Metal Rules 2000
Interview by Mike Sandomirsky, July 2000 for Metal Rules, also reprinted in Guitar Mania.

1)Tell us about your history and background
I am from Belgrade the capital of Serbia and Yugoslavia. I’ve been playing the guitar for 17 years
(I started at an early age). Back in Belgrade I worked a lot as a studio session player and guitar instructor, I also collaborated with National Radio and Television company "RTS" for 4 years as a performer, arranger and composer. At that time I was also playing with numerous bands in clubs.

In 1992 the break up of Yugoslavia, the civil war and UN sanctions against Serbia stopped any normal life in my country. However I succeeded to record my first instrumental album "FANTASY" which had to wait 4 years to be published. My album "FANTASY" was and still is heavily played on Yugoslavian radio and TV making the composition "Forever" a hit. I published my second album -a self-titled instrumental guitar album- for Shrapnel Records in 1999. In 1998 I moved to Canada with my wife Marie (`who is French - "Bird…Dance"!) where I am living currently.

2) When did you first pick up the guitar?
I picked up the guitar when I was 11 years old. I was impressed after seeing the Beatles on TV.
Next day I had a cheap acoustic guitar as a present from my grandfather on which I played for about a year until I had my first electric guitar - a Telecaster copy
on which I could really start to practice.

3) What motivated you to want to learn to play the guitar?
What motivated me to learn to play the guitar was really love for music and a fascination for that particular instrument its sound and people (musicians) who played it well like : Richie Blackmore, Mark Knopfler, Jimi Hendrix,…etc. You know I still remember how it felt when I first heard Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies’album when I was 12 years old. I was totally blown away! I remember that I could actually imagine a guitar in flames screaming just by listening Hendrix play.

4) Are you a schooled or self taught player?
I am basically a self-taught musician. In the beginning I was learning by taking "licks" of my favorite musicians "off" their records. Later I focused more on classical music and composers such as : Bach, Paganini, Chopin, Vivaldi, Mozart, Listz,…inspired by Yngwie example. Eventually I got to learn the theory and harmony mainly found in Jazz music (also by myself).

5) Who are your main influences?
It is hard for me to name all my influences because there’s a lot of them. If I was to choose a "few" names it would be : Jimi Hendrix, Nicolo Paganini, Mark Knopfler, Yngwie Malmsteen, John McLaughlin, Mike Oldfield, Steve Vai, Eric Clapton, Charlie Parker, Django Reinhardt, Eric Johnson, Allan Holdsworth, Carlos Santana, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Eddie VanHalen, Brett Garsed, Frank Gambale, Steve Morse, Michael Schenker, Gary Moore, Richie Blackmore, Brian May, Albert Lee, Chopin, Jos Satriani and Danny Gatton..

6) What style of guitar playing would you classify yourself in?
I would say that I am primarily a technically proficient rock guitar player who is trying to enrich and broaden his playing and composing abilities by as many interesting musical elements and styles as possible.

7) What type of music do you enjoy listening to?
Considering that I am a big music fan in general (I have a collections of thousands of CDs and vinyl LPs) the range of musical styles that I like to listen is very wide. I listen to a lot of blues (from Robert Johnson to Steve Ray Vaughn), Jazz (Be-bop, Free Jazz, Fusion, Jazz manouche,…), classical (Baroque and Romantic period), Techno ambiental (William Orbit, Talvin Singh,…) and all sorts of Rock, Metal, Pop and Country music from 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. But in terms of "right now" I am finding myself listening to a lot of Jimi Hendrix, Mike Oldfield, Santana, Eric Johnson, Dire Straits, Allan Holdsworth, Shakti with John McLaughlin, Yes and AC/DC.

8)What equipment are you currently using?
I am using an Ibanez JEM 777, Fender Stratocaster "Yngwie Malmsteen" model and Ibanez Artist 300 so as far as guitars are concerned. My main amp is a Laney VC50 but I also have a Marshall Valvestate. I play D’Addario 0.10/0.46 strings and Fender Extra Heavy Picks. I also have a bunch of Boss pedal effects, Dunlop Cry Baby Wah-Wah and Alesis MicroVerb that I occasionally use.

9) Your CD titled "BORISLAV MITIC" is an awesome debut on the Shrapnel Label. Tell us how your association with Mike Varney came about?
I used to listen to a lot of Shrapnel artists at the beginning of the 90’s like Jason Becker, Michael Lee Firkins, Paul Gilbert, Greg Howe, Richie Kotzen and Ron Thal. In my opinion it was quite a prestigious guitar specialized label. So in 1996 I sent a copy of my "FANTASY" album to Mike Varney and he called me immediately after hearing it and offered me a record deal. He really gave me a lot of free space to do what I wanted. We were both set for something new, emotionally strong, virtuso oriented and melodic. I also wanted to have a lot of "echoes" of my influences on that album like Hendrix or Vai, Malmsteen, Paganini and Chopin but also Django Reinhardt and Indian, Celtic, Middle Eastern and Slavonic Balkan cultural music influences.

10) You have another released title "FANTASY" which was only available in your home country Yugoslavia. Will this be re-released here in North America?
I realized that there’s a lot of people who would like to have my "FANTASY" album. I’m right now working on making that possible. It will be available through my Webpage as well as some other channels. That album was quite unique. I covered a lot of my favorite classical peaces from Paganini, Handel and Bach on that album but there’s also my own original material there too. I don’t like to boast around but there’s a lot of people who consider my playing on that album to be "technically perfect" after hearing it. In any case I’m looking forward to re-releasing it!

11) You have developed an over the top killer technique. Tell us about your technique and how you develop it?
I used to practice a lot 7-10 hours per a day. And I was very disciplined, self-critical and curious through that period of "learning". I used to "pick up" phrases of my favorite players and expand them. I also tried to achieve a classical violin type of perfection in playing later on. That meant studying scale patterns, arpeggios, chromatics, legato, staccato, string skipping, sweep picking and taping and applying them to my music. I tried to learn as much as I could about different musical and playing styles also like - Blues, Jazz, cultural, etc… I actually started off with Blues and Hard Rock in the beginning building a Clapton - Blackmore oriented pentatonic style, moved on to Van Halen and Yngwie direction later and finally fused things into something which will eventually become my own style.

12) What do you think about the new crop of talented shredders like George Bellas, Rusty Cooley and Tom Kopyto?
I think that anyone new who has intentions to support the tradition of great musicianship with his work should be welcomed today. The current scene is in great need of new talents in my opinion and if the media gives them a chance I think that there is an audience for them.

13) What are your thoughts on the state of instrumental guitar music these days?
The instrumental guitar music and Rock guitar music all together seems to be on the edge of becoming extinct these days because of the unjust big record company policies and media totalitarism. There are great new and old artists who are making great music and continuing to develop and push the human achievement on the music field further but they simply can’t reach an audience. Do you realize for example that neither Steve Vai nor Joe Satriani (needless to mention Yngwie) had a front cover page on ANY US guitar magazine for their new albums? Do you think that’s normal? Just take a look with which kind of things they are trying to brainwash people. I think that it is quite sad. In my opinion the people-the audience should react, write protest letters, refuse media totalitarism or at least became more aware of it and the threat that it is presenting. I mean if the music and guitar fans today don’t realize that they have to take action and fight this absurd media trend to keep the music they love alive - then that music is going to disappear and die! They have to be more supportive, informed, interested, awake, receptive and active. If that happens I’m sure that guitar players and musicians will have more inspiration and strength to make even better music and play better… Music is a form of communication with emotions poured and transformed into notes and if there’s no feedback that’s the end of "communication". You can’t speak to a wall!

