Vai; “that he was my biggest inspiration.” Being fluent in English, Technical Guitar and Bass, as well as the language of his homeland Chile - Spanish, has lead Leo to some interesting experiences amongst the Hard Rock Royalty and Virtuoso Elite; having served as interpreter for both, Billy Sheehan the Legendary Bass player for David Lee Roth, Mr. Big and Steve Vai, and for Bruce Kulick formerly of Hard Rock Icon’s Kiss, and noted Guitar hero. During Billy Sheehan’s clinic the organiser announced a spur-of-the-moment surprise Jam Session for Billy and his guitar playing interpreter, Leo! Recovering from the shock of the offer, Leo’s drummer Rodrigo Roa, who was luckily in the audience, joined them onstage and proceeded to kick into Sheehan’s classic song “Shy Boy” (as recorded by David Lee Roth with Sheehan and Vai), to the surprise of the audience (and indeed, Billy!!). Giving a note perfect rendition, and having the rare opportunity to play with a musical inspiration, made an already great day “timeless” for Leo. The attention from this rollicking off-the-cuff performance at the clinic resulted in the welcome surprise of considerable airplay of Leo’s demo on the Hard Rock stations in Chile. After assisting Bruce Kulick, formerly of Kiss, with interviews, press, and a concert/clinic while in Chile, Leo gave Kulick a copy of his demos that were to become "Beyond Consciousness”. Bruce contacted Leo through his email to comment that having listened; “liked all of the songs on the demo, most especially the slow melodic parts.” Leo’s personal vision of music intertwines most divergent styles into a most harmonious soundscape.
Taking a “Instrumental Progressive Metal” approach for the most part on "Beyond Consciousness”, he has coloured his compositions from many points on the musical compass: Atmospheric Synths that have much in common with Electronica or even a delicate movie soundtrack; mixing Folk rhythms and harmonies that have seeped into the album organically from the music that surrounds Leo in the variety of culture that surrounds him in Chile; Stunning Acoustic Guitar fusion occurs, with elements of South American Folk, Flamenco and the Classical realm which all combine to give form to the truly beautiful Acoustic Guitar passages featured on this album. Michael Hedges being a stand out influence in the acoustic playing of Leo’s, Leo sought the multi-faceted genius of Hedge’s frequent Bass player, Michael Manring, to play on the entrancing and inspired track, “Ritual”. Along with Manring, a small, but stellar line up of international musician’s join Leo to contribute to the album. Among the featured is; Martin Ahm Nielsen, Danish Bass player and composer of commercials and computer game themes, as well as the bands “Metz” and “Superband”, contributing a nimble, though at times devastatingly heavy Bass performance on 2 tracks on the album; “Contrastes” and “Escape”. Rounding out the guests on Bass, is Sebastian Muñoz (Como Asesinar A Felipes, Brain Damage) who provides a rip-roaring Bass performance on the opening two tracks of the album; “Prologo” and “Infinite Substance”. Rodrigo Roa (Hic Sunt Leones, Awen) played the Drums on the entire album – a friend and a musical foil, Roa accompanies Leo, with both brutal instinct and delicate finesse, throughout the album with unforgettable performances. Leo used a choice line of gear to create the many guitar textures on “Beyond Consciousness”, his Guitar-Rig for the album included; an Ibanez J-Custom 7-string, an Ibanez Universe UV777BK, a Gibson Les Paul, an Ovation Acoustic and an Ibanez Masa Acoustic. Amplifiers used include; a Peavy 5150, and a Mesa Boogie Rectifier preamp going into the 5150's poweramp.
Pedals used were; a Digitech Whammy pedal, a modified Boss DS-1, a Bad Horsie Wah and a Boss PS-5 Pitch Shifter. Outboard gear was a Korg A3 preamp and an Eventide H3000. And finally; an E-Bow, “used here and there. :)” The fact that Leo enthuses so openly, with heart-felt excitement and admiration about his numerous experiences with some of his musical heroes may seem misleading, he is in fact already quite successful and well known in his native Chile as a Studio Guitarist, Commercial Composer (he earns a living from these two!) and a freelance Producer and small Studio owner. This debut lends the listener a chance to enthral in a new musical landscape and heralds the arrival of a humble, likable, yet virtuosic Guitarist and Composer and very possibly the guitar hero tomorrow, today. There is little doubt that Leo Badinella will provide inspiration for many aspiring guitarists and composers with his ground breaking Debut album “Beyond Consciousness”, and this will be seen in the future, as, just the beginning… Read more on Last.fm.
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