Jan 21, 2013
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience of Savatage fans who will wait for hours in the rain after today’s show just so that I’ll sign their LPs for no reason other than my name is in the acknowledgements section … in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!
I hope he takes this as a compliment, but Xander Demos’ guitar stylings remind me of the 1980s. In that era, I was a newspaper rock critic, listening to hour upon hour of heavy metal guitar solos and hair nation bands. And I liked it!
XANDER DEMOS audio excerpt: "I grew up listening to Savatage and a lot of the '80s bands, Stryper, Racer X, all these guys with cool guitar harmonies. Even though so much of that stuff was so articulate, technical, I noticed that live, sometimes, they would never do the same exact thing. It was never more apparent than when I started listening to more instrumental stuff. Even the jazz guys didn't play the same thing live because maybe the vibe's not there. As you become a mature guitar player, you find a comfort level with what you can improv."
So hearing his work took me back to what was, for me, a simpler time of cueing up a record album or cassette and sitting back with nothing better to do than listen to some wango tango grooves and blazing hot licks. And yes, we actually talked like that. Those were fun days when I didn’t need to multitask or always use my time wisely. So I appreciate a good turn down memory lane. But this young man, Xander Demos, is not a nostalgia act; he’s a working musician, straight out of Pittsburgh, playing in not one but three different bands: the Xander Demos Band, Into The Arena, and Sabbath Judas Sabbath. Okay, the last is a Black Sabbath/Judas Priest cover band, so maybe there is a little nostalgia at work here, but you get the idea. I invited Xander to join us tonight to play a few tunes and talk about life as a working musician at the start of the twenty-first century.