From writing her first song at the age of 6, to being discovered and playing alongside her idols Carlos Santana and Steve Vai early in her career, Orianthi has made an enduring mark on the music industry. While many were introduced to this timid guitar goddess when she played the Grammy Awards in 2009 as part of Carrie Underwood’s band, it was being selected for Michael Jackson’s ill-fated “This Is It Tour” that exposed her to mainstream audiences.
We chatted with Orianthi to get all the deets on her band new album. Check out the Q&A below…
It was recently announced that you would be releasing your new album on March 12, titled “Heaven In This Hell,” on Robo Records. How exciting is that?
“I’m really excited about it. To actually hold a copy of it was really great. We started working on this record about a year ago off and on and we just finished it up recently. I can’t wait for it to come out for the fans. It’s been a while since I’ve released anything.”
It’s been reported that you will be delivering heavy duty rock with elements of modern country and swampy blues. What can you tell us about this new album, or simply the sound of it, and what exactly fans can expect?
“This record is sort of going back to my roots, coming from the influences I listened to when I was younger when I first started playing. It’s a very free record. We just went in the studio and recorded it without even thinking and I’m really proud of it and I hope the fans like it. It’s a little bit different from ‘According To You.’ It’s kinda more of ‘What’s It’s Gonna Be Untogether’ off of the last album.”
In late 2009 your hit single “According To You” was released and it was a huge phenomenon and “Frozen,” the first single off your new album, has definitely been a hit so far. Do you expect as much success with “Frozen” compared to “According To You”?
“Yeah, I hope that people like it as much! It’s quite different and so much fun for me to play live. It’s definitely more rock and the chorus is pretty catchy and I hope all the fans dig it and hopefully have other people like it that maybe weren’t listening to ‘According To You’.”
Without giving away too much, what is your favorite song on the album?
“I really like ‘Heaven In This Hell’ and ‘Frozen.’ But ‘How Do You Sleep’ is a song that I wrote on the piano pretty fast and lyrically, it means a lot to me.”
How would you say that your music has evolved since you first began your career to your new album?
It has constantly been evolving. I think it’s important to never make the same record over and over again. Every record will be slightly different, but I even think with ‘Believe’ there was pieces and elements of blues that I think mashed together in a very pop way. In this new record, it’s a bit more blues and rock and it’s constantly evolving. I’ve been working with different people from playing with Carlos Santana to producing with Dave Stewart and everyone’s music is so different. I’m just a really big fan of music.”
With the release of this new album, can we foreshadow a 2013 summer or fall tour?
“Definitely! I can’t wait to play live! I was talking to my band about it and we can’t wait to get out there and play new songs. We’re going to put up some dates soon in Japan, Australia, and here in the U.S.!”
You have played guitar with many different artists. Do you have a favorite you’ve worked with?
“They’re all so different that I couldn’t pick my favorite. Working with and being on tour with Alice Cooper for the past year has been awesome! It’s just so much fun performing every night for two hours. And working with Michael Jackson was very special.”
I know you did get some ridicule for being a young girl and playing guitar. What advice would you give to our readers if anyone would be receiving any hate for playing any instruments, or anything in general?
“I was actually bullied at school. I left when I was 15 and it was a really difficult time for me. Music was something that I turned to and the guys that played guitar didn’t like that I played guitar. I would constantly be put down. Music helped me through and I would say just never give up. Never let anyone tell you you can’t do it because you can, anything’s possible. Keep on going and never give up!”