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Progressive Rock Interviews

Eric Mantel

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Eric Mantel from 2006

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

You've been creating music for a long time. How do you manage to keep it fresh and interesting - first for yourself, and secondly for the fans?
To write from my heart and not to force the music out of me. To write from inspiration and to write music that is timeless.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their art described or pigeonholed, but how would you describe it?
Very eclectic!
MSJ: What are your musical influences? I know I hear a lot of Steve Howe in there, but also other guitar greats.
Allan Holdsworth, Steve Morse, Eric Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Breau, Jeff Beck, The Beatles, Eric Clapton
MSJ: Are there musicians out there with whom you would like to work in the future?
Sting, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Todd Rundgren, many others!
MSJ: I understand you come from a musical family. Can you tell the readers about that?
My family consists of actors, artists and musicians.
MSJ: When did you decide to become a musician and how did that come about?
I was 10 years old! My older my brother Jon played guitar so I followed in his footsteps.
MSJ: If it hadn't worked out that way for you, what do you think you'd be doing now?
Selling cars? Flipping burgers? Would you like fries with that?
MSJ: How has your musical vision and your sound changed over the years?
It's become more eclectic and refined.
MSJ: I know you do both guitar clinics and give instruction. What can you tell me about that?
My teaching service is like a boot camp for guitarists.
MSJ: For all the gear heads out there, what kind of equipment is your main rig these days?
Fender and Marshall amps. Fender, Taylor and Gibson guitars.... Guitar Pedals: DLS Effects, Fulltone, Toadworks, Digitech, Tone Bone, etc.
MSJ: Have you found any musical toys out there lately that you are excited about?
The Fender Super Sonic amp, all DLS effects...
MSJ: Do you think that downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians? It's been said by the major labels that it's essentially the heart of all the problems they are having in terms of lower sales - would you agree?
Yes!
MSJ: What's ahead for you? Touring, more recording?
All of the above!
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought, or what have you been listening to lately?
I don't really listen to too much music other than classic rock stuff from the '60's and '70's....
MSJ: Finally, are there any closing thoughts you'd like to get out there?
Please buy my CD! I'm a starving artist! (laughs) I am a dinosaur. I've been doing this music thing for 33 years now!
 
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