Metal Temple Interview

Posted by on Jan 9, 2015

Metal Temple’s Cami Kyttle recently had a chance to talk to Mike Campese, a guitar virtuoso and all-around music performer, best known for performing with the ephemeral Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Also holding an extensive and well-received solo career discography, Campese spoke with us about his life and his newest solo album entitled “Chameleon.” First of all, how the hell did you learn to play guitar like that?! Lots of practice! It took many years of hard work and dedication. I developed my speed and technique pretty much after the first year of playing guitar and as time went on I developed more control and feel. I’m very versatile and I love all types of music. From learning to play different styles and techniques over the years, it just comes out in my playing and writing. I did take lessons and I went to GIT in Hollywood, CA. But, if you don’t put the time in, all that does not mean anything. How did you decide which songs would have vocals attached and which would be strictly instrumental? Usually, after I came up with the initial riffs for the tunes, I then decide if it will be a vocal tune. Sometimes before I write the tune I will get vocal ideas or a concept in my mind and how I want the song to sound. Since I’m not a singer, I’m a “guitarist that sings” I usually come up with the music first and then I will add vocals. Also, I like to have a few vocal tunes on each CD that I put out. It opens things up and it can widen your audience. Sometimes it just happens before your eyes, I always let things happen naturally…. How did you come up with the names of the songs that are just instrumental, such as “Pasta & Bananas?” Lol. Everyone asks about this title! Every song and title I come up with is for a reason, even if it is an instrumental or a vocal tune. I decided to name that song “Pasta and Bananas,” because that is my ritual before I play. I usually eat pasta and bananas before I go on stage, separate of course. I may have pasta earlier and then right before I go on stage I eat a banana. It gives me energy when I play and I like to have food in my system. I...

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Pure Metal Interview

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014

Pure Metal Interview

Gitarowy kameleon Początków muzycznej aktywności tego pochodzącego z Nowego Jorku muzyka naleŜy doszukiwać się jeszcze w połowie lat osiemdziesiątych. Wtedy to nastoletni Mike Campese, wespół ze swoimi szkolnymi kolegami, współtworzył tradycyjnie heavy metalową formację DIVINE MALICE. Po latach działalności z róŜnymi wykonawcami, swoją muzyczną karierę zdecydował się powiązać czasowo z projektem TRANS – SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA. W międzyczasie samodzielnie sporo koncertował m.in. z takimi wykonawcami jak DOKKEN, Yngwie Malmsteen czy Michael Schenker oraz scenicznie wspomagał występy członków takich formacji jak YES i ASIA. Od roku 2000, kiedy to ukazał się jego debiutancki solowy krąŜek „Full Circle” do chwili obecnej opublikował osiem solowych albumów, z których ostatni zatytułowany „Chameleon”, wydany został w ubiegłym roku. Poza tym muzyk posiada na swoim koncie całkiem pokaźny dorobek muzyki, napisanej specjalnie dla potrzeb filmu i telewizji. Wielokrotnie był teŜ wysoko notowany w plebiscytach, ogłaszanych przez fachowe i uznane magazyny w rodzaju „Guitar World” czy „Guitar Player”. Panie i Panowie przed Wami Mike Campese we własnej osobie… Mike, w związku z tym, Ŝe jest to nasze pierwsze spotkanie czy mógłbyś w kilku zdaniach przybliŜyć swoją sylwetkę naszym czytelnikom? Mike: Zatem jeśli nie są zaznajomieni z moją działalnością to proszę bardzo. Jestem gitarzystą i kompozytorem na co dzień mieszkającym w Nowym Yorku w Stanach Zjednoczonych i mam swoim dorobku całkiem pokaźną ilość wydanych solowo płyt. Większość nagranej przeze mnie muzyki to głównie muzyka instrumentalna. Sporo teŜ współpracowałem z wieloma krajowymi wykonawcami. Byłem członkiem TRANS – SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, a takŜe przygotowuję lekcje gry na gitarze, które później są zamieszczane w licznych światowych publikacjach. Kompletny wykaz moich powiązań jest dostępny na mojej stronie internetowej. Jak sądzisz co powoduje, Ŝe wielu gitarzystów decyduje się na solową karierę? Mike: Rzeczywiście istnieje wielu gitarzystów, którzy usiłują robić solową karierę i jest juŜ całkiem spora liczba takich, którzy juŜ od dawno to robią. KaŜdego roku pojawia się coraz więcej i więcej gitarzystów, którzy jednak robią wciąŜ te same rzeczy, po prostu w czasach Internetu jest to duŜo łatwiejsze niŜ kiedyś. Musisz jednak wiedzieć, Ŝe to wymaga naprawdę duŜo cięŜkiej pracy, aby osiągnąć sukces i móc w ten sposób zarabiać na Ŝycie. Dzisiaj tak naprawdę juŜ nie potrzebujesz duŜych wytwórni płytowych do tego, aby na dobre zaistnieć. Jestem przekonany, Ŝe to bardzo waŜne, aby mieć coś indywidualnego do przekazania w zakresie gry na gitarze i móc być przede wszystkim wszechstronnym. Przyznam Ci się, Ŝe ogólnie to w jaki sposób grasz na gitarze przypomina mi...

