JOE STUMP SHREDOLOGY INTERVIEW
1)How did you decide which tracks to put on Shredology?
1. The way I picked the tracks was I went for a combination of things. First of all I took the fan's feedback into consideration, throughout the years I've gotten emails from fans as to their favorite tracks, also requests that people would yell out at live shows. Or fans seeing me before a show and asking if I was going to play certain tunes. And many of the tracks on the Shredology have been staples of my live show for years. In addition to the fan's feedback I also picked some of my personal favorites and of course tracks that represent some of my finest work. I also wanted the disc to be somewhat varied with fast tunes, heavy stuff, balls out shred, neo-classical things, nylon string work and a ballad. Also with covering my whole instrumental Leviathan catalogue I couldn't really pick more than 2 tracks from each record. The only thing I didn't put on their was one of my bluesier tracks. The heavily Blackmore influenced Hurricane X from Armed and Ready is the only somewhat blues- tinged track on the whole collection. But all and all it's a cool mix.
2)It seems like a perfect shred collection? Any track that you wished could have been on the Cd but isn't?
2.Paganini's Revenge from Guitar Dominance is a big fan favorite as well as The Dark Gift from Supersonic Shred Machine but both of those are contained on the bonus live bootleg disc Midwest Shredfest so that's cool. A few more that come to mind would be The Need For Speed and Where No Men Dare Shred from Supersonic and Facemelter from Night of the Living Shred but most of the best tracks are represented between the 2 discs. I mean there's 3 guitar cadenza type pieces between the 2 discs, so excessive amounts gratuitous shredding, of course what would you expect.
3)What do you think of your history now that you have had time to step back a bit and listen to it this way?
3.There's not too many things on there that I hear and cringe over as any artist often does when he listens to his own stuff. I know that at the time of each record I always tried to do the best that I could for where I was at that time period and I know with each and every release I tried to improve on what I had done previously, constantly pushing myself, something I still do to this day. My dedication to my craft hasn't diminished one bit during my entire career and now it's even stronger. I feel very lucky and completely blessed that I get to spent most of my waking moments with a guitar in my hands, I never take that for granted. When I started I always wanted to be one of those well known underground guitar heroes that all the real players and serious fans knew about. I didn't aspire to world domination or to fill Madison Square Garden. So I'm very grateful for my level of modest success, there's been ups and downs but for me the glass is always half full. And I'm often compared to some of the world's best players, so I'm not complaining. All and all I'm fairly proud and somewhat pleased with my body of work. As always I 'm still striving to improve upon what I've done in the past but it's cool to step back and enjoy your work every now and then.
4)What is your favorite track(s) and why?
4.I have different favorites for different reasons. Tunewise I really like In For The Kill, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and The Dark Gift. All have great riffs and really nice melodies in adddition to all the cool guitar shit going on. Guitar playing-wise Night of the Living Shred, Demon's Eye, Rapid Fire Rondo and 2001 A Shred Odyssey are all fairly extreme representations of my playing ability and were all milestone tracks for me at the time I recorded them. It's like me saying that's me at my best during that time period. But the last 4 tracks on the disc are my most recent so I think you can hear how my playing level climbs throughout the timeline of the disc.
5)What guitar/amps/etc did you use on the Shredology Cd?