14) What are your interests outside of music and guitar playing?
I’m really into a lot of different things apart from music. I always like to read a good book so I can say - literature for one. I like to draw and paint a lot though I don’t have much time for it lately. I also have a keen interest in History. But my biggest interest I would say is the "truth" and the secret of Man and God relation. Faith and Christianity and its quest for spiritual purity and enlightment.

15) Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers that we have not asked or may have overlooked?
Yes!!! You haven’t asked me if I have any home pets!!! I’m a big cat fan and I have 3 of them (one is still in Belgrade with my mother) which are quite special creatures. So my message is :"If you don’t have any pets and you would like one - adopt a cat! (preferably a "street cat"). "

Thank you Mike and my regards to all of you.

Metal-Rules! 1999

An Interview With Canada's (imported) Guitar God - Borislav Mitic
Used by permission of Metal-Rules !! (1999)

Yugoslavian guitarist, Borislav Mitic has immigrated to Canada thereby putting Canada on the guitar god map with his debut CD for the now legendary Shrapnel label. Still virtually unknown to the masses, Borislav's unique blend of cultural influences with his Yngwie-like shredding capability will no doubt make a huge impact on fans of heavy instrumental guitar music. I was lucky enough to speak with Borislav at length concerning his guitar playing, music and about Yugoslavia. For me it was quite an interesting interview.
You can read the interview below or go to to hear it in real audio.
Thanks and enjoy, EvilG.

Can you tell me about when you first started playing guitar and what inspired you to pick it up?
It was in 1982 in fact, it's a little weird because what I was inspired by had nothing to do with what I do today. It was the Beatles haha - not a very metal orientated band. I was just a kid you know, 12 years old and I saw that movie "Hard Days Night." That was what drew me to it with the guys playing the guitars and all the people generally liking it. I moved on from that quite fast. I went with a band that I stuck with for a long time. Inspiration then was Deep Purple with Ritchie Blackmore. Then I think I got anything that had rock guitar - guys like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Marc Knopler, Gary Moore, Eddie Van Halen. I built a gigantic collection of records. In those days I had something like over 2000 records with different sorts of rock music. I was really trying to get my knowledge of guitar from everywhere. That was in my pre-Yngwie Malmsteen years I would say haha...

I read in your bio that you were self taught, have you ever had any lessens in theory or something?
No, in fact I've never had any lessons I just picked up a few chords when I was a kid with my first guitar. My cousin showed me "House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals. Then I learned what is E minor, A minor, C major, etc.. I was just picking things from the records by trying to slow them down by putting little weights on the vinyl with songs

Was your first guitar an electric or an acoustic?
It was an acoustic which got broken because I was playing so much. I infuriated my mother just practicing and practicing, she picked the thing up and bashed it on the floor together with a record - I think it was Deep Purple hahaha...Then I got an electric, my first was a Strat then I went to Ibanez guitars and lately I've come back to the Strat again.

That's a Strat on the cover of your CD isn't it?
Yeah it is.

It looks as if your fretboard has been scalloped?
Yes, it's the stock Yngwie Malmsteen model Strat. I wanted a Strat type of sound. I was playing an Ibanez Steve Vai Gem guitar which has a certain type of sound.

Were you playing the 7-string model?
No the regular 6-sting one. I just wanted a sound that was more subtle maybe more dynamic. Since the signals tend to be weak I wanted Dimarzio HS-3's or 2's (pick-ups). I tried a lot of Strat's going into insanity you know checking a lot of older, news and custom designs. But this one was really the best that I've found. It has a great vide and a great feeling. You take it and you're like flying on this guitar. The weird thing is, I did try that guitar before and didn't like it too much and I've tried some models recently and they weren't the same so I guess every guitar is different.

I've never played on a scalloped fretboard, I've wondered what it was like.
T the thing that makes it good is if you like high frets its giving you a very high string action and very high frets which is basically the set-up I like to have. It has jumbo frets so when you have that really high action and scalloped neck you have a feeling that it's very precise, you know exactly what you are doing whereas sometimes when the frets are a little thinner the wood starts to get in the way. With this guitar you rarely touch the wood. It kind of goes well with the Ibanez Gem series. I find Ibanez are generally very good guitars.

I really like the lead sound you are getting out of your guitar. So what makes that sound besides the guitar - what effects or amps are you using?
The thing is I didn't want to complicate things to much so I just played straight through the amp. I used a Laney VC-50 and I played it through a Marshall 100Watt cabinet. I didn't use any effects except a cry baby wah wah for a couple of tunes.

So you didn't use any EQ or nothing?
No, I didn't use anything. In fact when I was recording I put everything on the board at zero...all the EQ's the compression...I really wanted the natural guitar sound. To have something personal, to have the sound that YOU are actually making. I wasn't completely satisfied but thank-you for liking it. I hope in the future I will succeed to make it ever better. I'm not saying that it's not close to what I wanted to make but you always want to surpass yourself.

What about your stings - do you use a thick or thin guage?
I use D'Dadario 10's.

And how about with picks - do you find you can play faster with a thicker pick?
I think with fast playing you really need a hard attack with a thicker Dunlop or Fender pick. Thinner pics are good for maybe doing a clean rhythm but for a heavy chunky thing you need a heavy pic. For leads though I prefer a pic which you can't bend.

Obviously you did a lot of practicing when you were younger but now that you've attained a certain level of musicianship do you find that you have to practice as much or do you practice as much now?
It's true, I really practiced an insane amount (when I was younger). You put very high standards on yourself and you listen to what you are doing. You are hitting notes very hard and going slower and faster and you try to pick up the sounds of the guitar more then there is really there. So sometimes it good to practice not plugged into the amp, you just play and twang the strings playing like a maniac haha...but trying to still maintain musical control you know...After that you get that very very precise staccato like Al Demolia, Yngwie and other people did it that way. I had a lot of friends who were going to musical academies studying classical music and I was always interested in how they were told to practice their instrument so I was doing the same thing - going through arpeggios, scales, different techniques like legato, staccato and doing a lot of classical. I was trying to pick from Latin records and classical music like Paginini, Bach of course inspired by Yngwie who was one of the first people to do something in that direction. So I did practice like lots when I was younger but today I find myself not to practice at all. I guess all those years and all that time I spent with the guitar developed my technique. In fact I was thinking about it recently, it's miraculous that I didn't loose it because before (maybe 6-7 years ago) I would get to periods where I wouldn't play for maybe a week which happened very rarely! I would have to travel somewhere not to play for a week and even then I would take my guitar everywhere. I'm not going to get lazy, I will get back to practicing and push the thing maybe even further to set new goals and new standards for myself.

Will you try to play every day or every week?
I suggest to people who want to develop a technique to really play everyday, to take what ever time they can - 1 hour, 2 hours. It's very important what you do with your instrument. It's not like you just take the guitar and play anything. It can be good if you are watching TV or doing anything that doesn't demand extreme attention. You can play by yourself and develop a feeling between you and the guitar. But if you are really practicing you have to disconnect yourself from everything and dedicate yourself. For example, if you're practicing a 6-note scale you do it for one hour and for that hour nothing exists except those 6 notes. When you play a phrase it has to be perfect. You torture yourself haha, in fact it's not really torture, you have to have an attitude that it's something that you want to do and it's a labor of love...for me at least it was.

In terms of your music, where it is all instrumental, have you ever been in a band where there was a vocalist?
Yes I was in vocal bands when I was in Yugoslavia. I started at 16 playing in some local cover bands which were doing like Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Foreigner and whatever was at the top of the charts and the local stuff of course. I was always collaborating with vocalists and I worked quite a lot from somewhere like my 20th year for 5 years as a studio musician. So I was doing a lot of things that were connected with vocal music, all were not necessarily metal or shred. It can be that, it can be rock, it can be a ballad type of thing, you know whatever you are called up in the studio to do. So I have done vocally oriented things but not for my own music, it's always been instrumental.

