаn оn рrеvіоuѕ ѕоlо аttеmрtѕ, Flеx-Ablе аnd Flеx-Ablе Lеftоvеrѕ.

Hе’ѕ аlѕо аt hіѕ mоѕt сrеаtіvе hеrе; frоm ѕtаrt tо fіnіѕh Pаѕѕіоn аnd Wаrfаrе іѕ аn еxhаuѕtіng lіѕtеn, duе іn thе mаіn tо thе hіghlу іdіоѕуnсrаtіс nаturе оf thе соmроѕіtіоn. Sеvеrаl guіtаr аlbumѕ іn thе mid-to-late-80s wоuld ѕеt thе ѕсеnе rеgаrdіng ѕоund, соnсерt аnd, оf соurѕе, tесhnіԛuе. 1983 ѕаw thе rеlеаѕе оf Yngwіе Mаlmѕtееn’ѕ Rіѕіng Fоrсе, fоllоwеd іn 1986 bу Tоnу MасAlріnе’ѕ grоund brеаkіng Edgе оf Inѕаnіtу; 1986 furthеr іntrоduсеd thе wоrld tо Pаul Gіlbеrt wіth Rасеr X’ѕ Strееt Lеthаl, аnd thаt ѕаmе уеаr gаvе uѕ Mіnd’ѕ EуеVіnnіе Mооrе. Guіtаr mаgаzіnеѕ tаlkеd аbоut thе іmmіnеnt rеlеаѕе оf Mіkе Vаrnеу’ѕ lаtеѕt Guіtаr Hеrо (еvеn thоugh hе hаd реrfоrmеd оn Shrарnеl’ѕ Vісіоuѕ Rumоrѕ CD, Sоldіеrѕ оf Fоrtunе), аnd оnе еvеn рrоvіdеd a flорру-dіѕс ѕаmрlеr оf thе muѕіс tо соmе. Thе guіtаr соmmunіtу wаѕ rеаdу tо wеlсоmе аnоthеr guіtаr hеrо іntо іtѕ rаnkѕ.

Trіlоgу wаѕ реrhарѕ thе fіnаl tіmе thаt Yngwіе wоuld wrіtе ѕuсh рurеlу nео-сlаѕѕісаl ѕоngѕ; thе аlbumѕ tо fоllоw соntаіnеd thе uѕuаl сlаѕѕісаl ѕtruсturеѕ, but wіth thе аddіtіоn оf соmmеrсіаl ассеѕѕіbіlіtу, rеѕultіng іn mоrе іmmеdіаtе, lеѕѕ соmрlеx соmроѕіtіоnѕ. Trіlоgу аlѕо fеаturеd ѕоmе оf Mаlmѕtееn’ѕ fіnеѕt рlауіng tо dаtе, whеrеаѕ lаtеr rеlеаѕеѕ wоuld оftеn ѕhоwсаѕе lеѕѕ thоughtful lеаd brеаkѕ аnd rе-hаѕh ѕеvеrаl muѕісаl іdеаѕ.

Sо, whаt mаkеѕ thіѕ ѕuсh a lаndmаrk аlbum? Thе fіrѕt trасk, ‘Yоu Dоn’t Rеmеmbеr, I’ll Nеvеr Fоrgеt’ іѕ сlаѕѕіс Mаlmѕtееn, соntаіnіng аll thе еlеmеntѕ thаt соnѕtіtutе grеаt nео-сlаѕѕісаl guіtаr muѕіс: еріс hаrmоnіеѕ; ѕоаrіng vосаl lіnеѕ; аnd, оf соurѕе, a rірріng guіtаr ѕоlо. ‘Lіаr,’ ‘Quееn In Lоvе‘ аnd ‘Fіrе‘ аrе ѕіmіlаrlу іmрrеѕѕіvе. Aѕ wіth рrеvіоuѕ rеlеаѕеѕ, Trіlоgу mаkеѕ rооm fоr twо іnѕtrumеntаl numbеrѕ, nаmеlу ‘Crуіng‘ аnd ‘Trіlоgу Suіtе Oр: 5′. Thе lаttеr ѕuреrblу соntrаѕtѕ thе аrсаnе ‘Dаrk Agеѕ‘ whіlе аt thе ѕаmе tіmе rеflесtіng its рісturеѕԛuе thеmеѕ. Thе ореnіng рісkеd ѕесtіоn іѕ сlеаn аnd fаѕt аnd іѕ аѕ gооd аn еxаmрlе аѕ аnу оf Mаlmѕtееn’ѕ mаѕtеrу оf thе іnѕtrumеnt.

Thіѕ еxсеllеnt rеlеаѕе dіѕрlауѕ оnе оf оur fіnеѕt ‘ѕhrеddеrѕ’ аt thе реаk оf hіѕ аbіlіtіеѕ. It nеvеr fаіlѕ tо іnѕріrе аnd ѕhоuld асt аѕ a bluерrіnt fоr аnуbоdу wіѕhіng tо gеt a tаѕtе оf whаt nеосlаѕѕісаl rосk іѕ аll аbоut.

Sіdе оnе bеgіnѕ wіth ‘In Cоntrоl,’ аn ассurаtе dеѕсrірtіоn оf thе guіtаrіѕt hіmѕеlf: еxtrеmеlу fаѕt, сlеаn рісkіng, еріс mеlоdу lіnеѕ, аnd реrfесt tіmіng аll роіnt tо аn аѕtоundіng соmmаnd оf hіѕ іnѕtrumеnt. ‘Dауdrеаm‘ іѕ аn еxаmрlе оf hоw tо wrіtе thе реrfесt ѕоlо: bеgіnnіng ѕlоwlу, Vіnnіе  Moore tеаѕеѕ thе lіѕtеnеr wіth аn іmmіnеnt еxрlоѕіоn оf еnеrgу thаt еvеntuаllу іmрасtѕ whеn thаt fіеrу рісkіng tаkеѕ оvеr; uѕіng tіmеlу ѕtrіng-bеndѕ аnd іnѕtіnсtіvе сhоісе оf nоtеѕ. And іnсоrроrаtіng роwеrful mеlоdіеѕ іntо thе whоlе еԛuаtіоn, hе соnѕtruсtѕ a ѕоlо thаt mоѕt guіtаrіѕtѕ wоuld kіll tо bе аblе tо рlау. Thе rеѕult іѕ аn еmоtіоnаl ѕtаtеmеnt uѕіng ѕрееd, whеrе nесеѕѕаrу, tо ассоmрlіѕh a muѕісаl gоаl.

Ozzy Osbourne: If Zakk Departs After The Summer Tour, Who Will Replace Him?

By Andrew Catania

Now that the Black Sabbath band has started wrapping up their music career and the final show has been locked in for February 4th, many of us will mourn not having more from the band. However, this is equally pleasing in tandem, that Ozzy Osbourne, the Madman of Black Sabbath who recently turned 68, hasn’t called it a day yet and says that he’s “currently playing around with some song ideas. I have a few things jotted down, and once Black Sabbath is off the road, I will be heading into the studio with my band to get the songs recorded. Once it’s all in the can, you can be sure to see me back on the road again.”

Sounds cool, right!

