Marco Sfogli talks to custom guitar boutique about his Rash
Marco was very generous with his time and gladly agreed to talk about live performance, gear and his Signature MT Monster by Rash.
Italian Virtuoso Marco Sfogli has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with in the Guitar World.
Marco is most known for his guitar work on the James Labrie Album Elements of Persuasion and has shared the stage with the likes of Jordan Rudess and Alex Argento just to name a few; and his Album “There’s Hope” takes us through a very diverse repertoire of Marco’s extraordinary technique and songwriting abilities.
CGB: Let’s start from the beginning how did you generate interest in the guitar
Marco Sfogli: I always had guitars around here, my parents are both musicians. My father in particular is a classical guitarist and that eventually influenced me on choosing the main instrument. Before that I switched a lot of instruments, I was an undecided!!! Percussions first, drums next and even keyboards for a short amount of time. I wasn’t forced to play tho, they’ve been always supportive letting me to decide whether becoming a professional musician or not.
CGB: How did your endorsement with Rash Guitars come about?
Marco Sfogli: It happened soon after the Elements of Persuasion tour, back in 2005. I was a Music Man guy, played the whole record and the following tour with Petrucci guitars and felt it was the right time to have something different, something more personal.
I contacted several other companies, some of them very big in the biz but didn’t get any reply so I came across a sort of video footage of a showcase held in Italy and there were these beautiful guitars at some point. Dropped an email to Ruggero at Rash and he was kind enough to send me a prototype which was awesome. It just felt mine from the first time, the quality of the neck and the body shape, everything was just perfect. With some tweakings we came out with the signature model which is exactly what I’m using right now since.
CGB: Tell us a little bit about your signature guitar with rash that we don’t already know
Marco Sfogli: Hmmm, probably that it sound better than any other guitar I’ve owned and tried so far? Hahaha, there’s not much to know than what is known already, we experimented a lot with different pickups, different bridges and so on and in the end it sound great anyway. Also the standard version is superlight which is very good if you have to play every night and he mount stainless frets which are very very hard to wear.
CGB: When did you finally realize you could earn a living Playing professionally?
Marco Sfogli: Soon after I finished the high school. I knew I was ready and tried to get some notoriety in my area playing gigs with cover bands and with my parent’s band at the same time, doing some sessions for recording studios and of course private lessons. Once I got the spot on Alex Argento’s “EGO” I felt I was ready.
CGB: Be honest! What part of the world do you prefer to play the most and why?
Marco Sfogli: Most US players find Europe or Japan being their favorite places to perform. I think because this sort of “magic” that an US name brings with it. For an European guy I think it’s quite different, I didn’t get the same response in Europe like I had in the US, probably ’cause I’m European, I don’t know but it’s the exact opposite. Never been in Japan though, but would love to play there so in the end the best place I’ve played so far is the States. The reaction I got there was absolutely amazing and totally unexpected! Too bad it were just three shows.
CGB: I noticed on your website you are selling some of your gear, are you upgrading to some new gear?, what’s in the new marco guitar setup these days?
Marco Sfogli: Sold some stuff that didn’t really used anymore. Some rack gears for example, I had a Triaxis since the James LaBrie tour and I felt it was time to change. These days I’m using a mix of real tube amps, mostly a Mesa Boogie Lonestar and Studio Preamp for leads and cleans and this unit called Axe FX from Fractal Audio for all the rhythms and weird effects. I think I found my holy grail in terms of tone!
CGB: So we know you have the chops to hold your own with the Petrucci’s and Gilbert’s of the world, what other style of guitar playing would you like to pursue in the future if any?
Marco Sfogli: I actually like the way I play right now. Even if I’ve been labeled as a Petrucci clone since the beginning, and that’s a hard label to deal with, I think I have my own voice on the instrument. Of course there’s still a lot of ground to work on but I feel comfortable now technically and melodically speaking, I would like to be able to write better songs.
CGB: What doesn’t the guitar world know about Marco Sfogli, the Italian guitar virtuoso?
Marco Sfogli: That I play also typical folk instruments like Mandolin, Mandocello and Mandola for example. Or maybe that I’m about to become a father…that I’m lazy almost like the Dude from Big Lebowsky and that I still play Playstation 3 in my spare time. And this is just the tip of the ice, there are so many things that people don’t know about me.
CGB: What can your American fans expect to see in 2010 from you?
Marco Sfogli: A load of things, I got involved in so many projects recently but can’t say more. Probably even a new solo record when I’ll be able to find the time.
CGB: What advice would you give to up and coming guitar players that want a career in music?
Marco Sfogli: The advice I can give to up and coming guitar players is to listen as much music as possible, don’t stick to one genre and keep an open mind. If you want to be a pro you gotta be well trained to any musical situation!
CGB: In your opinion who is the most influential Guitar Player of all time?
Marco Sfogli: Both Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen had the same impact on the guitar scene back in the day. So I guess these two, with all the respect for the rest!
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