There is no doubt that Chris Impellitteri is one of the best guitarists in the world and having Rob Rock back in the band you get two brilliant musicians. In Japan and the US Mr. Impellitteri has a lot of fans, but in Europe be never really made it. Time to talk to Chris Impellitteri!
The song writing and recording of Wicked Maiden took about 3 years... Why did it take so long to present the follow-up of Pedal To Metal?
When we made Wicked Maiden the band agreed that we would make a concerted effort to make the best record possible. So, our goal was very high!!
We spent about a year writing songs!! After the music was complete, Rob spent about a half year writing lyrics and vocal melodies. When the music and lyrics were complete we then went into rehearsals with the band at full volume in order to create a live feel for the record. Once the band felt confident with their parts we then went into the Village Recorders in Santa Monica California and recorded the band live. It was a lot of fun!!
After the basic tracks where recorded I spent about a year creating guitar solos, orchestration, and layering. Then Rob laid the vocals down in Orlando, Florida.
We then sent the record to Vancouver, Canada where our co-producer Greg Reely mixed the record.
Lastly, we sent the record to George Marino in New York City to master. When we were done the record took over 3 ½ years to make. So, I hope you enjoy it!!
You have Rob Rock back in the band now. Even if he was the original singer, it means another change. Have the songs kinda demanded him as a singer?
Yes, I wrote the music with Rob’s voice in mind. I think both Rob and myself have a strong writing chemistry. So, I know how to write music in a way that makes his voice shine. He also seems to give me creative energy which allows me to play great!!
The album Wicked Maiden seems the revive the 80's heave metal, even if there are some other elements, too. Did you plan to go back to the 80's sound? Or does it just developed this way?
Yes, I wanted to please all of our fans. I knew Impellitteri has loyal fans from when we began. So, we created a record that would hopefully please every fan of metal, shred, rock, etc, and through every generation...
I think that Wicked Maiden is a good opener, but you also chose Last Of A Dying Breed for a video. Why? And will there be more video clips? One for Wicked Maiden?
Yes, we have recorded a music video for the song Wicked Maiden. We shot two videos in Los Angeles California with John Logsdon who directed Def Leppard and others.
We chose Last Of A Dying Breed because it has a modern feel, but with elements of traditional 80’s melody.
On the album and at the video it's Glen Soble at the drums, but in line-up is Brandon Wild the drummer... Please enlighten us about the drummer situation!
We are using Glen Sobel. I worked some very young drummers during this process in order to get a different perspective on our music. So, the Brandon Character is a culmination of youth.
The songs on Wicked Maiden are very 80's like, but you also seem to enjoy newer bands... You are more open to new stuff and other styles then many others. Do you think it's wrong to limit yourself? Are you also open for any other art?
Yes, I love all music. There are some great new bands. I was very fortunate to start out really young with Impellitteri so I am always involved in the new music scene. Each generation has something unique and special. Also, I think you should not limit yourself or else you make the same record over and over again.
I like many forms of art!
What does inspire you when you write music?
I play my guitar for many hours per day and I usually come up with riffs and solo techniques that inspire me to write music.
And what do you do when you need a break from the music business? From playing?
I recently received my Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Pepperdine University.
You won an award and several times you been called 'the fastest guitarist in the world' e.g. by Guitar One. You have a strong following in Japan and you're doing good in the US. What do you think it the reason why most of the European media and fans never appreciated your skills?
I never toured in Europe. I think I was very fortunate to have become famous in the United States and Japan. So, I release records and toured in those countries.
But, I really love the European music scene. So, hopefully with Wicked Maiden Impellitteri will finally arrive in Europe!!
And I think that's the reason why we don't see you touring Europe, right?
Correct !! I will be playing the headlining stage at Sweden Rock on June 6, 2009 with Heaven & Hell, Dream Theater and Journey.
What about a DVD? Do you plan anything like that? Perhaps with footage from different stages of your career...
The first EP was released in 1987, have you ever thought you will be around for such a long time? And when you're looking back, what would you change?
I started Impellitteri when I was 15 years old. I knew I could make this band last, if I remained true to my artistic integrity. So, I intend to continue to make Impellitteri music because it is my personal expression.
I think you'll play guitar all your life, even if you might one day just do it in private... Have there been a time when you seriously thought about doing something different? Leaving the music business behind?
I will always play guitar. I have a gift and I enjoy sharing my music with others. So, I have always made music my priority work.
There is a comic called Effing Brutal about a group of your fans and you are in that comic as well - as I read. Can you tell us a bit more about that? And how do you feel about being a comic character?
Our friend B Labreque who runs the Impellitteri fan club is getting into the comic book arena and had a fantastic idea for a story, including characters, etc…. So, he created the book with Impellitteri in it. I think it is really cool!!
Last, but not least... What's on your schedule for the next months?
Tour, Tour, Tour, Tour!!
I hope that finally he will make it over to Europe and show his skills live on stage. And perhaps he would finally get recognized in the old World by more metal heads.