So now that the big news is out and has enthralled the crazy global fandom of Ozzy – the ultimate Prince of Darkness, apparently, this has become a topic of hot debate about who will play the guitar on his upcoming solo records.  Ozzy has stated that Zakk Wylde will be performing with him on his scheduled summer dates

Is Zakk going to continue with Ozzy after the summer tour dates?  Or would he be going back to Black Label?  Here are our top picks of potential guitarists likely to pair up with Ozzy if Zakk departs:

Rusty Cooley

Acclaimed for his aesthetic and intricately refined techniques, and rendered as one of the fastest guitarists in the US, Rusty Cooley is a virtuosic name in heavy, progressive and power metal genre. Well-known as the king of shreds, Rusty has been casting a spell through his chords since 1985 and has been associated with the Day of Reckoning, Outworld, Austrian Death Machine, the Rings of Saturn and some solos and individual performances. He has been called as the ‘Leading Light of Post-Malmsteen Shred-volution’ by the Guitar Player magazine.

Jeff Loomis

Famous and applauded for his soulful contribution to ‘Nevermore,’ Jeff Loomis is one of the top-notch names that rule the present-age metal genre. Jeff Loomis has proven his mettle as a lyricist, composer, vocalist, bassist and keyboard, drum and guitar player.

Aside from some fruitful associations with Arch Enemy, Nevermore, Fear Tech, Sanctuary, Conquering Dystopia, Experiment Fear, System, and 7 Eyes, Jeff Loomis has skillfully proved his virtuosity in some solos that make a big emblem of his unique classic arpeggios and gradually flowing nuances.

Marty Friedman

Famous for his former association with the heavy metal band Megadeth that ruled the music world for the entire decade of the mighty 90s, Marty Friedman has now become a mega music sensation in Japan.

His shredding techniques and style still carry that vibrant and signature ‘Megadeth’ essence, however, his personal preferences and music taste have drifted towards contemporary and Japanese pop. This has influenced him to evolve as an ecstatic fusion of eastern and western music, punctuated and infused with thrash metal, progressive rock, and neoclassic genres.

Vinnie Moore

Having emerged on the 80s music horizon with his incredible performances in Alice Cooper’sHey Stoopid,’ Vinnie Moore has managed to attain the stature of the most influential musicians who defined and shaped the dynamics and tending patterns of the music scene of the 80s and 90s.

Vinnie Moore has had an exciting career from 1986 to date, that is punctuated with his associated acts with UFO, Alice Cooper, Red Zone Rider, along with some hit solos records to his name. Vinnie Moore’s style stems from neoclassical metal, heavy metal, hard rock, and instrumental rock genre.

Jimi Bell

Jimi Bell, known as “The Giant On The Guitar,” was  Ozzy’s second choice to Zakk Wylde.  Jimi has had a successful career starting with his band, Joined Forces.  He’s currently the guitarist for House of Lords. Jimi’s style of hard rock, the instrumental rock genre would make him an ideal choice for Ozzy.

ReverbNation Featured Artist Tim Holman

Tim’s love of shred runs deep.  Inspired by such guitar heroes as Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani, and Vinnie Moore, Tim made the transition from piano to guitar at 14 years of age.  It was a move that was a few years in the making due to saving to buy his first guitar himself.  His parents were sure it was just a phase, but he certainly proved their theory false.

Being almost entirely self-taught, Tim started with the typical method books and tab books.  He also gleaned valuable information from informal lessons with his high school band teacher.  However, being unable to find a teacher to show him the technical aspects that he desired, he began buying books and records to learn from, a number that grew to thousands of albums and hundreds of books.

After graduation, Tim studied at the respected Trebas Institute in Toronto.  The education that he received upon completion of their prestigious audio production course opened the right doors to start working, and he often pulled double duty as a session musician and assistant engineer.  Tim attributes this experience as a large part of the development of his style.  Says Tim, “Working on everything from Ska and Reggae to Metal developed my versatility as an artist. Having to be in top form and shine at the moment when the client was footing the bill whipped my playing into shape!”

Tim is also a gifted teacher who loves to further others’ ambitions.  His new website is dedicated to teaching the technical aspects of the guitar with lessons that he wishes had been available when he was learning.  You’ll find these lessons written in easily digestible chunks.  There are already many challenging lessons with more to test every aspect of your playing being added regularly.

With the release of “Impact,” Tim has realized a huge goal and provided a remarkable statement to the world of shred guitar.  Melding classic influences with his unique style, Tim has forged a great album that guitar lovers can listen to over and over and catch something new every time.

Now organizing a tour consisting of both shows and clinics, expect to catch Tim live soon.

Following years of session playing, live performance and teaching, Tim has released a stunning debut that exhibits an exciting playing style and is versatile and accessible to all listeners.  From over the top shred licks to “chicken picking” country and blues, Tim has displayed that he does indeed have the chops for a solo outing.

Luminary, Gary Hoey has said, “Tim Holman is a force, mixing bluesy feel with killer shred.  The future looks good with players like Tim.  Watch out world.”

Being largely an instrumental album, the final draw is the high energy that every track exudes.  Beginning with the blistering track “Lift Off,” the album doesn’t let up throughout its nine-song entirety.  With the final song, “The Pilgrimage,” culminating in some of the most extreme soloing on the album, it’s a journey that the listener can take more away from with every spin.

Other highlights include the haunting love ballad, “I’ll Still Have the Strength,” the intense and progressive tour de force “Abaddon,” and Tim’s inimitable rockabilly style on “Hillbilly Boogie.”

With industry veterans, Avid Steele on vocals and Phil Robertson on drums, “Impact” is an album that will satisfy the rocker in everyone.

Release Date: March 28th, 2017 

Track Listing

  1. Lift Off – 3:35
  2. Hillbilly Boogie – 4:42
  3. Abaddon – 4:37
  4. Who Let the Satch Out 3:40
  5. I’ll Still Have the Strength 5:42
  6. Outside Cat – 3:45
  7. Impact – 4:02
  8. The Rising…Dawn of the Apocalypse – 4:19
  9. The Pilgrimage – 6:39


Tim Holman

Phone:  403-829-7730

Email: tim@timholman.ca


Website:  timholman.ca

Facebook:  facebook.com/tholmanmusic/

Instagram:  Instagram.com/timholmanmusic/

Twitter:  twitter.com/TimHolmanMusic

Album Credits

Produced by Tim Holman

Mixed by Dave Martone at Brainworks, Vancouver BC


Mastered by Jamie Sitar at Outta Town Sound, Winnipeg MB


Engineered by Tim Holman and Kasey Kline at Vibe West Studio, Penticton BC

Additional Engineering by Dave Martone, David Steele and Phil Robertson


Tim Holman – Guitars and Bass


David Steele – Lead and Background Vocals



Phil Robertson – Drums



Strings in “The Pilgrimage” by Black Dog String Quartet


Craig Goldy Carrying On Ronnie James Dio’s Legacy

By Andrew Catania

Bassist and guitarist Craig Goldy is a familiar name in the metal playing genre who enjoys a complete command over his forte. Although Craig Goldy has many solos and associated feats to his name, however, his association with The Dio Disciples has become his prime identity over time. Craig Goldy’s career spans over a good 36 years, and having debuted back in 1980, Craig Goldy has not yet called it a day.

Born on 6th November 1961 in San Diego, California, Craig Goldy started learning the tact and intricacies of guitar playing at a young age. Having gained the elementary expertise over strings and chords, Craig Goldy proceeded to join budding bands and form collaborations. His first association was with the Vengeance where he upskilled his style and later moved over to join Rough Cutt.

After playing a couple of feats with Ronnie James Dio at Rough Cutt’s platform, Craig Goldy bid farewell to the band and joined Giuffria. Cumulating their individual expertise, Gregg Giuffria and Craig Goldy’s partnership resulted in the release of ‘Giuffria’ in 1984.

