Episode 8 with Dweezil Zappa (scroll down for podcast player) 

My guest today is Mr. Dweezil Zappa. I first met Dweezil a few years back at the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival- an amazingly beautiful locale next to Glacier Lake in Bigfork, Montana where we were both teaching and performing. We hit it off and did a lot of jamming and trading ideas together in between our classes. Fast forward to this year and we’re at it again, teaching a weeklong master class together to a small group of students. 

I consider Dweezil to be a musician of the highest level who is constantly striving for perfection and originality. I’ve always thought he was a great guitarist- I had his solo record Confessions in the early 90’s and listened to it over and over. Frank Zappa was a big influence on me, and although he left a huge set of shoes to fill, I feel Dweezil has not only continued to carry on the legacy of his fathers music, but also leave his own footprint as one of the great guitar voices of our time. His many solo records and projects have proven this. 

Dweezil has probably done hundreds of interviews but this was probably a different kind of interview for him in that I just let him go- two guitar players who grew up sharing the same influences, just talking shop. 

It wasn’t my intention to talk so much about Eddie Van Halen, Frank Zappa stories, 80’s shred guitar, and not as much about Dweezil’s amazing band, his own projects and current tour- Cease and Desist tour- it’s just that well…you’ll hear! 

Great stories, growing up with the guitar legends in the 80’s,the challenges of playing the “Black Page” on guitar, some fun jamming at the end and you’ll hear about how I won a “Wiggy” amp in a guitar contest that Dweezil was a judge in 12 years ago before we met….( it was 12 years ago Dweezil- I checked!) funny- and an insight into what it was like growing up Zappa. We could have easily went another hour but just ran out of time! Enjoy! 

Interview took place in Big Fork, Montana- Sept 2016 

(Special thanks to Joe Guzzo for use of his quiet cabin to do this interview and Dennis Webster from Yamaha for use of the amps! Photos by Shiho Theriot)

5 comments

  • Jeff Boehlert

    Jeff Boehlert

    Great interview Shane! Been waiting for this one for a long time! When might we hear you and Dweezil live? Gonna see him next month. Love the Riff Raff!

    Great interview Shane! Been waiting for this one for a long time! When might we hear you and Dweezil live? Gonna see him next month. Love the Riff Raff!

  • Jeff Cox

    Jeff Cox Nashville, TN

    Dude - I am so glad you played Sharleena - I had that little plastic record - brought back memories! "Battlestar Galactica?" Priceless. As usual, great stuff, bro!

    Dude - I am so glad you played Sharleena - I had that little plastic record - brought back memories! "Battlestar Galactica?" Priceless.

    As usual, great stuff, bro!

  • David Gale

    David Gale

    That was terrific! Nice to get a feel for the personality behind great players.

    That was terrific! Nice to get a feel for the personality behind great players.

  • David McCain

    David McCain Sacramento, CA

    I just heard about you Shane from the newest Guitar Player Magazine spotlight on you ( June 2017 ). Holy G Strings!! Your music is AWESOME! Thanks for interviewing Dweezil, who I've taken lessons from and adore him. Keep up this great podcast!!

    I just heard about you Shane from the newest Guitar Player Magazine spotlight on you ( June 2017 ). Holy G Strings!! Your music is AWESOME! Thanks for interviewing Dweezil, who I've taken lessons from and adore him. Keep up this great podcast!!

  • Ulf Klenfeldt

    Ulf Klenfeldt Sweden

    Long time fan of Guitar Wank and I loved the episodes you were on! The Nick Nolte stories (among others) cracked me up :-) Riff Raff is new to me and I think it's great too - super nice format and a real "on the couch" feel. Keep it up!

    Long time fan of Guitar Wank and I loved the episodes you were on! The Nick Nolte stories (among others) cracked me up :-) Riff Raff is new to me and I think it's great too - super nice format and a real "on the couch" feel. Keep it up!

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