June 4, 2021 2:35 pm
A couple of years ago we discovered that Marty Friedman, who was a guitarist for Megadeth, came close to being part of Madonna’s band, the great pop star, and it seems that the great diva’s taste for powerful guitars did not stop there.
In a recent interview on The Classic Metal Show, we have been learning more details of the work in Madonna’s band from the guitarist Monte Pittman, which entered training more than two decades ago.
Pittman, who was a guitarist for Prong, he is clear about what has been the hardest thing about working with a pop star of this level: “The schedules! There were 12-hour days, even 14-hour days. One thing that has stood out about working with her is that it’s not about what you touch, but what you don’t touch. Sure you may think, “Okay, I’ll just stand on stage and just shred for the whole song,” but that’s not necessarily going to work. Sometimes yes, but it will not work with everything like in other bands ”.
“In a metal band, you play everything, and you play as much as you can”, continues Pittman. “But this is not the case, here you have to give space to all the other instruments. So when you do something, a solo, for example, that really stands out, because there is nothing else and there will be a solo ”.
Then come in Pantera on the move, a detail that the pop diva liked: “It was part of the show (ndr: introduce a Pantera riff). We did it and we continue to rehearse it for the repertoire of each day, we always play it in the sound check. Every now and then there is a security guard who looks like, “What? Oh! ” And you always see fans with Dream Theater shirts, I don’t know why, but you can see those shirts. “
The great genius Dimebag Darrell, Pantera’s guitarist, becomes the protagonist: “One day I was working with her with some guitar lessons, working on her right hand, and I was telling her what Dimebag had told me at a Prong concert. Asked me if we touch “Cut-Rate” and I said yes. He said, “Do you do that part where F sharp sounds and it does this?” I was very impressed that he knew the whole song, that he could play it at that moment, right there, it was one of the fastest things that he had ever had to play. He said, “You have to be on top of that string, you can’t let your pick come off the string, you just have to relax.” I was like, “Oh wow, great. What great advice ”. For a lot of people, it’s one of those things that you don’t really think about. That is one of the secrets. So I was showing her that, and the next day she came in, grabbed a bottle of wine and two glasses, sat down and put the guitar on, and just said, “Look at this!” And I was like, “Oh my God, I wish someone could see this! Now I have to show you a Pantera song! “
The story continues to go into detail: “And I taught him “A New Level”, because it could have a D tuning, so that she could play it with one finger. When we were at that point in the repertoire, the song we had chosen for the end was “Hung Up.” We had a new musical director and he had the idea of doing that song in which she plays the guitar, because it would be almost like a polar opposite to the original. So when we played that song at the end, she would just start playing the riff to “A New Level”, but the rest of the band didn’t know about that song, they just thought she was playing, so they would just follow her. Then it was like, “Wow, that was fun, I got to play a little bit of Pantera with Madonna today! Who would have thought that would happen? ” You would see the tour manager come in with some papers and someone would come and fill the fridge with water, and everyone would start showing up in that part of rehearsal just to see that! And it stayed in the repertoire ”.
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