Blesok no. 23, October-November, 2001
Interview with Javier Vargas
Tell me more about your musical beginnings, like when did you start to play, was guitar your first instrument and who turned you on to music in general?
I started at 1969 in Argentina, and from the beginning I knew that my instrument is the guitar. My father bought me my first guitar, a very cheap electric one.
Was there any musical tradition in your family, so that you could proceed with it sort of naturally?
I had an uncle that played violin, and everybody in my family loves music, but I am the only one that has dedicated life to music.
Who were your earliest influences and did they define your musical path?
My first influences were Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, B.B.King, Frank Zappa, Ten Years After, Cactus, Black Sabath, Cream… In my musical path I have collected this blues rock influences, and also Latin and psychedelic stuff.
Are you a self taught musician or somebody taught you the basics of your instrument or maybe you have taken some music course at the time?
I am a self taught musician. I only took a few lessons when I was a child in Argentina.
Which time period do you consider personally as the most satisfying for you as musician or you think it's still to come?
The best is yet to come.
You seem to connect successfully blues with segments of Spanish traditional music, was that your idea or it just happened that way?
I do love Flamenco music, and also like Latin rhythms I also love to experience with music, so once I decided to fusion Blues, rock and Latin, so to try, and I liked it!!
Who were, if any, your guitar heroes when you started out and why?
Jimi Hendrix because he was out space.
Jimmy Page, because the way he invented Hard Blues.
Alvin Lee, because his fast fingers.
Jeff Beck because his guitar talks.
B.B.King because he is the king of blues.
Albert King because of his bending and his phrases.
Steve Ray Vaughan, because of his freshness and his blues power.
Do you have any favorite players, not necessarily guitarists at the moment?
Astor Piazzola, Mile Davis, Camaron, Prince, Eric Clapton, Chris Duarte
What do you think about the current blues scene that you're involved with, is it progressing and how do you project it in the future?
There are very good blues bands in Europe and in the U.S..
Could you name your five “desert island” albums?
Beatles – Sergeant Pepper's
Led Zeppelin II
Jimi Hendrix – Electric LadyLand
Steve Ray Vaughan – Texas Flood
Albert King – Live at Fillmore West \ Blues Power
You have played or shared the stage with many well known blues people, are there any of special memories for you?
I always remember a super jam session with Junior Wells.
Your top five favorite guitar players and why?
You can see question 7.
How and where do you get inspiration for writing music?
In 1974, when a lived in the USA I started to write music, inspired by the music I used to listen in the radio and at the clubs.
Do you think that musicians have complete freedom to create music or music industry in a way dictates how it should be done and where it should go?
It is sad, but actually you have to deal with record companies.
Are you satisfied with what you've achieved as a musician so far or believe that you still have a lot ideas to create music in the future?
I still have lots to say.
Being so involved with music, do you get enough time for family life?
My life is only this two things: my family and music. Both things can also be together.
Dou you have your own recording studio or do recordings somewhere else?
I do have my own studio at home, but I only record demos in it. I prefer to record my albums in the best studio I can.
Guitar players usually have collection of guitars, how about you? What models do you have and which do you use most?
I have many guitars, mostly Fender Strat. My favorite one is a 64 Strat.
What is your basic studio and stage equipment?
Fender, Marshall, Soldano and any thing that sound good!
After your successful CD “Madrid – Chicago”, what will be your next project?
I am preparing a new album now with lots of blues-rock and Latin fusion.
Can you say something about the blues scene in Spain and when it all started?
In Spain there are a lot of fans of blues, but I cannot say when it all started, because I have been living in Argentina and in the USA many years.
What are your future plans in music?
Keep on playing, keep on composing.
Looking forward to meet you in Macedonia soon!
I hope so!