Instrumental melodic rock fans rejoiced in September as renowned guitarist Joe Matera unleashed his new album 'Creature Of Habit' on the world. The Australian native has built up a fine body of work to date and this may well be his best yet. Following in the tradition of fellow instrumental artists such as Joe Satriani, Matera has added a vocal track to the album, as well as, the eleven instrumental numbers (9 plus 3 bonus) on offer here, adding a new dimension to his work, which fans will savour.
2011 turned out to be quite a big year for Australian rock guitarist Joe Matera. Both his solo instrumental single 'Face Off' and his guest solo spot on UK metal legends Atomkraft's 'Cold Sweat' release, brought Matera's highly energetic, melodic and tasteful guitar playing to a wider international audience. Taking note of Matera's guitar prowess was European based label W.A.R Productions whom quickly signed Matera to a deal which saw Matera's new all electric solo instrumental EP Slave To The Fingers receive a European CD release.
Slave To The Fingers features four brand new studio tracks, all showcasing Matera's six string talents at its best. The EP begins in bombastic fashion with a brief balls to the wall rocking interlude aptly titled 'Intro', before Matera's tasteful melodic playing takes center stage on the title track 'Slave To The Fingers'. Underscored by some eclectic styling, the track also features a special guest appearance by guitarist Mick McConnell from legendary rock band Smokie who contributes a breathtaking guitar solo on the track.
Next up 'Cruise Control', leads the charge as the EP's first single and is a soaring melodious affair, peppered by harmony guitars and a spirit recalling the halcyon days of 1970's classic guitar rock. 'Out Of The Blue' shifts things into overdrive, with Matera's harder rocking elements coming to the fore, for an all out sonic ear assault before 'Face Off', Matera's first all electric instrumental single from early 2011, and here being issued for the first time on CD, closes the EP majestically. 'Face Off' also features a special guest guitar solo by The Angels' Rick Brewster. The tight, rocking rhythm section backing Matera on Slave To The Fingers is comprised of Englishman Tony 'Demolition' Dolan (Venom, Atomkraft) on bass and American James Strickler (Angellic Rage) on drums. Slave To The Fingers was released November 28th, 2011 through W.A.R Productions (Europe) and Mercury Fire Music (Australia)
‘Face Off’ is the new original solo instrumental release by former Geisha guitarist Joe Matera. An energetic rocker and a full blown electric band affair, it features Matera’s signature melodic and tasty guitar playing. After releasing two acoustic tracks previously, his original composition ‘Travellin’ West’ in Sept. 2010 and his cover of The Church anthem ‘Almost With You’ earlier this year, Matera decided it was time to return to his rock guitar roots.
“At the heart of my guitar playing, lays a life long love affair with the electric guitar” says Matera. “And I’ve always believed that to be a well rounded musician, it isimportant to explore all musical textures and idioms and show different sides to one’s personality. After having delved into the world of acoustic guitar on my previous solo releases, I felt the time was right to return to my primary first love; melodic rock guitar playing”.
‘Face Off’ is a high energy, scorching guitar fest, underscored by an addictive melody. Matera’s engaging guitar soloing, follows in the tradition of guitar greats such as Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, Boston’s Tom Scholz, and The Angels’ Rick Brewster, all whom peppered their solos with melodic-ism, finesse and style. In fact, Rick Brewster makes a special guest appearance on one of the tracks’ guitar solos. “It was a great pleasure to be asked to contribute something musical for my friend Joe” comments Brewster. “And I hope his track gets a good thrashing by a great many music lovers”.
Written by Matera as well as playing all the guitars, he also engineered and produced the track which was mixed by Craig Pilkington (The Killjoys) at Audrey Studios, Melbourne, Australia. Bass duties for the track were handled by Tony ‘Demolition’ Dolan (Atomkraft, Venom). The track will also appear on Matera’s upcoming EP CD due later this year.
"ALMOST WITH YOU" - JOE MATERA (featuring ASHLEY NAYLOR)
With a break between recording sessions for his anticipated upcoming instrumental EP, former Geisha guitarist Joe Matera decided to record a special acoustic tribute, to one of Australia’s favorite bands, The Church by revisiting one of the group’s classic anthems, ‘Almost With You’. Bringing his good friend Ashley Naylor (Even, Paul Kelly Band) along for the ride on lead vocals and 12-string guitar, and with Matera playing 6-string acoustic, nylon string guitar as well as backing vocals, both he and Naylor stamp their distinctive touch on this classic, by giving it a fresh makeover with a unique approach.
For Matera this was an exciting project to have undertaken, as the song has long held a special place in his musical heart, with the song’s original nylon string guitar solo, one of his favorite solos of all time. “I remember as a teenager buying the original vinyl of the song and falling in love with it immediately” says Matera. “I soon became a long time Church fan. As a guitarist, the brilliant original solo on the song played by The Church’s Peter Koppes, captured my heart as it underscored everything I loved about guitar playing in general which was melody, style and taste. I wanted to re-recreate that same feeling and spirit in the studio, by doing an acoustic version of the song, and in turn, pay homage to one of this country’s great bands and songs”.
‘Almost With You’ was co-produced by Joe Matera, Ashley Naylor and Craig Pilkington and engineered by Craig Pilkington at Audrey Studios, Melbourne.
“TRAVELLIN' WEST" - JOE MATERA
Travellin' West' is the debut instrumental solo release by former Geisha guitarist Joe Matera. Better known for his tasteful rock guitar wizardry, this acoustic outing, written and performed by Matera, finds him in a more subdued setting though lacking none of his signature electric six string trademarks: melody, taste and style. 'Travellin' West' is an evocative and powerful musical statement, conjuring images of traveling through the old Wild West on long hot summer desert nights. The interplay of acoustic and classical guitars weaving a dynamic tapestry of rich melodies, makes 'Travellin' West' the perfect soundtrack companion.