hard rock guitar innovator Randy Pevler is no newcomer to the music
scene and you can hear why on his 2011 CD Directions. Inspired
by his freedom as an instrumental rock guitarist, Pevler, on Directions
takes his sound in a number of different directions indeed, but he
mostly sticks close to what he does bestthe instrumental hard
rock and progressive blues rock guitar genres. Track four, Bluebeck
sounds like Jeff Beck jamming on a mid 70s John Lennon riff.
A master of sonic diversity, Pevler takes his sound further out there
into the realm of instro prog, while also occasionally adding in some
spacy acoustic guitar moments. As if instinctively aware of the legacy
of great guitarists before him, Pevler also manages to draw on the
spirits of both Hendrix and 21st century guitar survivors Robin Trower
and Peter Green. Both Hendrix and Trower fans will want to give a
listen to another track highlight on Directions, Two
Hearts, which also features some intriguing mellotron parts.
Pairing his sizzling electric guitar work with the sound of dynamic
drumming, Randy Pevler brings the hard rock instro sound well into
the now. Pevlers band is right there with him throughout the
Directions album, which is topped off by a fine performance
from Donny Sarian (drums, mellotron) with added support from
a pair of bass players in Robby Pagliari and James LoMenzo.
Thinking mans metal with a progressive instrumental rock chaser,
Randy Pevlers Directions is the latest and perhaps greatest
groundbreaking album from a continually evolving champion of the instrumental
guitar world. www.RandyPevler.com
mwe3.com presents an interview
mwe3: Why do you call your new solo album Directions? Where
and when was the album written and recorded and how does the Directions
album compare sound wise and musically to your earlier solo CD releases?
The title came about towards the end of the project. I'm constantly
putting down fragments of music and as I started selecting the bits
to turn into completed tunes it was apparent it was not going to be
just a heavy disc but was moving in many directions. The name stuck
and I feel it captures whats going on song wise. As far as the
sonic quality, this disc is much fuller and better recorded than my
past. With each project I have learned recording tricks as well as
having a total upgrade to my studio where all the guitars were recorded.
Musically, there was more live interaction between the players, which
I feel gives the disc a real band vibe, which is missing on a lot
of new music today. I also had this disc mastered completely analog,
also kept the output down to what vinyl records were mastered at.
More dynamic, I feel this helped the overall sonic quality.
mwe3: Your albums are based very much in the rock instrumental guitar
genre. Being that you originally started off playing in hard rock
bands including Divine Rite, what did you pick up musically and stylistically
from playing rock music. Combining that experience, what is it about
the freedom and musical style of instrumental rock that appeals to
you so much?
RP: Well I'm an old school guy raised on classic rock...mostly hard
rock, with all the usual suspects, Beck, Page etc. etc. I try and
structure my songs as if they were vocal tunes replacing the vocal
line with guitar melodies and putting solos where they would have
been placed in the days when the solo was a mini composition and sometimes
the highlight of the song. Remember when Highway Star
would come on the radio and how the solo would just take you away?
That's my writing style. Classic rock. As far as what instrumental
music has to offer for a guitarist, its that sometimes in a
group with a vocalist you find yourself writing a certain style to
tailor the music to fit the vocals...not always but most of the time.
Instrumental music allows you to go anywhere you want. Acoustic, heavy,
bluesy, whatever you like and I like a lot of different types of music
and enjoy playing in what ever mood sounds cool to me.
mwe3: The Directions album features solid support from a pair
of bass players and your long time drummer Donny Sarian. Why did you
choose these players to work with and how do they help define your
musical sound and vision on the Directions album?
