JACKY VINCENT – A Star Crossed Speed Story

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At 7:00 p.m. Los Angeles, California.  It’s time to break from band practice as from Falling In Reverse does just that to chat about his solo album.  “We’re all in L.A. at the moment having band practice.  We are getting ready to do a couple of small tours.  Latin America is first, then the U.S. tour.  It’s going to be quite different from what we have done in the past.   We are going to do a very intimate acoustic show with a meet & greet so we can make contact with the fans.  I’m really psyched about it.”

Jacky Vincent was born and raised in Portsmouth, England but came to America at the age of 20 to join the band Falling In Reverse.  He now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Vincent jokingly blames his father for his music career when his father gave him the album Appetite For Destruction by Guns N Roses when he was just six years old.  “Yeah, it was all my dad’s fault.  People ask me all the time at what age I began playing the guitar and I wish I could tell them, but honestly I cannot remember when I started.  In my house there was this little 12 fret New Orleans string acoustic guitar, a child’s type.  My sister and brother both had played and I eventually picked it up. That was my first guitar but I can’t remember how old I was.  My mother thinks I was about five, but I don’t believe I was that young.  I must have been nearer to seven or eight, because my I loved Slash and my dad also had an album by Joe Satriani titled Surfing With The Alien.  I can remember playing those albums all the time.  Both made me want to play the guitar even more.  When I was really young, my brother and my dad taught me but later began taking lessons but I didn’t stick with the lessons long.  It wasn’t until I was about 15 or 16 that I started taking this serious and began taking lessons again.”

Being in his first band at the age of 10, the band would have gigs at each other’s house or at school.   At the age of 15, they played in a few pubs but did not have any real gigs until later at the age of 18.  Learning to shred was a goal Vincent would set early and continue to work toward. “I am a work in progress.  I’m far from a master shredder.  I have always wanted to play guitar and I just love the shredding kind of stuff and the guitar players that could do it.  They were my heroes.  This is kind of funny to think back,” he says laughing.  “I can remember when I was really, really young, watching cartoons like Thundercats playing some really crazy guitar solos.  I also remember some crazy guitar work on Power Rangers. I was still really young, but old enough to know that was a guitar solo.  I fell in love with the sound of it because of what I saw and what I heard.  The guitar is something that has always stuck with me even with the other ventures I’ve tried.  I had a goal, I have a goal and I’m just keeping with it, practicing and moving toward that goal.”

Jacky VincentVincent was welcomed to the Dean Guitar family in May of this year.  “The guitar in the photos is my first signature guitar.  I have two of them now and I think they are going to be released for sale in January of next year so I’m really excited about that.  Dean has been really awesome and getting to work with them and create it and have them build it for me was just great.  They have been really welcoming and I’m really grateful for their help.  They help me by getting me signings and other things all the time.  I’m really proud and honored to be part of the Dean family and look forward to a long relationship with them.”  Working alongside Dean, Vincent had the opportunity to do a monthly set of guitar sessions called United Stringdom, via Guitar World.  “United Stringdom was set up by my band’s record label, Epitaph Records, where I was able to do a few online teachings. It was really crazy when I went to do that, the airline lost my guitar and all my gear.  I landed and had nothing.  I called Dean and told them I was in New York City with no guitar to do the spot.  They pulled up Guitar Center in Manhattan and told them I would be coming by. They told me I was to go by and pick any Dean I wanted off the wall.  I walk in grab the guitar and walk out.  It was cool and crazy but I was still stressed about not having any of my gear or my guitar.  It was such an awesome opportunity, but I wish I had been more prepared by using my stuff.”

