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 Steve Bello Interview

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Jedi Master of Metal
Jedi Master of Metal

Zodiac : Aries Metal Reputation : 89
Join date : 2012-01-06
Location : Walker Louisiana

PostSteve Bello Interview

Steve Bello

7-Strings of Annihilation!

I’ve heard over the past few years about “shred being dead” but the fact is people have just not been listening! Shredders are still amongst us and Steve Bello is one of these hidden treasures. Steve fronts The Steve Bello Band, a 3-piece tsunami of musicality that will leave you in complete awe. Also featuring the talents of Joe DeMott on 5-string bass, and Edward Faust on the drums, this band is phenomenal! I recently spoke with Steve about his journey through music, and what the future holds.

MSM: Hi Steve thanks for taking the time to speak with us! I know that you are incredibly busy. How long have you been playing guitar, and who influenced you the most and why?

Steve Bello: Hey, it’s not a problem at all. Once in a while I have to remind myself to breathe. Anyway, I have been playing guitar for 32 years. My biggest guitar influences are Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, and Vernon Reid. Bands that inspired me would be Led Zeppelin, Rush, Living Colour, Black Sabbath, King’s X, Jane’s Addiction, the Police…the list goes on.

MSM: You’ve recently released the album “Go Berzerk!” how has the reception been and what was it like during production?
SB: So far, for only being out a month, the reception has been amazing. I have to admit I am shocked that the public wants to hear my brand of weird-ass funky metal. The production process was great, as Johnnie Truesdale forced me not to rely on licks I already used. He would tell me to branch off in a direction that nobody would expect.

MSM: Are you guys touring, or doing the occasional show?

SB: Right now, I am so busy promoting the cd that shows are out of the question. To be blunt, there’s really no demand for SBB as a live entity, so rather than try to draw blood from a stone, it’s best that I chill out and see if someone with a lot of money likes the music enough to give me a worthwhile show (laughs).

MSM: What are your thoughts on the current scene of shred metal, and do you see it getting the kind of recognition it did in days past?

SB: Shred is funny because people only think of guys like Yngwie and the like. But if you listen to George Benson from way back when, he was tearing it up, and on a clean jazz hollow body. Paco DeLucia is a killer nylon-string guitar player as well. I think shred metal had its good points but like everything else, there were the copycats and then the really bad copycats as well. As much as I enjoy watching my fingers fly up and down the guitar neck, the song has to be present. Andy Summers and the Edge are technically not jaw-dropping but you hear their songs more on the radio. I want to be on the radio, truth be told.

MSM: You are an amazing guitarist, but the band that you have are definitely not slouches either! What are their feelings on the band, shows, and response to “Go Berzerk!”?

SB: I appreciate the compliment but without a tight rhythm section, my riffs are worthless. I am thrilled that people dig Joe’s bass work and Ed’s drum skills. If people only talked about me, I would feel really uncomfortable. It may say Steve Bello Band on the album but I never steal the spotlight or hide anyone in a corner. Again, I am happy that people like the cd as much as they say they do. It’s not the kind of music you can throw in the CD player and do dishes to (laughs). You really have to listen for the intricate parts, not just what’s on the surface.

MSM: Can you tell us some of your favorite memories onstage and why?

SB: Joe and I were in a band called Quiet Zone back in 1990. We did a gig on December 29, 1990 and that show was just unreal. I remember acting like the Tasmanian Devil on stage, just leveling the audience. The band sounded hot that night, and nobody could touch us. I will say that till I croak. I have to be honest, I’ve never been able to top that performance, so I don’t even bother trying.

MSM: I see that you play on Ibanez guitars, and use some really cool strings. Can you tell us about that?

SB: Ah yes, my really cool strings are DR Neons! They are all the rage for obvious reasons, but the really cool factor is that for a coated string, they don’t sound muddy or lifeless. They really are musical strings. And of course they look funky!
I’ve been playing Ibanez for about 20 years, and when I was approached to be an endorser for them back in 2003, I felt like I truly made it in music. All my main guitars are in the 7-string line: Universe, RG7420MC, and RG1527RB. I have a couple of 6-string electrics as well: RG350MY and a Japan-only Mikro in Eighties Pink. I also have a gorgeous Exotic Wood Ibanez acoustic that I used on the new album and it records very well.

MSM: Do you find playing the 7-string versus the 6-string as a difficult or easy transition, and what advice would you give kids that aspire to be a shred guitarist?

SB: I have to be honest, it was easier to go to a 7. When I went back to a 6 for teaching, I felt like I lost an arm (laughs). My advice for aspiring shredders: use a metronome and hire a good lawyer.

MSM: How did you come up with the title of the new album, and could you explain some of the song titles?

SB: The title stems from two sources: the first is my love of 80s video games, so if you know the game Berzerk, that’s one. The other is a guy named Brad who works at Consumer Music in California. I called him one time and he said, “Dude, I am going berzerk over here!” So that was that. Plus it fit the music and the players well.
“Surfing To Venus” came out not from Joe Satriani but from a band called Psychefunkapus. They had a song called “Surfing On Jupiter”, so I thought “Why not surf TO a planet?” I really don’t like going too deep into my song titles, I prefer the listener draw his or her own conclusions. I will say that my daughter Emma inspired the title for “Insane Rain”. I’ll leave it at that.

MSM: In closing, I would like to thank you again for speaking with us! Is there anything else that you might want to add such as upcoming shows, future CD releases, etc?

SB: To paraphrase Don Rickles, “Buy this cd, you hockey puck!” (laughs) I do appreciate you taking the time to talk to me. And I am humbled by the outpouring of support for my music. It really means a lot to me. Thanks everyone!
Thanks again Steve, for sharing and allowing us to invade your life, we truly appreciate it! Photography courtesy of Rob Acocella @ Digimmortal Photos.

You can find Steve at the following locations:

Bobby Weaver
August 5, 2011

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