By Adriana Rubio
Pictures: Courtesy of Eric Stadler
Guitar Virtuoso Eric Stadler
is an Endorsing Artist of
This is one of the most awaited interviews of the year, and I’m glad it is happening now! There’s a lot going on at Eric Stadler’s musical camp.
Aside from the pleasure of interviewing a gifted and professional musician, it is important to highlight his humbleness and great sense of humor.
Eric Stadler is a Guitar Virtuoso from St. Louis, MO in the United States. He grew up listening to classical music and was in fact force fed it from when he was an embryo inside his mother’s womb. Eric’s mom was a pianist and opera singer and used to play the piano or listen to classical music during the pregnancy.
“My mother would put the old fashioned big headphones to her stomach with the music of Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven playing through, so I was feeling the vibrations of that music when I was a fetus in her womb. She was a big lover of classical music, but she also would occasionally play rock music like The Beatles and some Jazz too. And well, after all these vibrations I had my first symphony, no kidding, at the age of two months old… you know? (Laughs) I’m kidding”!
At the age of four Eric sensibly heard the “music passion call” while watching a Symphony Orchestra on TV with his mother and grandparents. He was fascinated with one of the instruments in particular, a violin, which undoubtedly led him to where he is now.
“I remember that I was four years old and my mother and grandparents, were watching a concert on TV, a Symphony Orchestra. I was standing in front of the TV and my mom said ‘Eric, you’re blocking the TV, honey you need to move out the way’. And I was just standing there in my superhero underpants watching in a dimwitted slackjawed gaze and couldn’t move; actually I was in the other room playing with toys when I heard the violin. It was a powerful thing in my mind and I still remember that moment, my little pea-sized brain was just fascinated with the music and the sound of the violin. Unfortunately, they thought I was too young”.
Eric’s mother could play a lot of different classical music composers like Beethoven, one of Eric’s favorites, and according to what he recalls; she could play highly proficiently and performed very beautiful pieces which he greatly enjoyed during his childhood.
“I was a child and I would sit in the room listening to my mother shred on the piano. I love the piano, but for some reason I did not want to play piano, I didn't have the desire to play it”.
“To me now, it is the most beautiful instrument, the way I hear it, you know? It is the prettiest instrument… with the violin (Laughs). Piano and violin are the most beautiful sounding instruments to me”.
“When I was 12 or 13 years old, I heard those guitar players like Andres' Segovia, Paco DeLucia and Carlos Montoya and said I want to play the guitar, so I started begging for a guitar (Laughs). My step father had an acoustic guitar that was a piece of crap (Laughs) but he gave it to me. The strings were like an inch from the neck and took the strength of 10 men to even sound a single note! I was about 15 years old when I started Classical guitar lessons”.
“It was a beautiful experience for me because it was my first musical learning, I was 15 and had this piece of crap acoustic guitar, but I learned focus, notation, some of music theory, posture and things like that. I did it for like two years”.
By then this aspiring musician was 17 and something he saw in a magazine changed his musical life completely or should I say it helped him to jump into a more modernistic noise as he still had the sound of the violin throbbing violently in his scorched young cranium… (Lol).
“There was this Hit Parader magazine with a picture of the Scorpions guitar players Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs. And I saw this picture of Matthias stoically gripping his signature white and black striped Gibson Explorer like an eternal champion of Rock and it was so strange...... because it felt like a magical and powerful bolt of lightning struck me.....A powerful feeling of destiny overwhelmed me....and right then I KNEW I would one day become a professional electric guitarist”.
“So the next Christmas my parents got it for me, and it was… probably the most hideously beautiful piece of crap I have ever seen or played. It had built in effects that sounded so bad, that my ears would gently bleed every time my aching stumps caressed its sweet wooden flesh”.
“Its body consisted most likely of 4th grade balsa wood that would snap at the slightest touch. Nonetheless...I was magically enamored of this mythical beast of an electric nature. God, I remember trying to play old Slayer riffs on it. I sounded like an infant banging on the cheap dimestore strings!!" (Laughs!)
And this was the beginning of a powerful connection with the electric guitar, a loud wake-up call experience that gave him the keys to walk through the gates of his own soul and explore the emotions and great dimensions of guitar playing at the age of 18.
Eric played with some local bands in St. Louis. Live performances were of tremendous encouragement for him to continue learning and practicing as he had decided to become a lead guitarist. He would listen to Metallica and some of Megadeth until another loud wake-up call knocked on Eric’s music world.