RP: Well I have been very lucky to have these guys help me with this
project. Robbie Pagliari and I have worked on and off for years. He
played all the bass on Inside Looking Out. Robbie plays fretless
and I knew he was perfect for some of the tunes and James LoMenzo
played all the bass on my last CD Chrome, and there were tunes
on this disc that I knew he would kill on and he did. The main problem
was scheduling. Both James and Robbie are full time gigging guys,
Robbie with Ohm and James at the time was in Megadeth. Lucky for me
Robbie found time to come in with Donnie and I and do some sessions
and nailed his parts in two days. James did the 21st century thing
and did file sharing, worked out great. The song Guardian Of
Forever took on a new life after James rocked it, so much so
I replaced all the guitars to make sure there was no conflict.
mwe3: What guitars, electric and acoustic are you featuring on the
Directions album and can you say something about how your choice
of guitars has changed over the years?
project was mostly Strats. My main one you see in the photos and an
ash body one I used during the Chrome sessions. It's very bright
and cuts right through. My 1960 Les Paul reissue was used on a few
rhythm tracks. The song Bigfoot and Tribes
I used an Ibanez 7 string and on The Heavy Stone I used
my Ibanez S model with a Dimebucker. Very heavy. Acoustics were a
very old 12 string Ovation Balladeer and a Taylor for most of the
six string. An off brand six string was used on "A Small Fable",
and just seemed to fit. Over the years I have gravitated to Strats.
I think, at this point they work best for me. I think Strats have
a wider range of sounds and that opens up new doors.
mwe3: As far as gear goes, do you process your guitar sound with a
lot of effects during and/or after recording in the studio?
RP: I record dry. I have my studio set up so I can hear the effect
but it records dry. I'll add what I like in the mix. There were very
few things recorded with effects, mostly clean electrics, like the
piece The Incident. I like reverb. I know a lot of guys
say it masks the sound but I feel it adds atmosphere and helps set
mwe3: Did you record live in the studio and do you also feature many
overdubs when you record in the studio?
RP: As much as one can these days. Donnie and I set out to track as
much live drums as we could and use as few machines as possible, ninety
percent real this time. All the guitars were finalized after we had
a solid bass and drums. I went back in and got the real tones, once
you have that solid arrangement I can play on top of. Solid passes
as if your performing them, I feel it makes it more live.
mwe3: How did you become interested in playing the guitar and can
you recall something about your first guitars? Also what kind of practice
routine did you maintain while perfecting your craft and do you still
RP: I remember my first guitar well. A Norma classical thing. High
action and a real pile, but I was thrilled because it was a big deal
to finally have something I had begged my parents for. My Grandmother
came through for me. I still practice but in spurts. Mostly I'll noodle
and be searching for something song wise but, after a while you can
tell theres not enough real playing going on so I'll sit down
for a few days at a time and just go through some of my old practice
routines, or learn a tune or two from someone like Frank Marino or
Trower just to rekindle my roots. And you never know when you are
going to jam with someone and pulling out a few classics is always
fun. That is why we play right?
mwe3: How did your guitar influences affect and continue to affect
your sound and guitar performance?
I still get inspired by guys like Jeff Beck or Vai. You watch them
play and you know thats the real deal. Heart and soul, very
moving and totally makes me know why I love guitar music.
mwe3: What albums, studio and/ or live were essential in your musical
RP: Zeppelin everything, Hendrix the first three, Mahogany Rush live,
Ten Years After, anything by Jeff Beck, UFO live... oh and I love
Iron Maiden, everything.
mwe3: The CD cover of of Directions is very cool. Can you say
a few words about the album cover art? In an age of digital downloads,
what do you prefer; CD or download and what do you think the future
is regarding recorded music?
RP: The cover came about after I decided it was going to be called
Directions. I wanted this project to be as analog and earthy
as can be in this canned world. The vibe of the troubadour wandering
the roads looking for a new path, this is what we came up with. I
I'll take a CD over a download. Downloads kind of give some people
music that is disposable. You buy a tune and later you buy another
and then you have 15 thousand and you never listen to any of it but
a few times and then you move on to the next. CDs are something you
hold in your hand, you have art work... a concept. I think it all
adds to the overall vibe. Now if I had my way we would all be forced
to listen to new pristine vinyl and nothing else.
mwe3: Do you have many interests outside of the music and guitar world
and if so what are they?
Well I'm single so...
mwe3: What does the future hold for you and your music and what are
your plans for 2011 and beyond?
RP: Right now I'm totally wrapped up in this project, promoting it
and trying to get the word out there to anyone who may like my music,
It would be nice to do some shows but thats another story...
Thanks to Randy Pevler @