Silvio Gázquez: Electric, Nylon String and Synth Guitar – Keyboards
Damián Righi: Bass
Tulio Gázquez: Drums
William Catena: Sax
Carlo Peluso: Piano/Keyboard Solos
David Catena: Percussion Programming
Silvio Gazquex is a guitar player and songwriter from Lincoln, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since 2008, he’s been working as a full-time guitar consultant for the U.S based company called Guitarcontrol.com. Silvio has won several Youtube contests, and in 2008, he was also a two times guitar idol finalist, attending the final in London, UK. In January, Silvio attended Namm 2012 as endorser of SPEAR guitars. Night Sky is his first album, released in July of 2015.
Night Sky is an instrumental smooth jazz album that features ten absolutely stunning tracks written by Silvio. From the luxurious and laid back opening of the title track to the funky groove of Spring Day, right on to the intense, driving force of Sunset, Silvio takes you on a musical journey straight from his heart to your ears. There seems to be a loose theme running through the songs and a cohesiveness that makes it a pure joy to listen to. If you’re a fan of smooth, really hip jazz instrumentals, or if you just like to hear some really great guitar playing, Night Sky is an album you’ll dig. Check out Night Sky in its entirety and if you enjoy it, support the artist by buying the album.
I had the opportunity to interview Silvio as well. Here’s that interview:
Carl Hose: I’ve been listening to your album Night Sky. Great stuff. You Are My Life, Spring Day, In My Dreams, and The Promise are some of my favorites. Sunset is pretty bad ass. Reminds me a little of Mahogany Rush at times. The album is a fusion, jazzy kind of thing. How do you describe your style?
Silvio Gázquez: Thanks, Carl. I´d say its a mixture of different styles. I think that the most prominent style in the album is smooth jazz, but there´s some elements of jazz, fusion, hard rock, and world music too.
Carl: There seems to be a theme, or concept, on Night Sky. Was that intentional?
Silvio: I think that the music is more than just notes. Some music reflects images and feelings. Those feelings and images could change depending on who is listening, though. In my case, some songs remind me of a night sky. Definitely it’s an album to hear at night. Some songs have a summer mood also. But again, this is pretty subjective. I dont think it was intentional. I guess smooth jazz style has a night feel and atmosphere.
Carl: What are your earliest musical memories and who are some of the bands and performers that have had the biggest impact on you as a musician?
Silvio: I used to be an Yngwie Malmsteen fan. It was pretty crazy for someone who was just starting to play to listen to Yngwie´s playing. I didn’t understand how someone could play like that. I was in awe. In those times, Youtube didn’t exist, so you had to use your ears, haha! Later, I got a VHS of his first instructional video and it was even more crazy. It was pretty advanced for me anyway.
In those times, I also was fan of a lot of bands, such as Pantera, Kiss, Aerosmith, Guns & Roses, Iron Maiden, to name a few. A bit later, I started to listen to a lot of instrumental music. Vinnie Moore, Satriani, Steve Vai, etc, then I got into Greg Howe, Richie Kotzen, Brett Garsed, and a lot of more fusion guys. Also smooth jazz stuff like The Rippingtons, Russ Freeman, etc.
Carl: What is your set up for recording versus live? You endorse Spear guitars. What other guitars do you play and what amps do you prefer?
Silvio: I used to play with just an amp, a Laney L100SC, for both recording and live. But one day I started to use multi effects and changed everything. I know that there´s nothing better than the tone of a valve amp, but they are pretty expensive and for recording, you have to have the right acoustic room, mics, space, etc, which I don´t have. So now I´m using a Boss GT8 for both things and its decent, and way more handy to play live. I don’t even use an amp, I go straight to the mixer. Same for recording, I go from the multi FX to the soundcard. In fact, the guitars in “Night Sky” were recorded that way.
Regarding the guitars, I have my Fender Custom HH Spalted Maple and Spear Tomcat GT, which I endorse. I also have an old Yamaha GTX, which was my first electric guitar. Also a classical “Antonio Lorca” and an Asbitt, which is like a cheap copy of a Godin Multiac.
Carl: You’re a guitarist who puts a lot of focus on songwriting. Do you consider yourself more a guitar player or a songwriter, or do you even make a distinction?
Silvio: I think I´m in the middle. I used to practice a lot, but after a lot of years of that I realized that the most important thing is the music. In Youtube, I see a lot of amazing players, unbelievable chops, and improvising skills, but that´s all they do, jamming and jamming. But what about the music? I like to listen to the music first, the player comes in second place.
Carl: How much importance do you put on studying theory as opposed to just picking up the guitar and playing and developing your ear?
Silvio: I think that it’s really important to learn some theory, at least the basic stuff. It depends of what are your goals. If you want to play songs in a campfire you won´t need much theory, but if you want to play jazz, of course, you will need to have a great music theory background.
Carl: How often do you write? What are your methods? Do you write in a particular place, put it down on paper first, or just record it as you go and develop it?
Silvio: I´m not the kind of musician who is always writing stuff. Sometimes I don’t write in months or years. I just don’t plan it. I can´t say, “Ok, now I´m going to sit down and write a song.” It doesn’t work like that to me. The inspiration comes when you never expect it.
My methods are not always the same. Sometimes I get a little idea and I record it on my PC and then I start to develop it. Other times, I work on the idea for days or months until I have enough material before recording it.
Carl: How do you feel about the state of, not only the music industry, but all of the artistic industries today? It’s particularly disturbing to me that a lot of people think paying for an artist’s work is something they shouldn’t have to do these days.
Silvio: I think it has its pros and cons. The good thing is that anyone with a PC can release a decent album and let the world know about it. The bad side is that nobody is buying music. Everyone´s downloading music, movies, etc, for free. Even the big bands are not selling. That´s why they have to keep touring, to survive. I hope this changes in a near future!
Carl: What five albums changed your life?
Silvio: The albums I´m going to name are some of those that had some impact in my life and they are in order chronologically:
- Guns & Roses – Use your Illusion 1 & 2
- Yngwie Malmsteen – Rising Force
- Dream Theater – Images & Words
- Vinnie Moore – The maze
- Brett Garsed – Big Sky
Carl: I’m sort of a foodie, so I have to ask this question. You’re from Argentina. What is the one dish from Argentina that everybody has to try?
Silvio: For anyone who is visiting Argentina, the special dish that everybody has to try is “Asado.” It´s similar to a barbecue but not the same cooking techniques and meat cuts.
Carl: Thanks for talking with me, Silvio.
Silvio: Thanks for this interview and your interest in my album!