Exclusive Interview : Gennaro Esposito

Tell us a bit about your musical history.

Italy. New York. Paris. Madrid. From my university studies at the Conservatory to Master Classes with jazz/fusion, pop and gypsy musicians in multiple countries, I have tried to combine different techniques and styles because I have always believed that music is a global language. Training in classical, flamenco, folk, rock, jazz, and more – across 2 continents – forms the basis of the rhythm and melodies behind my sound.

What projects are you working on now?

I’m in the process of my second CD that reflects my experience here in NYC and includes talent from both the US and abroad. Other projects I am involved in now include a new CD with an R&B/Jazz singer, playing classic funk with a 13-piece band, and performing original rock music with a local rock band. Collaborations aside, I produce curated pieces for independent filmmakers and am in production for a video series launching in 2014 called “Fashion Compliance.”

Gennaro-Dr-J_1000x714What role does music education play in your career?

Ongoing music education is an integral part of my professional career and musical evolution. Having discovered a way to make this fun, I spend countless hours each week fine tuning my tone, learning new materials, and identifying up and coming artists.

What do you think of the current state of the music industry?

Technology’s impact on the music industry requires musicians to be in a state of constant adaptation. Producing and marketing with an understanding of the current marketplace for music is integral to success within the music industry today.

Why do you use Mooer pedals?

From the gig bag to the pedal board, Uptown to Downtown, being a musician in NYC means Mooer pedals are a key element of my gear. Not only because of the conveniently small size but also because of the rich tone it puts out without any compromise.

Exclusive Interview : Kyle Ragan

1) Tell us about your musical background
I grew up playing classic rock with my stepfather who is a fantastic drummer. honed my skills playing with his band, a bunch a great guys all over twice my age at the time. Though that music wasn’t my real passion, the 90’s really shaped me as a musician. I really loved a lot of the acoustic based rock groups and songwriters during that time. That really shaped my songs and playing style.

Kyle-Ragan_01_464x6492) What are you working on now?
A couple of things actually. My band Screams and Whispers is in the midst of recording our 3rd album. We are very DIY so we are engineering and producing it ourselves. We are very excited about that. Aside from that I also run a Youtube Channel, where I do gear reviews for guitarists. I have been building that up for the past 2 years. That is also a big focus for me.

3) What is the role of education in music?
Music education is VERY important to me. I grew up in vocal programs throughout my school years. It stimulates creativity and fosters teamwork. It teaches you how to be a part of something bigger than yourself. So important.

4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?
It is a double edged sword. The path to be heard is open to everyone now. The platforms exist, the opportunity is there. That said the days of the mega star are over except for a select few break through artists. Making a living is MUCH harder through the business. Also getting heard over the abundance of people making music is very hard. The options are limitless, the opportunity is there but you have to creative.

5) Why do you play Dr J pedals?
Being somewhat a gear head I have amassed quite a collection of pedals and run a pretty large board live as as result. With Dr.J, quite simply they make pedals that are exactly what a guitarist like myself needs. The Armour Buffer REALLY helped me tame my pedal board and deal with any signal loss I was getting across that many jumps. The Aerolite is a very Flexible Compressor allowing 2 options not commonly seen in other compressors. One, being a mix control which I find extremely useful and the other being an input level select which really comes in handy when switching guitars and allows me to quickly compensate for differing pick up output levels. This was key for me. Dr. J offer innovative solutions for these problems and others we commonly encounter, as well as tried and true mainstay gain pedals. Just a great company really trying to push the boutique sensibility into its more, mass market, parent company Joyo.

Click here to learn more about Kyle, and click here to check out his YouTube Channel.

Exclusive Interview : Joao Castilho

Tell us about your musical background
I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, in 1970, and started playing at age of 9. During my musical life, I’ve played with many great artists like Maria Bethânia, Djavan, Lisa Nilsson, Ed Motta, Sandra de Sá, Simone, Eumir Deodato, Zé Renato, Leny Andrade, Nana and Dori Caymmi, Pascoal Meirelles, among several others. In terms of education, from 15 to 18 years old, I had private lessons of acoustic and electric guitar. Since then I became autodidact, but at 2007 I had the chance to study harmony in a revolutionary way for 3 years with the trombone player Vittor Santos.

