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Voodoo Rock Blues: Orianthi Discusses Her New Album ‘Heaven In This Hell’

Voodoo Rock Blues: Orianthi Discusses Her New Album ‘Heaven In This Hell’

Orianthi-2013-1

From writing her first song at the age of 6, to being discovered and playing alongside her idols Carlos Santana and Steve Vai early in her career, Orianthi has made an enduring mark on the music industry. While many were introduced to this timid guitar goddess when she played the Grammy Awards in 2009 as part of Carrie Underwood’s band, it was being selected for Michael Jackson’s ill-fated “This Is It Tour” that exposed her to mainstream audiences. Since that time, she has continued to gain momentum! In 2009, Orianthi released her impressive debut album, ‘Believe’. It was an album that proved she was more than just a gifted guitarist and a pretty face. “According To You,” her first solo single, which went platinum in the U.S. and abroad, putting her serious vocal chops on to display for all to hear.

In late 2011, between legs of Alice Cooper’s world tour (where she played lead guitar), she began work on her sophomore album. Teaming with legendary musician Dave Stewart (of The Eurythmics), Orianthi recorded a majority of ‘Heaven In This Hell’ at Blackbird Studio in Nashville. Inspired by her blues heroes, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Robert Johnson, Orianthi new album takes listeners on a non-stop thrill ride of riff heavy rock and energetic blues. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with this artist on the rise to discuss the creation of her new album, teaming with producer Dave Stewart, the challenges she encountered along the way and much more!

What was the catalyst that made you know now was the time to hit the studio for a new album?

I have been writing songs for this album for a couple of years now. Dave Stewart called me when he was in Nashville doing his album. He invited me to the studio to check it out and I loved it. I knew that making a record there would be so great and it was more about capturing the live performance than it was recording a whole album. The energy there felt really organic and the way I was hoping to make this record.

Orianthi In The Studio

Orianthi In The Studio

What can fans expect from you and this album sonically?

It is definitely going towards groove heavy rock that I started playing a long time ago. It has more of that flavor to it. At the same time, there are some tracks similar to “Believe” like “Come Together” or “What’s It Going To Be” and is in that sort of vein.

When you first started to create this record, what were your expectations?

It was really about capturing the live sound. I wanted it to sound live where everyone was in the room together and it was full bore rock ‘n’ roll. I wanted to capture that energy. When I originally talked to Dave about it he said the same thing. The guitar solos sound inspired. Actually, most of the songs were written on acoustic guitar.

It is so cool to see you pairing up with Dave Stewart as a producer for this record. How did you two first meet?

We actually met at Stand Up To Cancer, a benefit show. It was a great show that featured Stevie Wonder and Heart, among others. We met and started talking about blues and things we should write together, so we did! We wrote lots of songs together and have played a lot of shows as well. He is a great guitar player as well.

What can you tell us about the process of working with him and what he brought to the table for this album?

The process was really different. Sometimes I would play a guitar riff, like we did with “Fire,” and would build the song from there. We would get out the acoustic guitars and start with some melodies over chords. Dave is a great lyricist as well and would say some things along the way that would make the songs better. He brought a lot of ideas in like “Heaven In This Hell.” He has great ideas and is always thinking about performing the songs live for the audience.

Orianthi-2013-4

How did the atmosphere of Nashville, where the studio is located, influence this record?

Every time I go to Nashville, I find it is very much all about the music. Here in L.A., it is intense but in Nashville it is all about writing songs and musicianship. It is just incredible! You go into the studio and the musicians hear only a little bit of the song and they are playing it within minutes! We had the opportunity to work with some really great players. I think this album was very much about surrounding myself with that great energy. I found it very inspiring.

What were the biggest challenges in creating this album?

There weren’t that many challenges really. We did an EP at the beginning of 2012, 11 months ago now, then I went on tour with Alice Cooper. It was very much broken up. The release of the EP was awhile ago and it has been awhile since I have released new music, three years or something. Once I got off the tour with Alice, we finished up the record via Skype from a studio here in L.A. with the guys in Nashville. I think time was definite a challenge because of all the touring I was doing. I wanted to get the album finished but, at the same time, you also don’t want to rush it. Doing the EP and then finishing off the album, I know, was a good thing.

“Heaven In This Hell” is a great album with a lot going on. Can you tell us about some of the artists who helped influence this record?

Yeah, definitely! I am a big of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, a Carlos Santana fan. I feel this record is a little more colorful than the last record. It has a few more flavors — a bit of country, a bit of blues and rock. I call it my Voodoo Rock Blues record! I was also listening to alot of Robert Johnson, who I love. I learned a lot from him acoustically and what he does with melodies and whatnot. “Heaven In This Hell” actually started with that sort of delta blues riff at the beginning. Then there is “Frozen,” which is electric. I really think this album goes back to who I was listening to when I was younger and who I listen to now, of course. I definitely think this record is a reflection of who I am now.

