Riffmaster – Hey Marcelo, I hope all is well with you...
Marcelo - Hola a todos... Glad of having the chance to speak with you, and to share some of my music with the guitar players of the world thru your great website !!
Riffmaster – Give all our loyal readers and peeps an update with what’s been going on with you in your world these dayz.
Marcelo - After returning from Anaheim, California (USA), where I played at the Fernandes Guitars booth at the NAMM 2012 Show and did a clinic with fellow guitar player Vernon Neilly at the 32nd Street Magnet School of Los Angeles, I continued to do my usual work, wich is doing shows and clinics all over Argentina, playing songs of my three instrumental CDs (“Espias”, “Dos de tres”, and “All in a day”). Whenever is possible, I like to travel with my band, but if that’s not the case, instead of playing with backing tracks, I play my songs with local bands. I’t’s way more fun! I’m also giving one-on-one lessons, writing a Q&A column on a spanish website called “El Rincon del Guitarrista”, writing for a guitar magazine called “Todo Guitarra y Bajo”, and composig and recording demos for my next album.
Riffmaster – Please tell our readers what your high school years were like, and what the musical soundtrack would be, to sum up your senior year in High school.
Marcelo - Well, at high school, I was the one who put the “soundtrack” of those years for all my classmates, because I liked to compose songs about what was going on, around different situations we had, and I also liked to play for them all the good music that was around at the time: from Deep Purple to Led Zeppelin to Peter Frampton to Creedence, and also music from local bands of the time (Pappo’s Blues -who later on played with B.B. King-, Sui Generis, Aquelarre, etc.)
Riffmaster – First big question… Why the Guitar ?
Marcelo - I think it was my mother’s idea, because she was the one who took me to my first guitar teacher at the age of five. Later on, when I turned twelve, I don’t know why, but I remember I broke my guitar in pieces, like a young Pete Townshend !! But I returned to the guitar a few years later. At the time, I was playing mostly local folklore and pop songs. When I turned sixteen, I went to the rehearsal of a friend’s band, and there I discovered the electric guitar. So, with the money I earned on a summer job, I bought my first second hand electric guitar. But I had to way ‘till the next year to buy my first amp, because as I went to high school, I could only work on summers.
Riffmaster - I was checkin' out your personal websites and online guitar magazine Todo Guitarra y Bajo, and I like what I see and hear. Can you touch base w/ us concerning your editorial / writing skills? You have several books that you have written I see…? Can you also tell us about them too?
Marcelo - I always liked to share with people my experience, my knowledge, my songs, etc. because I think music in all it’s forms, should be a sharing experience. I started to give lessons at the age of twenty, and I wrote my first article in a music magazine when I turned twenty three. Later on, I wrote for almost ten years in a musicians magazine called “El Musiquero”, what turned out to be the first solo transcription columns and also the first equipment reviewing articles of our country. By that time, I decided to write my first instructional book with audio tape called “50 Fraseos”, because at the time (1988), here in Argentina, that kind of material was only reserved for jazz, ...but the kids wanted to rock !! My last book, wich was released last year, is called “Escalas Modales para Guitarra Rock” (Modal Scales for Rock Guitar), and is my book number 18th. Also, I’m currently the editor in chief of “Todo Guitarra y Bajo” magazine, wich sells in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile.
Riffmaster – Since you interview high-profile recording artists for your magazine, out of all the rock stars you have met, who personally has lived up to your expectations and has touched your life in one way or the other?
Marcelo - I had the chance not only to interview many great musicians, but also to work with them, because as a guitar player who has clinic experience and who speaks english, I did clincs with people like George Benson, Steve Morse, Stuart Hamm, Marty Friedman, Steve Lynch, Lee Oskar, Nico McBrain, John Patitucci, Gregg Bissonette, and also with clinicians from Korg, Vox, Epiphone, Peavey, AKG, Sennheiser, Roland, etc. And about who I remember the most in the interview department? Let’s see.. the time Yngwie Malmsteen invited me and a friend to be the sole witnesses of his soundcheck. Or the time Vinnie Paul, Dimebag Darrell’s brother, called me over the phone to the studio where I was recording my first instrumental CD, to speak about their live album. Or Santana’s words: “...music is not about competition, is about sharing”, just to name a few.
Riffmaster – Tell us a little or allot about you being a Guitar Clinician and what all that entails.
Marcelo - I started doing clinics long ago. In fact, I was one of the first guitar players who started with all the endorsement thing in Argentina, when I did my instructional video “Desarrollo de melodias” (Melodic Development) in ‘93. I allways liked the idea of taking away the academic rigidity, some musicians apply to their clinics. I also like to ask the kids to come to the stage and play with me, to show them that making music should be fun, and that is ok if you don’t play a million notes. Just use some basic knowledge and try to expand from that. That’s the way you start to develop your own personality on the instrument.
Riffmaster – Ok, Now for your music … What is the name of the current album you are promoting at the moment? How did the music come about?
