I recently caught up with one of Guitar One's Top Ten up and coming guitar players in the country, ANTHONY MAZZELLA. After interviewing him and listening to him play I can honestly say that I have never met anyone who is as passionate and as talented as Anthony is. His music comes from the heart and leaves you craving for more. I recently had the chance to do an interview via telephone while he was doing a show in Grand Rapids.
MTV: How did you get your start in music?
MAZZELLA: As an adult we experience passion, sensuality, and ecstasy through love and intimate relationships. As a child these feelings were evoked in me through music. I was in love with music as a child and still am to this day.
MTV: Who is your biggest musical influence?
MAZZELLA: I would have to say Eddie Van Halen.
MTV: Who would playing with make you feel as if you had really made it and you quit from that day on?
MAZZELLA: My wet dream band is the PAT METHENEY BAND. They're an amazing jazz band.
MTV: Where was your favorite place that you have played at?
MAZZELLA: The highlight of my playing career was the Blue Note in New York City. All of the top jazz artists have played there and it was amazing to be able to play in the same venue as these artists did.
MTV: If we were to look in your CD player right now, what would we find in it?
MAZZELLA: Medieval and renaissance music is what I am listening to now.
MTV: What is your favorite CD?
MAZZELLA: When I was younger I listened to a lot of VAN HALEN and studied the music and his techniques. My favorite CD right now? That's a hard one... I think you've stumped me.
MTV: What is/was the strangest thing that has ever happened at one of your shows?
MAZZELLA: I think that the strangest thing that has ever happened at one of my shows was having world renowned jazz guitar master STANLEY JORDAN sit in the audience and watch me play. What was even stranger was being able to call him after the show and ask him what he thought of the show. We could sit down and talk about techniques and understand each other like no one else could.
MTV: I read in bio that you played a benefit concert for the depletion of the rainforest. Could you give me some insight into that?
MAZZELLA: I teamed up with Chris Spheeris who is a world renowned
guitarist/producer and we toured throughout Greece, England, and Morocco. In Morocco we did a concert to benefit the depletion of the rain forest. We played for the then Prince now King of Morocco. Environmental awareness is essential to the health of all living things and the future of our mother earth. Please do what you can.
MTV: Did you ever go to college?
MAZZELLA: I attended a few semesters at community college and majored in music. I was looking at girls and thinking that I should be home practicing the guitar.
MTV: What do you want to tell everyone?
MAZZELLA: Music is the higher power. It's the language of the gods. It cannot be understood with mathematics and sciences, but with emotions. Music is the almighty, it is powerful and of the utmost beauty. There are some things that can't be conveyed through language that can't be conveyed through the shallowness of vocabulary but only conveyed through music. You can touch God whomever your God may be through spirituality, the same way you can touch love through music.
MTV: Is there anything you don't like about being a musician?
MAZZELLA: There are sometimes I wish I wasn't a musician because when I am sitting at a show or listening to a performer I am thinking of the techniques behind the music. I am waiting for the day when I can sit back, close my eyes, and just be content.
ANTHONY MAZZELLA is now living in Sedona, Arizona were he has an enormous following with the same following in New York City. His debut CD The Birth is now in it's second pressing with a sure to be magnificent second CD to be released sometime in the fall. Anthony is currently on a college circuit tour on the East Coast. Anthony has been written up in Billboard Magazine and will have an article in Guitar One in February.
If you ever have the chance to see Anthony play this is one show that you don't want to miss. Never have I seen someone with so much passion, love and understanding of the guitar as he has. To find out more about ANTHONY MAZZELLA check out ANTHONYMAZZELLA.com. This is one guitarist that isn't a dime a dozen.
-- Ashleigh Jade Kozup
MTV Local Stringer
(December 19, 1999)