I released two solo CDs called “Equilibrium” and “Percepções” (you can check them at Spotfy). I also released two books: “Toque Junto” and “EstudandoImprovisação.” With the bass player Jefferson Lescowich, the drummer Renato Massa and the saxophone player Marcelo Martins, I formed the group FOCO, with two CDs released: “FOCO” and “Tempo Bom com Chuva”.

joaoCastilhoWhat are you working on now?
Right now I’m back to Djavan’s band. We just finished recording his last album. Also, I’ve been playing with Nana Caymmi among other artists, and composing music for TV shows, films and publicity.

What is the role of education in music?
If you are talented but have no music theory education, you will never know how far you could get.

How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?
Things are changing fast, especially for recording industry. The streaming market is forcing an adaptation of this segment, which is affecting other music businesses in different ways, such as concerts, film score, composers, etc.. Let’s see where it goes… We, as musicians, producers, composers, should be prepared to adapt.

joaoCastilho_pedalboard

Why do use Pickboy picks and Mooer pedals?
I’ve always liked Pickboy picks very much. Great quality, big variety of materials and lots of different shapes. About Mooer, they sound great, are small and light, which is everything I am looking for. Click here to learn more about Joao’s gear.

To learn more about Joao please feel free to visit www.joaocastilho.com.

Exclusive Interview : Jay Gore

Neal Walter caught up with Jay Gore at this week’s Luck Strike Live session in Hollywood. Jay, just back from a tour in South Korea, talked with Neal about his his career and showed off his Rockready gig bag and his custom Pickboy picks.

What’s your musical background?

I’m an LA native. When I was 13 I had a band and we’d play the songs we wrote at the Sunset Strip clubs. I went to G.I.T. for a year when I was 17 and I’ve been a working session and touring player ever since.

What are you working on now?

I just finished recording all the guitars on the new Warren Hill CD, Under the Influence. It’s an amazing collection of classic 70s and 80s rock songs done instrumentally, but true to their original forms and styles. Also, I’m getting ready for a small tour of Asia and writing for my second CD, a follow-up to my first CD, Identity, which is available on CDBaby and iTunes and JayGore.com.

What is the role of education in music?

I think it’s extremely important. It goes beyond learning musical theory, it teaches discipline and patience, which is so important when you have four days to learn a 90 minute show for that big pop star you’re going to tour the world with. It teaches how to speak to the other musicians that you’re working with. When you have an idea you’ll know how to explain it. Most importantly, it trains you how to be able to step into any musical situation and adapt to it, instantly.

How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?

I feel that the music industry is near death…and by that I mean on monetary level for artists. There will always be music and musicians and gigs. Monetizing it all is becoming far more difficult. For some reason creating art for “exposure” became more important than paying your bills. Lots of people are making a lot of money in music. Most musicians are not.

jayGoreCustomPickboyWhy do use Pickboy Picks?

Very simply, Pickboy picks are the very best for me. I’ve used them over 20 years. I love the great tip, it makes articulation so much easier. The material helps the pick to glide off the strings with far less friction between the string and pick. And, I just love the size of the picks that I use (PB14P100 Classic), they’re just a hair smaller than other picks. Bottom line…I play better with a Pickboy!!!

 

Click here to read more about Jay Gore.

Exclusive Interview : Sid Griffin

1) Tell us about your musical background?

I was the ringleader of 1980s indie heroes The Long Ryders. We were second only to the Replacements in the USA as Hip Indie Band of the time and second only to the Smiths in Europe for the same time, same thing. We were part of a movement in the USA called the Paisley Underground which was a major deal in L.A. thirty years ago. It was quite a scene, equal to Liverpool in 1963 or NYC in 1977.

2) What are you working on now?

I play bluegrass with a British band here in London called the Coal Porters and I play solo singer-songwriter gigs. The Coal Porters have five albums out and all of my music, solo or band, is on Spotify and iTunes should someone want to check me out. The Coal Porters play mainly in the UK and North America but we play a few festivals in Europe every summer.

I also do solo gigs all around the world. I have played everywhere from Hollywood to Hong Kong, San Francisco to Syracuse to Sydney to Stoke-On-Trent as a solo act and am doing that most of this month.

3) What is the role of education in music?

Without music there would not be enough Art to separate us from the beasts! I am heartsick our schools, both in my native USA and in my adopted English hometown of London, do not have nearly enough emphasis (or budget!) to give music a greater role in the classroom and in the upbringing of our children, who are after all not only the next generation of musicians but the next generation of leaders.

Listening to music is part of daily life for almost everyone on Earth but I feel playing music, any music at all, classical or folk or whatever, is crucial to learning how to work and adapt to others. And how to work with and adapt to your own strengths and weaknesses. It is not only how a person learns who they are and what they can do it is how a person learns who others are and how important they are to him or her through the music they make together as part of an ensemble.

4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?

Right now the music industry is coming to grips with the digital age. We are still seeing the transition from a generation, like previous generations, who expected a hard copy such as an LP or a CD and a generation which will hardly own any hard copies at all. My daughter is fifteen and plays guitar, piano and violin. She has about fifteen CDs, no vinyl and tons of things on her MP3 player. My son is five and he will own no hard copies of music unless I leave him my hefty collection of vinyl and CDs in my will!

And yes, I think musicians deserve to be paid for their music! It breaks my heart people think because something is digitally available it is free. My bands and I deserve to be paid for our labours and so does your band!

5) Why do use Pickboy guitar picks?

I used the Pickboy 1.00 hard pick. It never leaves your hand due to perspiration, it is balanced perfectly and the THWACK it makes against the string itself never dominates the sound. The pick is part of the sound and the music and helping you control it by the way you hold the pick, by the tightness of your grip and so forth, and the Pickboys I use stay in my hand every time. Like a loyal St. Bernard these picks do exactly as they are told! They are the best by far in my mind’s eye and I can hear this.

Learn more about Sid Giffin on Sid’s artist page.

Exclusive Interview from Brazil : Samp!

1) Tell us about your musical background

Since early childhood, I started digging music from my parents CD’s, where I found my first influences: Eric Clapton, The Police & Pink Floyd.  From age of 3 to 10 that was it. I started to play guitar when I was 12 years old, a year afterwards I personally met one of my major influences on guitar: Jimmy Page. And since that day, I never put down the guitar. As s teenager I was listening to lots of different genres. I was hooked up on Joe Satriani, but I was also listening to Oscar Peterson, Ben Webster, Ella Fitzgerald, B.B.King and Sinatra because my mother was constantly listening to them at home. While my father was passionate about Steely Dan, U2, Boston, The Rolling Stones and of course, Tom Jobim. I was definitely very influenced by Eddie Van Halen in my early twenties, and have always considered myself very hard-rock oriented. From AC/DC to Guns N’Roses, Kiss, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin.. Well the list goes on and on.. But if I had to pick just one, which is a VERY hard thing to do with so many amazing players, I would definitely pick Jimmy Page. Not only because of his music, but since I had the opportunity to personally met him, not once but several times during my teens, I can securely say he influenced me the most. Jimmy gave me so many great insights and advice. I will be forever grateful for that.

2) What are you working on now?

I am currently recording my new solo album, which will feature lots of guests from all over the globe. Some from New York, others from Rio de Janeiro – Brazil, and also a great singer from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Then, I am moving to London, UK.

3) What is the role of education in music?

Music represents so much of the culture of one nation, of a generation, of individuals. Try to put music in words.. It’s impossible. I mean, I am sure you can, but do you really think words do justice to this divine thing music is? Music has completely changed my life – has shaped me into who I am today, have kept me out of trouble and focused on what was really important for me. I have been a private guitar instructor for a bit over than 6 years now, so I have seen the impact music has caused in people’s lives. It simply changes it, for the better. The more educated and cultured people get, more positive, intelligent and respectful the society becomes and therefore, more value the profession gets, stimulating new aspiring musicians and artists. Education is everything. It would be great to see in the future, a world where schools around the globe would offer music classes.

4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?

