South American guitarist Xavier Moyano (born December 2, 1981) is an Argentine musician, producer, audio/video recording engineer, and teacher. He began his career as a session guitarist in San Miguel de Tucumán in 1999 and by 2003 was the guitarist for rock/pop band AVe Cesar until 2008, after which he became a solo rock instrumentalist. Moyano has taken his show to more than fifty cities in five countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Peru), and gives guitar clinics at conservatories, academies, institutes, and schools of music throughout South America.
August 2011 we’ll see Xavier playing also in Europe. Who’s this man who speaks with his guitar… Last week I asked him this among other things..
Hi Xavier, you’re well-known in the South American Rock and Metal scenes, but can you represent yourself to our readers who don’t know you yet?
Hi there Metal Shock readers! I’m Xavier Moyano, from Tucuman, Argentina. Greetings! I hope you like what you’re going to read about my work and my art in this interview.
When did you find the Music? and what does it mean to you?
I’ve found Music when I was 16 years old and it means everything to me. It’s my life and my job. It allows me to bring my art to different places and present it live, so I can reach people’s feelings and share the stage with different artists. In that way, I share experiences and nurture myself musically, as well as culturally.
How would you describe yourself as a guitarist? I mean genre-and-technique-wise…
I consider myself a guitarist not only involved with one particular style. Of course, I play Metal, but I also play Rock, Blues and Funk. I think every genre has something unique to be explored, some require the use of techniques, others are very simple. I adapt myself according to the work I have to do. I really like ballads, what is melodic and has feelings.
What have been, so far, the most important acts where you’ve played with?
Opening up for MOTORHEAD (UK) in Cordoba, Argentina. Playing with my band SELIGER in Buenos Aires with ANGRA (Brazil), SONATA ARCTICA (Finland), and our show in Montevideo (Uruguay), in this band the former singer was Thiago Bianchi (SHAMAN), right now the singer is Gus Monsanto (EX ADAGIO AND REVOLUTION RENNAISANCE), both from Brazil. Another experience that changed my life was playing with the Symphonic Orchestra from Tucuman, in 2009, there were five shows that were unforgettable. Another nice memory was a tour in the North of Argentina, together with LA RENGA (Argentina) and shows with LOS GAUCHOS DE ACERO (Salta, Argentina). The experiences with my friend Pablo Soler (Argentina), He taught me and helped a lot in my solo career. Also, other special events that I do every year, whatever city I am at the moment, like celebrating Day of Music, Friends Day, or my birthday together with musician guests. And of course the tours in Bolivia, I’ve been to 13 cities (some of the most important, and some very small) with clinics an shows in this country that always treats me very well. I think all cities have its own magic and charm. 60 I’ve traveled so far and I hope many more to go.
Where your musical inspirations and influences are coming from?
In this tours I get influence from uncountable artists. I consider that i’m being influenced all the time. But mainly, before starting the tours, I’ve been influenced by Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Andy Timmons, John Petrucci, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Hendrix, Gary Moore, Santana; rock bands like Guns n’ Roses, Audioslave, Black Label Soc, Mr. Big and metal bands like Angra, Sonata Arctica, Helloween, Stratovarius, among others.
What are your favorite guitars, that you always take with you on tours and shows?
I play with any guitar, actually. I’m always changing it, experimenting new stuff. For me, it’s a matter of choosing the right one for what I’m about to play in that moment, sitting for few hours and getting accustomed to it. The one that stayed with me for a long time in my life was a purple Ibanez RG japan. In this moment, i’m having my own XM guitar model being made by a luthier, it will be very small. When I play with SELIGER I use guitars with high gain (double coil microphones).
Reading your biography, I found there a huge list of released singles, EPs, DVDs and albums, as a solist and with different projects and genres, 32 in all. The first one Judas – “Jerusalem” in 2001 and the latest one Ël Último Cocalero – La Paz, Bolivia, released last year. If it’s possible to say, what of your past works has given you most satisfaction? and why?
Each one of them is special, I gave 100% of myself recording and producing them. Some of them I shared with friends that are musicians, so when you share music with friends it is not just work, it is very satisfying and I am a guy that believes in evolution and that what’s about to come will always be better than now. What I’ll never forget is my first work with “AV”, band with which I stayed for a long time, those songs got us to play in the most famous rock festival in my country, Cosquin Rock.
