Rock Impressions

by Giancarlo Bolther

Would you like to tell us which were the most important steps in your life/career as a musician?
Picking up the guitar and learning Beatles tunes… lol
But seriously, there have been a lot of important steps. Having my CD’s released, jamming with the likes of Marty Friedman or Billy Sheehan, getting the gig with Falco

In my opinion your guitar playing style is sunny, fresh and full of enthusiasm, what does it is necessary to do a pleasant guitar album?
Wow, thank you! That’s one of the nicest things someone has ever said about my playing. I believe that the most important thing is the song – and a song basically consists of two important things: groove & melody. I don’t want to sound corny but a lot of guitarists seem to forget that. I hear a lot of demos (and sometimes even CD’s unfortunately) with bad drum machine-programming, empty chord progressions and they’re just being used as a platform to display an array of fast licks with no phrasing and bad tone. I think the listener needs to have some structure, to feel some groove and to hear some melody. You don’t have to play fast non-stop to show you can actually play fast. A perfectly executed lick placed perfectly in scene does the job much better, in my opinion.
And let’s face it guys: There are a LOT of guitarists that can play fast. So what’s so special or impressive about that? The only way to make a statement is by writing a good song.

How much weight do you give to the modern technologies when you sit down in studio to record?
Well, gotta love it or leave it! Lol It can be a blessing and a curse. I think like with everything else it’s what you make out of it. I prefer ‘real’ instruments that live and breathe. So all my amps are tube amps and they’re being miked. I don’t like that digital, direct-recording crap. Kills the tone.
I also do not cut and paste. I play and sing everything as many times as it is needed in the song.

In my opinion a song or a melody is really good when it sounds good if played only acoustic, what’s your opinion?
I agree completely.

Your last solo albums were published by Lion Music, what can you tell us about this label?
I don’t know. Not a lot really. They seem to have a good reputation for releasing great guitar CD’s. They are doing a good job getting my albums out and I am very content with the way things are going. Guess you would have to interview THEM not me… hahaha

Do you are satisfied with the promotion and the distribution?
Yes, I am. Should I not be? Is there anything I should know…?!? hahaha

Usually artists were never totally satisfied with their works, what would you like to change in yours or they are good enough as they are for you?
Well, usually by the time an album is released I am already on to something new. I am constantly looking ahead, never back. There is a danger with always progressing and never being satisfied and that is to never finish one thing but you’ve got to sometimes force yourself to get to a point where you conclude something. Complete it and move on.
I know people that have literally been working on their first album for more than 15 years and still haven’t released it…! lol

Lion Music has got in catalogue a lot of good guitar players, which are the ones that you like the most?
Sorry, I don’t really know who’s in their catalogue. I heard that they are known for having great guitarists and there are a lot out there. But believe it or not, I don’t listen to guitarists. It might sound strange to you but I don’t really care about guitar music that much.

And there are some that you dislike (feel free to reply or not)?
There is a lot of great guitarists out there and there are a lot of awful ones but I am definitely NOT the one to judge.

In your opinion there is still the possibility to find some new ways to improve the guitar playing style nowaday?
I don’t know. I really don’t think about these things so much. The way the electric guitar has developed and has been used in the last 4 decades is very inflationary, I’d say. It changed from a symbol of rebellion to an object of harmony & theory studies and 16-hours-per-day practice and then back to a piece of wood that was only good for three chord-songs. And all of that in a time span of just about 40 years. Compare that to the history of, let’s say, piano or violin. If you drew the performance curve of the electric guitar, it would look like a stock of the new economy market… hahaha
To me the guitar is a tool for expressing my music, my emotions, etc. And I think that’s what people can hear and relate to in my songs.

Which is your fave guitar model and why?
The Peavey HP signature - it is a perfect combination of Strat and Les Paul with all the knowledge that these guys have gained by working closely together with guitarists put into it. I am just missing a tremolo-bar once in a while. It would be cool if they had two versions of it – one with and one without a tremolo.

If you have to choose a vintage guitar, which one will be your choice?
Fender Telecaster. But I also love Strats for certain things and you can’t beat the power of a Les Paul.

Which are your main influences as a composer?

Tell us your top ten album of guitar (maybe you can choose also albums non necessary based on the guitar) and why did you choose them?
Well, I don’t have any album in particular. I’d rather prefer to give you bands. So that would be (not in order of priority): Beatles, Toto, King’s X, AC/DC, Pantera, Queen, old Van Halen, newer Mr. Big, anything by J. S. Bach, Stevie Wonder

If you could have the possibility, which are the artists you would like to play with and why?
Pat Torpey on drums and Billy Sheehan on bass – greatest rhythm section ever! Or John Macaluso on drums and Randy Coven or Fabrizio Grossi on bass.

I know that you have got a special feeling with Italy, can you tell me more please, what have you found in our country?
Many things! Lol The girls are gorgeous, the food is great, people are very friendly and warm-hearted. A lot of good things come from Italy: fashion, cars, great musicians, etc. I am actually planning to buy a house and move to Italy soon.

What kind of person is Milan in his private life?
Ouh, that’s a tough one to answer. I guess, you’d have to ask someone else but I’ll try….: I am a very kind and generous person. I try to help and support whenever and whereever I can. I am a very down-to-earth guy. I have a big heart and it takes a lot to make me angry. But if you do, run for cover…! Lol I am interested in a lot of different things like economy, politics, psychology, philosophy. I work out 6 times a week and try to live as healthy as possible. I like to travel a lot, meet new people and different cultures. And I can be pretty sarcastic sometimes. That’s all that comes to my mind right now.

Europe is changing very quickly, the world too, what do you believe about this period, do you are optimistic or do you fear the future?
Well, to be honest I do have a personal opinion about all this but it would blast the frame of this interview. Let me say this much: Having been a musician for all my life I do not really fear the future. My life has always seen an insecure future and I am still alive and kickin’… hahaha

Can you tell me something about your future projects?
At the moment I am working on my vocal album which shall be released sometime next year. I will fly to NY next week to record with some of the best musicians in the scene.
The music will be straight guitar rock, sometimes more bluesy, sometimes more heavy.
This is the next level for me and I am really excited.

What is the greatest challenge for your future?
Staying alive.


Reviews (in italian): Dreamscapes; Guitar Odyssey; Straight (take a taste)


Back to the Interviews' List

| Home | Articoli | Recensioni | Interviste | News | Links | Rock Not Roll | Live | FTC | MySpace |