Guitarist JP Cervoni Interview

“JP is the only player after Jimi that kicked my ass!!” 

~ The Legendary  Buddy Miles

Like fellow bluesmen Albert King and Otis Rush, JP Cervoni learned to play a right handed guitar flipped over with no restringing. This results in the thickest strings at the bottom of the fretboard rather than at the top - completely changing the way the guitar is played, but giving exponents of the 'Left-handed and Backwards' guitar a highly unique sound.

"Nobody ever told me I was supposed to switch the strings being a lefty guy - I flipped a normal guitar the other way never knowing... and guess what I never had a problem, AND I think there are certain advantages to this kind of technique..." 

JP Cervoni's career traces the history of rock and roll. Drawing from influences as diverse as rhythm and blues, jazz, fusion and beyond. JP has won the hearts of fans worldwide. He is revered by a new generation of rock performers. He has played everywhere from tiny roadhouse clubs to huge rock showcases and national television. “Many sponsors are now running full page ads featuring JP in Guitar Player, Guitar World, Vintage Guitar, Chitarre, AXE and 20th Century Guitar. JP has his own by-line in Chitarre magazine and is much respected in the Italian music market.

"JP is a classic guitarist in the finest sense of the word. His tone and melodic phrasing are legendary and effortless, and you wonder  whether there is any barrier between what he hears in his soul and what he produces with his hands" -- Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne) 

From a 3 piece rock group to a full 16 piece Latin / funk band and everything in between, JP has toured the world, learning first hand many styles of music. He has since played and continues to work with a myriad of talented artists. JP’s talent goes beyond guitar playing. He is also an accomplished producer/writer, with many CD productions and songs under his belt.

Guitarist JP Cervoni Interview

Scott - Hi JP, tell me and my readers. There must be a story behind the musical Kat JP Cervoni... Where are you from, where do live and and why do live where you live today? 

JP – I was born in a small village in Italy, outside Rome, my Dad was a good musician, i got the music bug from him, as a teenager i was part of two successful bands in my area, one band was a classic rock band, the other was more of a jazz fusion/horns set up. Moved to Canada at 17 years, Buddy Miles picked me up and moved me to Los Angeles, where i still live now. Los Angeles had and still has many top musicians residing, i'm minutes away from...everybody, including rehearsal places, recording studios. I've had the good fortune to have my own nights in the top LA Clubs, where the likes of Marco Mendoza, Frank Gambale, Dave Weckl, Scott Handerson, Carl Vereheyen, and like artists performed weekly...i learned a lot by being into the mix. 

Scott - JP, can you give us a name for your style of music and who are your influences?

JP – My style is a mix of classic rock,blues, funk and bit of fusion, i learned from Leslie West, Paul Kossoff, Dave Gilmore, Rory Gallagher, Hendrix, Scott Henderson, Terry Kath, Van Halen. I listen to a lot of Frank Zappa, George Duke, Yes, Dave Weckl. I'm the biggest AC/DC fan. 

Scott - How many albums do you have out as a Guitarist? Also, give our readers a little history of your musical career to date... You know, a brief overview of those famous musicians you have rubbed elbows with or have shared the stage with. 

JP – I have two albums that are specifically mine, but i have so many albums with many top names, too many to mention...recordings with Buddy Miles, The Babys, Gambale, Henderson, Colaiuta, Simon Phillips, Lukather, Patitucci, Kirk Covington, Phil Soussan, so many more. My main thing now is my Hendrix trio, i am the ambassador guitar player for "The Jimi Hendrix Foundation" created by Jimi's father, i do a homage to Hendrix's music, i like it a lot, you can see me live doing some of jimi's songs here: go to the video link and see the Homage to Hendrix video. 

Scott - What can you tell us about your relationship with the band "The Babys"?

JP – Not much of a good thing...i was a fan of the band, i helped put the band back together, co-wrote a good song for them, played a couple good shows and...they fired me! 

​JP, is one of the finest guitarist I have ever had the pleasure of working with, his tone and emotion floored me on every song we recorded  together. I think his album is one of the best I've personally recorded. Looking forward to the next one. Best Of Luck, ~ Tony Brock (Rod  Stewart/Jeff Beck/The Babys)

The seasoned guitarist says, “I first started to copy licks from Rory Gallagher, Paul Kossoff, Eric Clapton/Cream, Leslie West, Dave Gilmore, and what I got from them was two folded, ONE, the guitar-into-distorted-amp thing, TWO, more important, the phrasing that was part of their style, which for me, was coming from the blues. Learning their licks felt like "going to school" with people that, being bit older then me, where coming from the teaching of BB King, Albert King, Buddy Guy and like guitar Masters, and I always felt that I was getting the best of both worlds, making the Blues-rock connection, Then, after getting hold of Jimi's and Page's Albums, I went one step further, in understanding how much you could really do with a guitar. From there on, going through Jeff Beck, I developed the virtuoso part of my playing and landed where I am now, a mix of classic blues, with a rock edge and extra licks to keep things interesting.”

