WHO IS JEFF URSO?
"I am an instrumental guitar player from Chicago. I focus on combining strong songwriting with great sounding melodies while keeping guitar aficionados happy."
I'D LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES...
"I started out playing drums by the ripe age of 8. I was heavily into the band Kiss and by seeing & listening to Kiss' drummer Peter Criss, I figured that was what I needed to do in life. After playing drums for several bands, my interest grew towards guitar. I became fascinated with Eddie Van Halen & his style of playing. I ran out and purchased a guitar and amp & began learning Eddie's licks. I ended up bouncing back and forth between guitar & drums. I wanted to participate more on the music side instead of laying down the foundation. That's when I decided to give up the sticks & focus full time on guitar."
DID YOU HAVE PLAYED IN SEVERAL BANDS?
"I've been in several bands while playing drums & several bands playing guitar. Mostly local bands from the Chicago area."
WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR PRESENT ACTIVITY?
"Right now, I've done an instrumental album entirely by myself. It was written, performed, recorded, & produced by me. I don't oppose working with a vocalist; I just haven't found the right person yet. I also tend to work better on my own. I have complete freedom to express myself the way I want."
WOULD YOU LIKE TO TALK ABOUT YOUR MAIN INFLUENCES?
"I've been influenced in some way or another by a ton of guitar players. Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Paul Gilbert, Eric Johnson, Trevor Rabin, Blues Saraceno, & Stevie Ray Vaughan all have inspired me in some way."
DO YOU PREFER GUITARISTS PLENTY OF TECHNICAL SKILLS OR FULL OF FEELINGS?
"Most of the time, I'm moved more by a guitar piece that is slower & full of feeling than I am by just pure speed. Hitting those slower "sweet" notes is something that just says so much. If you can combine both speed & feeling, that is the ultimate. John Petrucci is one that can play with blinding speed, then slow it down & play something so beautifully melodic, it's sick."
ARE YOU EGOMANIAC AS GUITARIST?
"No way. I'm forever practicing. I still think I suck & have so much more to accomplish on that thing before I can sit back & be comfortable with my playing. There is still so much more to explore yet.2
WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR WAY TO WRITE?
"Most of the song ideas & riffs I come up with are from some sort of jam. The best way I accomplish this is to sit down with a drum machine & put on a tempo that I'm in the mood for and just start jamming. I usually end up with several cool ideas by the time I'm done. I record those ideas on a tape recorder and call up any of those ideas when I'm looking for song ideas."
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO REACH WRITING YOUR STUFF?
"Most of the music I like to listen moves me in all kinds of ways. The music that I write, is similar, I think. To be able to move someone in a special way through music means more to me than anything. I strive for that when writing. If I see someone boppin' their heads or tapping their toes to my tunes, then I think I'm doing something right. The fast stuff is way cool, but I want to hit somebody with that one note!"
IS PLAYING GUITAR A WAY TO EXPRESS OWN PERSONALITY?
"Definitely! I can't express what it is I'm feeling through words when playing the guitar. It is all channeled from my head to my hands and on to the strings. Having your own personality on the instrument separates yourself with the other players."
WHAT DOES THE GUITAR REPRESENT FOR YOU?
"Guitar represents limitless possibilities in style & technique. Not many instruments can compare. From 6 string guitars, to 7 string electrics, to 12 string acoustics, how can you not create styles from all different genres? Throw in some alternate tunings, & forget about it."
WHAT'S YOUR FAVE GUITAR?
"I mostly play Ibanez electrics. I have an RG550 that's probably my favorite. It's been slightly modified with DiMarzio PAF Pro pickups. I seem to favor my Universe 7 string too."
YOUR BEST WISH AS MUSICIAN?
"I would just like to create music for the rest of my life. It's the only thing I really like to do & connect with more than anything else. If people across the world connect with my music, that makes me most happy. That's the beauty of instrumental music, it is the universal language."
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SOUND?
"I like to convey emotions in the way that I play. If it's an uptempo tune & the power is there, that can send the energy back to the listener. If I can touch somebody with something slower and melodic, that's an even more powerful energy. My sound & style of playing is very reminiscent of my personality. Aggressive at times, creative at others, & slow at other times."
"Absolutely. Right now I'm in the process of putting together a brand new band to support this CD release. A force to be reckoned with. I plan to play as many different places in as many different countries as possible. Trying to spread the music around a little."
YOUR LIFE'S PHILOSOPHY?
"I really believe that everyone has at least one talent. If that talent is something you completely enjoy, you should live & breathe it. Do exactly what makes you happy in life. We're only here on this earth once, make it happen. Seize the day!"
THE FUTURE FOR JEFF URSO?
"I plan on making music for the rest of my life. If I can make a living doing just that, I couldn't be any happier. Hopefully, others will like what I do. I hope that I can share the music that I've created with the rest of the world."
ANY LAST REMARKS?
"I'm trying to open this music up to listeners that may not be familiar with this genre. I would like them to appreciate the great art that it is. I also encourage people to make their own decisions on what they want to listen to & not to let commercial radio tell them otherwise. We have the choice to listen to we want, not the record companies. The record companies can force feed us their music by paying radio stations to play it, but I say.....make your own choice. We don't have to listen to what they have to offer. Also, support independent artists. Most are true artists doing exactly what it is in life they love to do.....music!"