Do you have any desire to have your own band with a vocalist or you prefer to remain an instrumentalist?
No, in fact I am very interested now to collaborate with a vocalist. I was trying to search for some new singers to work on new material maybe to do something different for the new record, maybe more vocally orientated. Basically this (current) album is presenting my playing and is also like an invitation to bands who maybe are searching for that type of guitar player to maybe contact me and see if we can Metallica hahaha...

Hahah yeah they could use a lead guitarist now! When you are writing instrumentals how do you decide upon a title, seeing as how there are no lyrics?
It if I want to dedicate my song to somebody, like to my wife on the song which is called "Bird Dance" or if I have something like a feeling that I would like to transmit to listeners like with "The Mystic." Sometimes I write the song and change the title, it's not really a strict thing.

Can you give me a couple of examples from the CD? How about "Sky Rider"?
For Sky Rider I came up with the title because of the rhythm. There is a part before the solo which goes with volume pedal swells on a clean guitar and sounded like some kind of un-earthly thing - like a vision of somebody galloping through the clouds on a winged horse.. haha...or something like that. So I called the song Sky Rider cause it was a vision that I saw when I heard how the song sounded after it was recorded. The song can tell you something or remind you of something. It can be something intentional like "Light of Seven" which is a weird thing because in some theologies the 7 is considered a number of god. When I was making the sound for the song on my amp I was tweaking the knobs trying to fond the best sound because I was playing through a wah-wah. When I did find the actual sound I looked at the amp and all the knobs were at 7, so it was like ok I have to include 7 in the title and actually I played it on the Gem777 guitar haha.

Can you tell me how you hooked up with the other guys who are playing on the CD (Jacques Roy & Marc Bonneau)?
When I came to Montreal I started to ask around the music circles, I checked out the music studios, basically trying to find out who are the best guys in town to do the sessions for the recording. Everyone was pointing to Jacques Roy. He's a great bass player, maybe he didn't cut out too much on the album but there are some parts, especially on the Bird Dance, with a taste of his abilities. So that's how I got with them - through recommendation. They both did an amazing job, they did the basic track session in two days for the whole album and in fact we had like two rehearsals before that. So there were quite amazing.

Were they playing this style of music before you hooked up with them?
They were playing different music. They were playing with some kind of Canadian stardom characters like Edward Rockwazine (the fuck if I know how that's spelled or who it is). I don't know if you know that person? He was like a big star in France and Canada he's like the next big guy to like Celine Dion and some pop singers.

If it's not metal I don't know about it (and don't want to haha)!!
These were people that when I came here I didn't know myself but they were like very high-selling people. They have a fusion history, a metal history. They went through all that type of things.

Did these guys help at all with the writing or arranging?
No, I write all the songs myself and all the arrangements. I gave them a tape of the songs to learn then we rehearsed for two days then went to the studio and cut the songs. All the album was practically recorded live except after I went back and did overdubs for the guitars.

Have you jammed with these guys at all since the recording was done?
No, not for now.

And how about playing out live in Montreal, have you done so yet?
No I'm not really playing this type of thing live. I'm more into trying to promote my album overseas in Europe and in Japan where it's also released. Right now I'm searching for management to try to hook up with some companies for endorsing and if I do some live gigs it will probably be some clinics I think.

Are you still signed to the Shrapnel label?
Yes I am and right now I'm getting back into the song writing process and I would like to make something (like always) completely different from what I've done. I'd like to make something completely intense and mad.

So you have started writing?
Yes I'm writing for two albums - a vocal one and an instrumental one.

Will both be on Shrapnel or your not sure about the vocal one yet?
Well I'm sure one of them will be on Shrapnel and the other one - I don't know.

According to your bio, you sent your demo entitled "Fantasy" to Shrapnel, is this the demo that got you signed to that label?
Yes, as you know I come from Yugoslavia. After a couple of years I decided things were not going in the direction that I wanted. I just took my album which I made for Serbia Yugoslavia while I was there - the one I mention in my bio which is called Fantasy. I sent it to Mike Varney to see if they would call me back. I just put it in an envelope and sent it and they actually liked it and called me back and so I was then signed to Shrapnel.

Was is the deal with Shrapnel that prompted you to move out of Yugoslavia or was it more that you were going to leave anyway and you were just lucky enough to have a North American record deal?
In fact it was mainly that which pushed me to go there because now it's not very easy to exit Yugoslavia considering all the visa trouble that people from my country are having. For me to go and to make records, collaborate with other musicians, join a band...that was not possible from Yugoslavia so I had to move because of that reason primarily and somehow at the same time when my album got published everything was going down in my country, things turned in a very bad way so...

So when you did leave what made you choose Canada, and why Montreal?
The main reason was that considering that I am an English person and my wife is French, she is from Paris, so we thought that Canada is a bilingual country where you can survive with both languages. If we went to France it would be different because I didn't speak French - I do speak it now a bit. It seemed to was close the the United States so I could do things with my record company - fly in and fly out, without having to fly over the ocean for 10 hours. That was the main reason I choose Canada.

I have a couple of questions about Yugoslavia - about what it was like being a musician over there - if you don't mind?
That's ok.

In general what was it like being a musician in Yugoslavia as opposed to what you've found it to be like in Canada so far?
It's hard for me to say what it's like to be a musician somewhere else because I'm basically just starting to do that. I think I will have an exact opinion on that in a couple of years maybe. But for Yugoslavia, it was really great to be a musician there because people maybe don't know but it was a country that was very, very open to a lot of things, especially to metal and rock. It's very popular there, especially in the 80's. Maybe I can make a comparison to where I am now - it seemed like a musical world center which would maybe be a surprise to people. There were people practicing and playing, all the bands were making tours there. I will just mention an example - Dire Straits, you know their album 'brothers in arms' with that hit 'money for nothing'? Well it was first released in Yugoslavia in Belgrade and then everywhere else in the world for example and they started their tour from here. It was like any other place like if you say Italy - Rome or France - Paris, Yugoslavia - Belgrade, it was like that. Compared to where its turned in the last couple of years well it's very difficult because people which are not under that kind of pressure don't realize what it means with United Nations sanctions and all those pressures...military intervention. You can't really live a normal life like that. Everything becomes distorted, all the values. People are struggling to maintain some kind of standard of life to just basically survive and get through every day things. So naturally, the cultural/artistic thing deteriorates and you just follow whatever is on the market.
That's basically a contour of musical events and developments of the last decade.

When you were living in Yugoslavia was an end-goal always for you to some day get a deal from a North American label, or at that time were you happy with the situation you were in?
I was always ambitious and I guess any musicians dream is to be presented to the widest possible audience that you can so for that you need some kind of worldwide record deal. Since I was very progressive metal orientated I was always into the Shrapnel people like Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, Michael Lee Firkins, Paul Gilbert, Vinnie Moore. You know after Yngwie, those guys had all those records. I considered Shrapnel "THE" label that I would like to make something for and in fact it turned out that now I have a record for them so it was like a little personal victory for me.

So how do you like Canada so far that you're been here?
Well it's an interesting place. Really I need more time to discover it because I don't know much more about Canada except Montreal. I would really like to check out the other bigger centers like Toronto and Vancouver.

Do you plan on staying in Canada, or do you hope to someday return to Yugoslavia?
I guess I will be somewhere in the middle, not completely attached anywhere. Basically making a base for myself here in Canada and do my musical thing from here but I still intend to collaborate and work with my people from Serbia Yugoslavia.

