Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Xander Demos and his New EP

Today we welcome metal guitar virtuoso, Xander Demos, to Promote Me Please, to talk about his new EP.  You can read Xander's bio after the interview.

Xander Demos
Q.1.  Hi, Xander. The new EP sounds exciting. Does it follow on from the themes of Guitarcadia or does it break new ground?

XD:  Thanks for having me…yeah, the new EP is going to be really exciting, and I think that anyone who loved my first, Guitarcadia, will really enjoy the new one.  And, for those who haven’t checked out Guitarcadia yet, the new one will stand on its own.  As far as themes go, I’m always intrigued by sci-fi and otherworldly themes.  So, there is a little of that on the new EP.  I’m really excited, because this release will have more vocals than the last album.  There are going to be 4 vocal tracks this time!  I can’t wait for everyone to hear the Judas Priest cover, and most likely, first single, “Judas Rising.”  The vocals on that track are unbelievable!  I’ll leave it at that, for now.  I don’t want to give too much away, but I know people are going to sit up and take notice, when they hear that one.  The new EP is going to be a perfect blend of music, in my opinion: 2 vocal covers, 2 vocal originals, and 2 original instrumentals…what more could you want?

Q.2. How do you judge the best time to launch a follow-up to an acclaimed album?

XD:  It’s hard to judge, really.  Things have been so busy for the past couple of years, since the release of Guitarcadia, that the greatest challenge was finding time to record, quite honestly.  Some personnel changes also delayed things.  Deciding whether to do a full band project, or just come out with another “solo” project delayed things, too.  But, I think people have had enough time to digest the last album, and it’s definitely the perfect time to release something new.  I just can’t wait to hear people’s reactions to the new stuff.  I hope I can get out and visit some different cities and play some of the new stuff live, too.

Q.3. Briefly, describe the new EP. What's its title and had did you arrive at the tracks?

XD:  Haha.  Well, I guess I kind of jumped the gun a little on this one, since I talked about it earlier.  Like I said, the new EP will be 6 tracks: 2 vocal covers, 2 vocal originals and 2 original instrumentals.  We’re covering tunes by Judas Priest and Accept.  Some of the original material has been around for a while, but it’s being re-imagined and newly recorded.  The tentative title is Runways and Waterways, but that could change before the release.  We’re hoping to have it out by early summer.  It’s still being tracked, and I’m hoping to have CJ Snare from Firehouse, doing some mixes again, as well as JK Northrup.  Both are great friends, and do amazing work.  I also talked with Michael Wagener about doing a mix.  He’s the all-time god of metal mixing, so it would be a thrill to have him do a track, too.  We’ll have to wait and see. 

Q.4. Recording or live performance? Which give you the best experience?

XD: While I love recording, I’d have to say that the live experience is the best for me.  I love that instant feedback and gratification.  There’s no feeling like stepping out on stage, in front of a sold-out crowd, and just having them go nuts.  We played several incredible shows this year with Metal Church and Stryper, and both crowds were sold out, and just insane.  Can’t wait to get back on stage..stay tuned for live dates!

Q.5. Please list three other albums or performers whose fans would enjoy your new EP.

XD: Steve Vai – Passion and Warfare
        Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance
        Dream Theater – Images and Words

Choosing just three was tough, but I think that should give everyone an idea of what to expect.  Thanks again for having me!

It was a pleasure. Now, to read more about Xander and his music and to see where to find him on the net, scroll on down.
Xander Demos homepage


Xander at Youtube

Xander Demos Biography

 Xander Demos is one of today’s premier shred metal guitarists. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, he currently fronts his own band, XDB and has performed as a member of national tribute act, James Rivera’s Sabbath Judas Sabbath, as well as playing in Rivera’s solo band and Pittsburgh cover band, Raised On Radio.  Xander performs in excess of 100 times a year, and he is active in recording collaborations with artists all over the world. Xander plays guitars from Suhr, McNaught, Brian Moore and Conklin, with whom he has endorsement deals.  His endorsement from these guitar companies is a testament to his impressive skills and his deep commitment to playing the best guitars in the world.

Xander's style ranges from the beautifully melodic to the jaw-droppingly insane. His playing encompasses much of what he has learned and absorbed from other players over the years; artists like Shawn Lane, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, Vinnie Moore, Jason Becker, Neal Schon, Michael Romeo and John Sykes. One constant in his music is a focus on strong guitar melodies. In 2012, Xander released his debut solo CD, Guitarcadia. Mixed by CJ Snare of Firehouse, the album was named among the Best Albums of 2012 by Hair Metal Mansion.

Recently, Xander has been making quite the name for himself and his solo band by appearing as support for acts like Symphony X, Stryper, Metal Church, Adrenaline Mob, Buckethead, UFO, Lizzy Borden, Kip Winger, Neil Zaza and Dio Disciples, as well as performing at Rock Harvest II, Wolf Fest, Skull Fest I and II and NAMM Metal Jam, alongside members of Anthrax, Whitesnake, King Diamond, Dio, Queensryche, Alice Cooper, and many other metal greats.  Named the 2013 AND 2014 Iron City Rocks Pittsburgh Music Awards Guitarist of the Year, Xander’s playing appears on several releases from other artists: Ged Rylands (Ten, Tygers of Pan Tang,) Derek Buddemeyer (Down Boys Records) Modern Superstar and Liberty ‘N’ Justice’s long awaited “Cigar Chronicles,” also featuring George Lynch (Dokken) Jeff Labar (Cinderella) and Jerry Dixon (Warrant.) He was included on “Guitar Feast” a compilation of international guitarists.   His latest single release, “Dancing Through Daggers” was mixed by JK Northrup of King Kobra/XYZ fame, and it was featured on the Guitar Wizards compilation CD with members of KISS, Poison, Guns N Roses, Whitesnake, Dio and more.  Xander was also nominated for 3 awards at the 2nd Annual International Music and Entertainment Association Awards in 2014.

In addition to these accomplishments, Xander is an avid animal lover.  Always looking for projects that will aid these beautiful creatures, Xander is donating a portion of his album sales to the ASPCA.

Xander plays: V-Picks, the Fractal Audio Axe-FX Ultra as well as Hughes and Kettner amps, Matrix Amplification, Mission pedals, ISP Guitar Systems and Suhr Guitars, Amps & Effects, McNaught Guitars, who completed production of the first Xander Demos Signature Guitar, Conklin Guitars and John Dixon Cases. Many of Xander's guitars are outfitted with EMG pickups and accessories. He exclusively uses the FloydUpgrades tremolos or the GraphTech LB-63 piezo-equipped Floyd tremolo.  He also is endorsed with Rock-N-Roll GangStar Apparel, Lampifier Microphones, JH Audio In-ear monitors, and INTEX Cables.

 Thanks again, Xander.

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