Originally Posted by Greg McCoy
I'm pretty much like that in the sense that I don't really care for much pure/solo shred/instrumental stuff (Just Yngwie who's actually not an instrumental artist at all..it just sounds like that lol) & Vai's Passion & Warfare/Eat em & smile (with DLR) records. Did'nt really care for the Shrapnel stuff in the 80's either. (I think I've heard more of it now than I ever did back then) ...I've alway's preferred shred in the context of a band & "real" songs. Did'nt care for any of the commercially-oriented 'hair bands' with their studio-musician type guitar players either. (Extreme/Mr. Big/White Lion/Blue Murder etc..).
The shred I do like is the linear straight-forward rip-roaring stuff that lack's "tasteful restraint", "clever arrangements/timing", "atmosphere (ie slow/boring parts)" etc ..stuff like that.. and pretty much feels spontaneous, in your face & real. A lot of shred dudes these days lack that..ie the head-on/no holds barred/balls-out approach. And I think that's probably the reason why I've always preferred the shredding dudes who play in actual bands..cuz there's no time/space for all that other shit. Play your solo, make sure it's memorable/tasty/it totally rocks & move on (think Friedman, Tommy Vetterli, Jeff Waters, James Murphy..or more recently Mike Romeo, Stefan Forte, Kristian Niemann etc..)
Then some of them start off having oodles of natural flow/sense of melody etc just to lose it down the road, so they can come across as more "creative" & or as a "thinking musician" (frankly, the less "thinking" that goes on ....the "better" it ends up sounding....)
Just to illustrate, here's a great example of a dude who went from totally awesome to pretty fucking tedious..
^ Not saying it's bad, just that it's nothing I would'nt forget I'd ever heard a couple minutes later..
Another great example of what I'm talking about is Dream Theater, where they went from writing memorable, awesome songs to just being over-clever & boring as fuck...