Guitarz Forever Interview, with Mike Campese
“Guitarist Mike Campese Interview”
Guitar virtuoso Mike Campese sets high marks for 2015…
Monster Guitarist Mike Campese is an all-around music performer, best known for performing with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The Guitar virtuoso has set some high marks for 2015. Already this year he has been making some waves in this thing we call the music biz.
The recording artist has signed a Deal with Agentur EAM for touring Europe, he has just launched a new official website, did an in-depth interview with Metal Temple.com, performed at NAMM 2015, and just finished up another interview w/ Sweden’s Robex Lundgren. Maestro Campese has also been in the studio working on his 9th solo album yet to be named. And lastly, he will be working on an instructional video for guitar aficionados world wide. 2014 was a banner year for Mike too. He was featured in Fireworks Magazine, Guitar Club Magazine, Power Play Magazine, Axe Magazine, Metal Master Kingdom.com, Melodic Rock.com, Canedo Rock.com, and Full Throttle Rock.com with reviews and Interviews for his 8th solo project Chameleon.
Guitarist Mike Campese Interview
Scott > Hi Mike, Hey man…. Thank you so much for taking the time out to do another interview w/ me and my Guitarz Forever.com site.
Mike > No problem, it is my pleasure!
Scott > So your back from NAMM 2015… How did that go for you?
Mike > It went great! I was very busy and I had 3-4 performances each day. Even though I was busy, I had enough time to visit the booths I wanted to visit and made some good connections. Also, we got some great shots and video, I had a couple great photographers with me.
Scott > I know you endorse musical gear from some of the finest manufactures in the world. Could you give us a quick run down who you are working with and why you chose that particular company.
Mike > Yes, I’m endorsed by several companies and I will just talk about some of the main gear I use. I only endorse products that I use and it is important for me to have a good relationship with the company. For my main guitars I use Tom Anderson guitars and I have been using them for years. They are a made very well, and they very versatile instruments. Their guitars are a main part of my style and they are like family to me. I feel the same with Mesa Boogie amps, they are paired perfectly with my guitars and it is the main soul of my sound. An important part of the connection of my guitars and amps is the cables. I use very high quality cables by Mogami, which are great and retain the purity of my sound. My guitars are strung with D’addario strings and I have been using them for years, they sound great are very reliable. I don’t use many effects, but I like to use pedals by Xotic effects. They retain the amps sound and give it a little extra kick for solos. Seymour Duncan makes great products that I use as well. There are several more products I use for live and for studio I can mention. But, these few I mentioned are the key elements of my sound, they all sound great and are reliable.
Scott > Did you get to meet up and jam with some of your favorite players this year like you have done in the past? If so, who were they?
Mike > This year I didn’t do a lot of jamming with other people like I do sometimes at NAMM. I was busy every day and I just focused on my performances to make them the best they can be. Since there is so many things going on, I know I could have seek’d out some jams with people. Sometimes, if you have a lighter schedule during the day you have more flexibility to jam with people. I usually get invitations though to jam, sometimes there is conflicts with scheduling.
Scott > Did you get any photos with anyone famous we should know about?
Mike > Yes, I did manage to get some shots with a lot of people, even when I was running around the convention center. Plus, I had 2 photographers with me and it was easy to get shots. There was some great people I bumped into and I will share a few with you. I got to meet and take pictures with Dani Mathers, which is a Playboy playmate, Miss May 2014. It was great to talk to the country legend, Albert Lee and I have always loved his stuff since I was a kid. It was great to meet Dug Pinnick from Kings X, which is a great band. Also, after NAMM I went to Hawaii and I bumped into Todd Rundgren. Which is really cool, because before I went there and while I was saying it would be great to meet him. A lot of the pics are on www.mikecampese.comyou can check out.
Scott > So you are launching a new website… What can you tell us about that.
Mike > Yes, I’m real happy about the new site and it is something I have been wanting for a long time. My old site was not up to date and now I feel like I have a legitimate site. It took a lot of work and I was working with my web designer for over a year and a half to get it to where I was happy with it. I wanted to make sure the site looked great and it had every bit of info in all categories on me. For example, it has a media section, press info, lessons, gear, store and much more.
Scott > Do you do social networking? If so, what are your facebook and twitter web addresses?
Scott > Do you think social networking is important?
Mike > Yes, I think it is real important these days and I have been posting as much as I can. That is where everyone is and if you want to get the word out, social networking is the best way. We live in a high pace world and people want to know what you are up to at all times.
Scott > How did you get into the music business?
Mike > I started playing guitar at a young age and it is something I have always wanted to do. I have always been in bands since the very beginning when I started playing guitar and I love performing live. Also, going to concerts when I was a kid helped out a lot as well, seeing my favorite bands live was an inspiration.
Scott > Where do you see the music business today?
Mike > The music business has defiantly changed over the years than to what it used to be. Especially, with the internet that artists can reach and acquire new fans with the social networks and YouTube etc. Any artist can make it on their own without a label these days. Also, not only does album and download sales matter, but hits on your social networking site is extremely important to getting these companies to notice or even want to work with you.
Scott > So Mike, is there any new music going to be coming out in 2015 ? If so, how will it be different from your last creation “Chameleon”?
Mike > Yes, I have been working on new material for another Cd and it is a lot different than “Chameleon”. This album will be primarily acoustic with some electric. I was going to do another album with all acoustic, but couldn’t resist to mix in some electric. I’m due for another acoustic Cd and it has been a few years since “Hidden Treasures”. Each album I try to do things different and I don’t like to repeat myself. Also, I feel it shows my musicality and how diverse I can be.
Scott > Do you plan on touring in 2015?
Mike > Yes, we are working on summer and a fall tour at the moment. The best thing to do is too keep checking the website, www.mikecampese.com on the tour page for the latest dates.
Scott > Would you ever consider playing in an already established band needing a shredder like yourself to handle the guitar duties? If so, what bands come to mind instantly?
Mike > Yes, I’m open to playing with other bands that are already established and I’m open to different styles as well. I don’t have any particular bands in mind, but it would be great to be with a band that has some challenging stuff to play or a band that is open to guitar solos.
Scott > By the way, who would you say were your biggest influences when it comes to playing guitar as a kid and now today?
Mike > My very first guitar influence in the beginning was Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath and I was listening to all the guitar driven bands like Dio, Ozzy, Deep Purple to name a few. After I started to progress, I began to listen to Al Di Meola and I was really into the fast technical playing and then I really got into the shred thing when Yngwie came out. I was also into classical music as well and I was listening to Paganini a lot and to other classical artists. I always jumped around with my music a lot and I was listening to fusion and blues artists also. These days I don’t listen to that many guitarists. I like Jimi Hendrix, who I have been listening for years and I still listen to Paganini, Al Di Meola etc. I do like a lot of other artists, but I really admire the originators.
Scott > So Mike, besides being a musician, recording artist, guitarist, songwriter and entertainer; what else do you do to make a living? Is this it or is there more?
Mike > Yes, I teach guitar as well and I have been doing that for years. I teach private guitar lessons in person and via Skype. I also write for many guitar magazines and I currently have my own guitar column each month in Italy’s premier magazine, Axe Magazine. Besides music, I don’t do much of anything else.
Scott > Ok Mike… One last request. Please give us three top musical goals you would like to achieve this year.
Mike > The first goal I would say is to finish my new album I have been working on and to release it. The second goal is to release some instructional material I have been working on. Also, I would like to continue improving my playing and to get my name out there in other areas with touring etc.
Scott > Mr. Campese, we certainly appreciate your time and candor today… Have a banner 2015 !!!
Mike > No problem and thanks Scott for doing the interview!