10 Quick Ones with LOU DIBELLO – September 2017

According to a recent press release: “The art of six-stringer shredding has unquestionably come back to forefront in modern day hard rock and heavy metal music. And talented guitarist Lou DiBello will soon be leaving his own mark on the genre, with the release of his album, ‘Heat Wave.’ The album features input from current or former members of Manowar (guitarist Ross “The Boss” Friedman) and Symphony X (bassist Mike Lepond), and is chockfull of headbanging rockers and six-string showcases, especially the tune “Full Throttle,” which can be sampled here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-NPz-HcduM” We get Lou to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, his influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Heat Wave is the first solo release I have done to include vocals. My first three were all instrumental. There are 4 vocal and 4 instrumental tunes, and there is a lot going one. Some nice guitar harmonies, layered rhythms, great bass playing on several songs by Mike LePond. Plus really great singing and vocal arrangements. Many people have told me they continue to listen to it regularly so I think there is a lot there to dig in to!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I was always very very interested in music, and listened to records and radio constantly from the earliest I can remember. When I began to rediscover Hendrix around age 14, I knew I wanted to play guitar like that. The command of the instrument, stage, and audience that he had is something I think all players would aspire to.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

In chronological order:

  • at a very young age and until I was maybe 15 I was most influenced by my Uncle Dave McCombs, who is a word class jazz guitarist. He was my first exposure to guitar playing, and he played flawlessly even when I was very young and he was say 17 or 18. He made me understand what good playing meant, even though I did not begin playing myself until I was about 15, after piano and sax lessons.
  • Frank Zappa. I had digested all of the early Mothers of Invention  albums and Frank’s works through about 1973, including Apostrophe, by the time I was 7 or 8. The first record I remember listening to, at about age 4, was “We’re Only In It For The Money. My parents had a very hip and eclectic record collection, and it was all a big part of my development as a musician.
  • Jimi Hendrix. He was my first, and most important, rock and lead guitar influence. I first listened to the Smash hits album around age 7 or 8. I remember feeling a genuine sadness learning that he was dead and that that meant I would never see him play. Even at 8 years old, I remember I wanted to see him. Vibrato, sustain, tone, melody, he had it all and I try to incorporate those elements into my own playing, even if it sounds nothing like Jimi’s music.
  • Jazz saxophonist, session man, and composer Tom Scott. Along with many other jazz artists, his music is what really get into instrumental music, with real arrangements, hooks, etc. When I did my first rock instrumental album “Pile-Up” in 1994, I was more influenced by jazz artists than I was by say, Joe Satriani or Steve Vai.
  • As far as a rock guitarist, both Michael Schenker and Uli Roth were huge influences on my playing and writing lead guitar parts. Uli combinig Hendrix and neo classical styles, while Michael was coming more from a blues-rock, Leslie West vibe, combined with a European melodic sensibility. I think I get some of those same vibes going sometimes.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

Working with Ross “The Boss” Friedman on my song “Blood On The Cross” was certainly an honor and a thrill! Since both Jimi Hendrix and Ronnie James Dio are no longer with us, it would be cool to work with Sammy Hagar or Rob Halford!

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Heat Wave is an album of high energy instrumental and vocal tunes in a hard rock/heavy metal style, with catchy songs and great musicianship.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

The connection with the audience when you are playing something they like, or they are enjoying your music through CD, mp3, etc.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Since this is not quite a full fledged band yet, let’s just say I make the coffee for rehearsals and recording!

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

High powered attorney, or wealthy land owner.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

I don’t have many regrets, thankfully!

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

The first Montrose album was so far ahead of it’s time, that would be one that would be really interesting, and fun to hear. Such a great rhythm section with Denny Carmassi and Bill Church. That was one of the first hard rock albums I got into, even before I really started playing guitar, still a huge favorite and I love busting out Rock Candy or Bad Motor Scooter with my bar band!

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10 Quick Ones with LOU DIBELLO - September 2017

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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