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Mike in Axe Magazine

Posted by on May 20, 2014

Mike in Axe Magazine

One of the biggest and very popular Italian guitar magazines in Italy, Axe Magazine did a 8 plus page feature on Mike. The mag covers an interview, Cd review of Chameleon and a guitar lesson. Plus a nice mention on the cover! Be sure to check it...

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Full Throttle Rock Interview

Posted by on Apr 8, 2014

Full Throttle Rock Interview

Full Article Here Interview with Mike Campese By Dave Smiles Mike Campese is a guitar virtuoso for the new generation of music fans. Taking the best of what has gone before and pushing himself musically and artistically into the future by writing within various styles. Through passion for his guitar playing and a love of music, Campese seeks to share these with an ever growing audience. Mike took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for Full Throttle Rock about his introduction to the guitar and music, creating songs and developing as a musician. We also talk about creation of his eighth album, Chameleon.   How did you first discover the guitar? I always loved the sound of the guitar. My brother played guitar and I starting getting into Black Sabbath. They really inspired me to play guitar, especially when I bought their first album. Originally, I wanted to play drums and I asked for a set and I never got it. My sister and her boyfriend at the time bought me a bass at a garage sale and the next day I traded it for a guitar. I used to always hang at the guitar shop at the mall and my friend played drums and we started jamming right at the beginning.   Who are some of your influences, and what inspiration do you draw from them? In the beginning Black Sabbath was a really big influence and I was into bands like Dio, Ozzy, Van Halen etc. I was listening to a lot of the guitar driven bands and my brother turned me on to Al Di Meola and that got me into the speed thing. The shred thing was getting popular and I started listening to Yngwie. I really started getting in classical music, my Dad was a violinist and I was listening to Paganini, Mozart, Beethoven and Vivaldi. Jimi Hendrix has always been a real big influence on me and Paganini’s music I love and all great music is an inspiration. I really admire artists that are originators that have a big impact in the music world.   How do you compose your songs? There is no one way that I compose. But, usually at first I get an idea or ideas and I like to record them so I don’t forget them. If I feel the idea is good enough...

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Mike Campese Fires Up with New CD Chameleon

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014

Mike Campese Fires Up with New CD Chameleon

Full Article Here Recently, Mike Campese found himself in Italy for the first time where he ran some clinics and visited his Italian relatives. Mike’s a virtuoso on guitar, bless with natural technical abilities that show up on his many CD and DVD releases. Watching him perform is both inspiring and humbling. Every guitarist in the room has a laser focus on his playing, before they went back to the woodshed to improve their craft. First inspiration from a virtuoso and then its time to get back to the hard work of practicing to improve our technique and speed. I had the chance to jam with Mike, along with some other guitarists in a clinic where we all were impressed with his licks. As expected, we discovered a guitarist immersed in developing his craft and one who never seems to stop working. We watched and listened while he was on fire laying down riffs from his new CD, Chameleon, that reflects his sense of the melodic and his command of the technical concepts that often elude us. ****** Lelio Padovani: How about telling our readers a little about yourself? I’m a professional guitarist; and composer from New York, best known for being a member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.   I have released eight solo Cd’s and three instructional DVD’s and I write lessons for several major magazines. Lelio: What drew you to the guitar and who were your earliest influences? Mike Campese: I have always loved the sound of the guitar.  Originally, I wanted to play drums and my parents never got me a drum set, so I bugged them for a guitar. My sister bought me a bass from a garage sale and the next day I traded it for a guitar.  I was heavily into Black Sabbath and that made me really want to play.  I was also into Ozzy, Dio, Zeppelin and any guitar driven bands.  After that I started listening to artists like Al Di Meola, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Yngwie.  I was really into Paganini and classical music and I like fusion music, as well.  Also, I like to listen to Jimi Hendrix and  I like blues.  I’m very versatile with my listening. Lelio: How did you get started in the music business? Mike Campese: Ever since I started playing guitar I have always been in bands.  I love to perform and compose music and I have always been in original...

