Interview: Jartse Tuominen

Dan McAvinchey: Jartse, you have a new album out ("Untold Stories") since we last interviewed you about 2-3 years ago, had anything changed for you as you approached recording these new compositions in the studio?

Jartse Tuominen: Yes, I think there are more melodies on this CD, and "Untold Stories" is the first album where I did everything by myself; by that I mean recording, mixing and mastering - and never again (laughs).

Dan McAvinchey: A number of reviewers have compared you to Steve Lukather (Toto, solo artist). What do you think when you hear comparisons such as that?

Jartse Tuominen: Steve Lukather has always been one of my heroes, and of course it feels great if someone compares me to him. I guess I'm doing something right!

Dan McAvinchey: Let's talk about the process you used on "Untold Stories", How did you write the songs, did you collaborate or work alone on the tracks?

Jartse Tuominen: I pretty much work alone. I just hear themes in my mind and somehow it goes on paper. Some songs on "Untold Stories" took years to get written and recorded. I send demos for the band to review, and if guys come up with better ideas we'll use them also.

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Dan McAvinchey: Which of the tracks from "Untold Stories" do you enjoy playing the most?

Jartse Tuominen: Yeah right, it's really fun to play the new tracks, on intro all bars are different so it's a little challenging to play it right. I do enjoy playing all of them really.

Dan McAvinchey: Have you gotten a new piece of gear, or a new guitar, that you found particularly useful while writing or recording?

Jartse Tuominen: I do actually, I got new Gibson Les Pauls and I really like them a lot. I have a Gary Moore model Les Paul as well, and I was playing it when he passed away, so that’s how the song "Farewell" came up. Its kind of my tribute to Gary Moore.

Dan McAvinchey: We recently did a survey where site visitors told us about their favorite guitar effect (delay/echo, distortion/overdrive, chorus, flange,
etc.). What is your favorite?

Jartse Tuominen: I don’t really use any pedals. I play straight into the amp. I do use an old Vox wah-wah pedal from the '60s every now and then. I use a Mesa/Boogie amp, and it is just perfect for me.

Dan McAvinchey: How is it going with social media and promotion? Any breakthroughs you can report on?

Jartse Tuominen: It's going! Facebook used to be good one for promotion, but I think Twitter is better nowadays. Reviews have been a big help in spreading the word about my music, so I’m really appreciative about that.

Dan McAvinchey: Where is your home base these days, and how is the live scene there?

Jartse Tuominen: I’m still in San Antonio, Texas. A lot of live music there. A lot of different styles of music also. which I like a lot.

Dan McAvinchey: What do you feel like has been your greatest musical achievement to date?

Jartse Tuominen: Hard to say really. Last year I got in the Prog/Jazz Archives in Paris, which was a real honor for me. The song "Time To Go" was number one in the Netherlands for two weeks last fall; that was amazing also.

Dan McAvinchey: Congratulations! Finally, what are you looking forward to in 2017, what's on your musical agenda?

Jartse Tuominen: We are working on European tour in April/May 2017. Gigs in USA also.
End of year I’ll go to studio for recording new CD.

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San Antonio-based musician Jartse Tuominen's expressive guitar work is appreciated both in the United States and Europe (and beyond) and he has gained a lot of respect not only among his audiences, but also among his musical peers. This Finnish guitar wizard's 2016 CD is entitled "Untold Stories" offers instrumental rock with a jazzy flavor, and builds nicely upon his previous album effots.

Dan McAvinchey did his second interview with Tuominen to update the Guitar Nine readers on his latest CD release, along with further details about his musical career.