Levante Interview (2013)


In these days we don’t have young and new guitarrists able to innovate like you, Zappa and Satriani did.  Why is that?

S- I suspect there are very many innovative guitarists these days but you usually don’t hear about them. In any era there will always be people who are pushing the limits that have been previously set. Sometime it takes time.


But having said that, the kind of evolution that I like to see on the instrument has not happened in quite some time. But I expect that soon someone will come along and merge technique, with technology, fashion, contemporary attitudes and create a styel of playing that has all the elements, including rich melodic content, in one package.

I’m looking forward to that, but it’s not here now.


You’ve collaborated with many of the greatest  rock stars. What would you say it has been your best experience?

S- There has been highlights in all of them. The experience you have is based on your own attitude.


Do you think that rock is in decline?

S- No, it’s just changing as all things do. It’s not the rock that we knew in the last generation or the rock that that generation knew in the previous generation. In every generation people who are stuck always feel as though the way they think things should be is dying.



Do you think the industry has killed the music?

S- No, I don’t think the music is dead, it’s just evolving. As a matter of  fact when  new young musician comes along he will have many more tools at his finger tips to create his own music, get it into the world and control it. It’s the best time in history for an independent artist to make a stand. There just are not a real lot of independent artists that have what it takes. There never really was but the ones that do will make themselves known. It’s inevitable.



The seventies were better than eighties, and let’s forget about the ninties and the two thousand as it seems that everything has invented. Where is the evolution?

S- The evolution is in the now and it’s happening as it did in the 70’s, 80’s etc. We always think that we have hit a wall but then someone ones along and reinvents things.


How is this new cd different from the others?

S- It’s as different as I am today than I was then.

As far as my guitar playing goes on this CD I focused a lot more on phrasing and dynamics. I worked on making the melodies sound as though they were speaking to you and that the harmonies and melodic colors were bright and rich.

I had to work very hard on reinventing various techniques but it’s very rewarding when you come up with something you never did before that sounds beautiful to you. That’s the pay off.




Do you believe that new generations  are disoriented or does the audience settles for what is out there?

S- The connection I have to the new generation is seeing and listening to the music that my kids listen to. I have two sons. Right now they are 21 and 24 and they have excellent taste in music. Through the years they always had their finger on the pulse of new music, new genres etc. They listen to very different music. My one son, Fire who is now 21, like techno and he has introduced me to all sorts of techno, dub step, trip house, etc etc. and some of it totally blows me away.


My other son, Julian, is 24 and through the years he has been very interested in really heavy heavy music and has introduced me to some amazing progressive metal. It’s out there and it’s new to the new generation. I tried playing all my favorite stuff to my sons such as Led Zeppelin, Queen, Deep Purple, ELP, Hendrix, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, etc. They see the value in it buy they say to me… “Yeah, I get it Dad but it all sounds old”.


So you see, it’s easy to get stuck in what you think music is or should be. It’s an act of the ego.




It seems that these younger generations are only seeking quick success What is their contribution to rock today?

S- It’s been the same in every generation. Usually there is a new movement and that new movement involves a very few very inspired people who do not have a choice but to follow the dictates of their own unique genius. Then the masses hear this music and are moved by it because it’s different and it’s inspired. Then there is a movement within the music community to copy this style and that’s the people who are looking for quick success. They are trying to ride the coattails of someone else’s brilliance, and they do because then record companies go out and sign all the artists that sound like this new music. The thing that is missing in this music is the real inspiration at the core of it. Eventually the music becomes a parody of itself and the whole trend collapses. Then someone else comes along and the cycle continues.


You have been a very versatile guitarist.

What is what makes you different from other musicians? Do you think is that you believe that the guitar is an instrument meant to be reinvented?

S- I just move with an idea that is interesting to me. There’s no other real reason.


What are looking for now?

S- Nothing. I found it all.


Do you believe that the secret of Music is in the technic aspects of it?

S- I don’t believe there is a secret to music. I think that music is something that everyone can do and everyone should do. They just need to get over their fear of not being good enough, failing, or whatever thoughts get in their way. I believe that everyone can make music just like anyone can do art etc. The secret, if there is one, is to not allow yourself to be effected by judgment of your work.

But that is a virtually impossible feat for most people.




What keeps you surprising you in  music?

S- A good idea that comes from I know not where.


How would you define this tour?

S- Exciting, intense, a very wonderful sharing experience and sort of like a camping trip to exotic cities all over the world.