Tiago Della Vega interview (09/2009)
|With:||Tiago Della Vega|
|Conducted by:||Thryce (e-mail)|
Tiago Della Vega is not your average everyday guy. This Brazilian guitar virtuoso is supposedly the fastest guitar player on earth - or so the Guinness World Records certificate on his mantelpiece states. As the legend goes, Tiago Della Vega traded his dummy teat for a guitar when he was five, practising about 16 hours a day. Following the Guinness World Record in 2008, his first solo album hit the streets in the USA and Canada, with a European release a few months later. And that's about all the info the interweb has. Time to find out a bit more about the man and the legend.
Good day to you. My name is Thryce, from the international metal webzine Metal Storm (http://www.metalstorm.eu). First off, I want to thank you sincerely for taking the time and effort to do this interview with me - I really appreciate it.
So first things first, who is Mister Tiago Della Vega?
I'm a dreamer, my child's dreams mostly kept in my mind. I was dreaming when I left back many things that a normal person does in his life to devote myself to music - music in all its forms. And today I look behind and I see that everything is worth it. I travel around the world and I can feel the affection of my fans, and these things, at 20 years from when I started to play, I think everything was worth it.
According to the Guinness World Records you are the fastest guitar player who successfully played "Flight Of The Bumblebee" by Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov at 320bpm without error at Brazil last year, [video]. Aren't you fed up of that song yet?
Although I find it annoying to play fast phrasings without stopping, this is the only way to measure my speed, and the piece was suggested to me by the Guinness World Records. I put "The Flight of the Bumblebee" on my CD because this is something that marked my career. And I like this music, I think it was composed to be played quickly, and unlike any other music this doesn't become flat if played quicker. I think the instrumental music has to be complex in every way, not only in the technique.
Which other classical pieces would you suggest that a fan of hard rock or metal should check out?
I love Mozart and Paganini, but in the world of metal everyone knows that classical music is important, and often this ensure that the music sounds always the same. I find more interesting to use jazz, fusion, and in my case Brazilian music than classical music, which despite being wonderful is too used.
So, what is in fact your favorite song of all times?
It's impossible to answer that. For me all the music give me some feeling: sometimes it's sad, sometimes happy, and for every feeling there are thousands of songs to choose from.
What went through your head the first moments after setting the Guinness World Record?
Nothing, I usually plan everything ahead. I knew everything which should be happening in the following months, although there's always something that doesn't go as you want. Basically I always plan everything 1 year ahead.
How's is like to be the world's fastest guitar player in the world? And what's your secret?
It's great to know I'm the only musician who can touch the speed I reached, and so I can play almost everything. But it's also annoying when people think I studied music for the speed. I strongly disagree when musicians say that technique isn't important. The technique is a combination of factors that permit to you to play well, the speed is a factor and it's the only one that can be measured. However without a good technique musicians cannot express their music clearly.
How important is it for someone who just started out playing guitar to have a role model to follow?
I've always been contrary to have only one idol. I think it's horrible when one copies some other guitarist in his style, clothing and music. I think it's important to listen to all music when you are defining your personality, various styles and musicians. Otherwise you risk to become a double of someone else.
I heard you already "unofficially" sharpened up the record to 370bpm on a Japanese TV program. Is there a limit in the speed of shredding you think? I mean, until a few years ago people never thought men could go under 9,80 seconds on the 100 metres. In a way you're the Usain Bolt in guitar shredding, right? Do you think it's possible to go any faster?
Maybe one day I'll find my speed limit, but as well as Bolt I don't hope this.
I think the secret of the speed is in the small details: how you hold the pick, the posture... A lot of people think I'm fast in everything, I haven't patience for anything, but it's the opposite, I'm extremely calm and I always study all small details. I think my music reflect this, try to listen my music thinking what I just say. I think the music is a paint of its composer personality.
Let's talk about your solo album "Hybrid" a bit, [Review]. It turned out to be a very enjoyable album to listen to. How did this project come about? I mean, did you gather most of the ideas on beforehand? Or did you come up with all the tunes the moment you were asked to do full-length album?
Thanks, I'm glad that you like "Hybrid". Well, I wrote and recorded everything, I formed my band after the CD was ready. But for the next album I'm going to record, I'll ask help to my band. But it was a great experience for me, I love to produce an album, it was very fun to record other instruments than guitar.
Any stand-out memories during the recording sessions?
I wrote the entire album thinking throughout the first song. First I wrote the harmony and other instruments, leaving the lead guitar part for last. Only at the end I wrote the guitar parts, but I did this writing on the score, without touching the guitar, so before to record I had to learn the guitar parts I wrote. It wasn't so easy... haha.
Are you satisfied with this new album "Hybrid", the songs, the recording process, production, final product?
I'm never satisfied for anything, there is always something to improve. But I think at a certain point you have to release the album you're working on, because otherwise it will never released. There's a time when you say "Ok, it isn't the best I can do, but it's time to release it", so you put the recording to a full stop and leave the album to starts its own life.
How would you "sell" your first solo album to the world? Why should people have listened to "Hybrid" before they die?
"Hybrid" was released by the Italian label SG Records, they are involved in distribution, and you can buy the album also through their website. I have a lot of hits on my videos on YouTube, I think I already past 10 million of visits and it would be nice for these people to listen to the entire album and not only "the Flight of the Bumblebee".
Setting a record as the world's fastest guitar player, I can imagine a lot of bands are interested in you to make a guest appearance on one of their album or at one of their shows. If you could choose any band(s) to make a guest appearance for, what band(s) would that be?
I like many bands and I would be happy to take part in shows or albums of them all, but I'm focusing 100% of my time and energy on my solo career and I would not have time to play in any band, but it could be interesting.
And now the other way round. "Hybrid" was a fully instrumental album. What vocalists can make a guest appearance on the next Tiago Della Vega album?
There are already many great bands around the world, my proposal is to not to be another, I like instrumental music and don't want to put a singer on my next albums, would be meaningless.
Do you have any other future projects in the works?
Besides the European tour that starts in November and we are still scheduling dates, I will get a tour in Canada and in the USA. And shortly after I'll return at home in Brazil I start to record my second album, I think it will take me 6 months, and then I'll start all over again.
What do you think of the state of "Rock 'n' Roll" today?
Rock is a style that has its ups and downs, but never ceased to exist. There are always faithful fans all over the world and always new people learn to listen to rock. I found a lot of young worshipers of this style, and this is very good, it is a new generation that is coming up, I think in the next decade the rock will come back with the strength of the eighties.
Let's wrap it up, shall we. Thanks again for doing this interview! The final words to the Metal Storm readers are all yours.
It was a pleasure to be in some way together with you. The interview was very good, I hope to meet you all at my shows in the next months, and I invite you to come into my MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/officialldellavega. Follow your soul!
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