Triumphant Hearts is a really eclectic record. What were your starting points when it came to writing it? 

My starting points were always to write what I was feeling. I think more along the lines of wanting to tell my story to music, or wanting to make a funky kind of song to honour Prince and use a solo I never used but really liked, or I want to build another type of feeling in a song and use my favourite guitar solo of mine, or I want to compose music that feels like the desert vacations and spaghetti westerns I love. 

And since I have always loved classical music and have always incorporated it into the music I was playing or writing, I want to include some classical tunes and I want them all to have feeling and soul and substance. 

How long, on average, does it take you to compose a song? 

It is different for every song. I worked on Hold On To Love for many months. Actually, it started with the intro solo, which I wrote in the nineties, so that took twenty years! I was new to lyrics, and it was very personal and I wanted it to really convey my story, what I think and how I think I can (mostly) remain sane. Maybe two years before it was ready for a play-through, because it took a long time to find the right singer. 

Triumphant Heart took about a month to write and sound good, but it took a lot more time to record all of the musicians. We Are One took a couple of years too, but to compose, it took a few months. Alongside the soaring, classically rooted elements, there’s a lot of rocking out there. 

Which rock guitarists that you listen to the most? 

These days I love Aleks Sever, and all of my old favourites, like Van HalenLed ZeppelinYesPink FloydStevie Ray VaughanJimi HendrixJeff BeckAC/DCThe Beatles and The Band. 

Read the entire interview on Classic Rock.

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