Cosmic Events On Planet X And Beyond Page 3
by Martin Popoff

What are your favorite performances of your own on this record? "I think 'Pods Of Trance', which has some really good keyboard work on it, a good solo, and I think 'Europa' is a really good song. But all over, it was a real challenge because Virgil and Tony are such amazing musicians. It's the first time I've ever played with players of this caliber so I really had to step up and rise to the occasion."

And what about Virgil Donato moments? "'Dogboots', man, that's five minutes of 32nd notes at 200 bpm. Amazing. Virgil just kicks ass everywhere, all over the record. He just, well, he plays some shit I've never heard before."

How about contrasting the two guitarists on the two albums?

"Brett Garsed played more of a minimal role on my first record. But Brett is more of a legato, Holdsworthian-style player where Tony is more staccato. But Tony plays great legato stuff too. Tony just has more sonic presence. You know what I mean? I translate music the same way you watch a movie. Like when you see Dineiro or Pacino on stage, they have stage presence. You can't take your eyes off them. They just fill the screen and in rock'n'roll, I try to project myself on disc or on record the same way. When you are out there playing, you've got to carry your weight."

Guitarist Tony MacAlpine offers the following characterization of Universe: "It's interesting, it's fresh, it's new, with challenging rhythms and chordal harmonies and it's full of the unexpected."

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