George Bellas Interview
by Jason Richie
1. What are you currently up to? (e.g. touring/studio, etc.)
I am releasing an instrumental album entitled 'Venomous Fingers' November 18,2003 on Lion Music. I have also recently recorded some guitar tracks for Mistheria's 'Messenger Of The Gods' album due out on Lion Music. And I also just finished recording guitar for Vitalij Kuprij's new album 'Forward And Beyond' due out Feb 4, 2004. I recently started work on my next instrumental album, which I plan to release next year. I have a ton of ideas pouring out of me and am just putting them down. It seams as though I never run out of ideas, or get in a rut. I always have an extreme urge to create something or learn something new, constantly...
2. What has been the highlight(s) and low point(s) of your career to date?
The highlight: Getting signed and introduced to some of the best players on the planet. The low point: My father passing away during the making of Venomous Fingers.
3. Your new album, 'Venomous Fingers' is out this month via Lion Music. How did you hook up with Lion Music?
Lasse Mattson of Lion Music contacted me with an offer and I accepted. He is a great business man, a cool guy and incredible guitarist himself.
4. Could you take us through some personal of the highlights of 'Venomous Fingers' please?
The album is stylistically very much like my first album 'Turn Of The Millenium' being very progressive with a lot of complex rhythmic properties, intricate counterpoint, creative structures and immaculate attention to detail in every notes tone, performance and sonic clarity.
5. What would you still like to achieve musically? Would you like to join a band as a full-time member at all & if so which band(s)?
- To do an all 'Acoustic Guitar Album'.
- To incorporate more world music (Tribal chants, etc.) into my own creations.
- To further explore ideas that I feel I have only scratched the surface of.
- To help more of my students achieve their own dreams.
- To reach a wider musical audience.
- To be able to dissolve matter with just the right frequency that I produce on my guitar. It is possible.
6. What was it like working with UFO's Phil Mogg & Pete Way? Were you ever asked to join UFO?
Working with Phil and Pete was great! It was a real blast! We all started to meet over at Pete Ways house, working on some song ideas and just hanging out. One night Pete and I went down to see his buddies play, Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peirt. They were great and a very cool guys as well. alex and I talked about Logic Audio and recording. And yes, I was asked to join UFO. Phil and Pete were trying to get the legal permission to use the band name UFO from Michael Schenker, but he wouldn't let them use the name without him in the group. Very recently though, he signed his rights away from the name, allowing Vinnie Moore, Phil, Pete and the crew use of the name. It'll be great with Vinnie on board!
7. How have you developed your style of guitar playing over the years? What piece of advice would you give to people just starting to play the guitar?
I practiced, studied and wrote constantly while growing up. I read, explored ideas, wrote and improvised for up to 18 hours a day during my youth.
8. How did you first get into the music business? Who have been your main influences on your career to date?
Mike Varney has really given me a big break. He introduced me to some great players and am very thankful for that and all his help. My main influences: Carl Sagan, Einstein and Bach, Beethoven and more...
9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?
Read and write. I love writing code, most often times resulting in software tools for my students and others that may be interested. I also love Science, Math, Art, Graphics, Photography, Video, Animation, Compositing, Nature, Animals, Mountain Biking, Science Fiction movies, Health Food and good fruit smoothies!
10. Message to your fans...
Thanks to everybody for all their support throughout the years. All your letters mean so much to me, thank you! Peace to all of you and I hope you can continue to find enjoyment in listening to my music. For up to date information regarding my current activities, please visit: www.georgebellas.comThis interview can also be found here: Get Ready to Rock