Obviously then you still have a lot of friends and family over there so it must of been very distressing during the recent strife or problems that has gone on over there.
Yes all my friends and family are there so it's very distressing when somebody is dropping bombs on your hometown, you don't like it.

It's hard for someone from Canada to relate to something like that because it's just something on the news and you can't imagine something like that happening here.
Yeah...people there also couldn't imagine that it could happen there you know. Even I think when all the missiles and Tomahawks were falling people still couldn't believe it was happening. They were probably looking at the sky thinking it was a gigantic TV screen, but the buildings were shaking really hard, so my mother tells me. So I guess that it was quite a horrible thing. I hope that it will not leave too much consequences because of the pollution kind of thing with the nuclear fillings and know with the leftover missile casings with the depleted uranium fillings that they were using...I hope it will not leave too much traces. It basically really sucks when all the media lies about you, it really overturns things. It's strange really, the power media has today when they can paint things in whatever color you want. You can say like Borislav Mitic has horns and they are very spikey. If you print that in New York Times or whatever, everybody is gonna say "did you see that Borislav? His horns are so big man.." haha...
Well I guess people will maybe start to realize those things and some of the things in the world, maybe in a decade or so, it will change with the global political scene will stop being that way. I guess for now all that we can do is make the best of the things we are like with the music or whatever we are doing. I will just try to make the best music that I can.

So you told me you've been writing for a new has it been sounding in comparison to what I've heard?
I am really just beginning to compile ideas really and defining an exact direction where I will go. The only thing that I can say is maybe I'll try to make it a little more intense than I did on this one.

Well that sounds good haha!! I like it HEAVY....
You like that direction huh?

Yeah! I still like some of the slower songs on your CD but I get more excited when it's like double kicks on the drums with the fast shredding guitar...
In fact that's the thing like I was doing before with really a lot of those double kicks and extremely fast playing. I hope that I still have a lot of diversity but...that's why I intentionally wanted to avoid a lot of double kicks on this one. All that shred and that type of guitar playing is connected to that.. You just hear that double bass, everybody was doing it so I just said ok I'm not going to do it just to make it different. but ahhh...

But you're going to do some more of that again? haha
hahah....well in any case I did what I did for this one and I don't like to repeat myself too much. I basically have some sort of style forming so I will try to develop my own 'voice' but very intense would maybe be the word I would use.

What are your feelings on some of the other bands that I guess have a lead guitar player that is very influenced by like the shredding and the Yngwie / classically influenced style with band like Stratovarius and to some degree Children of Bodom - both bands have lead players influenced by this...there are more and more bands now again that are getting back to REAL guitar playing.
I think that's great and I didn't hear the later band you mentioned, I did hear Stratovarius a bit but I think it's really great that especially from Europe that this type of thing is returning with people really trying to play and be proficient on their instruments and to not to try and steal the media with the latest thing like on the front cover with ok let's grunge, let's this or whatever because it's "cool" or because somebody told them it was. I think honesty in music is most important, and I think that people who are doing that kind of thing ought to be the best that they can be. I really give all my support to the people who are trying to do that and build up their style - whether they are influenced by Yngwie or anyone else for that matter because all the people who have Yngwie in them, well Yngwie also has in himself Al Demolia, Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore combined. You get that and a little bit of classical and basically you get Yngwie. But I think he's a great point to start from, I would advise anybody who wants to make metal lead guitar. Jimi Hendrix, Eddy Van Halen and Yngwie are like the three most important rock guitar players that have ever appeared, especially for their lead styles.

What contemporary lead guitarists have you heard that really impressed you?
Well I like Brett Garsed a lot. He was playing for the legato records...I don't know if you've checked him out?

I haven't heard him no.
Ok he was playing with a band Nelson before in Australia. The band was like very soft like sweet metal or rock maybe but still the kind of thing many headbangers would appreciate and he's a great shred monster. He did an album with a guy from Dream Theater - Derek Sherinian (keyboards until January 1999, replaced by Jordan Rudess) so you people can check that one out. Because I'm basically a guitar fan, I'm completely drowning in all this stuff that's happening. I like the usual crew like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Paul Gilbert, Vinnie Moore, Michael Lee Firkins, Frank Gambale, Allan Holdsworth (cause I'm also listening to a lot to jazz fusion). I really have a lot of things on my CD player.

Do you mainly listen to music that is more guitar driven, or more lead guitar driven?
I think that the presence of guitar is determining my orientation but I'm not only listening to like guitar shred stuff. Some might be surprised at what I'm playing and listening to like a lot of cultural music like Indian and classical stuff or like what Metallica is doing or Maiden and the old British style of metal or pop music or the new album of Eric Clapton. I'm really still trying to keep that thing like I had at the beginning by being open to everything and listen to everything from jazz to classical, pop rock, heavy, ULTRA heavy whatever hahaha. It will all eventually resurface in my music and (I will) profit from it.

I can definitely hear that your music is not just influenced just by the "lead guitar gods", there are other sounds in there like on for example "Celtic Legends" and stuff which is different.
That's a very important thing for me because I was finding that when I was doing demos before, if you do it in that way like you play very fast and only classically orientated or whatever it will be like you are repeating one sentence all over again. It can be great, it can be flashy and it can be varied but after a while you really want to expand and like say maybe some different stories. When I was listening to classical music I found I was initially very inspired by music which is very can speak very soft to you and you can play something like staccato and its much madder than Yngwie by 1000 times. When you play on distortion and guitar it's just, it doesn't seem to be, how would I put don't have as many options on that instrument so I tried to cover up with being very multi-directional and trying to expand myself into composing and it ended up in this album.

Well that's pretty much all the questions I had for you. Is there any other news or things you'd like to pass along?
Well that's all I'll pass on for now. I'm just starting to work on my next material. Thank-you for the review and the interview because right now in this stage I really need all the support I can get. All the publicity and all the presentation and every good word that anybody has to say - it really counts. I guess the thing that you and a couple of other people are doing I hope it really will help and in any case it does matter.

Open Up And Say
Interview by Wes Royer, September 2000

Face it, there are too many instrumental guitar albums out there to count, much less own them all. But usually, fans of this type of music usually find something good on the majority of the albums they pick up. But also, there are always some that do manage to stand out in the crowd. Welcome Borislav Mitic's first album on Shrapnel Records. Mitic was able to answer some of my questions about being a musician in Yugoslavia, being a guitar player in general, and what's next...

Wes: Your new self–titled album is also your first on Shrapnel and first to receive worldwide distribution. How does it feel to be at this level now?

Borislav: It feels good, no doubt about it. I wanted to do this and dreamed of it since I started to play the guitar. I am really happy to have had this opportunity to present myself, my playing, and my music to a worldwide audience. Still, I feel that there is a lot yet to be done and that this is just the beginning of things.

Wes: You lived in Yugoslavia for most of your life. Was it hard being a musician there, or do you think that life there helped make you who you are today?

Borislav: Well, the life there certainly had a lot to do with who I am today! I mean, all the experiences, the way you spend your time, the people you meet, the things you see, it all makes a psychological imprint on your mind and determines how your personality will develop. Being a musician is hard everywhere, I guess. But a lot of it depends on which cards you are dealt! Sometimes you can have an easier ride as a musician than most folk do.

Anyway, life in Yugoslavia was great, for musicians too, until 1991. So, I would have to speak about life before and after 1991, but that would lead to the story of the collapse of the Eastern block resulting in a tragic faith of Yugoslavia as the only European nonaligned country during the cold war, and the price it has paid because of that. But let's get back to the music subject which is the only one I could really speak about with certainty.