Obviously, you can learn a lot from a guy like Alice Cooper. What were the highlights of the tour and what did you learn from him?

Alice is amazing! He is one of the nicest people and an incredible entertainer! I have been on tour with him for about a year now. We will be touring again at the end of this year. He is just so great. There are so many great songs and the way the songs are structured have so many different guitar parts. There are three guitar players in the band, Ryan Roxie, Tommy Henriksen and myself. They are great players and the whole band is really top notch. They are all like brothers to me at this point! We have a great time every night and it is like a big party. Like a crazy, non-stop Rocky Horror party! Two hours non-stop, every night! Alice doesn’t talk between any of the songs, so we are literally getting guitars thrown on us for the changes. You get out there and you start songs in the dark! It is pretty crazy and the shows generally run two hours non-stop where you are dodging knives, you have to play “Feed My Frankenstein” and see Alice with the whip! [laughs] He is intense! When he gets into character, you have to watch out! One of the first nights I played with him he came over and stabbed a balloon with a giant sword that was right above my head! It was pretty intense! It has been an amazing experience working with Alice.

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Last time we spoke we discussed your work with Michael Jackson and now Alice Cooper. What is the biggest thing you have taken from working with these amazing performers you plan on bringing to your live show? I am assuming you will be touring in support of this awesome album?

Oh yeah, definitely! We are looking at touring really soon. We are looking at Japan, Australia and definitely here in the States, starting with some club shows here in Los Angeles. Working with all of these amazing performers, the way they present their energy and give it to the audience does make it constantly interesting. They just seem like they are loving it every night. It is not a job, they love it! I say this a lot but it is so true, Alice is quite similar to MJ in the way he is such a great entertainer. He loves his fans and he wants to make sure his show is at its best for them. We are all people who give 110% every night!

We can see a lot of growth over the course of your two albums. What has been the best part of the success you achieved so far?

The exposure on the radio and through “This Is It” has been really inspiring. I get messages on Twitter and Facebook from young girls and guys who say, “I heard one of your songs and I want to play guitar now. You’ve really inspired me.” That is really cool, it really is. I tell them to keep at it! Whether you play guitar, drums or whatever it is — express yourself artistically! Music is powerful and it has helped me through a lot. I can’t imagine doing anything else. My music is my life and I hope I can inspire others to achieve their dreams as well.

You worked with Paul Reed Smith for years. We are based just down the road from his factory. You have just done your second custom model with him. What can you tell us about that process and working with him?

Orianthi: Artist On The Rise

Orianthi: Artist On The Rise

Paul is a great artist. First and foremost, he loves playing guitars. He is so passionate about making sure the guitars he makes are all top notch from the wood to the pick-ups to the way they look with the paint. Everything! I have been to the factory a few times and it is amazing. The people who work in the factory are all guitar players and they take a lot of care in creating the instruments. Everyone is different and they all have their different personalities. One of my favorite PRS guitars is the one I used to audition for the MJ thing. It is called Pepper and it is a PRS Custom 24. It is my favorite guitar and I wanted to model the SE after that. They took that guitar and modeled the new one off of that with the contoured body and 3-way blade switch. The other model I play and love. The same is true of this model as well. They are both quality guitars and are affordable for kids. Some guitars are really expensive and this one is half the price. I am really honored to play their guitars and it is an honor because I have been playing a PRS since I was 11. Carlos Santana inspired me to play the electric guitar. I got a PRS second hand when I was 11 and I couldn’t put it down. Teaming up with Paul and having his support has been an amazing experience. I have been going to NAMM for nine years, so walking into the booth and seeing my own guitar on the stand was pretty crazy!

I know your fans always love to hear from you, Orianthi. Is there anything you would like to say to them before I let you go?

Yeah, definitely! Thank you all for your support through Facebook and Twitter. I can’t wait to tour this spring! I really want to thank them all for their patience because they have moved the date for the album release a few times. We just wanted to make sure that it was put out in Japan the same time it was in the United States. I just want to thank them all for their support and I can’t wait to see them all soon out on the road!

Catch up with Orianthi at her official website, www.OrianthiMusic.com. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Guitarist Orianthi To Unleash ‘Heaven In This Hell’ On March 12th!

Guitarist Orianthi To Unleash ‘Heaven In This Hell’ On March 12th!

Orianthi Is Back!

Orianthi Is Back!

Platinum selling solo artist and iconic guitarist Orianthi is gearing up for the release of her new album, Heaven In This Hell. Orianthi will captivate fans with a record that delivers a mega-dose of rock and weaves elements of modern country and swampy blues. The album, produced by Dave Stewart, will be released on Robo Records (distributed by Universal/Fontana) and is scheduled to drop on March 12, 2013. The first single, “Frozen”, will be serviced to Rock and Classic Rock radio on January 28th.

