The NAMM Show is one of the most prominent spots for companies to introduce new products into the market and to solidify endorsements as they strive to release the “next big thing.” Many artists make appearances and do signings as well as demonstrations drawing in mass crowds of attendees, which is the preeminent allure of the convention. Vsquared Guitar Systems recently endorsed guitarist Scott LaFlamme with what he calls “the most innovative and unique item to hit the market.” While jamming on new products is the main purpose of NAMM, it is also a great way to promote new music and bands.
Known for his work with Bang Tango and the Randy Rhodes Remembered events, LaFlamme owns LMI Recording Studios in Massachusetts. Also home to LaFlamme Music Instruction, he teaches theory, drums, guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals and songwriting. When LaFlamme isn’t teaching, he is writing, recording and playing with his bands Super Troup and Dreamkiller. Amidst their busy schedule and jet lag after a delayed flight, LaFlamme along with Dreamkiller lead vocalist Christy Johnson met with us to bring us up to date on everything.
“Today we are here on behalf of Vsquared Guitar Systems with a brand new product that has just hit the market” LaFlamme says. “The Vsquared Tremolo is a tremolo unit that you can put onto the guitar and in no way modifies or changes the instrument. It combines vibrato and volume simultaneously in one fluid motion. I am very happy and proud to be endorsed by this company and it is time to take this product to the next level here at NAMM.” Accompanied by inventor Steve Savage and engineer Harris Flaum, LaFlamme picked up the guitar and gave us a little sample as he continued to express his excitement. “We are also here to promote our band Dreamkiller and this was a great opportunity to play our new song Break Free in the booth during the demonstration using the tremolo unit.
When we asked about how Dreamkiller transpired, LaFlamme credited founder and lead vocalist Christy Johnson. “I was a judge because of my recording studio, LMI Studios” LaFlamme tells us. “I was there judging the bands and Christy’s band Dreamkiller was there and I watched them perform. When I first heard Christy I was blown away” he raves. “Both her vocal ability and her stage persona are just something that have to be witnessed, and it also was clear in her songwriting. It’s like taking Pat Benatar, Ann Wilson, Lita Ford and Joan Jett and throwing them into a blender and making one female artist. I talked to her and four days later she was on a plane to my studio and never left” La Flamme continues. Johnson founded Dreamkiller in 2004. She holds a Master of Arts Degree and is considered a triple threat in the entertainment world. Johnson indulges about how LaFlamme came to join the band and elaborate on the start and success of Dreamkiller. “When I met
Scott we had just become a full time touring band. We have Derrick Pontier (drums), Jason Cornwell (bass & backing vocals), Chaise Elliott (guitar) and Scott LaFlamme (guitar & backing vocals) who are just fantastic musicians and I am pleased to be working with them.” Johnson and LaFlamme uphold a positive message in their music and that is the driving force behind what inspires them to write. “I just like to keep things positive” Johnson says. “This upcoming album is all about the power of positivity and how you can affect your whole universe by rejecting negativity.” LaFlamme expresses delight with the level of chemistry they have as a band and how he concedes it as ‘magic’ with how the songwriting just happens. “Johnson is a great lyricist and I love the melodies we have together. It’s funny because we feed off of each other. I will start off with a melody line and she will immediately develop the harmonies and we end up going in the same direction. The music builds itself,” LaFlamme concludes.
“I wish we had the technology we have today in yesteryear when I was a teenager,” LaFlamme confesses. “Back in the day you had to just splice the tape and pray to God you did it in the right place. There is so much more you can do now and modern options like the tremolo unit really make the difference. That is why it is so awesome that you can utilize the internet and record albums when everyone is in a different location. I remember when it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a record and now it can be done from
your own home, or in my case my own studio. Since Christy lives in North Carolina and I live in Massachusetts, if this were to happen 20 years ago it would have not happened, or it would have taken twice the time to record. When we tour of course we are all in the same place but for the real work it is a huge blessing to have all of these ways to make music.” LaFlamme ends by acknowledging how leaving Bang Tango and owning his own studio which led him to join Dreamkiller is how the industry works. “You just go in the direction it takes and you and it will always continue to take you somewhere. Maybe not where you thought you would end up but being able to do music for a living and to teach students and be performing all of these years later is the best life I could ask for.”
LaFlamme and Johnson are hopeful that the new album will be completed by this summer and mentioned they have already released their first single from the album titled Live For The Dream which can be found on www.youtube.com, iTunes, Spotify and Amazon.