JOE STUMP INTERVIEW
By Brett from Transcending the Mundane 11/26/02
1. How do you feel Conquer and Divide fits into your career thus far?
1. I think Conquer and Divide is certainly some of my best recorded guitar
work to date and I think the songwriting on this new disc is quite strong. I
wanted the new disc to be more of a guitar- hero type of affair with lengthy
solos and complex instrumental sections. But still have it not detract from
the strength of the tunes.
2. Do you feel Reign Of Terror is at its creative peak?
2. Well I write all the music and Mike
writes all the lyrics and vocal melody lines so I think together we make a
good combo and we're always getting better.
3. You've worked with the same musicians for awhile now, what do you feel Matt and Jay bring to the band which other musicians would be unable to?
3. Well they're both very
good players and you certainly get a stronger band vibe when you work with
the same lineup over a period of time. And they're cool guys and easy to get
4. What do you think of Event? Do you think Matt and Jay will find commercial success with Event?
4. To be honest I don't spend any time
listening to them and have only heard tracks from their various recording
here and there. It's not my cup of tea but I respect the fact that they work
hard and believe what their playing. As far as commercial success goes, far be
it from me to judge what's commercially viable in this day and age. I'm still
listening to Hendrix, Rainbow , old Purple and UFO for Christ's sake.
5. Michael Vescera is one of the most respected singers in the world, as a bandmate and friend, why do you think this is so?
5. Mike's a real talented guy, not just as a singer
but engineer, producer and overall musician. He's got a killer metal voice but
he's quite capable of singing great in a wide range of rock styles. He's also
an excellent writer with a terrific melodic sense, just world -class all
around. I really couldn't ask for someone better as far as this style of
6. Do you feel more satisfied releasing instrumental music or your work with Reign Of Terror? Do you think you will continue releasing records as both?
6. I love doing both kinds of records and have
been lucky enough to be releasing records for over 10 years now and I
certainly don't see any sign of letting up. I do feel that with the
instrumental thing I can vary things a bit more stylistically.
7. People always associate you with the word "shred," what does it mean to you when some calls you a "shredder?"
7. Shredding is playing in an extreme, highly technical fashion that
also involves a great deal of speed and proficiency.
8. You play some of the fastest and most fancy leads ever, do you feel sometimes the emotional quality can be lost in this fashion?
8. Absolutley not, I play with a
great deal of emotion. Just because something is technically complex and
advanced musically doesn't mean it's played with any less emotion. Though it
might seem that way to someone who has a tough time understanding it and
whose only used to listening to certain kinds of guitar solos.
9. Following the last disc, you played several US dates, how was that experience? Do you feel it was worth the time and effort?
9.We played quite a few shows last year and some of them were great. Whenever
you go out on the road it's a crap shoot. But I love to play live, whether it's
shows , guitar clinics, or whatever. And to me it's always worth the time
and effort to get out there. Plus the fans who come out to see you really
appreciate it and that makes it all worthwhile.
10. Do you feel you have been able to grow and evolve as a guitarist through the years?
10. I'm always working on my craft and continue to improve and
evolve. I always try to push myself musically and technically and make each
record better than the previous one.
11. Do you feel you have to play a certain way to please your hardcore fans?
11. I truly
play the style of music I love . It's a product of all of my
influences-Blackmore, Hendrix, Malmsteen, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, Uli
Jon Roth, Bach, Paganini and tons of other classical and hard-rock/metal
influences. I've never made a record to try to appease anyone . I think that's
why my hardcore fans enjoy my records so much, in that I do what I love and
it comes across in the music.
12. How are you involved with music besides what we see and hear on your solo records and Reign Of Terror?
12. Well I'm on the guitar
faculty at the esteemed Berklee College of Music and I have several
instructional dvds coming out. In addition to recording and touring.
13. What advice would you give to a new guitarist who would like to follow in your footsteps?
13. I always tell everyone to play because you love it. I didn't pick
up guitar to meet chicks , be rich or be a rock star . I did it and
still do because I love to play. I'm just very fortunate that I get to make a
living doing what I love and spend everyday with a guitar in my hands. If you
work hard good things are bound to happen.
14. final comments? Please add anything we missed in the interview.
14. Just thanks to all the fans and guitar fanatics that have supported my
previous efforts and to please check out the new disc Conquer and Divide it's
a monster of a guitar album.
Joe Stump's Dark Gifts "Rare and Unreleased Tracks"
Joe Stump (live) "Midwest Shredfest"