The Neo-Classical Specialist: JOE STUMP!

Today's Elevenses Throws Eleven Quick Questions At 'The Neo-Classical Specialist' Joe Stump!

Joe Stump is one of the leading lights on the modern neo-classical scene, having built up a manic fan base around the world thanks to his solo albums and band The Reign Of Terror and his latest project Holy Hell. Joe is also the Metal specialist at the world acclaimed Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA.

So what’s your drink of choice at 11am in the morning?

Well many mornings I hope to be just getting up at 11am, so of course coffee is always the drink of choice.

Which song/album really made you want to play guitar?

I'd have to say it's a combination of Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys and Made in Japan by Deep Purple. 2 of the best guitar playing records in live album history.

Who’s the world’s greatest guitarist?

Not sure how to answer that one. To me all the greats in the metal/hard rock context are all my heroes and that wrote the book when it comes to that type of playing. Ritchie Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth, Yngwie Malmsteen and Gary Moore. All of those guys combine what I love most about guitar playing - great technical command, killer touch and tone and it all comes from the heart played with a rock attitude with balls.

Who’s the world’s most underrated guitarist?

Some great players that don't get nearly enough recognition would be Tommy Bolin (RIP), Frank Marino and also Walter Giardino from Rata Blanca, a hard rock/metal band from Argentina. Walter comes from the same Yngwie/Blackmore Euro school I do, he's a killer player and I really enjoy listening to him.

So what are you up to at the moment?

I just released a new instructional dvd entitled Advanced Hard Rock/Metal soloing techniques thru the Shred Academy. I also finished a speed metal version of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake for a cd with the London Philharmonic. I start recording a new solo album after the holidays and then a European tour in Feb/March of next year. So things are quite busy these days.

What was the last gig you went to (as a member of the audience)?
Who would be in your dream line-up?

Blackmore's Night in Chicago - RB's my hero and anytime I get a chance to see him play I never miss it. You can't get much cooler than Ritchie, he's still the black Knight of hard rock!

Easy question:

CozyPowell drums

Jon Lord Keys

Ronnie James Dio vocals

and Glen Hughes on bass!

How many guitars do your own and which one is ‘your precious’?

I have over 40 guitars and my ESP custom shop Joe Stump signature model strats are of course my most precious guitars, since they're made to my spec and the ones I depend on for touring and recording.

What’s the last great album that you bought (or were given)?

Rainbow live in Nurnburg 1976, from the Deutshland Tournee 1976. They were just a killing machine back then in the early days, the Godfathers of European power metal.

Do you suffer from stage fright?

No, but I do tour quite a bit, I've played pubs and clubs for a few hundred people and huge concert arenas for thousands. To me it's all the same and with travel and all that comes with touring, it's just about trying to feel good at showtime so you're ready to go out there and cause plenty of damage.

So what’s your drink of choice at 11pm in the evening?

Beer always! I love many brands from many countries and it's one of the cool perks that come with world travel and touring. I check into a hotel on the road and one of the first things I check is how late the hotel bar or local pub stays open.


(Interview Date: 19th Dec 2007)