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An interview with Orianthi | FESTIVALPHOTO

An interview with Orianthi


I spoke to Orianthi at Bloodstock in between her solo acoustic set and her performing with Alice Cooper.

Festivalphoto: You played on the Jaegermeister acoustic stage here at Bloodstock earlier this afternoon. How did you enjoy that?

Orianthi: It was fun. I was really happy that people showed up. I really like playing with a band and rocking out, but when you play acoustic it's the bare bones of the song, it's like how you've written the song, so it's almost like you're sitting up there naked. It feels a little weird at first but people dig it when they hear a song thats broken down like that so it was fun, it was different, and tonight I get to rock out with the band, cover myself in blood and have a good time.

Festivalphoto: That looked to be a very expensive guitar you were playing today

Orianthi: The PRS? Yeah I played a Paul Reed Smith Angelus cutaway. I use them in the studio, I use them live. For me its about having a guitar that has a lot of bottom end to it and guts to it, and that one just feels right.

Festivalphoto: Who first inspired you to learn the guitar?

Orianthi: Santana - he's the reason why I play.

Festivalphoto: You've actually played with him haven't you?

Orianthi: Yeah, I've jammed with him a few times. The way he plays, it's from the heart, all his notes, tone, songs everything. Big fan.

Festivalphoto: For someone so young you've played with an amazing list of people - Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper, Steve Vai, Dave Stewart, ZZ Top and Prince - did you ever imagine you'd be playing with some of these people?

Orianthi: It's pretty crazy and I feel really blessed to work with all these people I've worked with, and you learn so much. I really enjoy being just the guitar player and collaborating, and I really enjoy doing my own thing too, so being able to do both is very very cool and I hope I can continue to do both for a long time.

Festivalphoto: You're due to tour with Dave Stewart next month.

Orianthi: Yeah I'm going on tour with Dave. I have a blast with him, he's an amazing all-round musician, producer, songwriter, person. He's very inspiring, and the shows going to be great. It's Ringmaster General, and I played on one of the songs on the record called "Girl in a catsuit" when I was over in Nashville. He was like "Hey Ori, come in here and jam on this song" so we ended up jamming out. We shot a music video a few weeks later and he got me climbing up a building in a catsuit with a guitar on my back, and he's like "This is what you're doing", and I was going into a room with these big alsation dogs and all these crazy people. It was fun, and we're going to have a blast - I'm a big fan of his so its very cool to be out on tour with him.

Festivalphoto: What's it like playing in a very theatrical show like Alice Coopers?

Orianthi: You know, we have so much fun, there's a bit of choreography going on, we added some for this part of the tour, so it's a little different, we added some more songs to the show, and we're going to change it up again in October. I love the band, I love Alice, it's a real honour to be part of it.
Alice is an amazing showman. Working with Michael (Jackson) and then getting to work with Alice, they're very similar. Alice is obviously rock, theatrical, kind of Rocky Horror vibe to it, but very similar in that it's all about entertaining and giving it your all, and he does the same thing every day. He's always in the same great mood, he's got great energy.

Festivalphoto: I wish I had his energy - I don't know how he does it.

Orianthi: No neither do I actually. He's shopping or playing golf all day, plays a show then he's watching horror movies. He's great.

Festivalphoto: Although you're best known as a guitarist, you also do your own solo material where you sing as well as play guitar. You've released an album - Believe, and an EP (Fire). Is that right?

Yeah I did the EP in Nashville. We did eight songs in a day. It was with Dave Stewart and amazing musicians from Nashville - they were all session guys.

Festivalphoto: Any plans for more albums?

Orianthi: We're going to finish off the album, we're just working on that and it'll be out really soon. With being out touring, it's finding the time to do stuff. The thing is that it's really important to live in the moment, obviously think ahead sometimes, but just be in the moment and right now I'm so happy doing what I'm doing, you know jus tbeing part of this crazy Alice Cooper circus. I love it.

Festivalphoto: That's got to be the best thing - when you really enjoy your work.

Orianthi: Yeah with anything you've got to enjoy it. You've got to put in 100% but at the same time have fun, because you don't get to do this again.

Festivalphoto: What are your inspirations for writing your songs and lyrics?

Orianthi: From life, from experiences. Sometimes they're stories, I like writing stories, whether it be about a friend or someone else, something that happened, an emotion...I love the whole process of writing, it's so different from playing a show.

Festivalphoto: Which do you prefer and why - CD or legal mp3 downloads ?

Orianthi: I really enjoy buying a CD and going to a record store, and when you're in the record store someones looking in the same section and you have a conversation, it's very social. Now that so many have shut down its really depressing really. Now it's really reclusive, you're sitting in your bedroom at home downloading. It's really cool because you get it instantly, you don't have to think "oh the Santana record or Steve Vai record is out tomorrow, I've got to go to the store tomorrow, line up and whatever", now it's instant you get it on pre-order. There's so many illegal downloads though, you wouldn't walk into a store and steal something but that's exactly what it is, so I don't know, there's some real downsides to that whole downloading thing.

Festivalphoto: What was the last album you bought?

Orianthi: I think it was Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi live, and the Joe Bonamassa - Beth Hart one, that's really good - his guitar playing, her vocals..I love her voice, I saw her show a couple of times in L.A.

Festivalphoto: That's great, thank you for your time.

Writer: Anthony May
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