Image result for craig goldy

Craig’s association with the Dio can be classified into two major periods. The first phase of the partnership was relatively short-lived and only confined to producing a couple of numbers, an EP titled ‘Intermission EP’ in 1986 and an album titled ‘Dream Evil’ in 1987. After that, Craig aborted the association with Dio and turned more centric towards establishing his solo profile. He laid the foundation of his band and named it ‘Craig Goldy’s Ritual,‘ and partnered with the Grand Slams Records. He invited David Glen Eisley and Mike Stone to perform as vocalists in Craig Goldy’s Ritual’s debut album titled ‘Hidden in Plain Sight.’

Aside from his band formation and releasing the debut album, Craig Goldy embarked on a solo flight in tandem. Taking Jeff Pilson on board for vocals, Craig Goldy released his solo debut album ‘Insufficient Therapy’ on Shrapnel Records in 1993. In 1995, Craig Goldy came up with his solely instrumental album ‘Better Late Than Never.’

Craig took the next couple of years furthering his partnerships, co-writing songs and touring with various groups as a guest guitarist. Later in 2011, Craig Goldy joined hands with the lineup of Dio who had reformed themselves by that time and were now known as the Dio Disciples.

Craig’s association with Dio and later with Dio Disciples has resulted in some hit records and releases including ‘Magica’ in 2000, Master of the Moon, Finding the Secret Heart: Live in Philly and Donnington UK Live 1983 and 1987.

Besides the Dio Disciples, Craig Goldy’s other associations include pairing up with Mark Huff with Hole in my Heart and Dark Rainbow. Both releases have dedicated a tribute and homage to Ronnie James Dio, and the duo also welcomes some other members onboard. In addition to that, Craig Goldy embarked on a grand tour with Vinnie Moore and Uli John Roth and had also declared a new association called the Resurrections Kings with Chas West, Sean McNabb, and Vinny Appice.



Interview: Shrapnel Records CEO Mike Varney Discusses Current Projects, Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Paul Gilbert and Much More!

 By Andrew Catania

I caught up with Mike to discuss what’s going on with Shrapnel Records, current and future projects.

How have you been? What have you been up to?

Well, you know I have some records coming out. I got a new record with a guy called Steve Conte. Steve was a guitarist who played with Chilly Band; he toured Asia; He either played on or one of the big hit songs that he played the solo on. He’s done a lot of stuff, and he’s got a bunch of records out on CDS and other jazz labels. He’s pretty well known, that’s one of our front and center labels. Then I’ve got a guy called Dario Lorino, Dario’s the guitar player for Black Label Society along with Zakk,  he’s been in the band for years. Dario did Zakk’s Book of Shadows to RV; he’s had duo gigs with him, and Zakk, two unplugged, Dario plays keyboards, sings and plays guitar.

Dario just made an excellent record called Death Grip Tribulation and it’s great, it’s our record. It’s been up sections for eights. He’s got that base player from John Deservio who toured with Vinnie Moore when he toured on his section album Time Odyssey. JD played with Vinnie Moore back then; the band was Vinnie Moore, JD, and another member.

Dan Conway is one of those drummers like when I, you know, like Deen Castronovo, when he was a young guy or Jeremy Colson.   When I was introduced to Steve Vai. When Jeremy was 21 or 22, they’d be calling and trying to get him off the deck, Dan Conway is that kind of drummer, he’s a freak, and I found him some Dario stuff. He’s played on other records of mine since Dario’s first record; he’s on Dario’s second record. Just had him play on a new album by a guy called Indigenous. Then several records of Indigenous as the guitarist Mato Nanji, he’s been out. I think he’s front runner with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Rick’s tour, and he’s out there, and Zakk’s on the tour and (either passing Advi) or Johnson, I don’t know who is on the tour this year but I know that Zakk’s playing a part of it and this guy Mato has been, he’s been the most consistent guitar player I think in all the years they’ve been doing Experience Hendrix, I believe he’s been on the more tours than any other guitarist. Anyway, I just finished recording with him and Indigenous, and there’s a band here call Count’s 77, the guitarist is a guy named Stoney Curtis, he’s been in about more albums I think on Bruce (Barrow). A lead singer is a man named Danny Koker, who’s the star of the TV show called Counting Cars on History. He’s been singing forever; they called him the Count, he’s also on Pawn Stars, he’s a car guy. Anyway, Danny’s got this great band called Count’s 77, it’s a classic 70’s style Rock band.

So I made a record, two records with them, the new one’s coming out March 10th. Dario’s record was just released last week, Dario’s got a video to the title track that’s Tribulation to be released later this week, so that’s kind of what I’ve been doing here the last few months. I’ve got other stuff planned; I’ve got things in the works. Oh, I’ve got a new record coming out with Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Jimmy Haslip on bass and Robin Ford on guitar, that’s called JNGCHI, kind of a Bluesish, like a Blues Fusion kind of a thing.  So that’s that in the works, and I’m looking for some more stuff that, the biggest problem is that when you finance records, it costs money and the money that comes back in now is so little.

Streaming pays such a small percentage, compared to all the people who listen to the music and the sad thing is that I don’t think the industry, or even the consumers thought about it much and projected what will happen in the future. What they didn’t think through is that you’ve got artists, you know, I’ll use Robin Ford for example. I’ve done some records with him, but I don’t know him well, met him but don’t know him well. A guy like that has worked with the world’s best engineers and some fantastic records, but let’s just say that if Robin isn’t the man that wants to sit at home and to hear his records, (I’ve never heard that he did that, I guess he does that, this is all guesswork) but I’m just saying with the industry you know will not go out and purchase enough records to support a great artist.

Give an Example.

Just say a great artist. I don’t want to act like it’s a negative put down; I don’t mean it to be that way.  If you have an artist that’s in a niche ok, and that niche artist doesn’t sell a lot of records, you know, but the record still costs money to make.  By people not buying music and thinking that they are doing great by the artist by streaming it, by them not buying it, they’re helping to bring about at some point, the end of guys recording career unless the guy has his studio, and can engineer it himself. Or unless the guy is some improvisational wizard and can go in and blow in one session and record in one day, like some jazz guys maybe. But you know, otherwise, if nobody is buying the records, then who is going to pay for them?  You know, that’s the hardest thing. Not every artist is Richie Kotzen and has a home studio, or Paul Gilbert, that can record a lot of the album in their home studio. A lot of these guys are used to the only top line equipment; they have ears that tell them that no, that digitally is not, it sounds like it needs a console, through the pre-op roll, tape. Sure people get used to a certain standard, and the public is accepting so little, in general, as a stereotype.

The public, they are allowing a telephone as a medium of listening to music or communicating music or an MP3 Player, or through a port in their house. A lot of the public is not demanding. They will take a lower quality resolution download; you know what I mean? They’ll extract less, and a lot of artists will feel that they would rather not play than deliver less. So, there is still some CDs and vinyl being sold so, you can still sort of cut your budget down and work really hard with your fans, you can still sell enough records may be to break even, but if that keeps going the way it’s going, at some point in time the money won’t be coming back to the people. I even know an artist that’s in the band that started making a solo record, and he said that half way through it, he realized that nobody was going to pay me anything for it. He’s going to put a bunch of his money into recording it but then, start talking to labels, and they are like, there are just not big budgets up like there used to be. He wasn’t willing to go out and become a salesman.