Star X Speed Story will be Vincent’s first solo album which will be released on October 22 on Shrapnel Records.  The album is guitar instrumental with several surprise guest appearances.  “It all goes back to the beginning as to the reason I’m really here.  It’s because of the instrumental things I saw as a kid and those instrumental rock albums made by Shrapnel back in the 80’s.  I can remember seeing the CD’s in the stores.  Jason Becker and Racer X and having those type of albums just made me want to do it more.  I wanted to be in a band and be like my heroes.  I have always wanted to do this most my life and my goal was to do this before I was 25 so I could capture who I am now.  Because I know pretty soon I’m going to change a lot and I’ll become a different player.  So I wanted to capture the essence of my guitar playing now.  I’ve always been a Shrapnel fan and last year at NAMM I met Jeff Martin, the lead singer from Racer X.  I was really excited to get the chance to meet him since he was in my favorite band.  I had the opportunity to sit and talk with him and later he spoke to Mike Varney of Shrapnel who told him about me wanting to do an instrumental record.  It just all came together after that.  I woke one morning to find an email from Mike Varney, which I could hardly believe.  I was so excited that he asked if I wanted to do an album.  I already had some ideas ready so when we started moving on it, the entire album was recorded in a matter of a couple of weeks.  I wanted to mix all types of genres and ideas.  I have some modern heavy metal; I have some Shrapnel ideas on there. There’s some jazz fusion going into a heavy metal breakdown while the jazz is still going on.  I have some really crazy drum works going on, which is something I wanted to do to keep it fun and exciting.  I’m pretty happy with it and it’s all working out.”

Jacky VincentVincent’s story has several meanings to him as well, and the title to the album reflects his story.  “Star Crossed Speed Story is how I hear the music.  It’s really fast, it’s exciting and it sounds like video game music.  I’m kind of a big nerd so I really wanted it to sound like music for an anime.  It’s something that means a lot to me.  ‘Star Crossed’ because of everything that’s happened to me was supposed to happen on my life’s path; ‘Speed Story’ because it’s my story but it’s told through shred music. So it basically makes sense to me; it’s me telling my story through music.”

Special guests making appearances are two of Vincent’s heroes and a new friend he met through the Shrapnel family.  “Track 3 has a guest solo from Michael Angelo Batio who really inspired me to try to play the way he does.  I began talking to him when I was brought into the Dean Guitar family.  He’s super cool and was nice enough to play on my album.  This track is so fast it’s insane,” he laughs.  “Track 5 features Paul Gilbert from Racer X who has been my hero forever.  Many thanks to Mike Varney from Shrapnel for setting that up as it turned out great.  My new friend Dario Lorina from Vegas is on Track 11.  I met Dario through Mike Varney and Shrapnel.  We’re the same age and we are similar players.  His album just came out on Shrapnel, and I suggest you have a listen.  I have some really cool guest players including my band mates from Falling In Reverse, drummer Ryan Seaman and Ron Ficarro on bass.”

As Vincent prepares to go on tour with his band, he states he is thinking and preparing for the possibility of playing some club shows in support of his solo album and what he would like to see in his future.  “I feel like there aren’t as many people out there that are interested in the instrumental guitar type of shows now.  So it would be interesting to see who would show up.  I know it would be cool for me to do what I can to bring what I can back for it.  I’m on a mission to keep moving forward.  I would love to do more instrumental releases and hopefully I would love to one day compose and orchestrate music for movies & tv shows.  I’m really into classical which you can hear a bit on Star X Speed Story.  I think that’s what I would love to do next.  I’m excited the album is coming out and excited to see how everyone will respond to it and want to come to a show.  Check it out and tell me what you think.”

If you are a fan and want to keep up with , you can only find him via Twitter.  “I only have a small bit of social media. For the record, I do not have a Facebook page.  The pages that are up on Facebook have been created by kids and fans.  It’s a bit flattering but it’s crazy at the same time.  These kids are pretending to be me and sometimes I laugh, but then I think about the craziness of it too.  I only have a verified twitter account as that’s the way I like to connect with the fans and answer their questions and stuff.  As for what little there is about me online, I kind of like it that way.  There aren’t many musicians that have a mystery about them these days, so I’m hoping to keep it this way for a while.  I’m sure in the future there is going to more information readily accessible, but for now I like that bit of mystery.”

Photos By: Jo Anna Jackson

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