STRAT ANDRIOTIS
Liars Incorporated
(Dekatria Records)

 

On his 2015 CD, entitled Liars Incorporated, guitarist Strat Andriotis redefines the role of the guitar in classical music. The twelve track Liars Incorporated CD clocks in at just under 28 minutes but it’s filled with some breathtaking guitar-centric, classically inspired music. Assisting Strat on this CD are some gifted accompanists—Jeff Vidov (piano) and Adrianna Lee (violin). Also on the CD are Katie Avery (violin) and album co-producer Bob Doidge (cello). Although Strat grew up in Canada listening to Cream and Jimi Hendrix, his love of jazz was ignited by the Miles Davis album In A Silent Way. His early solo albums featured nylon string guitar and piano with samples and, following another venture into the realm of hard rock, in early 2015 Strat returned to the neoclassical guitar style. Inspired by classical music greats—such as Paganini, Satie and Beethoven—Strat recorded Liars Incorporated. The results are truly striking and quite satisfying, both from a guitar perspective and a neoclassical music perspective. Strat’s fluid guitar work is in total sync with the other musicians and instead of stealing the spotlight with his mercurial guitar skills, he acts as the central cog in a well oiled musical machine. Perhaps the most fascinating thing is that Strat has written all the music here, so while it may sound like it was composed in another century, the music here is actually a well honed representation of 21st century neo-classical guitar-centric music at its finest. Another good thing is, how often you play this amazing CD, it never seems to wear out its welcome. Liars Incorporated is a masterful guitar statement from neoclassical / rock guitar maestro Strat Andriotis. www.StratMusic.net





mwe3.com presents an interview with
STRAT ANDRIOTIS


mwe3
: Tell us how your new CD, Liars Incorporated came together. Even though you have a rock and jazz background as a guitarist, the CD is very classical in nature. Would you say your preference in music is rock, jazz or classical? Also how did you come up with the title? Seems like a rather jolting title compared to the mellifluous sounds inside.

Strat Andriotis: Liars took close to five years to finish. I was doing a lot of writing and wanted to involve piano and violin in the compositions. All the music was written out pretty well note for note. The piano was my first instrument and I have always loved writing music for it. I enjoy all types of music but if I had to pick I would say classical, jazz and rock in that order, but that could change next year! (lol) I wanted this album to have impact from the music to the graphics to the title. The handshake says it all, powerful yet simple and enigmatic.

mwe3: How do you balance and assimilate your guitar influences on the new CD? For example, I heard that in writing the music for Liars Incorporated you spent time listening to classical masters like Paganini, Satie and Beethoven but I also heard that you listen a lot of Django Reinhardt so one could say there’s kind of a mercurial guitar style and sound working here.

Strat Andriotis: The first thing I listen to or write is melody and how I can intertwine a passage with the other instruments. Solos are the last thing I work on for a composition. Now don't get me wrong. I have practiced endless hours on guitar techniques, scales etc... But the beauty of writing a nice passage to solo later is very rewarding. John McLaughlin is probably my biggest guitar influence

mwe3: Who is playing with you on the Liars Incorporated CD and what were the recording sessions like? Also what was it like working with co-producer Bob Doidge and what did Bob bring to the album sessions?

Strat Andriotis: I have Jeff Vidov on piano and Adrianna Lee on violin. Katie Avery played violin on "Under". These players did an amazing job. There are a lot of 16th note lines that Jeff and I played together. Adrianna and Katie played their parts beautifully. It helps that they are classically trained musicians and can read music very well. Because of our time schedule all the parts were played separately. Piano first, guitar second and violin last. Working with Bob at Grant Avenue Studio was fantastic. He has such a great ear for acoustic instruments. Most of the parts recorded were done as full takes and very little punch ins. I love Bob's cello in "The Interlude".

mwe3: How would you compare Liars Incorporated with your earlier recorded works that you made with Tom Carney? What other recordings have you made?

Strat Andriotis: Liars by far for me is the most rewarding. The music I wrote with Tom Carney was a glimpse of what was coming with Liars. Other recordings... I was in a rock project in 2006 that featured Roger Banks on drums, Jim Gilmour (Saga) on keyboards and Tony Levin on bass / chapman stick. The band was called XXX Sublimator.

mwe3: Can you tell us when you started playing guitar and about your early music studies? Have your practice routines changed over the years? How do you stay in shape musically as far as exercises and other practice routines go?

Strat Andriotis: My earliest influence on guitar was Clapton and Hendrix, then I heard John McLaughlin. I wanted to quit when I first heard him. He is amazing. I try to practice different things all the time and I always practice with a clean guitar sound. A lot of made up arpeggios/scales and chord progressions really.

mwe3: What was your first guitar and what guitars are featured on the Liars Incorporated CD and what other guitars do you feature on your other albums, live shows and in guitar guitar arsenal overall? It sounds like you’re playing an electric guitar on Liars Incorporated even though the music is classical. Is that a rightful assumption?

Strat Andriotis: I played two guitars on Liars. A Godin 5th Avenue archtop and a 1956 Gibson ES 225, on "Under" only. Right now I have a 1991 Gibson ES 175 and a 1980 Les Paul standard. The nylon string guitar is a Washburn. I only used that guitar for the Tom Carney records. When I play live no effects are used. Guitar straight to amp.

mwe3: In making the Liars Incorporated are you trying to simultaneously reach out more to the classical music fans and the rock fans interested in hearing some truly unique classically inspired guitar music? I was thinking the dynamics of rock but played as classical music?

Strat Andriotis: Yeah... You pretty well nailed there Robert. I would like some rock fans to crossover to this music. Even though it is classically based the music has some aggression to it.

mwe3: Tell us about your family moving from Greece to Canada and how the Greek musical influence impacts your guitar sound. Would you say there’s a Canadian influence in your music? How would you compare living in the two countries and where do you live now and what do you like best about it?

Strat Andriotis: For the most part I do not remember too much about Greece. I left there when I was around four years old. Growing up Canada in a Greek household was beneficial to me. Listened to some bouzouki music. The influence I got growing up in Canada was not from music but my interactions with people that have crossed my life. Most of Liars is written about them.

mwe3: What are you hoping music fans will come away with after listening to the Liars Incorporated CD? Also what other plans do you have for your music and guitar playing in 2015? Are there other musical directions you’d like to go in next and how about future musical goals and other future musical moves you are considering?

Strat Andriotis: Hopefully something fresh and inspiring. I think it is an album that will grow on you the more you listen. Trying to play some festivals this year I will not know till later in April if it is going to happen. Hoping to record some classical music but with more instruments involved maybe a small orchestra.



 

 
   
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