How has your sound and preferences changed in these 10 years?
The sound has progressively changed, technology helped a lot. Through computers now we can have amazing results, as much as in practicing as in recording, mixing and editing. Regarding to my sound, I’ve discovered that what is more important is that it has to do with the hands and execution of the instrument, rather than the instrument itself. I give priority to that, and to the concept of that I am doing than to the Set Up.
I know that now you’re planning your first tour in Europe in August. How the bookings are proceeding?
I will be arriving to Europe at the beginning of August. First, I’m going to Barcelona and Madrid, Spain. And I’m in the middle of the process for dates in other cities there and in Romania and Italy. And I leave the doors open for new proposals. But I must come back to Buenos Aires, the 2nd September i’m playing with my band SELIGER with the German band BLIND GUARDIAN.
What are you expecting about this European tour?
I hope it to be a great experience for me, to meet new musicians and new friends. I have a few friends, and there are other people people I haven’t met personally yet. Besides, I want to see other cultures and some fantastic places I’ve seen only in pictures.
You’ve done also many guitar clinics. Tell me about this experience…
That’s another side of my career, performing is one side, and the other one is teaching. It’s great to be in contact, face to face, with guys that are willing to learn and get further in the world of music. I was lucky to bring my clinics to Universities, Institutes and Conservatories, it’s very comforting to clear up doubts for others, and it’s interesting and so demanding to give a right answer, and all those questions refresh and affirm my knowledge and some concepts. Tutoring is something I really enjoy; I tutor in my city and online.
As a musician and as a teacher, what would you say, what advises you’d give to those, who would like to start play the guitar or who has just started to play?
My advice for starters is that every time you put a finger on a guitar, you know what note you’re playing, that will give you security and you’ll know what note you’re playing, which is important. Be optimistic, practice as much as you need, study, go step by step, listen to good music and enjoy every time you play, don’t let it be just another activity in your life.
You’re also a producer and audio/video recording engineer… can you tell us more about these your activities?
In the past, I’ve been involved with musical and artistic recording, mixing and production of some bands here in Argentina. I’ve also played bass, keyboards and percussion for records, something very interesting to do, that gave me a different perspective of music. Making videos was something worth to explore, because there is something highly artistic in that area, with a different language than music. At the moment, I don’t have very much time because I’m on the road, but I try to keep involved with artistic and musical production. It’s something I really like doing, and it is more conceptual and not only involves the sound of the guitar.
And would you like to reveal something about your private life? I mean what do you do when you’re not playing?
I’m a 100% music man! Last year my “Tour Date” was great, I went to 23 cities, so when I’m not on the road, I’m planning what is next. But in a couple of weeks, I’m going to go climbing mountains with a friend, and shoot a video about it, in case you’re interested, hahaha.
Xavier, I know what you’re talking about, you know, I live by the sea, but I love the mountains :) …
To those who would like to hear your music, can you give us some links or platforms?
Of course. Here you can find some information about me, my music, photos, videos and tour dates:
http://www.myspace.com/xaviermoyano. And I was recently added to wipekedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xavier_Moyano, as well as my Wiki page on Facebook… and my band Seliger : www.myspace.com/seligermetal. Anyone who wants to give an opinion, or contact me, feel free to do it.
What are your next plans, besides the European Tour?
My next plans are the South American Tour that will start in May and it will include, at least, 5 countries. Right now, I’m celebrating Woman Day together with female friends, and we are recording an album with covers of rock and pop hits. Some girls are from Tucuman, others Argentinian and International. Also I’ll be performing on Animals Day at a benefit concert. I have the idea of recording a guitar instructional DVD when I have the time, too.
What are your greetings to our readers?
Greetings to all Metal Shock readers, I hope you liked this interview and my art. Thank you all! And thanks Tarja for your good vibes and putting out there some of my work and my life. See you on the road!
Thanks Xavier for this interview! Hope all the best for your music and to your coming Tour! See you on the road \m/
Interview by Tarja Virmakari
Xavier Moyano – Kojudo Mosh