To watch Xander Demos play guitar is like watching Picasso paint. I kid you not. Xander was born to play guitar. He has just such mastery over the instrument it is almost as if he is one with the guitar. I talked to Xander the other day about his current CD project, “Guitarcadia,” his upcoming 2 projects, one with his band XDB and another solo CD. I also spoke to him about opening for Stryper, which is one of his most respected and revered bands and this is what he had to say.
Q Opening for Stryper?
A Oh yeah. I am honored and exited. I have always loved them and their playing.
Q How long have you been playing?
A A long, long time.
Q Hey, I love your cover of, “Lady in Red,” on your current CD.
A Oh thank you. That was fun.
Q I didn’t expect that. That was like out of left field.
A Yeah, on my new instrumental album, wait until you hear the cover I am doing on that one?
Q Oh, you’re not going to tell me?
A I’ll tell you what, I will tell you but you can’t tell anybody else. I’ll give you the exclusive.
Q Okay. So he told me but I can’t print it. J So back to, “Lady in Red.”
A Lady in Red was an easy song to do but this one is going to a little tougher. I am going in and recording every single part so it is going to be cool. This is going to be the only one I do because ever since XDB has been around, we have become a vocal band so there is no longer like it’s just my band. It’s a band and then I have my solo stuff and that is my creative outlet. I am just out there doing another instrumental and putting another album together and they will be released at the end of the year.
Q Let’s get back to your currently released solo CD album which is all instrumental other than one song, I believe and that album is, “Guitarcadia?”
Q And that’s the one that, “Lady in Red,” is currently on?
Q I liked it. I thought it had a lot of energy.
Q What makes you decide to put a cover tune and then play your lead guitar as a voice?
A I am not going to say I was influenced by another guitar player down the road but take Lady in Red for example, I have this love for 80’s pop. As those songs are memorable, they bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye. I am not trying to sound cliché but they are timeless to me.
Q So currently you have this CD and you are working on another CD?
A I am working on 2 simultaneously so as XBD which is a vocal band, and me as a solo artist/instrumental Xander Demos again with a new album. So there are going to be 2 albums coming out probably only a couple of months apart. We are trying to get XDB’s album done first because we have shows we are playing in the Midwest and we want to make sure our product is done so we can get it out there to people and have merchandise to sell.
Q And what is XDB’s genre?
A XDB is European progressive power metal.
Q So I hear you that are getting a signature guitar?
A Yes. This luthier David Thomas McNaught of David Thomas McNaught Guitars out of North Carolina is building them. He is building a 7 string and he is finishing up a 6 string version of it too. He’s actually doing okay with them. From what I understand he had pre-release orders. I then have an artist model. It is the Xander Demos Artist Model coming out through Brian Moore, which there is no conflict there because the artist model and the signature model are different. Both companies said you are a very unique player and a lot of the things you do, I think a lot of guitar players would like to see. Those guitar players are buying cheaper guitars and then spending big money to modify them. So this is the case where one is simply a signature model which is unique to the company. The other one is just one of their guitars with colors and little things that I would do to make it, “better.” So I have 2 signature guitars coming out this year from 2 different companies.
We talked guitars, sponsors, endorsements, the music business and more. Xander Demos is a really cool guy. You have to check him and his guitar playing out. He is a natural and it shows when he picks up a guitar.
On June 12, 2014, Xander’s band XDB is opening for Stryper at the Altar Bar, 1620 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Visit Xander and his band at his website. Pick up tickets to the XDB/Stryper show.