American guitarist, songwriter, producer, philanthropist, and environmentalist Angel Vivaldi was a guest at The Pit. During his appearance there, he talked about Metallica‘s Kirk Hammett and spoke very highly of him. The whole conversation started when the interviewer asked about Angel Vivaldi’s influences and they talked about the term “shred”. The question was about the most influential shredders to Vivaldi, he answered:
“Number one is Kirk Hammet. He was the one that showed me what you can do on a guitar besides playing rhythm, and I was playing the rhythm. Most people start on rhythm, at least they used to. Nowadays it’s a bit different. From there – Marty Friedman, Alex Skolnick. And the one that helped me transition from that kind of mentality, as far as playing just one type of shred, was Eric Johnson. He was like an exclusive guitar shredder. I’m grateful that he came when he did because he’s so versatile, primarily like a blues fusion rock guy, not so much a thrash metal, so it gave me a different shade of what shred is capable of doing. Those are my big ones starting out.”
After that question and his answer about Kirk Hammet and other musicians, they’ve talked about the term “shred”. Since there are lots of opinions about shredding and different people define the word in different forms, Angel Vivaldi got the question about his opinion on shredding. He started explaining his opinions and saying “shred has a lot of definitions”
“My personal opinion on what shred is is just virtuosic playing. You can shred on violin, you can shred on the piano, guitar… I feel like the guitar is the only realm that gets that type of hate for some weird reason. “If someone is shredding Paganini on the violin, they are like, ‘Oh my god!’ So it’s strange that the stigma strips away the integrity of what happened on this instrument, that’s just so weird to me. Maybe because rock isn’t supposed to have that level of discipline.
After those comments, Angel Vivaldi talked about genres that are changing the definition of shred, such as “punk rock and some genres under the name of metal”. But after all, his definition is mostly around “virtuosic playing”. At the end of his interview, Angel Vivaldi also compared the ’80s and today and opinions on shredding. The interviewer pointed that in the ’80 everyone was judging the musicians by how fast they play. Vivaldi answered:
“Yeah, and I think it is a matter of that association of self-indulgent playing, and to be quite honest, I think it is absolutely ridiculous because you need to tell me that playing an instrument well is more self-indulgent than putting your voice on a song? That identifies your being more than anything in the world.”