From writing her first song at the age of 6, to being discovered and playing alongside her idols Carlos Santana and Steve Vai early in her career, Orianthi has made an enduring mark on the music industry. While many were introduced to this timid guitar goddess when she played the Grammy Awards in 2009 as part of Carrie Underwood’s band, it was being selected for Michael Jackson’s ill-fated “This Is It Tour” that exposed her to mainstream audiences. In the Fall of 2009, Orianthi released “According To You,” her first solo single, which went platinum in the U.S. and abroad. More than just a gifted guitarist, this success showed she had serious vocal chops as well.

In late 2011, between legs of Alice Cooper’s world tour (where she played lead guitar), she began work on her forthcoming project. “I am so proud of this album because it really showcases my style of riff heavy rock and energetic blues,” Orianthi remarks. “The success of Believe [her previous CD] helped give me credibility and afforded me the freedom to create the kind of album I have been wanting to make, with musicians I respect, playing together live in a studio, creatively exchanging ideas…the way I want all my records to be made. My friend, collaborator and producer, Dave Stewart and I just jammed and hashed out a variety of songs and sounds until we found the grooves that inspired us” she continued.

While Orianthi recorded a majority of Heaven In This Hell at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, she also recorded several songs and overdubs at Dave Stewart’s (of The Eurythmics) Hollywood Studio. “Working with Ori over the last year has been an inspiring experience for me,” said Stewart . “She is such a dedicated guitarist and focused songwriter; her enthusiasm is infectious and all the musicians who worked on the record were motivated to give her their best. When we went to Nashville, we knew we were about to embark on something exciting, something career altering,” he continued.

The time spent in Nashville left an indelible impression that can be heard in several of the tracks, which were mixed by Nashville resident John McBride. New tracks like “Rock” and “Another You” are examples of crossover country-AC songs that blend heartfelt harmonies and melodies with lyrics that showcase a more vulnerable, exposed emotional side, often veiled by her signature PRS axe. “Heaven In This Hell” the title track, is a blues-rooted rock song which features swampy guitar riffs with an edgy Zeppelin-esque vibe. Songs like “Frozen”, the first single, and “You Don’t Wanna Know” provide listeners with some insight into a couple of her primary musical influences with raw, crunchy guitar riffs reminiscent of Hendrix and Stevie Ray

Vaughn. “If You Think You Know Me” is an arousing anthem with thunderous drums, meant to inspire and empower anyone who has ever felt alone. This track, which begs to be played in a large arena, asks listeners: “Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in?/Like there’s somebody else inside your skin?/ Well you’re not alone/We all came here for something.”

“To say that we are excited about this record is a complete understatement” said Rob Christie, founder of Robo Records. “Not only is Orianthi one of the most gifted musicians I’ve heard, but she also has a heart of gold. She is extremely passionate about music, animals, family and her fans. She truly is an inspiration to adults and children, literally around the globe.”

“I’m so excited to share Heaven In This Hell with the fans! It’s been a long time coming for me,” says Orianthi.

Check out a sneak peek of the making of the album below, along with the tracklisting!

Track listing:
Heaven in this Hell 4:32
You Don’t Wanna Know 3:40
Fire 2:54
If You Think You Know Me 3:35
How Do You Sleep? 4:15
Frozen 3:41
Rock 4:34
Another You 3:43
How Does That Feel? 3:09
Filthy Blues 3:17
If You Were Here With Me 4:11

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Speed of Sound: Salvador Santana Discusses His Musical Evolution

Speed of Sound: Salvador Santana Discusses His Musical Evolution

Salvador Santana is one of the rare artists that can claim that music truly flows through his veins. His maternal grandfather was blues pioneer Saunders King and his paternal grandfather was the internationally celebrated violinist and mariachi bandleader Jose Santana. And, of course, his father is legendary guitarist Carlos Santana. Salvador began playing the drums at age three–sitting on his father’s lap, controlling the snare and tom, as his father worked the hi-hat and kick drum–but his true love was discovered when he began taking piano lessons when he was six. Later, he studied at the heralded Ruth Asawa School of the Arts before attending Cal Arts in Valencia, CA. His education, passion and lineage have turned Santana into a monster on the keys. As he will tell you, it wasn’t that he chose a career in music, rather it chose him. Today, Salvador finds himself blazing his own musical trails as an accomplished musician who has been thrilling audiences at both venues and outdoor festivals throughout Northern and Southern California and plans to continue touring for the remainder of 2012. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with this musician on the rise to discuss the development of his style, his evolution as an artist, the lessons he has learned along the way, as well as what the future holds for him in the years to come.

You come from a musical family, obviously. What are your first memories of music in your life?