A friend of mine, he’s got twenty grand raised on a Kickstarter campaign which is making his record with one of my artists. He said, we’ve been together forever and I know it’s a weird question to ask you but, I think I should make my record on Kickstarter. And the artist said, there’s one thing about that, though, the people that buy my stuff they think of me as a guy that’s at a certain level, of a particular standard. It’s bad I’m fucking begging them for money like I can’t get it somewhere else, I’ve got to go and ask them, it almost takes that feeling of this guy is special, I revere this man. Like, a lot of people don’t realize that the artist that they love is living in worst standards than they are living. That’s when you can make money from selling records [starving artists], so the artist is like, I don’t know if I like the idea of how that looks, me getting money from my fans. I said well, there’s the other thing too if you want to, you know. Let’s say the record cost Thirty grand and you have to sell 3,000 records at ten bucks a piece or whatever up front, you take their money and say “I’ll give you a record, give me ten dollars” then you have to go deliver 3,000 records to your house, which looks like a lot more boxed up than you think it is. Then you have to open them all up, and if you’re signing them as part of the deal to get them to, then you have signed them all, you have to put them in packages, you have to go out and buy the packaging, you have to address them all, then you have to go the mailbox and mail them, I said as long as you’re willing to do that then it might be viable, if not forget it. I don’t want to do any of that. So that’s kind of what we’re looking at now, is that you have people that are forced to go their fans but sometimes the fans won’t give them what they need to make the records, and it’s embarrassing for them. Wow, I only made five grand here, I’ve got to go give it all back to the fans that revere me the most and gave me money. [Right] Now I have to go give the five grand back, I feel like an idiot, some of these guys are thinking. So it’s just sad that we’re in the state that we’re in.

I honestly think, that there has never been better guitar players on the planet than there are right now. I mean, it’s amazing what’s out there, and there are better guys out there now than there were in 1980 when I started my label looking for great guitar players. They’ve had YouTube, and better teachers and a much more of higher standards and the bars have been raised. Unfortunately whenever the bar has been raised, there are less people that can pass muster than there are that can achieve that level and at some point, it happens all the time, music gets to be so difficult, all the other people that are out there that want careers too but aren’t that good, they have to make it cool not to be good. Then good is not good; it’s like ‘aw man, that’s Pre-Madonna thing, that guy is over singing, that guy is over playing. Ohhh that once Mariah Carey, look at all those extra notes that are all you know punk shoots coming back or grunge music or whatever, which, I like a lot of the grunge music and a lot of the punk music, but I mean those genres require less technical proficiency as most musicians in the band. Those styles keep coming back because we raised the standards to be so high that the average player will never get there. Back when we had Inga and Paul Gilbert, I mean guys out there at a certain point, rock musicians are like ‘Fuck that’ [yeah], I’m never going to be that, I’m going to do something else. So there is always more people with little talent than there are those few individuals with great talent, so that’s when they get together and they create a movement and just overturn things. So, we’ve been in an interesting place in music for years now where all this stuff can co-exist. It’s not like; disco takes over this, this takes over disco, you know what I mean, right now it’s an interesting time because all this stuff co-exist. Before you know, the metal fans were into grunge, and a lot of the fans were into this were into punk, and the punk fans were into this, you know what I mean, they kept mutating.

Seems like not there are so many genres out there and people swimming them that fans anchored down and they support their genres, but there is this. It used to be that everybody liked Led Zeppelin, or everybody liked Pink Floyd or that many years ago, everybody liked Van Halen or if you were young, should you like this, but now there are so many niches for people to listen to. Some guys are only into EDM, some kids are only into rap, some kids do like classic rock, so there are many that like other stuff. So I think we have better music than ever, the only problem is that it’s spread out over so many genres that it breaks up the fan bases, again with so little money coming back in, it just makes it difficult for artists to keep making records and keep recording. So, I’m going to make records still, but I don’t have, I’d be lying if I said I thought I was going to make a lot of money from it, it’s just what I do. I don’t know what else I would do, so and I love music, when I’m not making records in the studio or paying someone to make records in the studio, I’m buying music for my collection. I will buy CDs like a mad man; I can’t believe how much good stuff there is out there.

A few years back, I know you did a publishing deal with another company.

What happened was it got to be so many digital outlets out there and so many other revenue streams from streaming, all this stuff. I have so many records that I have made; it was getting difficult and costly too, a lot of times it cost more to render a statement than what the checks were for. We had an accountant for X amount of money; you only take X amount of time rendering accounts; it was just getting to cost prohibitive. That’s without having a zillion different money coming in from different places and having to figure it all out. So, I usually go to an aggregator, somebody that could make the music available in more places, I listed in Itunes for years. I believed that the way I felt, I felt people were kind of like me, if I want something I go to Amazon right up, I don’t need to worry about anybody else. The fact is all these little players, they all add up to something. I just didn’t want to think about it, because the idea of having all these other things, You follow what I’m saying, [yes] I had the best deal with Itunes, I didn’t need to go anywhere else, I had a direct deal with Itunes.

I didn’t want to have to worry about pennies trickling in from zillions of other sources because as I said, accounting for that would have been a nightmare. So rather than getting into streaming, or getting into other digital people other than Itunes, I made a deal with a company called Orchard which is one of the very first pre-Itunes digital companies and they are owned by Sony and me had other people come, wanting to acquire the catalogue but I wanted to leave it in the hands of somebody who really knew what they were doing, they were going to make the most amount of money for the artists; Because if I was going to hand it over, I wanted it to be a positive thing for everybody, not a negative [right]. So the Orchard stepped up, they are handling all the stuff, and they deal with it, and I now have a new deal with them for a new product, which I’m doing, and now I just don’t have to worry about hundreds of records, I only have to worry about a few it’s a lot easier [sure]. They are handling not only Itunes, but they are managing YouTube and Amazon, they are handling all the sources [Spotify and all them] Yeah they are doing all that stuff, and they have to all that because like I said all those other sources are slowly becoming The source.

I didn’t get this from the Orchard, but I heard it from somebody else, that within the next couple of years CDs are going to be pretty much non-existent you know, or very boutique. It’s like cars don’t even have CD players in them now, they are making most cars without them. So they are going to phase out that and so I’ve been doing this since 1980 and it has just felt like it was time to let somebody else, that was putting all the energy and money into all the infrastructure, money and time into building up such infrastructure to let them deal with it. They have it all figured out, how to track all that stuff, it’s a significant investment in software, you know [yeah]. You profit all that stuff, but as a small label it just, there was less & less money coming in and it would have been from more and more sources and would have to go along, it would have been tough to track all that stuff, so by working with them, they track it all, and it makes more sense. I think it’s a better situation for everybody. To have a warehouse and staff and to have records selling so few, it just didn’t make sense anymore.

How are you picking your guitarists?

Well, it’s funny. I met Dario when he was 15 or 16 and people would say ‘come out and see him, he’s amazing, ’.’ and I would say ‘no he’s not, he’s not amazi.’ I met Jason Becker at 16 and Paul Gilbert at 15 and (Stevie Ray) at 19, and now they are amazing. Over the years, Dario was touring with (Jenny Laid of Warrick) when he was 16, and then a few years later he got into Lizzie Borden and toured with them. So he’s been on the road for the last ten years. He’s 26 or so now. I don’t know his exact age, but he’s somewhere in that ballpark. He’s had quite a journey, with all the stuff he’s done with Black Label now with Zakk. So, I signed him, and he wasn’t with Black Label at all, and we put out the first record and within a few months of the record coming out, just as luck would have it, whether his talent met the right opportunity, Black Label hired him to be the second guitarist in the band. So, I have, to be honest, that was a determining factor for the next record because we had something to build on and I invested in the record with him because I thought he was the kind of guy that would go out there and do something. Personable, got a strong work ethic, he’s really easy to get along with. He wakes up every morning and says what do I have to do get further up the ladder. He’s not a guy who is going to be lazy and lie around and wait for someone to do something for him. He’s extremely motivated, and he had that motivation, he had that thing that I could see in Richie Carson back in the day and a lot of those artists that were just not going to be denied, they are going to keep going until somebody takes notice. So I saw that in him and the Black Label thing sort of kind of proved that. I did a record with Jackie Vincent. Did you know about that record?