“I was not a prodigy, you know? You listen to Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Freedman, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and you say WOW! They were younger than me when they started, so it really took me a lot longer to be a lead guitar player”.
“Someone introduced me to Al Di Meola; I heard his music which I really like and some others. I continued with my daily practice until I heard Malmsteen and Steve Vai, they BLEW my mind. It really took my mind to a complete different direction, immersing my soul into full practicing and playing guitar for like five years”.
As you can imagine, Eric Stadler became a noticeable act in St. Louis as a result. However, he did not stop practicing and went onto explore the “teaching” side of music as another way to deepening his guitar playing skills and learning more from a different perspective. Teaching guitar to other people helped him to learn and focus more. Eric teaches all guitar playing styles and piano since 13 years ago.
Looking back, it is amazing to see all the things Eric went through and how hard he has challenged himself over the years to become a recognized guitar virtuoso by many world class guitar players and international audiences. He would choose the hardest way to stardom as an amateur musician.
“I didn’t start writing music, my own pieces, until about eight years ago and it was a wonderful experience. I had a MySpace site and I uploaded my first musical compositions… they kinda suck, you know? (Laughs)I don’t know how I could put that out (Laughs!) But it became one of the biggest amateur guitar sites in the underground guitar playing world and started to receive feedback from famous guitar players”.
After the MySpace experience, Eric’s music world started to move at full speed as he is being recognized by many for his talent, outstanding guitar playing style and distinctive technique. So he decided to record an instrumental CD Album.
“I have almost certainly around 200 pieces of musical compositions; all of them are instrumental since my inspiration has always been from instrumental masters like Malmsteen and Steve Vai. So I said ‘it’s time to put the damn thing together’ (Laughs), and started to work on the Stormbringer album about two years ago. I was having a hard time with my life mentally and emotionally so I went through it and made it, finally”.
“Stormbringer” is a 13 track CD album filled with tremendous instrumental compositions. This master piece also features lead work by world respected guitarist Gary Hoey on track 7 titled "Catastrophic Prophecy".
“My best friend guitar legend Gary Hoey also helped me to complete the album. It was strange because when I was 15 or 16 years old I used to play air guitars listening to Gary’s music, and I remember saying ‘Oh, I wish I could play like this’. Years later we became friends”.
“I contacted Gary through a social network, sent him ‘The Forging’ video, and he sent a message back saying he was very impressed with the video and guitar playing. He gave me his phone number and asked me to call him on Saturday. Gary was in a studio recording with Lita Ford on that weekend. And I said ‘Oh My… Holy Shit… Gary Hoey!... you know? (Laughs!).
“I called Gary, (he is one of the nicest guy I’ve ever met), and he answers the phone ‘Hello, Hello’…I could hear loud music around so he didn’t hear me and he hang up. Oh no, he didn’t hear me! I was depressed. But about 30 minutes later he called me back”.
“Gary Hoey really inspired me to complete my CD, he’s been in the music industry for 30 years and has released 20 albums. And there he was encouraging me to complete the album: ‘Eric, you have to get the damn thing done. I can help you’. And I said ‘how would you help me’? ‘Well, do you want me to play something on it’? Are you kidding me?” (Laughs!)
Guitar legend Gary Hoey truly believes Eric Stadler is the new guitar hero of the next generation. As previously said Gary Hoey played and recorded lead work on “Catastrophic Prophesy” for Eric’s “Stormbringer” CD. See it with your own eyes on the video below!
Eric Stadler is an endorsing artist of XVive Company and will be performing at the Namm Show in California with all the biggest guitar players in the upcoming winter. In the meantime, Eric is working on his second CD and some other exciting projects. Eric’s music world looks as brilliant as his intense guitar playing and virtuosity. The secret is persistence and hard work.
“As I have said to countless other beginning and aspiring musicians.....Give it up, cut your long hair and become a manure-shoveler!! Nothing beats the seductive fragrance of sweet horse manure pervading your open nostrils!! (Laughs!) No, seriously!! Stick with the music and pay your dues at it and you can achieve incredible things. The main thing is to have and harness the passion and power that music gives you and to play, write and perform it with that same feeling and intensity. Always follow your dreams with belief, hard work and persistence, and you will achieve them”.
More to come soon, so stay tuned! Meanwhile please read the “Stormbringer” CD Album review on this blog and feel free to visit Eric Stadler official website for more updates at: