Axe Banger: The Guitarist Showcase

Matt Konfirst

Name: Matt Konfirst

Playing (years): 16 years

Style: Progressive rock/ metal

Gear: guitars-Ibanez RG570, Jackson custom SL-1, Schecter A-7 7-string
Preamp- Behringer V-Amp Pro
Power Amp- Marshall 9200
Cabinets- Crate Celestion 4×12 cabinets
Additional effects- Behringer Tube Composer T1952, Roland SRV 3030D
Reverb Unit, Yamaha SPX 990 Effects Unit

Past accomplishments: Recorded a 4-song demo in the mid 90’s with a death metal band called Acriminous, graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Production and Engineering, recorded two solo CDs the newest of which “War of Righteousness” is in stores now, have been a guest artist on the Earthcubed album The Dark and the Divine and performed in a series of special shows to promote the disc, and I’ve also made a guest appearance on the song ‘The Gift’ from Andrew W. Bordoni’s Eclectica CD.

Current and upcoming projects: Recently completed my second solo album “War of Righteousness” Future projects include working with Andrew Bordoni on a new Earthcubed album as well as writing new material for another solo album.

Favorite guitarist: Steve Vai- he’s obviously a very technically gifted player, but those are a dime a dozen. What sets him apart is his ability to express himself through his music. He’s connected to the instrument in a way that a lot of us strive for. He’s also a brilliant showman. As a guitar geek myself, I find that when I go to see a show featuring a virtuoso player, I tend to watch to see if they make mistakes. At a Vai show though, the show itself is so absorbing that the technical details melt away and I can just enjoy the performance. I should also mention that Passion and Warfare was the reason I decided to pick up a guitar in the first place. ‘The Audience is Listening’ is every aspiring guitarists’ wet dream!

Most Underated Players: Jon Finn, Joe Stump

Best musician you’ve ever seen: I hate questions about ‘the best this’ or ‘the best that’. There is no best in music. The whole business of expressing yourself through art is a nebulous deal that is colored by the expectations of both the musician and the listener. As one of my more inspirational guitar instructors at Berklee used to say: ‘Music is a journey, enjoy the ride’. I have seen some really good shows lately though. Queensryche performed the entire Operation Mindcrime (I & II) story, and I was blown away by the power of Geoff Tate’s vocals. He has such a strong voice and a great stage presence that you can’t appreciate by just listening to the CDs. Speaking of great voices and tight musical delivery, I also had the pleasure of seeing Kamelot and Epica not too long ago. Both bands put on a show that left my head spinning. For instrumental music I would recommend that anyone who hasn’t seen Steve Morse play should do it as soon as possible. Either with the Steve Morse Band or the Dixie Dregs, it doesn’t matter, because there’s always a lot of energy and a great vibe. And of course I’ve never seen a bad G3 show!

Four words that best describe what you want to get across in your playing: color, longing, perception, individuality

Your hero: That would have to be a toss-up between Jon Stewart and Baby Stewie from ‘Family Guy’. Jon Stewart says the things that a lot of us are thinking but don’t have the forum to express publicly, but in that episode of family guy where Stewie farts and his eye turns red…

Ultimate goal: To make music that people listen to and go, “That part was fucking cool!”



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