Sure do! Amazing record!  Jacky’s very talented!

Well yeah, you know, there’s an example, I mean, he’s a great player. Jacky Vincent when he came to me, such a beautiful person, and Dario, just the nicest guys ever, both those guys. So you just get a sense that Jacky Vincent wasn’t going to be denied. The fact that he went out there, made his record, raised all that money, that just goes to show you that he had that quality, you know that I believed in when I signed him and Dario the same thing. So for me, I guess I’d be looking for younger people that are going bust ass. I mean like Richie Carson is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever known, and there’s not a year of his life since I met him, where he wasn’t productive. He’s probably made, I don’t even know how many solo albums, I think he’s made 20. I don’t even know; it’s some insane amount of solo albums. All the stuff with Mr. Big and Virtue and Winery Dogs, you know, Richie Carson sent me so many demos, it was like ‘oh it’s Monday, a RichieCarson demo, oh Tuesday, two more songs.’ [Chuckle] I’m not kidding you, he was whipping those things out and sometimes I’d get two demos a week or demos within seven days or something like that. He was putting all his time into writing and trying to come up with better stuff so we could get signed. You don’t see many people like that, that are that motivated these days you know and I understand why, because of the returns when you think ‘well what am I going to get?’

There are guys making $75,000 a year teaching, and nobody knows whom they are and they are as good as anybody. But they realize, they have two kids, teaching is what they do, if they go away on tours, they may lose their children. I mean, not lose them, they are going to have to be away from their family. It’s not a lifestyle they want. There are guys here in Vegas that are amazing; they are getting their paycheck every week. It’s hard to tell somebody ‘hey go on the road with this metal band and live hand to mouth’ when they are making Fifty grand a yeah playing top 40, [chuckle] because they are giving up something solid for something maybe, and so that’s the hardest thing. That’s the kind of like when you were younger; you can afford to, you don’t have all those ties.

I’m impressed with Jacky Vincent, he’s got a son, and he’s got all this and been a great father from all appearances and done all this stuff. That is impressive, that’s one of the reasons why I was pulling for him too. When he came to me he had a young son; I was like ‘how old are you?’ He was like ‘23’, that’s a child. He was really about being there for that kid and taking care of him. The one point is, Jacky & Dario were two guys that impressed me as just motivated. They wanted to be the next generation of traveling guitarists. They wanted to work with me, and I wanted to work with them, and it was great.These YouTube phenomenon but they don’t play anywhere. If you don’t play anywhere, it’s hard to make any money.

Do you think YouTube has cheapened the guitar?  It seems like nobody does traditional lessons anymore.  Everyone is using YouTube now.

I’ve got a really good friend that, a lot of the world knows who he is, he’s a fantastic technician, I won’t say his name, but an amazing tech. He has a degree from Berkeley School of Music, he has to go out and teach at a store that charges $50 an hour for whatever, and then they take $25 or something and give him the rest or whatever or give him $30 and they take $20, it’s some crazy split. They do find the students, and they have overhead there, the building and stuff. He’s great! If he had come around back in 1988 or whatever I would have given him a record deal. Now he’s just another guy that’s got great chops, and he’s even actually thinking about maybe doing something else. That’s the sad thing that you were talking about. With a degree from Berkeley, being able to chart out the most difficult (chardle)stuff you ever heard of and then play it back, sit there and play anything you can think of, play a Bach, a guy like that shouldn’t be having a hard time making a living. Like you said all these guys and YouTube lessons and the reality of guitar teaching, you only have to be one lesson ahead of your student. You don’t have to be as great as this guy is, so there are plenty of, or other guys that are a tenth the guitar player this guy is that is making the same money. It’s a little strange out there, but yeah if there was a guitar player that had something going on that wanted to do something that, I’m always looking for something.

What do you think 2017 is going to bring to you?

Well, I don’t know, I’ve got five records coming out right now, and I’ve got some more in the planning stages that I won’t mention but, it’s funny. It was always whatever kind of came down around the corner. You never know what is left at my post office box next, I could walk in there and listen to 20 terrific guitar players, I could listen to 2 great ones, 4 mediocre ones and 16 you know whatever, horrible or I can find 5 great guys in one batch and never for 3 months find anybody that sounded like anything. You never know what kind of the way it’s going to come. Oh, so the Japanese Young Guitar Magazine just did an all shrapnel 150 pages Special Edition, and it’s not only a magazine, it’s more like a book. It’s got a hard glossy cover; it’s got a corner of it like a book. It’s not like a magazine; it’s more like a book, 150 pages. It’s all the Shrapnel records that were ever done are in there, all the interviews with the top artists, it’s got sheet music.

Japan loves to shred.

Yeah, they like to shred, but they quit being willing to pay much money for it. If I came up with a guy that was the next big thing in my mind they might not even want to put it out. It’s very; they’d put it out if I gave it to them more than if it just came off the street maybe. It’s still, the perception that things are big in Japan, but it’s just a small segment of Japan. It’s a fetish; the average Japanese person doesn’t think about shred guitar. They have those fans there, but it’s a pocket of fans in Japan. They are way into their music indigenous to Japan; you know Japanese artists and whatnot. In America, people used to think like ‘aww Japanese family would believe that shred guitar is a fad for them’ no; it’s just that there was a following for it. You know what I’m trying to say.

Look at Yngwie; he releases all his records to Japan. Young Guitar did a huge spread on him.

Yngwie is in a class of his own pretty much. I don’t know any artists that consistently released music that didn’t change much, and that’s by design. Yngwie wanted to make sure that when people bought an album, they got everything they wanted on the album. It wasn’t like he was going to listen to EDM or something and try to incorporate or whatever, he wanted to give the fans that experience and I think that’s why he has kept the fanbase because they always know what to expect from him. A lot of times artists lose that fan base because when the fad takes a turn, they take a turn with the fad. Then they lose that focus, but Yngwie never did that. Would you say Yngwie stands in a class of his own?

Yngwie is in a class of his own!

Yeah Yeah, he is in a class of his own, I’m happy that I happen to be the guy that found him Luckily, I don’t think anything would have kept that guy down, so I just happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Here’s the thing, Yngwie from what I know is that, unless he’s been drinking too much or something, a lot of that stuff that he would say was deliberately meant to get people going mad. I say he called me up one day laughing, oh man I need a guitar player, are you in Guitar World. I told him I’d never heard of Jeff Spike, but he asked if I liked him, I told him never actually heard his music. Stuff like that, he would say stuff just to get people ‘Yow what the F’ to get them upset. That was his humor. One time I think he said ‘have you ever listen to Willy Raw?’ or something like that, I said nope, that was just him being of character. I think he like the idea of creating that persona. I think Black (Fork) kind of had that persona, kind of a dark persona, but Yngwie is a lot of humor. I mean he’s a hilarious guy, he loved Monty Python and can sit there and run down Monty Python skits, reenact them, but I don’t believe that most of the stuff that was said about him, when people go ‘what a jerk’, I think he knew exactly what he was saying and I think that’s why he said it. As far as him being, the stories of people who met him and he was mean or whatever; I never saw that side, he was always sweet and kind of that wise ass streak. People had to know how to take him.