I have to say that the first memories of music in my life are being around 2 or 3 years old, my father picking me up, putting me on his lap and giving me a pair of drumsticks and allowing me to play on the drums at a very young age. He was sitting on the drum stool and controlling the high hat, as well as the bass pedal and bass drum. I was able to bang around on the tom-toms, snares and cymbals. That is one of my early recollections of not just listening to music but also playing music. I think it was very important from my father’s standpoint to have me understand rhythm and tempo at a very young age, before I could dive into the wonderful world of harmonies, pitches, chords melodies and things of that nature. That is one of my earliest memories of performing and listening to music.

What drove you to make music your career, as opposed to taking a different path?

Salvador Santana

Ya know, I think music has always been there for me, obviously. It had such an impact on my life at an early age. With that said, I think, inevitably, I didn’t end up choosing music as a career as a path. I think music ended up choosing me! [laughs] It ended up choosing me to represent it. It wanted my take on it, if you will. It was inevitable. No matter what profession I would have chosen, somewhere along the way, even if I had decided to be a veterinarian, a local trash man, a mailman or whatever, I would have still come home at the end of a long day and sat down to make some music. It is just so meaningful to me and it has always been there for me in my life.

Who were some of the influences who helped shape you musically?

There are so many musical influences I have had over the years. Some of them, I have had the opportunity and honor to meet in person, as a matter of fact. As a pianist and a keyboardist, one of them happens to be Herbie Hancock, who is a huge influence in my musical career. Having the opportunity to hang out with him and meet with him on a few occasions has been a dream come true for me, not just one jazz pianist to another, but also as a fan speaking to him. It has been unbelievable! And for him to take the time to tell me he has checked out some of my work and that he really appreciated and dug it …

Wow! That’s got to be an incredible experience!

Yeah! I looked up to the sky, pointed and said, “Thank you, God. If you want to, you can take me now because I feel great!” [laughs]

Tell us a little about how you began developing your style.

Certainly! Coming from the San Francisco Bay area and having being raised there, it is multicultural and very diverse. It has such a fusion of art, culture, food and everything in between. Growing up there, it was very difficult to involve myself in just one style or listen to just one style of music. I felt like it was easier for me to listen to it all as it was being presented to me. What I mean by all types of music is Latin, Jazz, Classical, Hip Hop, Rock ‘N’ Roll, Reggae and if there is anything else I left out, it is because it would be an even longer list! There is so much stuff out there. For me, it is already so complex to put all of that into one sound and much more, so the idea is to make things as simple as possible when we already know they are complex. With that said, it is just so much easier for me as a person to incorporate all of these different genres that have impacted and resonated with me over the course of my career and life. That being said, that is really all that I know how to do — combine different styles of music. It is similar to what my father has done over the years. I guess I am just doing it with what speaks to the people of this generation and to the music that comes out of my generation. At the end of the day, I just want people to take the time to listen to it and enjoy it in the same way I have enjoyed creating it!

What can you tell us about your typical writing process and how you bring a song to life?

Salvador In The Studio

It depends. It is a situation by situation basis. There will be times where I am just going through my normal day. I could be driving or stuck in traffic and an idea will come into my head. It could be lyrical that is catchy or something that is melodic or musical that just comes into my head. I just have to be prepared to dedicate the time and energy to remembering it since I am not in a place to record it or have a device, that is hands free of course, in that situation! [laughs] I have to be able to put myself in the position both physically and mentally to retain the idea — to hold onto it and not let go! Usually when I write, it is music first, lyrics second but there are times where the music comes first and the lyrics follow. For the most part, it happens when I least expect it, so I always have to be present to take down the idea and make sure it is retained.

You recently put out an album, “Keyboard City.” What was the biggest challenge presenting itself with that project?

Just having patience! Almost like I touched on in my last answer. Just having the patience, having the encouragement and staying excited about the process. It is a long and enduring process when you are creating an album, it takes a lot of time, dedication, energy and you have to have a lot of patience, not just for the people who are working for and with you but also with yourself. You have to keep telling yourself it is not about reaching the destination but enjoying the process and the journey of the creation. Like you said, I did just put out the album. “Keyboard City,” if anyone is interested it is available at www.salvadorsantana.com, however, I put out a couple of records before that and each one has been a different process. I was working with different people on each different record but all in all, I have taken the same lesson away from each experience. That lesson was to keep remaining patient, keep having confidence and know that at that moment I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and everything that is happening is supposed to be happening for its own specific reason. Sometimes we can question it then but sometimes we just have to let it go, persevere and keep it moving. I have had a lot of fun doing all of the projects that I have been involved with and I am looking forward to getting myself involved in many more.

Looking back on your body of work, how do you feel you evolved since you first embarked on this music journey?

