James Norbert Ivanyi just dropped a new EP, and it bloody rocks! The guitarist extraordinaire from Sydney in Australia with “The Usurper” offers three new songs which creatively overcome everything he has done so far. Ivanyi already works on some new material, so if you are already a fan of his work fill the gap with “The Usurper” while waiting for more greatness. If you are new to this world, make no excuses and introduce yourself to the work of real artistry. Oh, and also read the interview below.
Hey James. How are you doing?
Doing great! Thanks for asking.
You are about to release a new EP “The Usurper.” How do you feel about the release?
I feel really good about it. Especially after getting such a great response from the single ‘A Fatal Eminence’ that I put out about 2 weeks ago. I’m looking forward to hearing what people think of the rest of the EP.
How much of a challenge was to work on “The Usurper”?
Thankfully it was quite easy. There was a wonderful flow throughout the creation of the EP, and obviously being able to make records from home is very comfortable and removes a lot of the stress. The only real challenges were getting some of the vintage tones right that I wanted to feature on the record. Luckily I was able to achieve everything I set out to, thanks to the assistance of the talented people I work with, and exercising a little patience.
What is your opinion about the current progressive metal scene?
I feel like it’s better than ever! Perhaps not in the sense of the classic 70’s & 80’s progressive model, but in terms of how much forward thinking and challenging music there is out there today, it’s definitely strong and extremely inspiring. I’ve especially noticed it over the last couple of years in the bandcamp and independent scene. It’s great.
Can you tell me something about your influences?
I consider myself a rock player who loves modern, technical heavy music. I’ve really tried to embrace that in my solo music to bring what I love from classic rock into a more modern context and explore it in the instrumental sense. Growing up in an artistic and musical family, we always had bands like Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Rush, Yes, Genesis, Emerson Lake & Palmer, AC/DC, Ella Fitzgerald and more playing in our house. I suppose I was fortunate to be exposed to such a diverse amount of music when I was so young. Some of my more modern metal influences would be bands like Necrophagist, Opeth, Dream Theater, Nevermore, The Faceless, Pantera, Mastodon and bands like that.
What are you listening to these days?
I’ve been listening to the new Sean Ashe record a fair bit. He’s a really cool guy and a great song writer. I dig his use of tone and melody. The record is called ‘Flux’. It’s great!
Your 5 favourite records of all the time?
Opeth: Ghost Reveries.
The Doors: The Doors.
Led Zeppelin: Presence.
Dream Theater: Scenes From A Memory.
Nevermore: This Godless Endeavor.
Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you used to record “The Usurper”?
I used a Gibson SG for the majority of the rhythm parts, and all of my Suhr guitars for different solo’s, melodies and texture parts. I used my Friedman BE-100 amplifier for all the parts and a Suhr Re-Active load to feed the signal into my computer to use cabinet simulation. Most of it was recorded at my home except for the drums, saxophone, Theremin and some keys parts that were tracked in external studio spaces.
Besides the release of the EP, are there any other plans for the future?
I definitely want to get out there and do a US tour as my next focus. I’ve played there a bunch of times but have never done a tour as a solo artist. I’ve got the fire lit after doing a really enjoyable and successful mini tour here in Australia, so it’s likely that after the EP is out, that will become my focus. I’ve already got the wheels in motion there.
Any words for the potential new fans?
Thanks kindly for checking out my music. I hope you enjoy it!