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Shred Knowledge Interview

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014

By Scott Thomas Electric City is the 7th solo release from guitar virtuoso Mike Campese. The 14 song, over 76 minute Cd is filled with some of the most blistering guitar work Mike has ever recorded. The Cd kicks off with a bang with the tune “Eleventh Degree” featuring some intense melodic shredding and jazzy harmonies. Just when you thought you heard some crazy guitar playing, Campese takes it up another notch with “Shred Machine”, which is just pure non stop shredding done very tastefully. This is defiantly Mike Campese’s most heaviest Cd to date, with the down tuned song “Heavy Thing” and the in your face progressive vocal tune “LandShark”. Mike Campese really shows off his versatility with the indian inspired tunes like “Cruisin Across the Mojave” and “Camelryde”. Like each Mike Campese Cd there is something for everyone, Campese does some pretty intense over the top guitar work, especially on the demonic arpeggio blistering tune “Over The Top”, which Paganini fans would love and the face melting tune “Napali Coast”. Mike does sing on a few tracks on this disc like on the epic tune “Kauai Blue”, which is loaded with lush harmonies. Mike can really shred but he has a strong sense of melody that he is known for which can be heard on his catchy ballad “Closer To The Sun” that has some beautiful haunting melodies. Campese even gets a little funky on the tunes “Butterfingers” and “Punk Ass”, featuring some hip sassy melodies. The Mike Campese fans are going to love this Cd and it should bring him over the top… Mike has opened for: Yngwie Malmsteen 2 tours. Plus Spin Doctors, KC and the Sunshine Band, Shotgun Messiah, Lizzy Borden, Vinnie Moore, Kip Winger, Dokken, Sebastian Bach, Rik Emmett, Motley Crue, Godsmack, Drowning Pool, Rev Theory and  Theory of a Deadman, the members of Yes and Asia, Michael Shenker, B-52’S and many others. Guitar virtuoso Mike Campese is a well respected performer and teacher in the New York area. With new release “Electric City” previewed on many guitar related sites… and gleaning a lot of interest…we caught up with him to find out more. Shred Knowledge – Hey Mike What’s up my man? Hey bro! Great to hear from ya!! Mike Campese – Hey man! How’s it going! Great to hear from you too! Shred Knowledge – I was checkin’ out your MySpace and New Offical Website page and I like what I see & hear… Tell us about your New Album Electric City. Mike Campese – Yes, “Electric City” is my latest Cd, it is my 7th solo album....

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Guitarz For Ever Interview

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014

Mike Campese New CD “CHAMELEON” OUT NOW The long awaited eighth studio release from Mike Campese is finally here! CHAMELEON embodies the entire essence and culmination of Mike’s years of experience as a composer, guitarist, songwriter, and of course includes plenty of serious guitar shredding. Mike Campese is back with a new solo release, titled “Chameleon”. This is Mike’s 8th solo Cd, it contains 12 new tracks and it is a little over 60 minutes. This Cd really packs a punch! If you heard Mike’s previous Cd’s you will realize that he has really honed his writing and musicianship. The first track “To the 9’s” is slamming, it is a blistering tune with incredible melody and alone it is worth the price of the Cd. Not only is Mike a guitar virtuoso, but he does sing on a few tracks on this disc as well. The titled track “Chameleon” has some real nice haunting melodies and some nice lush vocal harmonies. There is some serious shredding on this Cd and plenty of melody as well. With the blistering guitar and the Paganini inspired section in the tune “Raise the Bow” and the multiple meter changes in the song “Pasta and Bananas” that progressive rock fans will love. Mike returns with his blues roots on the tune “She Burnt the House Down”, which has some incredible soaring leads that are in your face and some real nice vocal melodies. Campese gets funky on this Cd as well, the tunes “Funky Monkey Man” and “Firefly in a Bottle”, feature some pretty awesome funk grooves and some nice vocal lines. If you have been following Mike’s music and career, you will know that Mike is known for his great sense of melody and melodic shredding on the guitar. A perfect example of this is the tune “Flashback”, this beautiful ballad was inspired when Mike was living in Hollywood and attending Mi. “Vegas”(playing the slots) is probably one of the most unique tunes on the Cd. When you are listening to this song, you will think you are in Vegas playing a slot machine. Now lets cross the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian volcano inspired tune “Kilauea” erupts with some incredible guitar lines with some in your face guitars. For the first time on any Mike Campese Cd, Mike has a very special guest, his friend and guitar legend, Vernon Reid of Living Colour. Mike and Vernon are trading off with some crazy solos at the end of the jazzy tune “Do it for the Cats” Mike is a very versatile guitarist and on each Cd he incorporates a little...

