Summon: How did the band get started?
Xander Demos: Well, since I’m a solo act, I guess the day that I was born! Just kidding…I’ve played in bands all my life, it seems. I picked up the guitar a little later than most, I suppose. I was about 15. I had started out on drums, and then I switched to guitar. After going through several bands, including a pretty popular 80s party cover band, in Pittsburgh, I decided to do the solo guitar album in 2012.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Xander Demos: Melodic metal with a pinch of attitude. I like to say it’s a mix of Journey, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Judas Priest, and Joe Satriani, if I had to compare it to other popular acts.
Summon: How has the band response been?
Xander Demos: When my solo album first came out, it was phenomenal. The critics reacted very well, and it was even named among the Best Albums of 2012, by Hair Metal Mansion. Now, I’m in between albums, so the interest dies down a bit, but I expect that to be full force again, once the new record is ready.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Xander Demos: It’s my given name. Alexander Demos
Summon: Introduce the band members
Xander Demos: Me. Me. Me. And me. In the studio, I use studio guys. A lot of friends of mine, and former bandmates. On “Guitarcadia” we had Chris Batton on drums, Mike Stover on drums for one song, Adam Heusey on Keys, Matt Williams on bass, Mike Sciullo and Kevin Rasel on vocals. Live, my steady guys were Jeff Anzelone on drums, Dan Bozym on bass, Jeff Morris on keys, and Mario Brescia on vocals.
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Xander Demos: I usually come up with most of the music and let the vocalists come up with lyrics, if the song has them. Once I bring a song in to the studio, the other guys put their stamps on it.
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Xander Demos: The brilliant minds of my vocalists…
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Xander Demos: Just one album, so far. I put out a “demo EP” that came out the year before the album was released. I plan on having the next one done sometime this year. I’ve also appeared on albums by Ged Rylands, Modern Superstar, Liberty N Justice and others. I’ve been on compilations like, Guitar Wizards Vol 3 and 4, and I’ll be on an upcoming UFC Rock compilation, as well as a Queen tribute album. All 3 of those albums also featured members of Kiss, Guns N Roses, Whitesnake, Alice Cooper, and many other big names.
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Xander Demos: The songs on Guitarcadia range from fast paced, original instrumentals like “Right Angles,” and “White Knuckle Driving” to vocal tracks like “Under a Darkened Sky” and the Don Henley cover, “Boys of Summer.” I also include a wah wah instrumental version of “Lady In Red.” There are 10 tracks altogether. 8 instrumental and 2 vocal, with 2 covers.
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Xander Demos: I was playing with James Rivera in his solo band and in Sabbath Judas Sabbath. Right now, I don’t have time for side projects. However, if the right one came along…I’d make time!
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Xander Demos: Anyone from the 80s guitar hero days: Neal Schon from Journey, Adrian Vandenberg and John Sykes from the Whitesnake days. Tom Scholz from Boston, Yngwie, Shaun Lane, Steve Vai…but also I love soundtracks, too. I’m a big movie buff. So, guys like James Horner (RIP) were a big influence, as well.
Summon: Which current bands?
Xander Demos: Dream Theater, Killers, TransSiberian Orchestra.
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Xander Demos: Technically brilliant, engaging, and entertaining.
Summon: What was the best band you played with?
Xander Demos: We’ve opened for a lot of big bands, but one of our best shows was opening for Stryper. Another great one, was opening for Buckethead. Both were amazing crowds!
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Xander Demos: Not yet.
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?
Xander Demos: We were averaging about 100 -150 or so.
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Xander Demos: Golf claps, mainly. No, I’m kidding again. Insane! Our fans really get into the music, And they are over the top metal fans.
Summon: What is the scene like over in your country?
Xander Demos: Our style of music is starting to come back into popularity again. For awhile, melodies and guitar solos were dirty words, but I think that’s changing, as we speak.
Summon: What made you want to be in this band? And if you weren’t in this band what would you being doing now?
Xander Demos: I love playing, what can I say? That’s what drives me. If I wasn’t doing this, I’d probably be flying an airplane or swimming with the sharks.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
Xander Demos: Since the band is sort of on indefinite hiatus, I can tell you that I plan on releasing my next solo album sometime this year. Hopefully, before the new year. It’s finding the time to record that’s really kept me from getting it done. Also, the compilations that I mentioned, should keep my name and music out there until the new release is done. Thanks for having me!
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