Interview: Guitarist Tara Lynch Discusses Her Upcoming Solo Record Evil Enough

By Andrew Catania

I had the chance to speak with Guitarist Tara Lynch about her upcoming record, Evil Enough and talk about her special guests appearing on the record.

Let’s discuss this album of yours that you have not sent me any sneak releases of.

I mean you know right now I’m being very careful of what I let out right now because this is a real monumental effort on my part and pulling together all these amazing guys to work with me and you know I don’t want to let any cats out of the bag and I’m sure as you can tell I’ve been very careful about that.


So Trustless is pretty much what people are listening to right now and it’s really sort of a rough.  It will be a little more brilliant-sounding when the entire record is done and it’s mastered and you know all that good stuff.  You know really it’s a preview

Let’s take a look at your history here.  I know Trustless, I’ll get to that in a minute.  You started and you were self-taught playing the guitar, we pretty much discussed that.  Tell me how you started picking up the bass, the drum, the piano and you started working with like it like the  ‘ who’s who of guitar ’  Steve Vai and all them.  How did you meet these guys to study and or play with them? 

So basically, it really all started in South Florida where I was a teenager.  I was born in New York and lived there for about the first 9 years of my life and then the next 9 years was spent in South Florida.  During that time I was 11 and I picked up the guitar.  My brother was playing.  I have an older brother who is five and a half year’s older and since I was born I was always very, very, very desperate about music, very into it.  I wouldn’t go out and play with the kids I’d be home listening to the radio and literally writing down all my favorite songs realizing that  there was a loop that was going on and waiting for the time of day when those songs would be played again and I was kind of maniacal like that about music.  So I was just born that way and then by the time I was 11 for a couple of years my brother was threatening to basically pull the life out of me if I went anywhere near his guitar.  By the time I was 11 I was like you know what, the hell with you! So the minute he left the house I would grab that thing and start playing on it and I literally didn’t know what I was doing.  I just watched you know whatever I saw live and we didn’t have the internet, Youtube or anything like that back then so I watched whatever I could see on like King Biscuit and things like that on television and I was a natural, you know.  I was watching him watching this stuff on t.v. listening to everything.  I have a very-very good ear andI play to this day, I play by ear, completely.  So I might as well have my eyes closed because you really can’t show me anything, I’ve got to hear it and then I can reproduce it and that’s basically how it went.  So I picked up his guitar and played it.  He came home one day and caught me, I thought I was going to die and he said, “how the hell did you learn to play like that?”  Completely freaked out, he gave me the guitar and went and bought himself a new one.  Now I had a guitar 24/7 and I have not put it down since. So fast forward to my teen years.  Well, south Florida is full of a lot of music buzz and things like that.  Bands trying to make it Saigon Kick, some other bands from the 80’s that didn’t really go very far but did try and I became friends with a lot of these people. So that really started my knowing of some people in the business and when you meet one you meet ten.  They introduce you to another one, and other one and another one and so on.  You know all of a sudden years later I know a lot of these people  I’ve also met some of them at charity events and things like that but really it’s just through other friends they multiply that way.  So after I was playing for so many years I was already pretty accomplished at the instrument.  I had naturally just decided to pick up bass along the way, on my own, and decided I wanted to get some drums and give that a whirl too and you know, and really it just came naturally.  So after I was already going on these instruments I never took any lessons like I said so basically I reached out to these friends of mine and said, “hey, I’d like to study with you, you know, any tips any pointer’s?”  So I sat with Steve a few times and I wanted to go over the ability to play some drums for my album and I’m not playing on the album,  however, everybody tells me I give the best demo’s they’ve ever heard because I literally basically play the album and give it to the guy’s.  The guys listen to a demo of basically what’s going to be the end result and then put their own shine on it.  But they already know where I want the fills. They already know where I want everything because I just play it all first or program it first.  So I studied with Chad in order to do that on the drums and made sure I was really doing OK, things like that

Wow!  So you cannot read any sheet music at all?  It’s just all by ear?

I can’t read any sheet music at all whatsoever! It’s 100% by ear and I don’t even know maybe I’m kind of autistic or something


I have no idea what’s going on on the neck.  I just listen.  So if somebody says, “go to the E or go to the whatever”  I look at them like a deer in the headlights and if they play to the E then I’m there in 2 seconds, not even 2 seconds, I’m there in 1,000ths of a second pretty much instantly so you have to show me with sound,  not sight and not yelling letters or scale names or anything like that at me because I can’t even tell you what scale I’m playing.  In fact my producer, I was recording some leads just the other day and doing my usual shredding you know, shreddy parts for example and he just whips his chair around from the board and he’s like, “how the hell did you learn to do that if you don’t even know what you’re doing? How did you learn all those scales and things like that?” and I just said, “I just listen!” I mean to me it’s just that way, it’s just natural, I just listen.  It sounds right!  The progression of notes just sounds right.  I just play what to me sounds right within a piece of music.   So when I write my music, I literally play it as I write it, into my system and record it and then just keep doing tracks and layering it up until at the end of the day I have a whole full song

That is amazing! When you started getting into your late teens, early twenties were you in any bands or were you always a solo person?

You know when I was a teenager I played around with a few teenage party bands you know things like that but nothing worth really mentioning it was just for fun.  A couple of paid gigs, you know at restaurants or stuff like that, no big deal.  I played some classic rock you know, I was pretty much jamming out to things like Edgar Winter and stuff like that.  Grand Funk Railroad you know but no I pretty much only have done a solo thing and it wasn’t until probably in my 30’s that I did any shows anywhere and I did  only do a couple of shows,  one at a film festival and these were acoustic sets much like coffee-house sort of shows so again nothing really noteworthy there.  You know I’ve always taken my craft very seriously and yes I have a lot of friends in the business and I hang around that crowd and they come to my house and I go to theirs you know they know what I can do and they know what I’m capable of. So when I finally decided hey I’m going to do this, oh my God was the support overwhelming!  Everybody was like, “oh I’m in, if you want me, I’m there!” because they know what I’m capable of. So that was really just a huge honor and really quite a telling statement to myself you know that I must be doing something right musically regardless of the fact I haven’t played out professionally out at this level and I’m not going to until this album is finished.  So what a testament to my skills I guess as a songwriter by the way, which is first and foremost because lot’s of people out there can play guitar very-very-very  well but a lot of them can’t write


And I can write and I’m very proud of that

When you started putting people together, when you look at your resume you’ve got on here, I mean you’ve got one of my favorite singers in the whole wide world, Mark Boals.  Vinny Appice on drums, Bjorn on bass, Tony MacAlpine which is one of my top 5 greatest, Derek can play the keyboards, you’ve got Phil, plus you’ve got Brian on drums they just came forward to offer their support. When you started the process of writing these songs do you write the melodies, the lyrics or do you do the music first?

I write the music first then I write the lyrics.  Then I go back and sometimes make adjustments for the lyrics or I adjust the lyrics for the song.  One way or another.  But I always start everything I always start with the guitar period no matter what every single thing begins on the guitar.  I come up with a riff and that riff is the beginning of the main melody of each song that I write, probably what would be the verse then I just build on that

Is Mark sending the vocals back to you?  Are you guys all producing this in one place at your studio? 

