I’ve been revisiting parts of my CD collection that I haven’t played for some time and was blown away by Infra-Blue, Tafolla’s second album on Shrapnel.
Youtube playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...C529B5F4FD38FB
There are some breathtakingly long picked lines on there, and rocked-up country-tinged shredding that reminded me of a more aggressive Michael Lee Firkins, which in my book is a totally awesome thing. Some of it sounds a bit like what Eric Johnson might do if he went on a “heavy metal conversion course”! It stands up pretty well today, to my ears, too.
I’d somehow forgotten about Tafolla, despite having been really impressed by his REH video about ten years ago, which I’m sure I’ve still got the tabs for knocking about somewhere.
I remembered reading on the Racer X forum ages ago that Tafolla had stopped playing guitar and was running a successful business producing T-shirts and other merch for bands and the music industry, but a quick look at Wikipedia showed that he’s now back in Jag Panzer, so must have picked it up again.
Wanting to know more, I googled for interviews and came upon this incredible podcast series the Double Stop, which had a brand new interview with him:
Ep. 66: Joey Tafolla (Solo, Jag Panzer) | The Double Stop Podcast with Brian Sword
I was absolutely riveted to this, as Tafolla goes into so much detail about the whole Varney-guy thing, with the late-night phone calls and all. If you’re into the shred scene, I’d say it was essential listening. Among other things, it contains the story behind Buckethead’s genesis, because JT was Brian’s teacher and friend before Carroll donned the mask.
In text form, I also found this excerpt from the G-Force shred ’zine on the Racer X board:
Racer X Asylum - View topic - Joey Tafolla interview extract from G-Force