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Guitar Club Magazine 2013

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014

Guitar Club Magazine 2013

Disco d’oro con la Trans-Siberian-Orchestra, il noto chitarrista newyorkese ci apre le porte del suo iperbolico mondo chitarristico… un luogo in cui versatilità e devozione la fanno da padrone… Nato in una famiglia di musicisti, il piccolo Mike, si innamora ben presto della sei corde affascinato dai corposi riff di Tony Iommi. Successivamente  inizia a sperimentare mondi musicali diversi spingendosi addirittura nell’ambito della classica, studiando Paganini, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach e Vivaldi. Tuttavia, il tassellofondamentale della formazione di Mike Campese, ha luogo fra le aule del Musicians Institute (sezione GIT – Guitar School) di Hollywood, una struttura scolastica i cui insegnanti  sono stelle internazionali del calibro di Paul Gilbert, Scott Henderson, Norman Brown e Keith Wyatt. Una tappa cruciale del suo percorso che consegna a Mike Campese la spinta decisiva che lo porterà a prendere parte a numerosi progetti internazionali, alla conquista di un disco d’oro e alla pubblicazione diotto album, incluso l’ultimo nato, Chameleon. Nella chiacchierata che segue Mike Campese ci racconta di quanto sia stato importante essere un chitarrista versatile e di quella volta in cui Yngwie Malmsteen corse fuori dal camerino per gustarsi una sua esibizione… Ascoltavi l’heavy metal quando eri ragazzino? Sì, ascoltavo molto i Black Sabbath, anzi diciamo che ne andavo pazzo! Ricordo che andai al centro commerciale per comprare il loro primo album, Black Sabbath. Poco dopo acquistai tutti gli altri; pensa che da ragazzino ho indossato un paio di volte una giacca dei Black Sabbath per andare in chiesa! Mi piacevano anche durante il periodo Ronnie J. Dio: gli album Heaven And Hell e Mob Rules li adoravo. Allo stesso modo, ho apprezzato i lavori solistici di Ronnie James Dio: trovo che nei suoi dischi ci fossero dei brani chitarristici notevoli e carichi di energia. Successivamente mi avvicinai a Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Hendrix e Led Zeppelin…insomma tutta quella musica in cui la chitarra aveva un ruolo predominante. Vedere queste band in concerto è stato incredibile per me: ricordo che cercavo di avvicinarmi il più possibile al palco. Quando andavo dal mio maestro di chitarra, gli chiedevo di insegnarmi gli assoli delle band che adoravo, ma devo ammettere che la maggior parte li trascrivevo a orecchio. Ti sei anche avvicinato alla musica classica? Sì è così. La musica classica è una costante della mia vita e mi ci sono avvicinato in giovane età. Un giorno, mio padre, mentre mi stava accompagnando a scuola, accese la radio e stavano trasmettendo un brano di musica classica: “Dio, ma che noia questa musica!” esclamai. Mio padre mi disse allora che se avessi voluto diventare un bravo musicista, avrei dovuto ascoltare tutta la musica. Feci tesoro del suo consiglio e iniziai ad ascoltare Paganini, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach e Vivaldi. Il mio primo insegnante di musica, mi fece conoscere alcuni brani di Tarrega e di Bach: adoravo convertire sulla chitarra i...

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Perfect Circle

Posted by on Mar 9, 2004

By Matt Cafissi Mike , first of all your surname is Italian … Well my Dad was born in Calabria,Italy and came to the US when he was 4 years old.I do have relatives in italy which i never get to see,Hopefully someday ill get a chance to go there and see them. Tell me about your latest cd called “Full Circle” and other stuff . My First Solo album is “Total Freedom” which is only available on cassette on my website right now.But “Full Circle” my Latest CD is over 74 minutes long,With a variety of styles of music.Theres a Mixture of Rock,Jazz and Blues with Mostly Instrumentals,there are also some Vocal tracks as well.The Cd contains Acoustic and Electric guitar pieces. Alot of the songs on the Cd i play Most of the instruments And recorded half of it in my Home studio, I think this has helped me grow as a Musician .This is all mixed together like a soup,Which i call “just Music” Your musical influences (guitarists and other) ? My first musical Influence was Black Sabbath,i was totally Obsessed.I was into Van Halen,Ozzy with Randy Rhoads, Led Zepplin.Jimi Hendrix is also a big influence on me.My brother turned me on to ALDimeola ,Santana and Stevie Ray Vaughan when i was a Kid. Yngwie Malmsteen Became a big Influence, also Paganini and Holdsworth .My High school Days i was a speed freek.These days i listen to a Variety of Music Classical,Fusion.etc. I like Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, Scott Henderson ,Also.im very open minded.Its make me more versatile as a player. What do you think about the famous GIT Institute ? Tell me about your experience . I think GIT is a great sohool.Its probably one of the best years of my life.Theres so many Amazing players at that school.It made me aware of Many other styles of music. I had some great teachers i really learned alot,I cant say enough about it.Alot of Great Memories. A personal site web is very important for underground musicians like you ? These days i think a website is nessasary.Because Anyone in the world can come to your site.Listen to your Music,Buy your cds,Find where your playing. Record labels can easily check you out.Its a whole nother world, Its the way of the future………. So Dont forget to check out my...

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