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Alex Masi (Guitar, Arranger)

Born: Venice, Italy

The Italian guitarist, Alex Masi, started listening to music at an early age, his parents were always playing classical and jazz albums and the very first piece of music he remembers hearing was "Toccata & Fugue in D minor" by J.S. Bach... left an immense impression on him and many years later when he recorded it on his Bach bach album he felt a sort of circle completing him... They had a housekeeper that would bring LP's at their house and play them for his sister and he when my parents were out... "Beatles, Stones, Hendrix... it felt magical, like a secret society... but it wasn't until years later when he started playing guitar that he really started checking out the rock world."

First Alex Masi, started to play piano, studied theory etc. and then picked up the drums (pans & pots)... then at 12 a schoolmate showed him his new nylon strings guitar an played him 3 chords and he knew that was the key to girls and the only way for him to be popular in school... he learned those same 3 chords and also took some lessons but then it was seeing Ritchie Blackmore on TV that made him realize he had to be a lead guitar player... to a European kid in the 1970's Ritchie was the ultimate in coolness and virtuosity... then later he got into progressive rock, yes, genesis, gentle giant, tull, etc... he loved the fact that those guys were erasing the limitations of rock music up to that point...

When the punk thing exploded in 1977, Alex Masi, went in the exact opposite direction and buried myself underneath records by Allan Holdsworth, McLaughlin, Henry Cow, Soft Machine and went through a heavily jazz/experimental period and graduated at the Conservatory f Music in Verona in theory and harmony... then Van Halen reminded him that power and fun can coexist with musicality, he moved to London for awhile and jammed with a bunch of nwobhm people... came back to Venice and formed in 1984 the group Dark Lord. They released 2 eps, toured with some cool european bands and drank scary amounts of beer... that was a period that he still remember with fondness.

Alex Masi, moved to Los Angeles in 1986 after a request made by a record company to join an already existing band. That band later on was named after him...something he never felt too comfortable with. It was the era of the so called metal shredders and some record companies thought of building bands around us six-string wankers. MASI (the band) made a couple of albums under that name and later on in the late 1990's he released another couple of albums using the same monicker just to try to make it easier for people to recognize whom those records were from...

In 1999 Alex Masi, released the first of a series of albums dedicated to composers he particularly love. The first of course was Bach ("In the Name of Bach") followed by Mozart in 2004 and L.v. Beethoven in April of 2005. He intends to continue recording Classical music from all periods and styles. In my solo records i've always tried to keep things less predictable as possible.

"Neon Shark" and "Vertical Invader" are his early attempts at breaking away from what is expected of a "guitar hero". He received the Grammy nomination for "Neon Shark", the same album on which Allan Holdsworth had guested. MCM in 2004 was another proud moment musically...with John Macaluso and Randy Coven they tried to incorporate some "outside" ideas and even quite a bit of Indian music which has been a favourite of him for the past seven years or so. The goal is to continue to do always more interesting things, collaborate with stimulating musicians and develop artistically.


Source: Alex Masi Website (May 2008)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2009)

Alex Masi: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Alex Masi (Official Website)
MySpace Music: Alex Masi

Alex Masi (Wikipedia)
Alex Masi - Biography (AMG)

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Last update: ýFebruary 17, 2009 ý15:25:08