Concerning the time before 1991, it was a great time for music. The music scene in Yugoslavia was pretty much alive, open, and receptive to almost any kind of music, and especially, rock. The main cultural influence, in a way, was coming from Britain and America. And anything that someone could hear on the radio in Los Angeles, London, or say Paris, was hearable on the radio in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, too. So, anybody interested in music or guitar was quite well informed; strangely, but sometimes even better then a lot of western colleagues I find today. There was always a lot of concerts. All the touring bands were passing through Belgrade.

The best example is that Dire Straits started off their "Brothers In Arms" world tour in Yugoslavia. And in fact, that album was the most sold album of all times in U.K. And guess which city and country it was published in first? Belgrade, Yugoslavia, of course! Even their first hit single, "Sultans Of Swing," was discovered much earlier by Belgrade radio stations then London's.

I started to play professionally somewhere in 1988. I collaborated with the national radio/television company RTS for a few years as a songwriter and a session guitarist. At the same time, I played with some cover bands and also started to work on my own songs and with my own band. I also worked as a studio musician adding guitar parts to the records of many well known, as well as many less known, Yugoslavian bands and singers. Around 1990, I had already recorded some of my first demos (which were later to become a part of my solo album "Fantasy"), succeeded to have a lot of radio play for them, and also appeared frequently on television as a promising new artist. I was regarded as a "guitar wonder." I also had a lot of live performances including playing on stages in front of 30,000 people.

But as all good things must end, then came the war, the sanctions, the crises, which of course, took its toll on the music world, too. The music scene changed completely overnight. It became almost completely folk and disco/dance music oriented, not leaving much space for rock guitar. Nevertheless in 1992, I decided to stick to my guns and to record the material which would later become my "Fantasy" album. "Fantasy" had to wait until 1996 to be published. But once it did get published, it had a lot of radio and television play.

The song "Forever" from that album was quite a hit and perhaps the most played instrumental composition of all time in Yugoslavia! It was played couple of times a day, every day on the most popular television shows as a background music, four years in a row! Sadly, I never received any royalties for that use, but that is how things can get sometimes, I guess! I think that a lot of people in Yugoslavia don't even know that it was my music because I was not even mentioned in the credits! I even heard recently that there is a new television station which is using almost exclusively my music from "Fantasy" as a background for its shows. But there is nothing, or nobody, to really complain to about it, since the national royalties collecting and artistic rights protection association has been banned, as I heard recently too! So it is not very cool, I guess.

But I repeat, those who were lucky enough to be around before 1991 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, know that there wasn't and will never be a better place or anything closely comparable to it for enjoyment of life on planet Earth, ever!

Wes: If you had to name only three guitarists that influenced your music the most, who would they be and why?

Borislav: That is a tough one because there are so many guitarists whose playing had a big influence on me. But if I had to chose three whose influence is strongly present in my music and playing as it is on my Shrapnel album, it would be Jimi Hendrix, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Mark Knopfler. Yngwie was a great inspiration for many years, especially in the technical aspect of playing. Then there is the subtlety, taste, and poetry in the playing of Mark Knopfler, which I was always in awe of. And of course there is the passion and directness of Jimi Hendrix, and the shier magic of his playing and sound that captivated me from the first moment I heard him.

There are also a lot of other guitarists who I admire, like Mike Oldfield, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Joe Satriani, Django Reinhardt, Mike Stern, Wayne Krantz, Frank Gambale, Robben Ford, Danny Gatton, Albert Lee, Eddie Van Halen, Richie Blackmore, Angus Young, Trevor Rabin, Brian May, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, Uli Roth, SRV, John Scofield, John Mclaughlin, Al DiMeola, Carlos Santana, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Pat Metheny, Brett Garsed, Greg Howe, Jason Becker, Ron Thal, Joe Pass, Tal Farlow, Wes Montgomery, Lenny Breau, to name a few!

Wes: Are any of your family members music–oriented?

Borislav: Actually they are not. I am the only one in my whole family who is professionally into music. Though, I did hear once that my late great–grandfather was one of the best pipe players in Southern Serbia!

Wes: Give me some insight into the creation of an instrumental album. What are the differences between writing music with vocals and without?

Borislav: There is a similarity, because in instrumental guitar music, you have to treat the guitar as a voice! The obvious difference are the lyrics, which you don't have to think of with instrumentals, of course! It is also hard to keep the interest of an average listener with instrumental music. That is why you really have to put an extra effort in melody, dynamics, and projection of emotion in the songs you are making. You also have a little more freedom without vocals. For example, sometimes you have to keep in mind certain limitations when you work with a singer: the pitch and the key has to be adequate to their vocal range and register.

Wes: Can you tell us a little bit about the influences for each of the songs on the new album?

  • "Sky Rider" ... is inspired by classical music: the violin works of composers such as Paganini, Bruch, and Mozart. The composition associated me to an imaginary vision of a horseman galloping on clouds, because of the rhythm and harmony. So, I decided to title it "Sky Rider."
  • "Chasing A Dream" ... is influenced a lot by romantic violin concertos. I also tried to have some fresh chromatic approach to connecting arpeggios. The title is what a lot of guitarists, and other musicians too, are doing when they let their fingers do the walk across the neck of their guitar.
  • "Mystic" ... has a lot of Balkan spirit. Our traditional music, Serbian, has a lot of harmonic minor in it, so this comes very naturally to me. The solos are kind of Borislav meets Yngwie and Hendrix. The term "Mystic" is used for somebody who believes that by prayer man can cleanse his spirit and bring himself closer to the supreme force: God. There are also some who believe that such a prayer can be transformed into music.
  • "Waltz Of Time" ... is another classically influenced composition more oriented to the piano styles of composers such as Chopin, Liszt, and Bethoveen. It tries to describe the paradox of the passing of time from human perspective. Time: the ruler of our lives and the biggest treasure we have; eternal, but at the same moment, nonexistent. I thought that a waltz would do nicely.
  • "Celtic Legends" ... is a song presenting my Celtic music influences. To me, it sounds like a musical description of a battle of two mythological armies, especially the dueling solos at the end. There is also a strong feeling of highland pride and romance in that song.
  • "Ballade Pour Elle" ... "Ballad for her." The title says it all.
  • "Bird Dance" ... is a composition influenced by Serbian traditional violin music. It is also dedicated to my wife Marie, who I call "Bird." This track is probably technically the most difficult and challenging one on the album.
  • "Light Of 7" ... has a strong Indian music influence. It is also a super–nova rocker. There is a bit of Hendrix and Vai in there too. While recording it, I searched for the best and most appropriate sound I could get out of my amp. I was tweaking the knobs without looking at them, just using my ears to find that sweet–spot. And when I finally looked at the setting on the amp after finding the perfect sound for the song, I realized that all the knobs were set on 7! I also played my Ibanez Jem 777 guitar on that one. With all the sevens involved, it just had to be "Light of 7"! According to some numerologists, the number seven has a special meaning.
  • "Southern Wind" ... is influenced by Middle–Eastern music. That kind of music is currently very popular in my country, so I just mixed that with some rock–style guitar to hopefully offer something fresh to the rock guitar world.
  • "Fairytale's End" ... is like a mainstream pop song with a strong emphasis on melody. A lot of my Knopfler influences are coming through on that one. I thought that it was perfect for closing the album. I wanted to say, "When the music's over (on the CD ) it's like closing a book of fairy tales."

Wes: Has anybody told you that the lead harmony in "Celtic Legends" sounds very much like Yngwie Malmsteen?