I definitely feel like I have evolved as an artist! That is for sure! I am just not quite sure how. I think I am just continuing to be in a place where, mentally, I have confidence because I have gained that much more knowledge through experience. The experiences that I have been a part of and through working with people have really allowed me to grow. At the same time, I feel like in order to stay motivated, you can’t really settle. I feel like there is more that I can be doing and more I could be involved with both inside and outside of music. I am inspired by my parents and through my family, always. I feel the need to offer my services, not only through music but through philanthropy and getting involved in an assortment of non-profit organizations and whatnot. For me, it is bigger than the music! I think I have evolved not just as an artist musically but also as a person. The idea is to again remain patient with yourself and therefore remain patient with others to absorb, to retain more information and more knowledge that is beneficial to oneself. The other thing is to enjoy it, to enjoy what you are doing. I know work is work and it’s not supposed to be fun, it’s work! At the same time, I feel really blessed that I get to wake up every morning and go to work and do something that I truly love. People seem to enjoy watching me do what I do. I am forever grateful and forever blessed and that in itself keeps me motivated. I know it is bigger than what I am going through and what I am doing. There are people who need music, a positive distraction in their lives. That is what gets me up everyday, the fact that I can positively distract someone in their life with this beautiful thing we call music!

You mentioned philanthropy. I know you are involved with quite a few great projects. What can you tell us about that part of your life?

Salvador Santana

Absolutely! I just did a benefit concert for an organization I became aware of through my mother, Deborah Santana. Her organization, which is called Doalittle.org. Through her organization, I got involved with a very small but unbelievable girls school in Kenya called Daraja Academy. You can visit their website at www.daraja-academy.org. I was just a part of a benefit concert where it was myself on piano performing for a variety of different artists and people who decided to come along to learn and dedicate their time and energy to raising awareness about the school. It was great to be a part of! Everyone liked the music and for me, I said, “I am here for Daraja. We are here for the same reason and goal, so I am happy to raise awareness and get the message out there.” Education is important and these young girls, specifically, just like everyone in this world, they have a voice that needs to be heard. They have leadership qualities and these are the people we need to focus on in order to help us persevere in the future. The one thing we all have in common, the one fear we have in common and that is the fear of the unknown. We want to make sure that the human race can develop these leaders of the new school and make sure they can lead us to a brighter future without fear.

Most importantly, after the benefit concert, we raised quite a lot of money that evening. I want to say close to $150,000 that evening and it has progressed since then. That is really what I am talking about — involving yourself anyway that you can with a collection of people that also have the same goal in mind. When you offer your services however you can for the betterment of humanity and a great cause, you can’t go wrong. I have nothing but positive things to say about it! www.daraja-academy.org, they are just great! It is a wonderful school. Jason and Jenny, the couple that turned us onto this school, are awesome people. I just recommend everyone to check it out and get involved. It is truly wonderful.

Jumping back to your music, you recently released a video for “Into The Light.” What can you tell us about the song, making that video and any plans for future music videos?

Salvador Santana

Oh, absolutely! I am always planning for more videos. We just need the songs first! [laughs] They are in the works! I am working on writing some new material, as we speak. “Into The Light,” very similarly to what we have been discussing, is about offering a positive distraction in a world full of negativity. That is basically what the song is about. I got together with Mr. Barrett Yeretsian, who recently co-wrote a song with Christina Perri called “Jar of Hearts,” which is blowing up all over the place. Just before that happened, he and I got together in Los Angeles. We just sat down, kinda like what you and I are doing, and started discussing ideas, talking about what we wanted to do and what message we wanted to put out there. All of a sudden, Barrett started playing these chords on the piano and I said, “Oh, that’s nice! What is that?” He said, “I don’t know, I just started to play it!” It was really cool, so I took those chords and made this pattern, which is what you hear when the song starts. That piano intro is literally how the song started and we took it from there. I took it home and, with a buddy of mine, added some lyrics to it. Next, I got our female vocalist, Alex Nester, who is featured on the video and on the song, I brought her into the studio to see how it would sound if she sang on it, as opposed to me or a male vocalist. She came in and the rest is history! [laughs] I am just so grateful and happy about the way everything played out in that situation. I couldn’t have asked for a better result, both sonically and visually. Lyrically, I wanted the song to really stand out. It is current and it pertains to what has been happening and what is happening right now, recently in the past 10 to 15 years. I also think it is relevant to what will be happening in the near future. I wanted it to be kinda like, not that it is, but I wanted it to be kinda like Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” You can pop that record on and, even though you can tell that record came out in the ‘70s from its orchestration and how it sounds, but when you listen to it lyrically, the things Marvin is talking about are still relevant, even to this day. This was almost four years ago. I wanted this record to be timeless and classic. I wanted it to be relevant now, relevant then and relevant forever. As long as there is war, “Into The Light” will always be relevant because it talks about that 1% in a 99% world of darkness. We want to offer that there is that glimmer of hope in a world of darkness and that we need to keep focusing on that because that is what it is all about — getting into the light.

What is the best piece of advice someone gave you in regards to your career in music you can pass on to others?

