Alex Grossi and James Durbin have announced a collaboration entitled “Maps To THE HOLLYWOOD SCARS” – The first 5 song EP will be released worldwide via NEW OCEAN MEDIA on February 17th, 2017. The band is currently putting the finishing touches on “Maps To The Hollywood Scars – Volume 2″ – Set for a spring release, as well as their first video, which will be released in the coming weeks.Alex Grossi and James Durbin

– How is it going with Alex Grossi these days in the music scene?
Things are going great. I am very busy w/ QR as usual, the 2017 calendar is filling up FAST – I have also just written recorded & released an EP with American Idol finalist JAMES DURBIN entitled “MAPS TO THE HOLLY SCARS: VOLUME 1” – We are both extremely proud of it and it has been getting a great response all over the world so far. It really showcases what we do outside of our normal musical situations, and it’s amazing to work with such a gifted singer and songwriter.

– As a guitarist going in the studio point of view how was it recording the Maps To The Hollywood
Scars EP Volume One? 
I had done most of the demos before we went into the studio, and James had sang over them at his home studio, so we went in 85% done, and really were able to lay it down while still capturing the initial spirit of the songs, as they were so fresh in our minds.

– How do you build a song up from nothing to become something certainly for this new EP?
I usually start with a Chorus chord progression and work backwards, sometimes I will have a riff or small part laying around that we integrate, but for the most part I like to sort the tempo/key & vibe and then build from there. Our first single “Till Death” was built from the verse, and then when Dizzy added his organ/strings/piano parts it took the song to a whole different level — TILL DEATH –


– How did you create your guitar tone? Do you continue to tweak it or is «old faithful» the way to go?
A little of both….. I always like a good Marshall cranked, but : My preferred amp is the PRS Archon . It encompasses what I believe every amp should be. It can go from crystal clean to full-blown high-gain rock without losing clarity. As for guitars, 2017 will be my 20th year as a PRS endorser. I’ll never play anything else. They can take a beating on tour and still sound great in the studio the next morning. I am also really digging the new Mooer pedals . They’re tiny but sound as good if not better than pedals eight times their size.

– As for being the guitarist for Quiet Riot how do you manage your time to play with different artists?
There is always time, I just keep an eye on the calendar and when it lines up, I do my “side stuff” – We all do it, it keeps your chops up and keeps things fresh – I do a cover band with Dizzy Reed of GUNS N’ ROSES called HOOKERS & BLOW – It’s a blast, as was making this EP wit James.

– I really enjoyed the Quiet Riot documentary “Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back” did you colaborate a lot in the movie editing, etc.?
Thank you, it has been great for us. The movie was directed by Regina Russell, she really did an amazing job of telling the backstory as well as QR’s resurrection in 2010 – All I did was show up and be myself, which I think makes it a very special “Rock Doc” — It has been in active rotation on Showtime for a couple of years now. You can check it out at . I’m so proud to be a part of such an iconic heavy metal band’s continuing history.

– Do you see a biography being written someday about the experiences you acquired or will acquire in your life?
LOL….. Many people have said I have some great stories, but as they say, what happens on tour stays on tour…. Maybe if I changed a few names ; )

– Any words of wisdom to share with aspiring artists?
Just keep at it no matter what if you really love it – and never let anyone tell you that you can’t be an artist – If it’s in you and you work hard enough, you will get heard on some level – Even with the industry changing constantly, creativity will always be around and we need more great artists – We are not built to last, but art is…. It will never die.

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James Durbin Interview 2017

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