Yes, no-no Mark lives in Las Vegas so he came out here to LA to come to my studio to record for me.  I’m fair because I’m co-producing this album.  This is not being produced by one person this is produced by me and fill in the blank you’ve got Derek Sherinian who produced a couple tracks and the rest is being produced by Brent Woods who’s a phenomenon guitarist himself and a sound engineer and a fantastic producer and I’m really enjoying working with him.  It’s very much a co-production.  I’m involved with everyone’s recording.  The only person who recorded without me present was Brian Tichy, because Derek Sherinian was producing at the time and Brian Tichy is someone that Derek brought in, I didn’t know him, that’s it!

Brian Tichy is a great drummer. 

Absolutely!  When Derek went to Brian and basically said you know my friend Tara is going pro, this is who she is and this is what she does and I totally vouch for her.  Coming from Derek Sherinian, of course,  Brian Tichy is going to say, “ say no more, I’m there, I’m done, I’m involved, no problem ”

We talked before about how you get the musicians for your record and how they have to have this superior sound.  You’re missing one name off here that we talked about, VinMan(Vinnie Moore).  Was it scheduled or you guys just… ? 


You know he’s one of my favorite guitarists and I know you guys are BFF’s and I was like, Vinnie Moore’s not in here….

That’s correct because I’m not stupid and let me explain.  First of all, you know Tony MacAlpine is playing on my record.  He’s playing keyboards.  He’s not playing guitar.

He’s playing keyboards only.  I am the only guitarist on this entire record so when you hear all those layers of every single guitar part, that’s me.  I will not have anybody else playing guitar on this record,s not at all whatsoever, that’s my instrument, it’s my album and that’s just how it goes. Tony involved on keys.  He doesn’t play anything but guitars.  So that’s why Vinnie’s not on this record, I know plenty of guitarists that could be on this record with me.  This is a predominantly where the album is going to be half and half.  You’re going to have half songs with vocal and half songs with instrumental OK. But even the vocal songs are still very guitar heavy.  So when you look at that, the whole point is I’m a guitarist, not a singer and I write all of these songs and it’s my work on the instrument that has to shine and my delivery of each song it has to be mine because I wrote it and it has to be delivered the way I want to hear it on guitar.  So I can’t have anybody else playing on guitar with me.

That does make sense 

However, Vinnie Moore has been an excellent friend and a great soundboard and has been you know just a real buddy helping me with advice along the way

Vinnie Moore, I just have to say that!

How far along are you with the record right now?  Is it complete?  

OK, right now I would say we are a little more than half way through the recording stage.  The first half took a really long time.  I had a couple of delay’s and so we had to put things on hold for like a month or two here or there.  The other problem was when that happened I then was fighting the schedule’s of all of my guests and so that’s why it’s taking a little longer than originally anticipated.  Because when I was personally delayed, as you know, my husband was involved in a serious accident.  When that happened the people who were scheduled to record during that time I had to move forward.  So February, this month is a very-very heavy recording month  This month alone I’ve had Glen Sobel in the studio.  On Sunday next week, I’ve got Phil Soussan, Vinny Appice is coming in for me.  I have Bjorn Englen in the studio this month.  So February is a like very-very busy month I’m playing catch up for that time.   But still, the album should be released by mid-2017 as planned.  It was originally going to be early, but it’s going to be mid year.

Are you releasing this on your own independent label and not going through a traditional label?

Yes!  Despite offers I’ve received, absolutely correct!


I want to retain total control.  After all, why shouldn’t I?

That is very true,  Most musicians don’t have and can’t retain total control because they have to rely on a label to push out their marketing  and with you doing it independently, you retain total control by how everything is going to be done by your own creativity.  I’m looking forward to hearing this record in its entirety.  What is your gear setup?  I’ve seen so many different guitars.  I’ve seen other ones but do you have a certain rig that you’ve been using to record?

Well, you’re recording so many different guitars and so I’m using several pieces right now but on the album, I’ve narrowed it down to three pieces really. I’m using the Ernie Ball Silhouette Special which has been customized.  I’m using a Les Paul, the Paul Kossoff model, it has a great sound it’s great for rhythm.  I’m also using a Dean Burst that Vinnie used for years for rhythm as well.  For all of my leads are coming out of that Ernie Ball Special, it has such an amazing sound and that’s really what I’m hooked on.  As far as rigs are concerned, I’m using a Diesel Head, I’m using a Marshall Head, I’m using a Friedman Head.  I don’t know if you’re familiar with Friedman

Steve Stevens uses Friedman heads.

This particular model I’m using I think is his actually with the ray gun on it and it’s got such an incredible sound.  Again that’s the rhythm, Marshall is for rhythm.  My leads are all coming out of my Diesel.  It’s a blue face Diesel so it’s a rare one and it’s got just a magnificent sound.  I pretty much use a natural distortion that comes out of the heads and I throw on a little bit of delay.  That’s pretty much it.  I’m not heavy into effects.  It’s funny because everybody asks me what kind of cry baby I use or something like that, what kind of Wah pedal and the answer is, I don’t! That’s how I play naturally 

 No wah pedal? 

No.  Absolutely not.  That’s just naturally how I play.  I tend to have this thing where I scoop into a lot of my notes for some reason.  It’s just natural.  I can’t enter a note like everybody else.  I have my own way.  I’m just kind of swooping or sliding right into my notes somehow and everybody thinks I must be using a Wah pedal at times for that sound and really just  “no, just coming out of my fingers, that’s just my style.”  So really, natural distortion from the apps themselves, no distortion pedals and delay, that’s it


Are you going to be taking endorsements from companies or are you going to do your own thing?

I’m going to consider that.  I don’t have anything going yet and I don’t plan to for a while.  Because I’m doing so many different things I want to be careful about the way I go in that direction because a lot of times you then have to use that and only that and be seen with that and only that.  I’m not ready to marry myself to a particular brand yet.

Your album’s going to be released, are you going to be doing any video’s for YouTube for your YouTube channel for any of the songs coming out?  Are you going to embrace YouTube?  Do you think YouTube works against itself?  Because I’ve interviewed some guitarists that say YouTube has kind of hollowed the instrument because you have all these teenagers coming up here who are playing 1,000 notes a second.  What is going to be your take on YouTube with this album? 

Well, which is the reason you do not see a lot from me going on on Youtube.  It’s not really where I focus because of exactly what you mentioned.  You know everyone and their mother gets on Youtube.  All these kids from the “ Youtube generation” get on there and basically watch videos like mine, do you know how many people have sent me back their version of 25 seconds of what I do?

I can imagine

It’s unbelievable, really haven’t placed my focus there.  Will I eventually?  Possibly if it’s necessary.  Right now, I’m not really thinking about it a whole lot.  I post some things there.  It’s the same stuff you see on Facebook for example but I’m really relying on a lot of – I have a publicist as you know and he’s placing press releases where you know where he thinks is necessary and a lot of that are different web scenes and publications and things like that.  As far as videos are concerned, everything will go on my website directly and whatever I post on Facebook will end up on YouTube as well.  You know unless you spend advertising dollars on YouTube, nobody is going to see anything and we really haven’t put anything there so that’s something maybe down the road.

With you being a woman in this male predominantly do you find anything more difficult or everybody treats you just the same?    