A Man With A Very Bright Future

I will keep it short and sweet. When someone says, “No,” and offers you discouragement instead or encouragement, just smile and keep telling yourself that it is nothing personal. Keep doing what you love to do. Be yourself and don’t let anyone else discourage you or disrupt your creative flow while you are on your path. No matter what, everyone can do something that someone else can’t do. It is all about capitalizing on that and utilizing it to spread positivity and so you can validate people with that positive distraction. They need that reassertion that, “I am a person. I am validated and I deserve to be happy and jump around when I listen to this music. No one can tell me I am acting like a fool!” It is all about doing what you love to do and being yourself. When you are being yourself and having fun as a musician on stage performing, when people see you having fun, they realize that they are allowed to have fun too! Then they can have fun with you!

Where are the best places for people to catch up with you and learn more about you online?

www.salvadorsantana.com is the place to be. You can check out all of my social media plugs are there for Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. I also have CDs and songs for sale. You can keep up with my current news and what is happening. Last but not least, and if not most importantly, you can check out the Tour Date section and see where I’ll be performing. Hopefully, I will be coming to a town near you very soon! Stay up to date and definitely stay in touch with me through www.salvadorsantana.com.

Awesome! Thank you so much for your time today, Salvador! We look forward to spreading the word on you and your project. All the best to you in the future!

That sounds good. Thank you!

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On the Courage Video Shoot with Orianthi and Lacey from Flyleaf

On the Courage Video Shoot with Orianthi and Lacey from Flyleaf

Take a look at the making of “Courage,” the new video from Orianthi and Flyleaf’s Lacey Mosley.  “The idea for the music video was to really bring the lyrics to life by interspersing my and Lacey’s performance with images that we think project courage,” said Orianthi.

The singer also let fans in on a secret – she’s not a very good driver.  “We had lots of different scenes; the first one was set in an RV, driving around… thank god [Lacey] was driving, otherwise we’d probably end up in the closest tree!”  Luckily for Orianthi she has her guitar to fall back on – “I love her playing guitar – I’ve never seen a girl play like her, she’s really strong and powerful,” Lacey shared.

“Courage” can be found on Orianthi’s album Believe (II).  Visit Orianthi.com for additional information.

Visit Orianthi.com and follow her on Twitter for the latest updates.

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Orianthi Unleashes Video For “Courage” Featuring Lacey Mosley of Flyeaf

Orianthi Unleashes Video For “Courage” Featuring Lacey Mosley of Flyeaf

Australian singer/songwriter Orianthi has released a new music video for the song “Courage,” from her recent release Believe (II). “Courage is one of my favorite songs to sing live… It’s very spiritual and it takes you to a colorful place,” she says of the track, which showcases the rocker’s softer side and features friend Lacey of the band Flyleaf. “I had a great time making the video with Lacey. I love the setting and the colors that were used in this clip – very earthy and exactly the way I envisioned the video for this tune to be.”

Believe (II) also features Orianthi’s hits “According to You” and “Shut Up and Kiss Me,” and is available in store and on iTunes.

Visit Orianthi.com and follow her on Twitter for the latest updates.

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Orianthi Announces Summer Tour Dates with Adam Lambert

Orianthi Announces Summer Tour Dates with Adam Lambert

Fresh from recent performances on American Idol – one with her hit single “According to You” and most recently on Idol Gives Back, where she delivered a killer guitar solo during Mary J Blige’s rendition of “Stairway To Heaven” – Orianthi is now setting her sites on the road as she joins Adam Lambert on tour this summer.  See below for an initial list of Adam Lambert tour dates featuring Orianthi.  More dates to be added soon! Visit www.orianthi.com for further details and updates.

Orianthi’s newest single “Shut Up & Kiss Me” is available now for download on iTunes, along with her smash debut album Believe.

June 4th – Wilkes-Barre, PA – The FM Kirby Center for the Arts
June 5th – Sayerville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
June 6th – Wappinger Falls, NY – Dutchess Stadium
June 10th – Council Bluffs, IA – Harrah’s Ballroom
June 11th – Mahnomen, MN – Shooting Star Casino
June 12th – Prior Lake, MN – Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
June 14th – Columbus , OH – LC Pavillion
June 15th – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
June 17th – Hammond, IN – The Venue at Horseshoe Casino
June 18th – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Theater
June 19th – West Toronto, ON – Molson Amphitheatre
June 22nd – New York, NY – Nokia Theatre
June 24th – Mashantucket, CT – MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods
June 26th – Atlantic City,  NJ – Borgata 
July 28th – Costa Mesa, CA – Orange County  Fair– Pacific Amphitheatre
August 13th – Bethlehem, PA – Artsquest


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Guitar Goddess Orianthi Talks About Her Debut Album, Michael Jackson & More!

Guitar Goddess Orianthi Talks About Her Debut Album, Michael Jackson & More!

