INTERVIEW in BASEL, SCHWITZERLAND, 12.10.2011
Stevie Salas is a guitarist known for his work on George Clinton‘s albums, his collaborations with Koshi Inaba of B’z, and Hardware. He was in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, providing the fingerwork for George Carlin‘s guitar solo.
RezStyle – Kimberlie Acosta talks with Stevie Salas
He has worked with many giants in the industry of music, including Steve Vai, Rod Stewart, Sass Jordan providing guitar for several of her albums, T.M. Stevens, Justin Timberlake, among others. He helps create studio bands for American Idol and continues to tour in Europe and Japan, as well as release his solo albums.
In 2007 UK indie label Invisible Hands Music are releasing his first-ever career retrospective, The Sun And The Earth.
Stevie Salas Tribute 2009
Move to Hollywood, Meeting George Clinton (1985–86)
Salas attended high school in San Diego, where he played in a rock band called This Kids, which toured the Southwest and released two EP’s. In 1985, Salas moved to Hollywood to pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician. He lived there for a year without much success, almost starving to death (Salas says he lost 20 pounds (9.1 kg) because of hunger). In 1985, he received a job as custodian for a small recording studio in L.A. where one night at 3a.m. he was awoken by George Clinton, who was looking for someone to play some chords on a song he was making. Salas offered his services. When he went into the studio, Salas said he began to play all sorts of weird stuff on the guitar to freak George out, which it did, and in turn, Salas was hired to play some tracks on George Clinton’s 1986 release, R&B Skeletons in the Closet.
Richie Kotzen and Stevie Salas – I Ain’t Superstitious
Record Deal, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and First Record (1987–1990)
In 1987 Salas moved part-time to the United Kingdom and Holland to work on guitar and production sessions. That same year, he co-produced Was (Not Was)‘s album Out Come the Freaks. In 1988, Salas wrote the guitar score and appeared in the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, playing Rufus’ guitar solo. That same year, he joined Rod Stewart as lead guitar player on Rod’s world tour. Salas then received the biggest record deal in Island Records history (at that point in time), as a solo artist. In 1989, he moved to New York City where he began to explore Native Music and recorded guitar on Ronald Shannon Jackson‘s album Red Warrior. Finally, in 1990, Salas released his first solo album Stevie Salas Colorcode, opening for Joe Satriani and his record Flying in a Blue Dream.
Stevie Salas Colorcode – The Harder They Come
Despite massive promotion, Salas’ first album did not make a mark in the charts. However, while not very popular in the U.S.A., Salas’ music began to receive the attention of listeners in both Japan and Europe.
PSYCHEDELIX & STEVIE SALAS
Rise to Fame (1991–1994)
In 1992, Salas recorded the album Third Eye Open with one-off power trio Hardware, consisting of Bootsy Collins on bass guitar, Buddy Miles on drums, and Salas on guitar. In 1993, Salas became music director for Terence Trent D’Arby and toured with Duran Duran. That same year, he released Stevie Salas Electric Pow Wow, a cover album featuring celebrity guests playing covers of songs that Salas was influenced by growing up, to much critical acclaim. Then in 1994, Salas released Back From the Living. He was instantly thrown to international stardom, especially in Japan, where his single « Tell Your Story Walkin » became a Top-Ten hit. During this time he also produced and co-wrote the album Rats by Sass Jordan.
Bidding War for Label, Continued Success, Retirement (1995–99)
In 1995, Salas entered a bidding with Polygram Records and ended up winning his own label. In that year, he produced and self-released the album 12 Hits and a Bump with Bernard Fowler of the Rolling Stones under the name Nicklebag.
Stevie Salas – The Grooveline
Personal Tragedy, Tour with Mick Jagger, Return to Music (2000–2006)
Salas’ girlfriend died soon after his retirement, after which Salas entered a depression. In 2001, Mick Jagger of Rolling Stones fame asked him to play lead guitar for his tour. Salas credits this tour as one of the reasons that he began to write music again. In 2001, Salas released Shapeshifter: The Fall and Rise of Stevie No-Wonder, to many eager fans. In 2003, he released The Soulblasters of the Universe, and in 2006, he released Be What It Is.
Television Show Arbor Live, Recent Projects (2007–Present)
In 2007, he produced Jordin Sparks‘ acoustic album Tattoo. In 2008, he played some guitar sessions for Justin Timberlake. In the same year, Salas became the host and executive producer of the Canadian Music TVseries Arbor Live. On July 15, 2009, Salas released his newest album Set It On Blast in Japan, featuring Tak Matsumoto. Also in 2009, Salas became music director for American Idol stars Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, and Allison Iraheta. In Mid-2009, Salas co-founded with Internet Entrepreneur Laurence Dorazio the company Rockstar Solos, LLC which focuses on iPhone / iPad gaming and entertainment application development, first application also called Rockstar Solos available in iTunes store in late December 2009.
Stevie Salas about Dave Abbruzzese
Stevie Salas & Bernard Fowler I.M.F. Tour – Germany 15.09.09
Halle, Objekt 5
Salas has released 18 solo albums, as well as several live albums (listed below).
- 1990 Stevie Salas Colorcode
- 1991 Stuff EP
- 1992 Bootleg Like A Mug (Live in Japan)
- 1993 The Electric Pow Wow
- 1994 Back From The Living
- 1995 All That…And Born To Mack (Live in Japan)
- 1996 Anthology Of Stevie Salas Colorcode 1987–1994
- 1996 Alter Native
- 1996 Alter Native EP
- 1997 Alter Native Gold
- 1997 Le Bootleg (Live in Paris)
- 1997 Seoul Power
- 1998 Viva La Noise
- 1998 The Sometimes Almost Never Was
- 1999 Sol Power
- 2001 Shapeshifter – The Rise And Fall of Stevie No Wonder
- 2004 The Soulblasters of The Universe
- 2004 The Soulblasters of The Universe – Cosmic Flutie A Mixtape For The Underdog
- 2006 Be What It Is
- 2007 The Sun And The Earth
- 2009 Set It On Blast
- 2010 Jam Power
Il est connu pour sa participation aux albums de George Clinton, ainsi que sa collaboration avec différents artistes comme Richie Kotzen, TM Stevens, Bootsy Collins ou encore Bernard Fowler. Il a également réalisé plusieurs albums solo avec son groupe éponyme Stevie Salas Colorcode, dans lequel il est également chanteur.