Exclusive Interview with Matt Moliti

1) Tell us about your musical background
I started playing guitar when I was around 13 years old. My dad played keyboards and was into a lot of 70’s Progressive Rock bands such as Genesis, King Crimson, Yes, and ELP, so those bands were what originally ignited my passion for music and to this day, I really consider the old prog rock bands, especially early Genesis and King Crimson, to be among my favorite bands of all time. The first two big bands that really made me want to take guitar seriously, though, were Pink Floyd and Rush. It wasn’t until I was around 16 and got into bands such as Dream Theater and Symphony X, and guitarists like Michael Romeo, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Jason Becker, that I really started getting into the shred metal guitar thing and practicing for hours and hours a day. Eventually I got into more extreme forms of metal, like death and thrash (Death and Carcass being my two all time favorite extreme metal bands), but simultaneously developed a taste for jazz/fusion artists like Allan Holdsworth and Shawn Lane. I also really enjoy classical composers like Bach, Bartok, and Satie, 70s European classic rock bands like Deep Purple and Rainbow, and 80s goth rock/new wave like Bauhaus and Depeche Mode. I think its important for a musician to have a pretty wide palette of listening tastes. Its like a well balanced diet, you know? You can’t just eat one kind of food all the time without getting sick of it.

2) What are you working on now?
Since 2006 I’ve been performing lead guitar, death vocals, and being the primary songwriter for the Progressive Metal band, Dark Empire. We started out as a little bit more powermetal sounding, but we’ve started to move away from that and towards a heavier progressive/extreme metal sound over the course of the last two albums. I really love the heaviness and aggression of death and thrash metal, but still really love the melodic vocal delivery and explorative songwriting of progressive rock, so in Dark Empire I try to marry the two styles together. In March of 2012 we released our latest album, From Refuge to Ruin, and its the first album to feature our new vocalist, Brian Larkin, as well as a switch over to 7 string guitars. After the release, we formed a brand new lineup which also features fellow Pickboy endorser Christian Colabelli sharing guitar duties with me now. Actually, its the first time we have a lineup local and steady enough to gig regularly with, so right now we’ve been trying to play live as often as possible and build momentum in the NYC/NJ area. I also started endorsing Vigier guitars recently, and I currently play their Excalibur Supra 7 string model. Long term plans right now are to continue gigging steadily with Dark Empire and to start working on a 3-4 song EP sometime next year. Now that I know I have a guitarist like Christian in the band with me, I plan on having a lot more dueling guitar solo type stuff. It’ll be pretty sick for sure. I also teach guitar at the School of Rock in Chatham, NJ as well as online Skype webcam lessons.

3) What is the role of education in music?
As someone who teaches guitar for a living, I think its pretty important. In the end, all teachers are, are a resource of information, and I think its important for any musician to grow to seek out new information. It could be from a private instructor, a book, DVD, youtube, or even listening to and coping licks and ideas from new music. I don’t think there is a set path to be traveled by every musician, though, and I believe it is my role as a teacher to cultivate and guide each student on their own path. I really love the Japanese word for teacher, sensei, because it literally translates to “one who has gone before.” This is a perfect description of how I view myself, because I don’t claim to know all the answers, but I really enjoy sharing my knowledge, experience, and musical philosophy with my students. The most important piece of information I can give to any student would be to learn to use your ears and to develop a solid understanding of intervals, since those are the building blocks of all harmony, melody, etc.

4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?
Its a weird spot that we’re in right now. Modern recording technology has made it really easy for artists to create and release their music. Its enabled many bands to get heard that might not have been able to 20 years ago, but the downside is that now there is such an overflow of artists out there that the competition is pretty fierce. The internet has been such a double edged sword in this regard. With that said, things like youtube, Facebook, instagram, twitter, etc enable artists with such a great outlet for connecting with their audience, and i think that direct connection with the fans will be where the future of the industry is going.The one thing I fear is the devaluation of music and musicians that is a result of illegal downloading and file sharing. Please, if you enjoy an artists work, pay for it, and support what they do. And artists, please take advantage of streaming media as a way to showcase your work to potential fans!

5) Why do use Pickboy Picks?
I was introduced to them via my co-guitarist in Dark Empire, Christian Colabelli. I have to be honest, when I first got my samples in the mail I was way skeptical. I’ve been a Jazz III user for as long as I can remember, and really haven’t found any other picks that have come close to feeling as comfortable for me. Despite the fact that the majority of my lead style involves very little picking and mostly right hand tapping, there,s some pretty intense riffing going on in Dark Empire tunes, so having the right guitar pick is crucial for my rhythm guitar playing. As soon as I tried the Jazz Pos A Grip 1.50 mm, all skepticism was cast aside. The slightly-larger-than-Jazz-III size felt perfect, and I actually found the broader surface area allowed me to have a more relaxed grip on the pick. The beveled edge gives an incredibly fast response as well, and I found it super easy to let the pick do more of the work for me. The only downside is figuring out what the hell I’m gonna do with all these Jazz III’s lying around that I’m not going to use anymore!

Pickboy Unveils New ergo-grip mBOSS Pick

Pickboy unveils new ergo-grip pick – The mBOSS. Combining grip, ergo form, and celluloid, the mBOSS pick delivers great tone that won’t slip through your fingers. Pickboy is one of the leaders in introducing grip picks to the market and this is our newest design. The mBOSS pick features our retro logo for good looks and easy identification. The mBOSS pick is available in 1.00mm in rainbow, t-shell, black and white. You’ll find them in authorized Pickboy dealers at the beginning of November.

Dealers please contact Jeremy Johnson via email jeremy(at)osiamo.com and place your pre-order now.

Exclusive Interview with Sonny Lanegan of The Dark

Sonny Lanegan of The Dark

What are you working on now?
I play bass for The Dark. The first single will be released in September 2012, followed by a video clip. We are going to start recording the whole album in October 2012. I sing and write music for White Pulp. The new album “Vulgarity is not a Felony” was released in July 2012. The promotion is running and we got an amazing response from press and fans. Through radio stations from all over the US, which happily picked up the album, people can nationwide enjoy my music. The release will be followed by a tour in winter 2012.

Tell us about your musical background?
I grew up listening to a lot of bands. I believe that in order to start writing music you should be open to different genres and be pretty open minded. Trent Reznor and Maynard James Keenan are definitely two of my biggest influences. They both found a way to create something unique, extremely attracting and at the same time melodic.

What is the role of education in music?
Personally I didn’t go to school to study music. I think to be a good songwriter it is really important to have a wide musical culture. I gained all my knowledge just by playing in several bands and listening to a lot of music.

How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?
As we all know the music industry has been going through many problems for years. It is not the same as it was 10 years ago and it gets harder and harder for musicians to promote themselves with only little help. Social networks and digital platforms can be good tools to give you bigger exposure for little money. At the same time I miss the good old days when there was a full crew working with and around a band in order to succeed in the best way possible.

Why do use Pickboy Picks and R.Cocco strings?
I had the chance to try Pickboy Picks with more than one gauge and I prefer those over other brands. The combination of Pickboy Picks and R.Cocco strings is perfect for me. Also the R.Cocco strings are absolutely awesome. The strings last a very long time and I’m happy to not change them so often. But even better, the sound is incredible. My favorites are the RC4F set (45-65-80-100). The sound of it is unbelievable.

I’m glad to be endorsed by you guys.

Osiamo exhibiting at Brooklyn Autumn Guitar Show Sept 9, 2012

Brooklyn Autumn Guitar Show 2012

Osiamo LLC is proud to be participating in the Brooklyn Autumn Guitar Show. We’ll be exhibiting Mooer micro pedals, Pickboy guitar picks, our very own Ultra Straps, and R.Cocco strings. We’ll be sharing space with Phil Jones Amps. Stop by and see say hi to Rawn, Michael, and Jeremy. See you there!

Sunday September 9th 2012, Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11249. 11am to 5pm. map

FREE Admission!!!

