Guitar virtuoso Chris Impellitteri - who will be inducted into the 2023 Metal Hall Of Fame at the 6th Annual Metal Hall Of Fame Charity Gala, taking place January 26 at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA - is featured in a new interview with Marko Syrjälä for An excerpt follows:

Q: Discussing inspiration, can you name your three biggest influences starting from the early days?

Chris Impellitteri: "For me, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, and Al Di Meola. That’s what I listened to when I began. Later on, I also started to listen to Gary Moore, John Sykes, Michael Schenker, and Uli Jon Roth. There are many guitar players, even my own age, that I love. I mean, I love John Norum, I love Europe, they are one of my favorite bands. Yeah! They are my secret love. I really like Europe a lot. There are many other great guitarists in the world too."

Q: Earlier this year, somebody asked Yngwie Malmsteen why he always wanted to play as many notes and as fast as possible; he answered, “Less is not more. More is more.” What do you think about that statement?

Impellitteri: "I don’t know what to think about it. [laughter]. What I’ve learned… it’s like, playing music, creating music; it’s an expression, right? It’s like when you start a painting with a blank canvas, right? You express yourself musically, express your soul. I don’t think about how many notes I can play. I mean, look, if you listen to the guitar solo in” Lost in the Rain” or” Stand in Line,” they’re outrageous, maybe even too fast, but in some weird way, they fit the song because something is missing if I don’t play it that way. So technically, I kind of agree with him in some ways.

"I respect Yngwie immensely. I mean, I’ve had to listen for years… I used to get called a clone, copy, and plagiarist. Yngwie certainly influenced me, but not more than Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Al Di Meola, and actually John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia, flamenco. They are a much bigger influence on me than Yngwie, but I did like some of his stuff. I liked very much the first Alcatrazz record. I listened to that. After that, I really only followed him a little. Maybe I listened to his first two solo records, but as he progressed after that, I didn’t. I just ran away from it because as soon as I played fast, I immediately got called some clone or some odd thing. So I just stayed away from that and stopped listening to him altogether."


The Metal Hall of Fame recently announced the induction of four hard rock and heavy metal legends into the Metal Hall Of Fame: Twisted Sister, Lou Gramm, Chris Impellitteri, and Raven. Celebrated guitarist Steve Vai (Whitesnake, David Lee Roth) and legendary drummer Mike Portnoy (Winery Dogs) will induct Twisted Sister.

The event will include numerous performances, surprise artist appearances, a Meet & Greet, and All Star Jams. It will be hosted by radio/television music Icon Eddie Trunk, with entertainment personality Cathy Rankin.

The 6th Annual Metal Hall of Fame Gala, "The most important night in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal" will take place January 26, 2023, at the Canyon Club, Agoura Hills, C.A.

Purchase tickets here.

Copyright 2024. All Right Reserved.