Marcelo - The name of my current album is “All in A Day” (Boosweet Records), and you can download it from iTunes, Amazon, cdUniverse, eMusic, etc. It’s what I call instrumental rock music, wich also includes some funk, latin, metal and even argentine folklore. They’re songs without lyrics, but with the same structure as what people would call regular songs. They’re songs wich can appeal not only to guitar players, but also to people who don’t play guitar, because they have a melody to which you can relate to. Along with the original tunes, the album includes a rock version of the Jean-Luc Ponty song “New Country”, from wich we did a video. As a guest, the album includes bassist extraordinaire Stu Hamm (Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Frank Gambale) on two songs.
Riffmaster – What projects / recordings are you working on at the moment?
Marcelo - As I told you, besides playing live, I’m at the time composing and recording the demos for my next album, wich will be out on 2013. Last year, I also participated on several albums from different local known bands, wich I also play from time to time with as a guest. As a producer, last year I did my wife’s album “Laura Goldar – Maravillosa Vida”. She’s a pop/rock singer-composer who performs regularly here in Buenos Aires. I also co-produced a bass players album for Warner/Chappell called “El Poder del Bajo”, was part of the local jury for Boss/Roland “Loop Station World Championship”, and organized with the magazine the first international guitar contest of our country called “Guitar Power”, sponsored by Seymour Duncan, Xotic, Morley, Ernie Ball and Antitodo. The prize consisted of a recording contract with international label Boosweet Records, and included the actual recording and releasing of the winners album.
Riffmaster - What musical gear and endorsements do you have and why?
Marcelo - I’m endorsing Fernandes Guitars, Ernie Ball Strings and Morley pedals since 2007, I’m a Hiwatt amps endorser since 2009, and I also endorse a local strap company called Antitodo Correas. Why? I like Fernandes guitars very much, because they’re top notch, reliable instruments, with the same qualities and materials of american brands, but they don’t cost you an arm and a leg, and that’s very important here in South America. About Ernie Ball, what can you say about the strings used by Slash, Eric Clapton, John Petrucci and Jeff Beck? Hiwatt amps are in between the classic midrange british and clear american sound, wich I like very much, and they’re also very reliable. The Morley wahs are great, because they don’t mess with your tone, and retain the guitars character. And the Antitodo straps use the best leather from Argentina, top quality!
Riffmaster – How many hours a week does it take to put this (your band, writing your music, editor of a guitar magazine) all together for the listening and reading masses?
Marcelo - I’m with music 24 hours a day, writing, playing, teaching... It’s not a job, it’s my life !! I put the same effort in the process of writing a song as in an article for the music magazine. The secret to do all the things I do is to be tidy (..I think that’s the term), and to find the time for everything you love.
Riffmaster – Give our readers a breakdown of how your current live show has come about...
Marcelo - Oh, the live shows are f***ng great, man !! We start with a heavier version of “Peter Gunn”, and keep going from there with our own songs. We make the songs rock on stage !! There’s much interplay between all of us, trading melodies and solos. I’m glad, in our audience are not only guitar and bass players, but also non musicians who dig our music.
Riffmaster – So Marcelo, what are you listening to allot of these days?
Marcelo - Besides the obvious (guitar players like Jeff Beck, Gary Moore, Steve Lukather, Johnny Winter, Larry Carlton, Slash or Joe Satriani), I like to listen to newer bands like Nickelback, Daughtry or Black Label Communion, with Joe Bonamassa and Glenn Hughes. I also like to listen to 60’s, 70’s and 80’s film & TV soundtrack music.
Riffmaster – Dream Car? Or Recreational Vehicle?
Marcelo - I’m not very much into cars or sports.
Riffmaster – Why?
Marcelo - Never cared about that...
Riffmaster – Name some folks you would love to get on the same album or share the stage with… Inquiring minds want to know…
Marcelo - I’ve been blessed, because I could fulfill most of my dreams, playing and sometimes recording with the local guitar heros I worshiped as a kid. As for international guitar heros, there are too many names to mention, with whom I’d like to play live. And speaking of the present, I hope to have some well known guitar player as a guest for my new album, but I still cannot say anything.
Riffmaster – I also don’t want to forget this… Tell us about any other things you may be in involved in or any special interest besides music that is close to your heart …?
Marcelo - Close to my heart is my family, and as we all are involved in music –my wife’s a singer/composer, my son Sebastian is a professional drummer, my daughter Lucila fronts her own band “Lucille & The Conga Commandos” as a singer- all of my interests revolve around music.
Riffmaster – Lastly, please give our readers one last parting shot across the bow… What is Marcelo Roascio going to be doing in 5 years?
Marcelo - I hope to keep going and going... like the batteries (ha, ha, ha...). Music is a never ending road. You allways have things to learn, and there’s allways younger players who are eager to know the “mysteries” of guitar playing. Also, you allways have new melodies on your mind, wich are waiting to become actual songs. So I think five years from now, I’ll do another interview with you speaking about a new record or a new book.
Riffmaster – I would like to thank you for your time and candor with my loyal readers, and keep on fighting the good fight to bring us some quality guitar oriented music.
Marcelo - Thanks a lot !! And I’d like to tell all your readers that there’s allways good music and talented guitar players all over the world. So, don’t pay too much attention to what the media says, or what regular music channels broadcast, because that’s only a very small percentage of what’s really going on in the music world around the globe. And websites like Guitarz Forever are a very useful tool to spread the word. So, keep with your great work. God bless guitar !!