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At 24 years old, Orianthi has already experienced what most aspiring musicians may spend a lifetime trying to obtain. She has opened for Steve Vai, played with Carlos Santana, jammed with Prince and blew away the audience with her performance alongside Carrie Underwood at the Grammys. Most recently, this astounding guitar virtuoso was hand-picked to by the late King of Pop (Michael Jackson) to serve as the guitarist on his tour farewell tour and is featured prominently in the This Is It documentary which has thrilled countless fans worldwide. Armed with her guitar, some kick-ass guitar riffs and an adventurous spirit, this rising star has her sights set on becoming a full blown pop sensation! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Orianthi to talk about her blossoming career, working alongside rock royalty, her debut album, “Believe,” and what the future holds for her.

orianthi-3How did music first come into your life?

When I was six, I picked up the guitar for the first time. My Dad had guitars all around the house. He is a guitarist and I would see him in great bands. He had records by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Carlos Santana, Elvis Presley and Eric Clapton. I would listen to those. When I was ten, I studied classical and then when I was eleven, I saw Carlos Santana perform in Adelaide, Australia. That is when I went to my Dad and said “I don’t want to play classical anymore, I want to play electric guitar!” I begged him for an electric and I got a second hand Paul Reed Smith and I never put it down! I wanted to learn as many Carlos Santana songs and solos as I could. I just love it!

What has kept you inspired throughout the years as an artist?

Just listening to different records and guitarists. I think that you can never stop learning from guitarists like Carlos Santana and Steve Vai. They are just amazing. They are my two idols and it is awesome to have their support and encouragement. I got to jam with Carlos when I was eighteen and that was a dream come true! When I was fifteen I got to open for Steve Vai in Adelaide, Australia and he kept in contact with me and we wrote a song for the record, Believe, which is called “Highly Strung”. It was a real honor to work with him.

You mentioned your debut album ‘Believe’. What can you tell us about the album for those who might not be familiar with it yet?

I set out to create a really commercial record, a pop-rock record that has lots of guitar solos that has sort of an “eighties now” vibe to it. I think that it is an empowering record. It’s not negative lyrically and I hope to inspire a lot more people to pick up the guitar, especially girls. I want them to keep at it and never give up because there aren’t too many female guitar players out there, so if I could inspire more, that would be awesome!

What can you tell us about the writing process for that record?

Well, when I first moved over from Adele to LA, I started writing. I went over and wrote in Nashville and in LA. I worked with some great songwriters . I love the whole process, ya know, of going into a room and sitting around to come up with something that you never thought you would have at the end of the day. I always come up with guitar riffs or sometimes I am humming melodies of chords and stuff, writing lyrics with different people, it just turns out differently each time. It’s not like when you go into a room and write a song by yourself. It may turn out completely the way you want it but when you have other people come in, they have other ideas that they bring to the table that you would never think of. I like that process! I think that it is really cool!

orianthi-believe-240x240What was the biggest challenge in making the record?

Trying to make sure that all of the songs where really strong, chorus wise. I wanted to make a record that people could put into their car and not want to change. I worked with producer Howard Benson, who is an incredible producer, we very much focused on the choruses and not putting too much guitar playing into it. We wanted just enough so that it was still really guitar based, but not too much so that someone who is not a guitarist who is listening to it gets put off by it. So, I guess the challenge was balancing those elements. I am really proud of the record and hopefully it connects with a lot of people.

You are plugged into the different social networks like Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. How have your fans been responding to the album?

They are really liking it! I am getting some very nice emails and support. It has been really good. They are waiting for us to get out and tour. I can’t wait to do that with the new stuff! We have been rehearsing as a band and playing the new stuff, so there will be more guitar solos live and we are looking at where to extend them. We have been having a lot of fun with it and the support has been great!

Are there are any concrete tour plans in the future or are you still working on that?

We are still waiting to hear who we are going to be touring with. At the moment, we are on this crazy radio/press tour, traveling around, meeting different people throughout the country and seeing more of America. It’s very cool!

Hopefully you like what you have seen so far!

Oh yeah, definitely!

Many people got their initial exposure to you and your guitar skills through Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’. How did you get that gig?

orianthi-4I actually got the gig through Myspace. I got an email from Mike Beardon. He saw me jamming at the Grammy Awards with Carrie Underwood. He reached out to me through Myspace and I didn’t think that it was for real. He told me to learn “Beat It”, “Dirty Diana” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”. I learned the tracks and I was super nervous but I went in and played for Mike Beardon and Michael Jackson came in one night and I played “Beat It” with a cranked up guitar solo. MJ was looking right at me and I was very nervous. I have never been that nervous in my life! He hired us all that night. It seemed like a dream! It was awesome playing for him.

I am sure that you have seen the film by now, right?

Yeah, I have seen it twice.

Did it capture that moment in time accurately, as far as your experience goes?

