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Guitar Gods: Eric Mantel
Interview With Chicago-based Guitarist/Recording Artist
By David M. McLean, Skinny Devil Music Lab
(more articles from this author)
2006-03-20
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Chicago area guitarist Eric Mantel is not a household name, but he should be. Combining incredible technical prowess with stylistic flexibility, encyclopedic knowledge of composition and theory, and shear gusto, Eric has forged out a career of making incredible music.

While radio and television have yet to discover his amazing talent, the makers of top-flight gear have not. Eric's list of endorsement deals reads like a list of the best the industry has to offer: Toad Works, Kangaroo, Digitech, Rocktron, GHS, Sabine, Furman, Roger Mayer, Taylor Guitars, Sperzel, Boomerang, Dunlop, Ebow, and many more.

In addition, he has conducted clinics in conjunction with Sabine, Guitar Center, Dunlop, GHS, Sam Ash, Guitar World Magazine, Peavy, and others, and runs a very successful private teaching business, opening the doors of music to hundreds of guitar students.

[David McClean] Hi, Eric - welcome to the "Guitar Gods" interview series. Can you tell us about your current project, Unstuck Melody, and how does this differ from your past work?

Eric Mantel This CD is the longest in length and is the BEST produced CD that I have done up to date, and I have released four previous CDs. It showcases my music talents better than all the other LPs that I have ever done. Please keep in mind that I put my first LP out in 1982.

[David McClean] Do you have one project that you are most proud of as a guitarist?

Eric Mantel The Unstruck Melody! HANDS DOWN!

[David McClean] Can you give our readers a run-down of your basic gear (live and/or studio)?

Eric Mantel Yes! I use two Fender 65 Black Face Twin Reverbs that I run in stereo, which is for my clean sound. I will then use one to two ½ stack, mid ‘70s, 50-watt JMP Marshall Amps for my Solo and Dirty Rhythm sounds. If I am playing a small club, I may just use the two twins and run various pedals through it. I use many different guitar pedals: Toad Work Pedals, Radial Engineering TRI-MODE, Fulltone Tube Tape Echo, Digitiech Pedals, Damage Control pedals, Rocktron Banshee Talk Box, T.C. Electronics stereo chorus, Pigtronix EP-1, Boss Pedals, Budda … the list goes on and on and on. I am a guitar pedal junky!

[David McClean] Who would you cite as early influences, and who are you favorite new players?

Eric Mantel Here are my musical influences in chronological order of impact starting from the 1960s: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton (Cream), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Jeff Beck, Peter Frampton, Greg Lake (ELP), Robin Trower, Duane Allman, Bad Company, The Moody Blues, Queen, Steve Howe (YES), Alex Lifeson (Rush), Todd Rundgren (Utopia), Pat Metheny, Allan Holdsworth, Robert Johnson, Buddy Guy, B.B, King, Albert King, Freddie King, Elmoore James, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Chet Atkins, Andres Segovia, Christopher Parkening, John McLaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Bill Connors, Al Dimeola, Lenny Breau, Robben Ford, Ted Greene (Chord Chemistry), Steve Morse, Andy Summers and Sting (The Police), Albert Lee, Leo Kottke, Eddie Van Halen, Neal Schon, SRV, Stanley Jordan, Danny Gatton, Eric Johnson and many others!

[David McClean] Can you give a few tips to aspiring players?

Eric Mantel Practice! Practice! Practice! Learn all styles of music and always remain a student of the guitar! I have been playing guitar for 33 years now and I still know nothing. Also, always try to be humble, let your music do the talking, not your mouth! Learn from other great guitar players - steal their licks and then add your own thing to them! Learn from other instrumentalists - Pianists, Saxophonists, Violinists, etc.

[David McClean] What are your future plans?

Eric Mantel I plan on touring all of Europe, Australia, Japan, Russia, the U.S., etc… all within 2006-2008! I plan on releasing a series of guitar instructional DVDs and a Christmas LP in late 2006. I also plan on launching a guitar instructional web site in the near future!

[David McClean] Thanx for talking to us, Eric!

Eric Mantel You are very welcome and keep on rockin!
Website: www.ericmantel.com

For more information and to contact the author, click on the author’s name at the top of the page.


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