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Lift Off: Shock Rocket Guitarist Marty Favento Talks Roots, Gear and New Album


Marty Favento, who was born and raised in a small town called Koper in Slovenia, started playing guitar at age 10.

His father, an accomplished blues guitarist, got him into guitar playing and sent him to a private music school, where he spent five years studying.

GuitarWorld.com caught up with Favento to discuss his band Shock Rocket’s new album. Lift Off, which is getting some cool buzz in the European metal underground.

GUITAR WORLD: You recently did a video you jam with Michael Angelo Batio. Where was this and what was that like?

Yes, true! I jammed with legendary shredder Michael Angelo Batio in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It was totally amazing. I was so scared to stand next to such an accomplished guitar player and jam with him. I was really nervous at the beginning, but I made it through well, I guess. I had sent him a CD from my previous band. and he replied to me that he really liked it. Since then we've known each other. When he had a guitar clinic, we talked and then I randomly asked him if we could jam together, he agreed and we played "Nuclear Blues."

Who are your main influences?

Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Michael Angelo Batio, Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Vito Bratta, Reb Beach, Guy Mann-Dude, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Angus Young, Frank Marino and many more.

On the new album, your lead chops are quite impressive. Do you have any advice for young players? Are there any particular practice routines or DVDs you'd recommend?

I appreciate it! Well, it's probably nothing you haven't heard before. It takes a lot of practicing, dedication, listening to music and trying to figure out some progressions. I always think, "OK, let's practice, so when I wake up tomorrow I'll be better than I was yesterday." I always loved to play and never struggled for inspiration to pick up my guitar.

I've got to send special thanks to Michael Angelo Batio because of his Speed Kills DVD, which taught me one very important thing: "In order to play fast, you’ve got to first learn how to play slow.: In my teens, I played fast but really needed to master the technique, and I did this through learning to play slow first and knowing what I was actually playing. That's the only way to learn how to play fast!

In the US, glam and '80s-style rock has become more of an underground sort of thing, but people still love that style of music. Is this music still big in Europe? Are the crowds very open to it?

Yes, absolutely, and I've noticed that somehow '80s rock & metal is coming back. I'm seeing 80's American hair bands doing reunions again and playing in front of huge crowds, and bands like Steel Panther are getting quite popular. Music from the '80s is timeless, and it's been listened to for many generations. In Europe I think it's doing well — especially in Scandinavia, the UK and Germany. For now, I’ve got to say that we're getting really amazing feedback from fans all around the world, and I'm really grateful for that.

What is your rig like, and what guitars do you use?

I've been using Jackson guitars since I was 15. They get a great rock and metal sound, have amazing necks, and the playability is at the top. I use a Marshall JCM 2000 with a Marshall cabinet that has 2x12 Celestion Vintage 30s inside. The only pedal I have is a T-REX M.A.B. overdrive, which is really good. I've been using the same rig live as for the studio, only in the studio I use my father's 1983 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe for some extra rhythm parts. That's It! I like to keep it simple. I use Dunlop Jazz III XL guitar picks, Elixir cables, DiMarzio pickups, DiMarzio clip-lock straps, original Floyd Rose guitar bridges — and that's really it.

What was the recording and writing process like for the new album?

It was really cool. I wrote the music for the album and I also produced. I always write riffs and melodies for Shock Rocket songs, and then we arrange it together. The singer, Andrew D, wrote most of the lyrics. The whole recording process took us only about three weeks, but the mixing process was long. Our mixer, Denis Scher, did a really good job!

In the CD booklet, you thank Guy Mann-Dude. Any news on him?

Guy is a great person. He's one of my biggest influences. While I was recording this album, he gave me tips about what to do and what not to do. He has a lot of experience from sitting next to Desmond Child, who produced Alice Cooper's Trash album, along with many other platinum releases. Guy played some guitar on that album and also recorded his solo album on MCA Records in 1989.

Unfortunately, he's not playing guitar anymore. That's really a pity because he had a great technique and his own style and sound. He told me he's playing jazz piano now as a hobby. He is a multi-instrumentalist. As a matter of fact, he played drums before guitar with Steve Vai and on Jon Anderson from Yes’ solo tour in 1982. He always has an honest opinion; sometimes it's not something you want to hear, but that's something that helps me improve all the time. I'm sure my future material will be even better because of his assistance.

Anything you want to say to everyone out there?

First of all, I want to thank Guitar World for this interview. It's a huge honor. To all of the readers, guitarists and musicians, I want to say this: Keep on dreaming and never give up. Keep on practicing and song writing. And check out my band, Shock Rocket. If you like the sound of bands like Ratt, Dokken, Extreme and Mr.Big. you will dig our music!

For more about Shock Rocket, check them out on Facebook.

Dave Reffett is a Berklee College of Music graduate and has worked with some of the best players in rock and metal. He is an instructor at (and the head of) the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal department at The Real School of Music in the metro Boston area. He also is a master clinician and a highly-in-demand private guitar teacher. He teaches lessons in person and worldwide via Skype. As an artist and performer, he is working on some soon-to-be revealed high-profile projects with A-list players in rock and metal. In 2009, he formed the musical project Shredding The Envelope and released the critically acclaimed album The Call Of The Flames. Dave also is an official artist endorsee for companies like Seymour Duncan, Gibson, Eminence and Esoterik Guitars, which in 2011 released a Dave Reffett signature model guitar, the DR-1. Dave has worked in the past at Sanctuary Records and Virgin Records, where he promoting acts like The Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, Korn and Meat Loaf.

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