Oh yeah, totally! There were cameras around all the time and for me I almost became unaware of them being there because you are so focused on your part, what you are doing and trying to make Michael happy with what you were doing. I don’t think that you are going to see a “more real” movie. It is a documentary that invites you into our world for three months. I think that Kenny (Ortega) did an awesome job of putting it together, it really makes you feel like you were there. The first time I saw it was very emotional and I didn’t know how I was going to sit through it. The second time, it was a look back at incredible memories of working with a musical icon that I looked up to immensely.

What is your fondest memory from working alongside The King of Pop?

Ya know, he just wanted the best out of all of us. He was a perfectionist but he was very kind with it. I remember one time, just after I had auditioned for him, I was walking down the corridor of where were were rehearsing. Michael was coming down with his bodyguard and there was nobody else around. I was wearing a hat and I didn’t have my hair down like when he had seen me before in the audition, so I didn’t know if he would recognize me. I thought I might just run away into a room or something but then I decided to just be normal and say hello to him! He was really nice and grabbed my hand and said hello and “God bless you. I will see you soon!” He was just really a kind person and didn’t seem to have an ego. That made me smile for the rest of the day!

You have worked with such musical icons as Carlos Santana, Steve Vai and Michael Jackson, of course. I was curious to know who else you might like to collaborate with in the future?

I would love to do a some with B.B. King or Eric Clapton. That would be awesome! Prince! That would be really cool! I got to jam with Prince but we never recorded anything but that would be terrific. Also, Keith Urban. I am a big country fan.

orianthi-5What do you hope that people come away with after listening to your music or seeing your live performance?

As a band, we just love playing. We want to keep that child-like spirit up and inspire to pick up the guitar and have fun. Hopefully, when people see us live they think we are a very powerful band. We work really hard to make sure all of the parts compliment each other, so hopefully people will get inspired and pick up the guitar when they get home, that would be awesome!

How did you first get involved with Paul Reed Smith and what has that experience been like for you?

It’s been great! I love his guitars! Like I said, after seeing Santana I begged for a guitar and it had to be a Paul Reed Smith. So I got a second hand Custom 24. When I was fourteen, I actually made a demo and sent it out to Paul and he wrote back to me. He really liked it. Then when I was eighteen, I got to jam with Carlos in Australia and he took that DVD of us jamming to Paul. Paul invited me over to the NAMM show and I came over to play in the booth. I think it was in 2005, I was with Carlos there and his son was in the audience. He knew my A&R guy and he asked for my MP3s and forwarded it on to Ron Fair, who I auditioned for and that is how I got my record deal. That is kinda how it happened. Paul has been super-supportive and there is some exciting news coming up in January! I’m not going to say what, but I am really excited! It is really exciting to be working with him. He is a great guy, really supportive and I just really love his guitars. I think that he is the best guitar maker in the world!

You have worked with so many icons from the industry in your career. What is the best piece of advice someone has given you along the way?

I got a lot of advice from Steve Vai and Carlos Santana. Just play from your heart, play what you feel. that is what I learned from them. Also, never stop learning. I think it is very important to keep on evolving as a player and to learn from other people. Every one I play with, be it a drummer, bass player or a guitar player, everyone approaches it differently. We all come from a different musical world and I think it is really important to learn as much as a you can from each other. When I sit back and I am eighty-five, I want to still be able to move forward as a player and not just be stuck in one place, if you know what I mean. So yeah, it is very important to never stop learning.

orianthi-2Have you had a ‘Spinal Tap Moment’ on stage where something totally unexpected has happened to you?

Yeah! I used to play in a cover band from when I was about fifteen until I was about twenty in Adelaide. We used to play two or three nights a week, Top 40 stuff. We played a wedding one time out in the country. This one guy was really drunk and poured his beer into the fold-back and the wedges, the power went out and he fell. During his fall he hit the mic which bruised my lip and he fell into the bass drum! [laughs] That was very… dramatic! [laughs] It is kinda funny looking back on it but it wasn’t funny at the time. But yeah, I try not to trip over chords, especially when I am wearing high heels. It was a challenge running up in wedges for the ‘This Is It’ show. I was thinking the whole time that I was going to land on my butt! [laughs] As a guitar player, I don’t know if we have the best sense of direction but trying to find the stage with the band is sometimes a challenge! Definitely Spinal Tap! [laughs]

Is there anything else you want to add or let your fans know?

Yeah! Thank you so much for your support! I really appreciate it. I read all of the emails, I can’t reply to all of them but I love reading them and I try to reply to as many as I can! Thank you, everyone!

2009 has been quite a big year for you and I am sure 2010 will be even bigger. All the best to you!

Thank you!

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Get all the latest information on Orianthi at her official website, www.orianthi.com. You can also connect with her on Myspace or Twitter! Be sure to check out her debut album, Believe, on iTunes!

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