Scott - What type of guitars do you play and why?

JP – I have a mexican Strat for my Hendrix band, a Knaggs guitar for anything Classic Rock, as well as a LsL Les Paul Jr like guitar, the Knaggs has Alnico 2 humbuckings, the LsL has Alnico 5, i have a Floyd Rose single humbucking guitar, exclusively for Van Halen stuff ( of course it's striped! ) All my guitars have special "things" that make a big difference in keeping them in tune, i have a Guitar NutBuster on my Strat, by far the best gadget that keeps the guitar in perfect tune and does not effect the feel of the original Fender bridge, on my Floyd Rose guitar i have a Tremolizer, they are not available anymore, it's a unbelievable little piece of equipment that keeps the Floyd Rose bridge in place, so when you stretch/bend the strings the bridge does not give, and  so there is no loss in whipping  out a heavy vibrato, but if you use the bar, the bridge responds perfectly by going town or's a killer! I have a Earvana nut on a couple guitars, it's a compensated nut that does the same job as the Buzz Feiten setup, with out the need of changing anything on the guitar. There is foam and or cleanex in between the springs of the Floyd Rose springs, so to dampen the vibration/unwanted sounds from them ( I saw this at Steve Vai's place, Steve make me play his main guitar that was open in the back and there were clinex in it! 

Scott - What type of amps and effects are you using playing live compared to the studio?

JP – I use the same live and in the studio: a Mezzabarba Mzero head and a 4x12, with Celestion 20w spks ( same as Eddie ), I use a wet/dry set up, my guitar going straight into the amp head, from the head via a line out, i feed the signal into a Boss SE-70 for rev and delays ( stole this from Scott Henderson ) and this signal goes into a Rocktron Mosfet amp rack, my 4x12 is split in stereo, but my sound is not stereo, one side gets the amp head dry, the other side gets the rev/delay only, the cab is miked with two mikes. Pedals...i have a lot of pedals, but i don't like to use a lot of them, it depends what style of music/band i'm performing with, with the Hendrix trio, i have...everything! I am putting together a Van Halen band, and i will use a mxr flanger, a retro sonic chorus, a Fulltone OCD for some extra gain/dist ( but it's not really needed with my Mezzabarba amp ) If i'm playing more fusion/funk stuff, i will add a compressor ( a Carl Martin or a Seymour Duncan one ) 

Scott - Are you a "Schooled" or a Self-Taught Player? 

JP – Self. I went to GIT for a week and quit...! 

Scott - What is the name of your recording software and guitar effects that you use in the Studio to get your guitar tones and lead tones? You know, what’s in your special sauce?

JP – At home,  I dont use a computer to record, I use a old digital BOSS machine, i then take these trax to a big studio where usually there is a ProTool set up, or something like. I've just started using a Captor X, that allows me to feed a signal for live and for studio, as a add-on to shape the best sound. The special sauce is pretty well my good amp well miked, the rev and delay from the Boss SE-70 i really like, and i record them, I don't like to use the studio stuff. 

“As long as I’ve known JP he’s been an inspiration to me because of his dedication to music and his guitar playing.  But now, his powerful  and  seriously tasty licks are sounding better than ever.-- Lita Ford

Scott - What is your Favorite car playing your favorite song going 85-mph down the highway? 

JP – Any LEXUS top car, a 430 or a 460, playing either AC/DC at 10, or cruising with Steely Dan

Scott - What are JP Cervoni's  goals for 2021 and anything else in your life you would like to highlight moving forward?

JP – I want to perform as much as i can with my Hendrix trio, i want to keep Jimi's music alive, that "impact", that force of nature feel you get from it touches you's a reminder of what good rock and roll is. Since i got fired from The Babys, i was thinking...maybe i should put a Babys tribute band together, call it the BAMBINOS!!! 


JP has work with Atlantic Records, BMG Records, Warner Bros, Z Records, Quantum Records, CGD Records, indie labels, TV shows on Fox, Rai2 TV, and has written songs on multi platinum recordings for multi-plantum artist, The seasoned musician has done clinics in the top music schools, and has had ads in the top music magazines. These are just some of JP accomplishments.