No, sometimes it can be a little more difficult simply because some of these guys that are meeting me for the first time on the record, not  my guest artists who all know me but you know,  the engineer’s, the runner’s whatever when I walk in there for the first time,  for example,  they automatically think I’m a singer which is amazing.  Someone recently said in fact, this is a great example, it was on one of my posts and I can’t remember which one it was and it really doesn’t matter but  It was a regurgitation of one of the things my publicist put out here where it said “ Female Guitar Shredder Tara Lynch “ blah blah blah blah blah… and someone said, “do they really have to say female?” My answer to that is, “unfortunately, yes!”  Because they see my face on the album cover, there’s a guitar there too.  They automatically think I’m a singer if they don’t literally say, “ female guitarist “ and it’s gotten to the point to where some people think I’m the one singing on track list and they’re like, “you sing so great” and I’m like, “ that is not me, that’s Mark Boals, that’s not me that’s a man,  I’m singing backtrack but that’s it!“


So for some reason, even though you have some phenomenal female guitarists out there doing their things brilliantly, it’s still so few of them that think people think automatically you must be a vocalist if you’re a woman forget any other instrument.   And so yes, I think it’s kind of irritating that we have to put up with the word “female” there for that reason so they understand that this is a guitarists record, this is not a singer’s record, do you understand?

I do! Lita Ford told me when I interviewed her I was talking to her about it, she said it’s almost criminal when you have to do it in this age especially with what she’s gone through after the last 35 – 40 years.  She told me basically that you shouldn’t do that and ever since I have spoken to her, I have taken her advice 100% and I don’t.  And you know I push female artists, you know I post you all the time.  I don’t even put ‘female’ in there I put, “ guitarist ‘Tara Lynch’, her album is coming out this way, she’s got, she’s got these guests “ and that’s how it should be but unfortunately in this day and age we’ve still got people that when the stone age that they have that prehistoric thinking and that’s something you’ve guy’s have got to face unfortunately today with some people but I understand. 

That’s why you see a guitar with me in every picture.  I can’t be photographed without one.  If there’s even one photograph with me without a guitar, people automatically think I am a singer.  If I’m holding a guitar, they think I am Sheryl Crow, they think I’m going to sing with the guitar.  I mean let’s face it, that’s the world we live in. The overwhelming percentage of females out there on the stage are vocalists

That’s true 

 There’s more and more coming out that are playing instrument’s now but now really if you look at the entire music scene as a whole, forget genre, females are dominantly vocalists.  They’re not really instrumentalists so it’s still a very small niche thing that is going on and it may be that way for years to come but I’m hoping that I’ll help break down that barrier.  When I have, you know one thing I’m doing differently although I’m capable of doing a full vocal record, I’m not because I write these lyrics with great thought, this is autobiographical for the diary of the record and a lot of things that I want to say and I want to get out there in my artful way and I wanted man to sing it because in this style of music that I write, personally, I don’t hear a woman’s voice, so I wouldn’t get a woman vocalist to do it either.  And when I wrote the songs,  of course, I wrote them with Mark in mind because he’s got my favorite voice I just love his voice so much.  It’s perfect for the style I write

Absolutely!  Who are you listening to these days in terms of music?

Ghost.  I’m a huge fan of Ghost.  I think they’re absolutely fantastic.  I love everything they’ve got going on

That’s an interesting choice, Ghost! They’re opening up for Iron Maiden this summer. Very nice! 

Yes! I’m so excited about that tour.  That’s going to be a lot of fun.  Yes, they have really done a great job of incorporating all the throwbacks hooks and sounds of the 70s with a modern vibe.  It’s just brilliant work, really!  I’m a huge fan of Faith No More’s  latest record Sol Invictus, that’s fantastic.  I have a very-very large variety of musical taste it’s not just in the metal realm.  But really I’d say the  newest thing that I’ve just absolutely have become hooked on would be Ghost.

What are the rest of your plans for 2017 after you get Evil Enough out? Do you have plans to tour or nothing else to do besides that?  

After Evil Enough is out sort of the press storm is going to happen and then I am going to be meeting with promoters and things like that and figuring out a tour.  I’m probably going to get out on the festival circuit right out of the gate.  I’ll probably start the live shows in 2018 because the rest of 2017 will probably be needed to throw the show together, rehearse, pick who is going to play with me live.  I’m going to try to get some folks from the record of course but I may not be able to get everybody because everybody you know Glen is on tour with Alice Cooper all the time for example.  It really depends on people’s availability.

Mark on vocals?

Mark on vocals I would love to have Mark on vocals absolutely but  again, that depends on his availability.  That is my intention of course.

Fantastic!  That will be great.  We’ll see you out there on the 2018 Tour festival!

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Metal’s Best: Top Guitarists Ruling the Genre!

By Andrew Catania

Recent decades have turned out to be a booming era especially for rock and metal genre. Many eminent names have emerged and the influx of improvisations in playing techniques has expanded the scope of genre by a huge margin. They’re many talented metal guitarists.  Aside the usual big names we hear about, here are some of the most eminent metal guitarists who have been setting a milestone for their descendents in their individual capacities.


Vinnie Moore


Acclaimed for his harmonized and melodic style, Vinnie Moore is considered as one of the most virtuosic guitarists of the 1980s. Also known for his association with the UFO, Vinnie holds a unique identity when it comes to improvised shredding and licking. He establishes his tones on multiple parameters in octave and the resultant effect itself speaks for the mastery of his technique.

Rusty Cooley

A relatively new name on the heavy metal genre, Rusty Cooley has managed to outclass his contemporaries through his highly refined, self-improvised and incredible shredding technique. Rusty is characterized as the fastest guitarist of the world, for his exceptionally fast 17 nps alternate picks. His playing speed is the prime identity of his technique and over time, he has infused some considerable variation in his tones.

Michael Angelo Batio’s playing style clearly reflects his theoretical knowledge. His is acclaimed for speed as well as intricately designed and expertly articulated alternate picking. An expert when it comes to anchoring and using the extra fingers, his tones are dense and fluid and are also punctuated with arpeggios and taps.

John Petrucci

John Petrucci is a distinguished name in the metal genre and is acclaimed for his finesse over high-speed alternate picking. He has redefined the use of seven stringed guitars by using the additional string for dense and speedy riffs to extend the range. Petrucci also experiments on his tines by fusing a variety of skills such as blending metal shreds with soft solos.

Alex Skolnick

Alex Skolnick is acclaimed for the extensive variety and diversity of his techniques. From walloping thrash, rock-jazz blend, to audacious progressive metal, Alex Skolnick is an axeman when it comes to the intricacies, density and nuances of the tones. He has been declared as one of the greatest guitarists of all times on popular vote.

Kiko Loureiro 

Primarily known for his association with Angra and Megadeth, Kiko’s figures magically pull off a variety of techniques with utmost perfection and accuracy. His improvised styles of full sweep arpeggios, double-handed taps, blending staccato and legato, run on phrasing, and alternate picks are rendered as his best contributions to metal playing techniques.

Richie Faulkner

Richie Faulkner, the lead guitarist for Judas Priest, has contributed his skills for a number of releases from the band. Richie Faulkner is characterized for his fine, nuanced and excessive riggings and has made a significant mark in the music sphere in a short span of time.

Paul Gilbert

Paul Gilbert is the cofounder of Mr. Big. Paul Gilbert and has been ranked as one of the ‘Top 10 Greatest Shredders of all Times’. Paul enjoys an unrivaled supremacy when it comes to fast and furious picking. An axeman at staccato and a master at incorporating fats picking with legato, Paul’s signature playing style is intuitive and his tones flow out of the chord naturally.

Jeff Loomis

Primarily known for his association as the lead guitarist for Nevermore and later with Arch Enemy, Jeff Loomis is considered as the unrivalled wizard of shredding techniques. Jeff has aced a variety of playing techniques such as alternate picking, riffs, shreds and pulls. His signature shredding, in particular, is considered as an emblem of seer brilliance and aesthetic finesse.