Lead guitarist for Reign of Terror and symphonic heavy metal band HolyHell, as a solo artist Joe has also released 7 records, and a Neo-Classical instructional guitar DVD.
Besides recording and touring, Joe has also taught for many years at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Joe, what are your top fave 5 records which have impacted you the most in your life musically or otherwise?
Made in Japan by Deep Purple
Ritchie Blackmore is and has been my hero for so long I can`t even remember when I wasn’t listening to him. His look, the way he played, his bulldozing cool as shit stage persona and bad ass guitar showmanship have been ingrained in me for decades now. Along with Jimi, he`s one player I listened to consistently in my very early days as a teenager and someone I still listen to all the time to this day. As far as the Purple Ritchie goes, you`ve got this (one of the greatest live records of all time), Machine Head, Burn and Made in Europe as my favorites of the Deep Purple era Blackmore. Hot rodded blues playing, tremolo bar abuse, some of the greatest riffs of all time, arpeggio play, it`s all in there performed with attitude and balls.
We Want Moore! by Gary Moore
When I first heard Gary Moore it was on the radio on a specititley metal show in the early 1980`s. The track I heard was Dirty Fingers (an unaccompanied guitar solo piece). My jaw immediately hit the ground. I became obsessed with his hard rock era material – Corridors of Power, Victims of the Future, Run For Cover, etc. This live album is his best playing from that era. He combines intensity, technical prowess, and gut wrenching emotion in every note he plays. I learned almost every solo on this record. I also love his blues material as well.
Rising Force by Yngwie J. Malmsteen
Anyone that knows my playing would easily see this one on the top of my list and Yngwie along with Blackmore would be someone who`s influence you`d instantly recognize in my work. I first read about Yngwie in the spotlight column in Guitar Player magazine back in the early 80`s. His influences were the same as mine- Blackmore, Uli Jon Roth, Al Dimeola, Bach. I said to myself, this guy with the hard to pronounce name is gonna be right up my alley. And when the first Alcatrazz album came out and then this one (I had it as an import long before everyone discovered it), I obsessively lifted huge amounts of ideas from both. I still find Yngwie`s playing and composing very inspiring, his amazing control of the instrument is a standard I try to adhere to.
Rainbow Rising by Rainbow
I had told you about my heavy “Blackmore” influence, so of course you`ve got the Purple Ritchie and now the Rainbow Ritchie. One thing younger players have no clue about is just how innovative and groundbreaking his playing and recordings were. He was the first guy to bring the classcial influence to hard rock, classical arpeggios and linear play as well as use of exotic modes like Dominant Phrygian and Hungarian Minor – that was all him laying the foundation for what would be later on be called Shred. This record also marks the invention of what would later be called European Speed/Power Metal. I also love the live offerings from the Rainbow Dio era, On Stage, Live in Munich 1977 and Live in Germany, all among my favorites.
Taken By Force by Scorpions
Along with Blackmore, Malmsteen, Gary Moore and Michael Schenker, “Uli Jon Roth” is one of my main influences. I love all the early Scorpions records from his time with them (In Trance, ToykoTapes, Virgin Killer), this one has some killer playing as they all do. His Hendrix meets Baroque fused playing is just amazing. His tone, technique and the way he channels Jimi just destroy.
Thank you Joe for joining us! High-5!
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