Borislav: No. Nobody has yet told me that they hear influence from that direction on that song. Actually, all the harmonies on that song are in Celtic style. And as far as the two dueling lead guitars in the end of the song, I find them more my style, fusion oriented. But nevertheless, there are some obvious, intentional nods to Yngwie on the album, but on some other tracks, though.

Wes: Shrapnel releases primarily guitar instrumental albums, and they carry a very strong reputation for this. Since their label has such a narrow focus in the hardrock/metal world, do they promote their releases as well as you would like them to? I ask only because I hear that they don't promote their artists very well.

Borislav: Well first of all, I would say that Shrapnel has a lot of positive aspects, let alone their dedication to promote rock guitar and good musicians. But of course, there are some things that I would like them to do better. Their promotion is mainly putting an ad in some guitar magazines and sending promo CDs to people on their mailing list. Apart from that, you are left to your own devices! I guess that I just had to settle for the saying, "Nothing is as good as we would like it to be," or, "If the world was a perfect place." So, I went out on my own, with the large help of my wife Marie, to do that part which I was quite new to.
I succeeded to reach a lot of on–line media, and had reviews and interviews presenting more closely my work to the audience.

I did contact specialized U.S. guitar magazines, but they didn't show any interest whatsoever in what I have to offer musically, as of now. It seems that they are interested in some other kind of music which doesn't seem to have much to do with the guitar, at least in my opinion.

I wouldn't exactly agree that Shrapnel has a narrow focus in the hardrock/metal world. On their label, they have finest examples of fusion in its various forms like Greg Howe, Frank Gambale, Scott Henderson; hardrock legends like Michael Schenker, UFO, Paul Gilbert, Glenn Hughes; not to mention the tradition of presenting the brightest young talents on the scene. One can also hear a lot of diversity just by checking my album, for example. It covers a range from ethno, ambient, classical to metal music. I would say it is quite a wide focus.

Wes: Your press release says the next album will have vocals. Any idea who the other musicians will be?

Borislav: I have some potential names, but nothing is definite yet. I am still in the process of writing the music for it. So, there is still plenty of time for defining the line–up. In any case, musically it will surpass the previous one by far. It will be technically more intense, but also with a greater variety of influences blended into something new.

Wes: Anything else you would like to share with us?

Borislav: Yes! I am re–releasing my "Fantasy" album which was available only in Yugoslavia until now. It has been re–mastered, so now it sounds exactly like I wanted it to sound in the first place! Though it was recorded in 1992, it still sounds quite fresh. I guess I had a lot of good things going on on that album to turn Mike Varney's ears! It is the album that got me the Shrapnel contract. There is some really, I must say, impressive neo–classical oriented guitar work on it, but also some grooving rock stuff and some of the finest ballads that I ever wrote. I would like to invite readers to my website at to hear what I am talking about!

In ending, I would also like to add that I am grateful to everybody who has supported my music. That really means a lot to me! Special thanks to you, Wes, for your interest in this interview. And my warmest regards to all the guitar loving audience around the world!

Guitar Chef
BORISLAV MITIC - Travel In A New Maze - Interview by Matt Cafissi, October 2000

Borislav ... how old are you?

I have been playing guitar for 18 years but I'm still quite young (I was born on 28th July
the same year Jimi Hendrix died)!

Tell me about your last cd called "Fantasy" . This is a concept , a concert ...Is it a new or old album ?

"Fantasy" is my debut album which was published in 1996 only in Yugoslavia (my homeland).
That is also the album that I sent to Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records as my presentation while I was still in Yugoslavia and that album lead to my contract with Shrapnel.
"Fantasy" is an instrumental guitar album featuring my arrangements of some of my favorite classical pieces by Paganini, Bach, Handel. There are also my own original compositions on that album which are more hard rock/metal oriented and also a few electric and acoustic ballads-which are maybe my strongest musical points.
In my opinion I displayed some of my technically most challenging playing on "Fantasy". This 2000 re-release version is remastered and the cover artwork is new. It's available through my WebPage ( and some online distributors like Guitar 9.

Why your "Fantasy" is not distributed from Shrapnel?

The idea to re-release it came to me because a lot of my fans were asking where and how they could find and buy "Fantasy"-because they liked my first Shrapnel album. So it's more like an "in between" album between two Shrapnel albums made available for people who would like to have my previous work. So that's why I did it on my own -at least for now.
Perhaps it will appear on Shrapnel later on but I'm not 100% sure about that.

In your opinion , Mr Varney is ready for a new Neoclassical Invasion or his a trender?

In my opinion Mike Varney is a guy who is to be regarded as somebody who presented to the world some of the best guitar talents. It all started when he discovered Yngwie Malmsteen and brought him to US to record (Steeler) and made Yngwie's introduction to the music world. That is exactly the thing that ignited the "neoclassical instrumental guitar" fire and opened the doors to many guitar talents that appeared after that. Shrapnel always brought great and also- stylistically different guitar players: Yngwie Malmsteen, Greg Howe, Jason Becker, Michael Lee Firkins, Vinnie Moore, Ron Thal, Paul Gilbert, Marty Friedman, Borislav Mitic,.
Shrapnel also has artists like: Frank Gambale, John Norum, Scott Henderson, Michael Schenker, Jerry Goodmann, Steve Smith, Larry Coryell, Glenn Hughes,.and many others recording for them. So Shrapnel were always very diverse. And as far as "following Trends" - one just has to look at the latest guitar magazines to realize that virtuoso -guitar doesn't seem to be "in trend" right now (which is something that I hope will change soon).

For me Malmsteen is different from the other Neoclassical guitarist because the others are mega fast but without the feeling and vibrato's Yngwie ...

Personally Yngwie is one of my favorite players and a big influence but I guess it's all a matter of taste. Every guitar player has something of his own that is unique. So everybody is special in his own way. For me there is usually something new and interesting to discover in almost anybody's style. I personally find that the composition and the way a musician is projecting his emotions through his music to the listener is the most important. Speed in playing doesn't mean much if it's not accompanied by a skillfully and tastefully crafted song. I also like music to have a melodic quality to it. As for vibrato-it's a very personal thing and it shows well how passionate and experienced the player is. But it mainly shows the personality of a player. For example: Yngwie Malmsteen, Santana, Django Reinhardt, Eric Clapton, Mike Oldfield, Angus Young (AC/DC), B.B.King, Eric Johnson, SRV, or Steve Morse-all have very different but great vibratos.

... Next projects ?

Right now I am working on compositions for my next album for Shrapnel scheduled for 2001. Musically it will cover even more ground and present more of my various influences than even the previous one did (ethno, metal, blues, techno,.) blending it all into something new. I will also try to push the technical side of playing further (but never neglecting the melodic side). It should surpass everything I've done so far and it should also include a few vocal oriented songs. Stay tuned for that one! My best regards to you Matt and all the readers of this interview!!!

EXP Guitar
Interview March 2002 - ExpGuitar

1) Hi, Borislav. First at all, could you introduce yourself to the French websurfer who didn't have the chance to know you?

I am a guitar player and a recording artist for Shrapnel records. I published one instrumental guitar solo album for Shrapnel titled “Borislav Mitic”. I am originally coming from Yugoslavia (where I recorded an album called “Fantasy”) but I live in Canada now.

2) When did you begin to play guitar and what are your roots or first influences?

I began to play when I was 11 years old. At first I was trying to play Beatles and Shadows songs on a cheap acoustic guitar. Soon after that I discovered Richie Blackmore, Angus Young, Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler - whose styles had a big impact on me in those early years.