Exclusive Interview with Jay Gore

Jay Gore, Pickboy endorsee
Tell us about your musical background
I was born and raised in L.A. I started playing at the Hollywood, Sunset Strip clubs when I was 13. After High school I went to GIT. Soon after, I got hired to be Sly Stone’s session guitarist. Ever since then I’ve toured and done session work with artists like : Hilary Duff, Lauryn Hil, Boz Scaggs, Eddie Money, Glenn Hughes, Bobby Kimball, Mindi Abair, Dave Koz, Keb’ Mo’, Ray Parker Jr, Don Felder and many others.

What are you working on now?
I am working on my first CD and preparing for a gig in Europe on the Dave Koz and Friends Cruise.

What is the role of education in music?
I think it’s important. The discipline and knowledge are very important for being a well-rounded player. However, it’s also important to know when to break the musical rules. When it sounds good, it IS good.

How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?
I think it’s really bad from a business side. To what’s left of the major labels it’s more important how you look than how you sound. Artists can barely, if at all, play their instruments. Labels are not interested in development or longevity. On the good side, the internet has made it possible to be successful without record labels. But, now artists have to spend so much time self promoting and self producing that they don’t have as much time to perfect their craft. It’s sad.

Why do use Pickboy Picks?
I have been a loyal Pickboy user for maybe 10-15 years. Their materials and design allow for me to use a stiffer pick that still feels like it’s not too thick. I love how the picks have a better point. It’s like a Jazz Pick point on a traditional sized pick. Also, I think the material is easier to hold and sounds better. YES, different pick materials have different sound! Doesn’t a glass slide sound different than a brass one? Don’t my hands sound different from yours?

For more information about Jay Gore visit : www.facebook.com/JayGoreOnGuitar

For more information about Pickboy picks visit : www.osiamo.com

Summer NAMM 2012 : Public Day

The last day of summer NAMM was public day. We had many local guitars stop by and check out Mooer micro pedals, Pickboy, R.Cocco and Taurus.

New to our artist list for Mooer are Tommy Bolan, Dylan Rosson, Johnny Reno and Saul Zonana. We also have 4 new Mooer dealers: Leonards Music, LLC Sumter, SC, The Musicians Exchange Van Buren, AR, Pittsburgh Guitars Pittsburgh, PA, and Superior Music Mt. Juliet, TN. Welcome on board all!

We also had some music industry luminaries stop and say hello including Tom Bowlus of Bass Gear Magazine and music lawyer extraordinaire, Ron Bienstock.

Some more Mooer pedals demos including one by our new Mooer endorsee, Dylan Rosson, on the Hustle Drive.

Summer NAMM 2012 : Day 2

Another super busy day for us at Summer NAMM 2012. Many dealers, artists, and industry all-stars stopped by and visited with us on Friday.

And of course, more demos of the tremendously popular Mooer micro pedals.

Summer NAMM 2012 : Day 1

Day 1 Summer NAMM was a great success for us. We had many dealers and friends stop by our booth and check out our new Mooer pedal line, Pickboy picks, R.Cocco strings and Taurus pedals.

We also have some videos so you can hear why people are getting all excited about Mooer micro pedals.

Exclusive interview with Henry Black

Henry Black Pickboy endorseeWhat are you working on now?

School is over and I am enjoying a lazy summer. We just played a great House of Blues show and now I am busy writing more music.

Tell us about your musical background?

I started playing the guitar early but didn’t love playing until I was eleven.Something just hit and I it stayed with me.Its almost as if its an extension of me at this point. In the beginning I would pick one artist and immerse myself in their music. I lived and breathed in succession Tom Petty, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn , The Black Keys, John Lee Hooker and many more. A recent obsession is Freddie King. We are so lucky at this age to have access to artists that would have been impossible to find fifteen years ago.

What is the role of education in music?

I was truly disappointed in my musical instruction in Elementary school and in Florida that is where it ended. There was so much structure and little appreciation.I have be blessed with amazing guitar teachers and mentors. I am a better player and musician because of them.

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

The Current state of the music industry is so very sad. There are a handful of artists that saturate the airways and very little diversity on the radio .Live performances and ability to play and sing seem to be an afterthought .I have been told on multiple occasions that I could have a more marketable sound if I would just be like….seems everything is pigeonholed with little room for something new.

Why do use Pickboy Picks?

I use Pickboy because they are smaller than traditional picks and give me more control so I can attack the strings better.