As far as my understanding goes, I feel like we are in the middle of a shift, a transition, reflections from the technology revolution. The modern music industry as we know nowadays is a little older than a century, right? And music exists ever since humanity started. So what is happening right now, is a shift, a period of adaptation, which measured in time – it’s nothing if compared to all the years of existence of the music industry. Illegal downloads are being prohibited world-wide, and eventually we will get to a point where no one will ever be able to illegally download a song anymore. The world has changed a lot, and in record time actually. For example: Facebook is the largest media company in the world, but doesn’t produce any content. Air B’n’B is the biggest accommodation company in the world, but they actually don’t own any property. Same with Uber – the biggest taxi company ever, they do not own a single car in their fleet. My point being is, everything has changed. And now we are all adapting to these new circumstances, creating new rules, laws, roles, jobs and basically, doing tests so that eventually we gonna have better answers, and therefore a more solid, fair and remunerated system – or market if you will – to our music industry. I would say, I am definitely optimistic about it.

5) Why do use Pickboy picks?

Well, firstly I simply love them. I really love heavy picks, but I also like the feel of a slim pick, with a nice grip on it. It seems quite impossible to get that combination, but Pickboy just nailed it. So many great picks, the Pos-a-grip series, or the Classic one – either the Vintage or the Luminous.

Secondly, I strong believe that in an era with thousands of great players everywhere, with boosted exposure granted by the Internet era, it becomes quite hard to be highlighted as an unique player among so many great ones. Considering that, in the beginning of my career I chose build for myself a killer setup which would give me the most unique tone ever, in some sort of way. And the most important part of your tone is definitely your hands and your approach towards the guitar. Having a pick in your hands that feels so great, almost like if it was glued to your fingers, becoming part of them, it’s absolutely priceless.

samp-Pickboy-Rio

6) What gave you the idea to take Pickboy on location?

That’s a good one! Where to start..? I am very passionate about photography and I think the world we live in has lots of stunning places, and incredible landscapes. When advertising gear, usually artists take shots from the stage or inside a studio – which is cool too – but I felt like there was something missing.

I was thinking to myself, what kinda shot would be really inspiring? How can I, somehow, enrich people’s cultural lives unintentionally but at the same time, directly? Because that’s what it is. When sharing those shots, which through a common interest (in this case the Pickboy picks), connects with many others, we end up sharing the world with them. Famous sights, breath-taking landscapes from places that maybe none of them have ever been, wouldn’t dream of going, or maybe can relate to, because they have been there before or they live there – especially knowing that Pickboy is such an international brand!

So it all started when I was back in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, visiting my family, doing a few sessions, and suddenly I found myself in the middle of such an exotic city, with breath taking sightseeing places, a camera in my hands and my famous Blue Pick from Pickboy in my pocket.. You can imagine the result. After a very positive feedback from fans, I knew I had hit something and now I am constantly exploring new and exquisite places, always looking for the next shot.

Learn more about Samp here.

Exclusive Interview : Larry Mitchell

Larry Mitchell_Credit_Andy A

1) Tell us about your musical background?
I am self taught on guitar. Although I sometimes say community taught. I used to hang out with some great guitar players and all around musicians. I understand music theory well. Reading charts , not so well. :0).  I grew up in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway Queens. Steve Stevens from Billy Idol’s band grew up in the Rockaways as well. He was the local rock hero and left a lasting impression on me. So was Jeff Thall from Bryan Ferry.  In high school years I got in to Prince, Nile Rogers, and a few other great guitar players.  I didn’t start thinking about tones until I played in a rock trio cover band called Currier. We did Rush and The Police songs. I had two big pedalboards to cover the wide variety of tones and special effects. Magic times for me when look back on it.