My big influence apart from Rock was also Blues music and guitarists like Eric Clapton, Frank Marino, Santana, Alvin Lee,… Few years after that I listened to anything that had guitar on it! Pop, Funk, Reggae, Heavy Metal, Country,… I just tried to learn as many things as I could. My ”heavy” side prevailed through the years and I focused on people like Gary Moore, Edie Van Halen, Michael Schenker,..which all led to Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, …and of course (almost) anything that would come out for Shrapnel Records.

3) Could you tell us what was your guitaristic way and explain us your career in Yugoslavia..., until your meeting with Mike Varney

Well, my career started when I was 18 years old. I recorded a demo song which was instrumental and influenced by classical music (Nicolo Paganini caprice). That demo won a first place in a radio talent competition show and that got me
introduced to some producers in the National Radio Production who were impressed by my playing. I started some studio session work for other bands and singers based on that reputation as well as writing and recording some songs for radio show use (jingles,etc).

I formed a band which was called Fantasy later on. I made a lot of radio, TV and live performances with them with my original music. Some concerts that we played were in front of audiences large as 10.000 people. In 1992 I recorded a solo album called “Fantasy”. That album was published four years after being recorded (1996) due to some troubled times my country was going through. I sent that record to Mike Varney in 1997 and he called me back offering me to make records for him. That's about it.

4) You now live in Montreal for reasons that anybody could understand! You have recorded with Canadian musicians. How did you meet them?

When I came to Montreal I started to ask around who the best musicians in town were. Then I made some phone calls and auditioned some of those musicians that were recommended to me. Jacques Roy (bass) and Marc Bonneau (drums) were the ones I liked the best.

5) Your two famous album both have their own styles which are very different. The first one (which was reissued) takes its influences in rock and neo classical while the second one (for Shrapnel records) seems to be with fewer shred and seems to be more personal! Is it a new way?

There is a few years of distance between those two albums. My style, approach and taste are always evolving so naturally those albums sound different. I would be bored to repeat my self too much. Actually I go so far that I sometimes pay attention not to repeat a lick on the album that I played in some other song. How the music will turn out also depends in which mood I am when composing and recording too. State of mind will always reflect on the music. Choice of musical direction plays a role also.

On “Fantasy” (1996/2000 reissue) I wanted to display a technical aspect of my playing. I was very much influenced by classical music at the time and especially by violin works of Nicolo Paganini.

On “Borislav Mitic” album (Shrapnel) I still used classical music as a source of inspiration but I also added some ethno music like Indian, Celtic, Balkan, Middle Eastern.. I wanted to create a sound completely of my own… Both of those albums are “personal” but the Shrapnel one was a bit more “spiritually oriented”. My next Shrapnel album(s) will be something very different than both of those previous ones. I always search for some new way.

6) On those albums did you improvise your solos or did work the parts note by note?

On the Shrapnel “Borislav Mitic” album all the solos were improvised and not only that but they were mostly first or second takes! “Fantasy” album is a completely different story - all the solos were worked out note for note. They were like a composition “inside” a composition.

7) When you were younger, did you take lessons or did you learn music by yourself?

I think that someone showed me few basic chords when I started to play. After that I learned everything by myself taking guitar parts down from records. I built a big record collection over the years-thousands of vinyl LP's of rock, blues, jazz, classical, metal, fusion, ethno,…music. Guitarists and musicians on those records were my “teachers”. But there is one more reason for being self taught - I could not find somebody in Belgrade at the time to show me the things I wanted to learn so there wasn't much choice but to do it on my own. We didn't have guitarists of that style in Belgrade then.

8) Could you describe your guitar playing?

I am a rock guitar player who is including various influences from other music genres such as classical, ethno, fusion into a rock style to make it more “rich and fresh”. My approach is very virtuoso oriented but still with a “vintage feel” of traditional great rock guitarists before me. At least I hope so…

9) Could you explain us your technique? Do you play sweep picking or alternate picking?

I try to use all the techniques - when and where needed. I play alternate picking but I also play sweep - picking, legato (pull-off/hammer-on), tapping... Sometimes I even finger -pick (like Mark Knopfler). It all depends which kind of sound I want to get. I use all of these techniques when I play arpeggios and scales. That means that sometimes I will alternate- pick an arpeggio which most people would sweep-pick for example. Just to get a new and fresh sounding phrase.

10) When did you begin to work hard the guitar?

I always plated a lot but there was a period between 1984 and 1988 when I worked really extra hard.

11) How many hours did it take to get your velocity and could you give us the secrets of your training and work-plan?

I never really kept the track of time but I played whenever and wherever I could. There were days when I would wake up and start to practice and when I would stop it would be night and bed time again. When I was going to school I would sometimes take the guitar with me and practice during the breaks between lessons. There is no big secret… but the important thing is to be disciplined in practicing and to listen to yourself objectively while playing.

12) Do you still practice intensively nowadays?

I do, but not as much as before. Still I have some periods when I focus on certain things and work a lot to achieve what I'm after.

13) Are you interested in others styles of music like jazz, blues, latin,....

Definitely! I am doing quite well in a blues style and I can say that I am more or less comfortable with many versions of jazz. Although it's not apparent at first sight (if you listen to my records) but I spent a lot of time analyzing various music - and latin, blues and jazz are some of them. I studied a lot the styles of jazz/fusion players like Frank Gambale, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Allan Holdsworth, Pat Metheny, George Benson, Larry Carlton, John Mclaughlin, Al DiMeola,…
and blues players like SRV, Eric Clapton, Duanne Allman, Ry Cooder, B.B King, Robben Ford, etc. I was also very fond of Gypsy Jazz or “Jazz Manouch” and Django Reinhardt. Perhaps some day I will make a record which would display all these other sides of my playing that I didn't show yet. That would be fun!

14) What books, methods or videos do you recommend to our websurfers?

I never really went very far into books so I can't recommend anything then perhaps some basic theory book. As far as videos are concerned I would recommend Eric Johnson, Frank Gambale, Vinnie Moore and John Scofield.

15) Which work-plan do you advise for young guitarist who wants to improve his technique?

First of all I would advise him to be curious and try to discover new things and think of new ideas all the time. When practicing I would recommend practicing slow at first and concentrating on good technique of both hands (specially the picking hand) and gradually seeding-up later. Two hours a day of that at least. Practicing all the techniques every day is something Paganini was recommending. Trying to learn solos from records (NOT tabs) is a good ear training too.
Above all whenever you play try to play as best as you can no matter if you are in your bed room or on stage and listen to yourself. And always play honestly or as some would say - from the heart.

16) Do you know or did you already work with French guitarist or musician?

I am in touch with some French musicians but I haven't worked with anybody yet. There are some very good players in France like Bireli Lagrene, Sylvain Luc, Patrick Rondat, etc.

17) What's are your projects, your last news?

I am working on music for two Shrapnel albums for next year. One should be instrumental and the other vocal. I am talking with Chris Logan (a singer that sang on Michael Schenker's new album-“Be Aware Of Scorpions”) about it but I am also considering some other options too.

18) Will we have the chance to see you live in France, soon?

Unfortunately there is no plan to perform in France soon. I would really love to do that since France is one of my favorite countries (and my wife's native land too). So I hope that I will play in France sometime in the future.

19) Your the guest of the month on Exp::Guitar website, did you prepare something to make us listen to ? And which exercise would you like to propose?

The exercise is something related to what I spoke earlier about my technique. This is regarding arpeggios. Most people use sweep picking to play them -which is good of course- but I found some other ways to play them which are opening different possibilities. The idea is to take a four note arpeggio such as major7, dominant7, minor7, etc and play it in a two
notes per a string grouping. By breaking it out like that you can now be able to play those arpeggios using alternate picking (or pull off/hammer on's). Being able to apply these techniques on arpeggios is opening a whole new world of ways to phrase them in solos or compositions.