5.Cool question, guitarwise in the early days on my first 3 records before I had all my ESP custom shop strats my main guitars were several Yngwie Malmsteen signature models. The candy apple red one that I'm pictured with on the back of Supersonic Shred Machine was my main number one at the time. It was the first year they came out back in 1988 I believe, it sounded killer, really nice tone. The other two were the cream ones pictured on Guitar Dominance and Night of the Living Shred, one maple neck and one rosewood. I used the cream ones on certain tracks, the maple neck one sounded great for Hendrixy type things, but most of the first 3 records were the candy red one. Then on Rapid Fire Rondo I used the second strat ESP bulit me, it's pearl white with a gold floyd rose tremelo and a deeply scalloped rosewood neck. It has a Dimarzio YJM pickup in the neck and a fast track in the bridge and it just sounds massive and I'm pictured playing it on the Midwest Shredfest cover on the inner sleeve of the disc. On the more recent records (2001, Conquer and Divide and Armed and Ready ) I used what are now my two main guitars, both ESP custom shop strats, both with maple necks, one cream with a pearl pickguard and the other the one I'm holding on the cover shot of Shredology. The white one with the black pickup covers is my number one and has been for awhile now. All with jumbo frets, scalloped necks and Dimarzio pickups. Ampwise it's, Marshall, Marshall and more Marshalls on just about everything. I have a bunch of 50 watt heads from the 70's. Some earlier 70's 50's with the small logo and no master volume and some later 70's master volume mark 2 50's with the bigger logo and the white piping. I've used a variety of Marshall cabs throughout the years some older basket weave ones from the 70's with 30 watt greenback celestions and some later cabs with 75 watt celestions. On every record I used at least 2-3 heads and on some as many as six. Effects wise I 've always used my old dod 250 overdrive. I saw two of them in Yngwie's pedal board at the end of the Live 1985 in Japan video, one gray and one yellow, I have several of both. I bought my first one back in1988 in the junk bin of a music store for 15 bucks. I figured if it was in Yngwie's pedal board it must be cool and I plugged it in with my Marshalls and have been hooked ever since. The new YJM 308 overdrive by dod is newer version of those and I have a bunch of them as well, very cool box. I also use a Dunlop cry baby wah, a Dunlop rotovibe, a Dunlop Jimi Hendrix signature wah and a bunch of boss stuff( octave box, flanger, chorus, delay, etc.)
6)Tell us how the Midwest Shredfest Cd was recorded? We understand it was a live bootleg originally?
6.I was playing a bunch of shows on a tour in the midwest and recorded one of the shows in Cincinnati. The quality is a bit bootleg sounding but the performances are very good and the guitar's loud as hell on the thing. We had already played a bunch of shows so the band was firing on all cylinders the night we recorded. It was originally available thru Diginet Music in limited quanities so it's a cool addition to the package.
7)Any live dates planned?
7.Yes I'm going to Europe next month for some shows and clinics and then more shows in the states after I get back. I'm going to be doing quite abit of touring this year. I love to play live and I don't mind traveling so I'm really looking foward to it.
8)What 5 cds have been the most influential on you and your musical direction?
8. Well my favorite players and biggest influences are Ritchie Blackmore,Yngwie Malmsteen, Uli Jon Roth, Gary Moore, JimiHendrix and Michael Schenker, so I love just about everything by all those guys. But if I had narrow it down to a few records, here's a somewhat condensed list:
Rising Force, Marching Out, Trilogy-Yngwie Malmsteen
Live Sentence-Alcatrazz ( Featuring Yngwie Malmsteen)
Live On Stage, Live in Germany and Rising- Rainbow
Made in Japan, Burn- Deep Purple
Corridors of Power, We Want Moore- Gary Moore
Taken By Force, Tokyo Tapes- Scorpions (featuring Uli-Jon Roth)
One Night At Budokan- Michael Schenker Group
Band Of Gypsys, Axis Bold As Love- Jimi Hendrix
9)If you could put together your dream band who else would be in it?
9. A dream band, Jon Lord on Keyboards, Phil Lynott on bass, Cozy Powell on Drums and Ronnie James Dio on vocals. I could do some serious damage with those heavy hitters. Obviously Phil and Cozy are no longer with us, god bless their souls but you did say dream band.
10)Any final words to the fans around the world?
10.Of course the most sincere thanks for all your great support over the last decade plus of my career. Without the core audience that enjoy what I do I never could've had this type of longevity or success and I never forget that or take it for granted. So once again thank you all so much, you rule.
"Shredology" CD $9.99
Joe Stump's The Reign of Terror
Joe Stump instrumental titles at Leviathan Records!
Joe Stump's Dark Gifts "Rare and Unreleased Tracks"