2) What are you working on now?
I produce other artists. Earlier this year I produced country gospel artist Jeanette Clarke new singles and singer songwriter Cynthia Becker’s 6 song soon to be release. But just now I’m wrapping up 5 songs I did for singer songwriter Randi Driscoll. I’ve done 3 other records and a few singles with Randi before. She’s great and I love working with her. Also I’m tracking Guitars for a new band project I’m in that I’m really excited about. It has Brian Hardgroove from Public Enemy and Stewart Copeland from The Police in it. We tracked some stuff back in March and I’m adding to that now. Other than that I’m enjoying my time off the road but also gearing up to get back on the road with my trio And head across the USA ;0)

3) What is the role of education in music?
Education is extremely Important. There’s so many things involved. It’s good to learn not only how to play but finances, business, web design and marketing are almost as important as scales and chord clusters. But learn the scales and cord clusters first. Keeping music on any level in schools is a big thing with me. I sometimes work with a org called “Guitars in the Classroom” please google them and see if you can help join or contribute in any way.

4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?
It’s a great time and a hard time to be in music right now. Technology is moving so fast. It’s amazing. The possibilities are staggering. Figuring out how to make a living and stand out in this time period can be intimidating. But it’s great that you can write a song and multitrack record it on your tablet and video that on your smart phone. Master it on your laptop and up load it to the iTunes Store and YouTube, all in a day. But then how do you get people to listen and view it. And then to …… Pay for it (buy it)?

5) Why do you use or what do you like about the MxD pedal?
I love pedals I have quite a few still. It’s great to have a pedal that I can plug right into a small Fender-ish type amp and at the click of a button go from that Fender clean to a full on Plexi style tone. It excels at getting that narly British crunch out if a small clean amp. Works pretty great with a plexi as well.

5 Questions with “J. Schwing” Joshua Lozada

Joshua Lozada

Joshua Lozada hitting with Mooer Pedals!

Why are we talking about J. Schwing? I met Josh at the 2014 Gerald Veasley Bass Boot Camp. He was playing at my buddy David Seagal’s (New York Bass Works) booth. We hit off from the beginning.  Josh is a spiritual cat, a phenomenal bassist and a great person. Why do we call him J. Schwing? Because he Swings his a** off! Let’s listen to what he has to share with us! – rr

1) For those not familiar tell us a bit about your career?

I’ve been playing bass for 17 years. My beginnings were in my local church and through the years, has grown to International travel with worship leaders and Christian Artists. I have also expanded outside of the Christian/Gospel market in live performances with Hip Hop & R&B acts throughout NYC. Salsa music and Latin Jazz, was a big influence in my development as a bass player and my introduction to being a professional musician. As the genre began lose some of it’s momentum in a live performance setting, I found myself getting more involved in R&B and Rock music as a means to earn a living. With the increasing popularity of Christian Contemporary Music in houses of worship throughout the world, I now find myself fully immersed in that scene and staying very busy.

2) What do you see coming up for the future of music?

It’s tough to say. We’ve seen the ever expanding world of technology used in music and things have drastically changed. From the recording process to the distribution of the final product, technology is showing itself to be more relevant. I’ve benefited from tracking bass from my home but it’ll never replace getting together with great musicians in one room and hitting the record button to bring that feel to life. But the reality is that space is expensive and the pure convenience of recording virtually is appealing to many. Also, accessibility to musicians that you may have not been able to get in a studio to record your project is now possible thru virtual recording sessions and social media. As we’ve seen, technology has hurt many artists financially and I can only hope that this tide will turn in their favor in the near future so that good music can be created and the people that bring it to us can earn their living and continue to be inspired to create.

3) What role has music education played in your life?

I am a self taught bass player but I did have formal musical instruction in my school years. I played trombone from middle school thru high school and took part in the concert and symphonic band as well as award winning jazz bands, which is where I really learned my true appreciation for music. Jazz music and the study of jazz really took a hold of me and inspired me to be a musician. After I graduated high school, I took up bass and the rest is history…

4) Why are you using Mooer pedals?JoshuaLozada

I was first attracted to Mooer Pedals because of their size. Real estate on a pedal board is precious and I wanted to get the most out of the space but when I finally tried out some of the Mooer Pedals, I found that it was way more than just it’s small size. They are built extremely well, and they sound amazing. Most products can give you one thing but you’ll normally find that it’s a trade-off but I’m getting the compact size with an amazing effect in a well built pedal. It’s a win-win. I’ve been using the Mod Factory and the Ensemble King as a main stay in my pedal board and I couldn’t be happier. Amazing pedals!

