Interview by Keith Clement
It was a great pleasure to Interview the master of Shred Sean Baker, he is talented and have worked with legends and have made a lot of contribution to the world of music. I’m very thankful to Mike the man behind Shredguy Records, a great friend. He has made this Interview happen for us, Now Let’s hear from Sean Baker himself, if you are new to him, read below and don’t forget to check him out.
Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine Sean, How are you today?
Awesome man! Thank you, I appreciate it!
Can you tell me about you, how you started your interest into guitars?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been a huge fan of music. Being that I grew up in the 70”s and the 80”s, the music I was exposed to was basically guitar driven music. Always a great riff, hook, solo, or melody performed on the guitar. The fact that my parents are big fans of music kinda exposed me to artists I never would have listened to on my own had a big impact on me. But also, I’ve come to the conclusion that even if I didnt play guitar, I’m a huge fan of the instrument! Then once I heard Van Halen, that was it for me. I knew I HAD to play guitar!!
You have made 3 albums with Sean Baker Orchestra, and made a huge success on “Game On” how do you feel about this success?
Very proud of that cd for sure. Im very thankful for the success of “Game On!!” It was by far the most fun I’ve ever had making a cd. A lot of great musicians came together for me on that release. I believe that it’s my best song writing to date. I think the fact that there is a little bit of everything on that cd is the reason it was so successful. Fast ripping songs, slow songs, instrumental songs, great vocal songs, and even a classical song! Even a cover version of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” is on it!! So, I think “Game On!!”s diversity is why it was well recieved…..
How does it feel to work with musicians like Ronny Munroe, Jeff Martin and Marc Rizzo?
Amazing to have these world class musicians playing on my music! Couldn’t be more proud to not only have these fine men on my cd, but more importantly, they are my friends! Jeff Martin’s voice is on the soundtrack to my life! I’ve spent countless hours listening to Jeff’s voice in Racer X, and to have him write and perform on a track was a dream come true! I played guitar and wrote some music for Ronny’s last solo cd (Electric Wake) and it came out fantastic! Great metal vocalist Ronny is for sure! I’ve been friends with Marc Rizzo for ten years, and he is just an incredible guitarist to say the least! Love what he does in Soulfly, but love his solo releases even more! Great dude as well!! I am one lucky dude for sure!
You are endorsed by one of the biggest “Schecter Guitars” how do you feel about this?
I LOVE MY SCHECTER GUITARS!! Been with the company a few years and I really dig their guitars! They make guitars for every style of music, and every situation you can think of. I have a bunch of Schecter’s now and I play all of them on my releases. Super group of folks behind the company as well. Great company to be associated with and I love their products dearly! They do a great job of keeping thier artist and customer’s very happy!
Do you do any workshops and classes for guitar beginners?
Yes! I teach guitar and bass five days a week now, and have done many clinics in the past. I played with George Lynch for a Randall clinic, done clinics for Protone Pedals, and the most recent one I played bass for Paul Gilbert at an Ibanez clinic!! Lots of fun times playing with your heroes, but I have just as much fun playing and teaching my weekly students! Its fun watching young musicians grow and push their own boundaries…
What according to you is the Art Of Shredding?
Great question! First and foremost is great technique, but NOT at the expense of melody. The most important factor to me, is melody. You can have the best technique in the world but if you’re not saying something with it, it’s scribbling!!! Knowing when to play fast, and knowing when to say something is a fine line sometimes, but the great ones know how to pull it off. Guys like Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker, Shawn Lane all have great technique but more importantly they all play for the song and they all have a great sense of melody.
How did Clownhammer began, can you tell us about it?
Sure! After I finished my second solo cd (“Baker’s Dozen” on Lion Music), I was burnt out on the instrumental thing and decided to do a vocal project. It was basically my instrumental band and we just added a singer who was a friend of mine. Spent a TON of time and effort writing the songs and vocal melodies and we all really gave our best effort in making the songs the best they could be. I think we recorded eight songs and I shipped a bunch out to record labels (including ShredGuy’s Mike McDowell) in hopes of landing a deal. I never thought Mike would have interest in it as there isn’t much shredding on the cd, I think two songs had solos on them, but I value his opinion and wanted to know what he thought of the songs.
So, shortly after the release of “Game On!!” Mike hit me up and asked if I would write a new instrumental song (“Down with the Clown”) and if I had any interest in having ShredGuy release the disk. I talked it out with the rest of the guys in the band and they said “Go for it” and the rest is history!! Love the songs on the Clownhammer cd, and everyone that listens to it says the exact same thing. Very proud of the songs and production on it.
What are your plans for Clownhammer?
Being that I haven’t talked to a few of the guys since the cd was released, I’m sure it will be just a one-off project. I think for me, Clownhammer was just a test to see that after ten years of writing, recording, and playing shows as an instrumental band, could we pull off the vocal thing? I think we proved we could and then some, as the songs are catchy and heavy as hell!! I think the Clownhammer stuff holds its own against any big band out there….
What are your future plans and projects?
I’m just now starting to wrap my head around writing a new instrumental cd. I got a little burnt out for a while as I wrote, recorded, and released three albums in four years. I want to do another diverse instrumental cd like we did with “Game On!!”. A bunch of different styles and just have fun with it. We will see what the future holds….
Do you have a message for the readers of the magazine?
Thank you all very much and if you’re looking some new music to check out, give our vocal band ClownHammer a try as I think you’ll dig it. We gotten some great reviews on it! Also, if you like guitar driven instrumental music, check out The Sean Baker Orchestras Game On!! We’re a little different than most shredder’s music. You can find my releases at www.shredguyrecords.bigcartel.com, amazon.com, and iTunes. Peace to all and “ROCK”
MHF Magazine/Keith Clement