Interview with Tony MacAlpine
Conducted by Carlos Llanas
In his twenty-five year long career, Tony MacAlpine has defined his music by mixing different styles to create a vast and distinct sound. From Jazz-Fusion to Metal, Tony has played it all. With the recent release of his 13th studio album, Tony’s unique sound continues to push the boundaries of music to great lengths and has shown no signs of slowing down. He is an experienced guitarist, bassist, and singer amongst other things, and his virtuoso status makes him a great asset to whatever project he is working on. Whether it’s with Reign of Fire or Planet X, Tony is always on the move. Well I guess you have to be to release thirteen studio albums right? Tony was kind enough to chat with Metal-Rules.com about his new album and his plans for the future. This is what he had to say.
How are you doing Tony?
Doing great, thanks very much.
First and foremost, congratulations on the release of your 13th solo record! How does it feel to have not one, not two, but thirteen albums?
Well this is the newest one and we are very happy to have it available to the public at this time…
The whole album is one giant instrumental joyride. Will you be doing more "instrumental only" albums in the future?
Oh yes, we have to concentrate on this release of course one day at a time. We are looking forward to doing some tour dates behind this release and guitar clinics are also in the works.
You wrote and recorded the album at "The Cottage" in Pasadena, California. What attracted you to this specific studio?
The intimate and quiet setting of the place. It really gives you an at home feeling which is very important to me when I am recording…
It was released by Favored Nations Entertainment worldwide, and through King Records in Japan, Taiwan and Korea. This is a huge release, are you planning on touring to promote it more?
Touring in support of this CD is our top priority. We are looking to play in as many new markets as we possibly can.
Will you continue to release your material through Favored Nations in the future?
As long as they are happy to work with us all should be well!
You had some members from your other bands like Virgil Donati of Planet X, and Philip Bynoe of Reign of Fire record a few tracks on your new album. Is the recording process with these guys the same every time? Or do you try different ways to work in the studio together?
Virgil, myself and Philip actually played in Planet X at the same time, so working with those guys is always a lot of fun and musical excitement.
You also had Marco Minnemann (Ephel Duath, Marco Ferrigno) do some drum tracks on the new record. Was this your first time working with him? How did you conclude that Marco was the guy for the job?
Marco is one of the new amazing talents to come on to the scene. He posses a very original approach to the drums and is highly expressive and musical.
Aside from having those talented musicians on some tracks, you pretty much did it all yourself. Guitars, Bass, Programming, Keyboards, you name it. It is a true solo album. How difficult was it to produce all of that in the end?
Well music if its enjoyable should not be difficult, if it’s something that you truly should be doing it should not be difficult at all. I enjoy working in the studio at all hours. I always did!
How long did it take you to write the new album?
About 1 year and a half…
I know it’s difficult to pick out your favorites tunes out of your latest release, but which one was the most fun to write/record and why?
I have no favorites on the CD. You know songs are like children ..you should never have a fav!!
You blend different styles of music to generate a technical sounds unlike any other. From Prog-Rock to Jazz-Fusion and everything in between, you have done it all. What inspires you to write such technical music?
I think I just try to be true to myself in a music fashion and all other things transcend through that process. I am not trying to write anything that one would perceive to be technical, rather my emphasis is on telling a story.
You are a very versatile musician when it comes to your sound, and being able to play different instruments. You started playing classical piano at the a very young age. How has that defined your sound in the music you play today?
I love to spend a considerable amount of time working on piano playing and reading music, so I guess if anything it’s allowed me to gain knowledge on how the composers went about the writing process.
You stated in your website that you have been working with some "younger modern players", how important is this for the evolution of your music genre? Is it because it’s a fresh new outlook on music from the perspective of a younger generation?
Yes exactly – because it’s through the younger generation that new ideas are grown and the older ideas become historical…
Is there anything new in the works for Planet X, CAB, or Reign of Fire? Mark Boals maybe?
Well only time will tell. For now my plans are to focus on playing the new CD live in as many places that will have us.
I know the new album just released, but is it too early to start thinking about a new album?
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Metal-Rules today Tony.
Thank you and all the best to you and the readers!!