5) What future projects do you have coming up?

I’ve been working on a solo demo for about a year now. I’m hoping to release something by the end of the year, time permitting. I’ll be continuing my travels in Latin America, US and Canada throughout the year with Ingrid Rosario and you can normally find me on Sunday’s at Christ Church in NJ.

 

5 Questions with Stew Cutler


1) For those not familiar tell us a bit about your career?

I am guitarist / recording artist living in New York.  I have 5 CDs out either on the Fountainbleu or Naim labels- the last recording, “After Hours”,  I released independently. I have played a lot Blues, Soul, Jazz and Gospel music with a wide variety of artists. I have been fortunate to have been able to work and travel as much as I have in my career.

2) What do you see coming up for the future of music?

As for what I see in the future in music- I guess Stew Cutler at Montreux Jazz Clubthere is already a bit of a divide between the “product” that gets churned out by the major record companies, some of which is great, but a lot is nonsense – and actual heartfelt music which will find its own audience. Kinda like fast food or factory farmed food, which gets pushed on us versus organic food which people want and have searched out to the point that organic and non GMO foods have become an industry on their own.

3) What role has music education played in your life?

As far as my own music education I am a self taught musician. I did have many people help me in an informal way, notably guitarist James Clark, but there have been many others. If you are following this path, keeping your mouth shut and ears open is a good rule to follow. It would be nice to see music education make a bit of a comeback in public schools.

4) Why are you using Mooer pedals?

The Mooer pedals are light weight and great sounding. They are especially great if you are traveling, as we all know air travel is becoming more difficult! But I use the pedals in the city too, On gigs on sessions etc, they are really nice sounding. (Ed note: Stew uses the Mooer Yellow Comp, Trelicopter, Ana Echo and Flex Boost)

5) What future projects do you have coming up?

I have a steady gig ay a place called Arthur’s stewcutler guitarTavern here in NYC. I want to record that band, maybe do a live disc, I also want to do a “family band” recording with my wife who sang on ‘So Many Streams” my third disc, my son who is very busy as a bass player in New York and plays on one song on “After Hours” and my daughter who sings and plays with a group called “Small Wonder”, as well as doing her own gigs under the name, “Yours are the Only Ears”.

Thanks for reading our interview with Stew. We really appreciate you checking out our site and your interest in Mooer pedals. This weekend use this code MOOERSC and get free shipping (US orders only) on your purchase of any Mooer pedal. Click below to start shopping.

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Exclusive Interview with Jonny Java Mantra

Jonny Mantra

Tell us a bit about your musical background?
I’ve been playing guitar since age six taught by a local genius in the Bronx names Richie Giorgianni, was lucky enough to go to F.H. Laguardia Performing Arts High School and then study with some amazing masters at the Berklee College of Music where I was in a jazz fusion ensemble with 3 of the members of Imagine Dragons (Wayne, Ben, and Dan. Ben makes amazing cinnamon rolls.). I’ve since then had the pleasure of playing with many of NYC’s phenomenal up and coming artists like Nisha Asnani and Mario Spinetti. I’ll play with pretty much anyone, I just love sharing the experience. I’ve played in jazz bands, dance bands, rock/funk bands, big bands, kirtan combos in yoga studios, solo as a one-man band, with improv comedians, theater orchestras, my own vegas style shows, and much more. I enjoy playing in hospitals, retirement homes, prisons, rehabs and delivering live music to people that can’t afford it or aren’t able to go out and hear it. I love to play pretty much all styles of music and see all vibrations as being created equal, but especially like really spaced out soulful music that has a phat pocket groove with a catchy melody and room for improv with an eastern undertone that sounds like it was spat out by an extraterrestrial aboriginee. I recently went on a tour with Brother Joscephus and The Love Revolution and had a blast playing with them. If you haven’t heard them, go see them live. It’s an amazing experience.

I’m currently working on cruises in Australia and New Zealand as a one-man-act with a loop station. I loop guitar, bass, vocals, beat box, world percussion, household items and an iPod synth attached to my guitar with velcro while doing sorcery, mind reading, pranks, yodeling, vocal toning, animal noises on guitar, and a lil’ comedy and speaking about holistic health and transcendence.

I’ve designed my own guitar along with Godin called Aurora. She’s got a killswitch, sustaniac pickup, Stets Bar tremolo system, Slidefly slide holster, bone nut, harmonic overtone switch, and an iPod holder for synth and sound effects. If James Bond had a guitar, I’m pretty sure he’d want this one haha. It’s a blast.

What are you working on right now?
Right now, I am working on an album trilogy with my band of extraterrestrial, inter-dimensional shamans called the KoZmiK CoLLeCtive. They and others like myself are part of a sleeper cell of a secret agency from the 9th Dimension called L.O.V.E. that zips through the inter-dimensional multiverse to spread love, color and liberation among it’s many inhabitants. We’ve currently been driving around these earth-body machines to create a traveling sound healing festival on Earth that will incorporate vibrational sciences, integral education, holistic health, transcendental practices, performance and visual art, and more along with some and kick-ass music to heal people, empower them and bring out their love and special abilities. Check out some of the the music at www.jonnymantra.com.

We’ve recently patented an exciting new type of guitar slide called the Java Slide that’s really going to shake up the music world. We’re currently looking for a partner to team up with or license the patent to. You can check out the video.

I’m also working on an instructional video called “Strange Guitar” that will display tons of unorthodox, but useful tricks on the instrument along with some of the ones that players may have overlooked as well as another video on the topic of “Ultra-Creative Solo Guitar” that will hopefully extrapolate some fun new ideas out of solo musicians and bands alike. Check out some of the ensuing music and mischief at www.jonnymantra.com.

How would you describe the state of music right now?
As for the state of music right now, I think there’s just so much going on and so much to explore.  The quickly emerging technologies, population boom, growing cosmic awareness and the most access to culture and information that we’ve ever had can shine many paths to walk along if the interest of the individual is there. As long as the spirit of creativity and authenticity are kept alive and we don’t forget where we’ve come from, we can expect lots of new and beautiful musical colors to emerge. I do think that music as a service to humanity, nature, and the universe has an infinite amount of implications that have yet to be explored by many. I feel that the more people think outside of the box while creating music, but do it in an accessible way, the bigger the impact it can have on a wider audience and raise the center of gravity of awareness and musical intelligence. The only way to charm a snake out of her basket is to first play her what she likes. Then you can show her the many colors and lights of your world. (Piss her off and you might get a bite on your ass filled with venom.)

What’s coming up for you in the future?
In the near future I will be traveling all over the US with in my funky camper-party-van named “Iris the Space Van Love Machine” performing everywhere so look out for us this Summer 2014. We plan on visiting Eco-villages, Native American Reservations, festivals, bars, clubs, hospitals, random streets and subway stations, ashrams, temples, churches, parks, crop circles, vortexes and anywhere we can play and meet some really cool people and jam with some sweet musicians while picking up talent for the KoZmic CoLLeCtive Festivals. We’ll need all the help we can get :). Videos and dates will be posted at http://www.jonnymantra.com . In the long term, I’m looking to run a Cafe/Healing Concert Venue/ Hostel/Permaculture inspired eco-village that will provide shelter for those who need it, and give people a place to let loose, be creative and evolve into the infinite beings that they’re destined to bloom into.

What attracted you to Mooer pedals?
I love Mooer because the pedals are super small in size, quirky, and they sound amazing, but best of all they sound unique! They have really cool names too. I’ve been traveling all over the world and it’s been so great to see these popping up in guitar stores on the most random places and islands in the middle of nowhere! I’ve been especially loving the sounds of the Lo Fi Audio Machine and the Bass Sweeper. I play a lot of spacey and funky music and it’s really been enhancing my live performances. I’m really excited to do some recordings with them too. It’s nice to see somebody doing something so different for such a great price, creative high quality, while conserving pedalboard space as an added bonus. You guys rock, your pedals turn heads and your videos are awesome and the people that you have demoing your pedals are brilliant artists! Thanks again for introducing these amazing new sonic bliss machines into the world. P.S. Pickboy pics are the s#!t!

Love,
Jonny Java Mantra