The song that you will listen is called “Chasing A Dream” from the Shrapnel album “Borislav Mitic”. It's describing my style, influences and abilities very well. It has a sort of Metal meets Chopin feel. I hope you will like it!

20) Could you speak few words in French?
Oui. Mais, mon vocabulaire est pauvre maintenant. J'ai besoin de travailler beaucoup mon Français. J'essayerai la prochaine fois. Peut-etre une interview complete en Français pour l'annee prochaine?

21) I let you conclude this interview. Do not hesitate to make your own comments or personal reflections.

I would just like to thank ESP guitars for their wonderful instruments and to thank all my fans in France and around the world for their support. Don't forget to visit my WebSite at and God bless you all!

Muzika Bosnia
Interview February 2002 - Muzika Bosnia

P: Roden si u Beogradu i vec kao 11-togodišnjak si poceo svirati gitaru. Šta te je motiviralo da se posvetiš baš tom instrumentu?

O: Elektricna gitara je za mene uvek bila simbol muzike i kulture našeg vremena. Kao 11-togodišnjaku mi je izgledala kao nešto najatraktivnije na svetu. Uostalom i cela prica o "Rock svetu" je izgledala vrlo impresivno u danima moje rane mladosti. Meni licno to je bilo kao otkrivanje nekog prelepog drugog sveta ili dimenzije.
Prvi bend s kojim sam takoreci otkrio rock muziku su bili The Beatles. Vrlo brzo posle toga sam prešao na "tvrdu" svirku i sastave kao Deep Purple, AC/DC, Iron Maiden ...Bio sam fasciniran muzickim i gitarskim dostignucima velikih (stranih i domacih) gitarista 70-tih i 80-tih godina. Nacin na koji su oni svirali gitaru me je motivisao i inspirisao da i ja poželim da dosegnem te "muzicke visine" i takvu veštinu vladanja tim instrumentom.

P: U tvojoj biografiji sam naišao na podatak da su ti pocetni uzori bili Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, Mark Knopfler, Eddie Van Halen ... Sa druge strane, postoji podatak da si samouk u sviranju gitare i da si vježbao po 10 sati dnevno. Nije li to bio teži nacin da se savlada taj instrument? Da preformulišem pitanje - kakvi su bili uslovi u vrijeme tvojih pocetaka da se mladi gitarista obrazuje kroz školski sistem?

O: Verovatno je bilo nekih uslova kad je klasicna gitara u pitanju. Ali što se tice rock gitare, situacija nije bila sjajna. Bilo je vrlo malo pravih informacija do kojih bi mladi gitarista mogao da dode što se tice sviranja, instrumenata i muzicke opreme. Stratocaster je nama npr. u to vreme izgledao kao svetsko cudo. Nije bilo muzickih škola za rock ili jazz gitaru kao što ih ni danas nema u YU. Bilo je nekih kurseva, ali to je sve bilo vrlo neozbiljno. Taj nedostatak informacija mnogi su koristili da se prave pametni i promovišu sebe i svoje mistifikacije. Primera je bezbroj, ali navešcu ovaj koji se tice legende o "tonu iz prsta" (koja ima smisla, ali su je mnogi shvatili na pogrešan nacin). Jedan poznati beogradski muzicar je godinama prosipao u javnosti price (a i još uvek to radi) o Jimi Hendrix-u kao o muzicaru koji nije voleo ni koristio efekte
i tehnologiju vec je samo svojim sposobnostima (koje ja ne osporavam) i prstima iz gitare izvlacio revolucionarne zvukove. A Hendrix je u stvari saradivao sa Mr. Roger Mayer-om koji je bio oficir za "vojne eksperimente sa zvukom i vibracijama" u British Admirality! Mr. Mayer je pravio specijalne efekte samo za Jimi-ja (doduše nešto pre toga je napravio par stvari za Jimmy Page-a i Jeff Beck-a) od kojih je najpoznatiji - Octavia (modifikator frekvencije zvuka za oktavu više). Jimi je imao modifikovane wah-wah-ove, fuzz pedale, ... i mnoge efekte Mr. Mayer-a koji još uvek nisu na tržištu zato što su mnogi prototipovi napravljeni za Jimi-ja izgubljeni posle njegove smrti. Hendrix je koristio i Uni-vibe koji je kombinacija chorus, vibrato i phaser efekata - sve u jednom! Da ne govorimo tek o studijskim manipulacijama Eddie Kramer-a (Hendrix-ov snimatelj) "tape flanging", stereo panovanju eha i slicnim stvarima koje su u ono vreme zvucale kao da Jimi dolazi sa Jupitera. Uživo, Hendrix bi uvek na bini imao "samo": wah-wah, fuzz face pedalu, octavia pedalu i uni vibe - sa dodatnom pedalom koja bi mu menjala mnogobrojne funkcije. Znaci, sve što i dan danas prakticno
nije prevazideno i cija re-izdanja i varijacije koriste i danas razni gitarski heroji npr. i Joe Satriani i Steve Vai i Mike Stern ... i mnogi drugi. Cak je i elektronika u Jimi-jevim gitarama bila drukcija od one kod obicnih Strat-ova, a magneti su bili modifikovani da imaju vecu izlaznu snagu (to je radio izvesni Mr. Seymor Duncan koji je kasnije osnovao poznatu, istoimenu, kompaniju magneta za gitare). To je istina o Hendrix-ovom zvuku (što ne umanjuje njegovu velicinu i kreativnost) za koji je najbolji primer u ovom "efektiranom" izdanju pesma Machine Gun sa "Band of Gypsies" albuma jer je tu koristio sve pomenute efekte. E, zamislite sad ovog našeg "genija" i njegovu teoriju o Hendrix-ovom "tonu iz prsta" kako iz sopstvenog neznanja dezinformiše citavu armiju klinaca koji veruju u njegove reci jer nisu culi ništa drugo. Na koliko stranputica takve stvari vode! To je bio taj problem nedostatka pravih informacija o kom govorim. Primer koji sam naveo se ticao zvuka, a o tehnici sviranja i pogrešnim mistifikacijama koje su se tek tu raspredale necu ni da govorim.
U mojim ranim danima, nažalost, nije bilo gitariste u Beogradu koji bi mogao da me uputi u tajne tehnika koje su me zanimale. To bi verovatno skratilo silne sate "skidanja" da je bilo takvog. Bilo je dobrih gitarista, ali nisu svirali stil koji je mene zanimao. Ja sam zato ucio da sviram skidajuci tj. uceci sola i fraze mojih omiljenih gitarista sa ploca. To je bio duži i teži, ali i jedini moguci put. T ada još uopšte nije bilo video lekcija, tablatura i strane gitarske literature. U pocetku sam radio na stilovima gitarista kao sto su Jimi Hendrix, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Angus Young, Ritchie Blackmore,
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana, da bih izgradio potpuniju i autenticnu tradicionalnu "starinsku osnovu" ... da bih se kasnije fokusirao na gitariste kao Eddie Van Halen, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, Mike Oldfield, Frank Marino, Albert Lee ? koji su imali malo intenzivniji i moderniji tehnicki pristup. Interesovao me je rock, blues, country, jazz, funk, pop ... svaki postojeci nacin sviranja gitare. Zanimala me je raznovrsnost svih stilova. Od domacih gitarista, osim svima znanih legendi kao što su Vlatko Stefanovski i R. M. Tocak, cenio sam i radove pokojnog Rajka Kojica (prvi gitarista grupe Riblja Corba, koji je bio jedan od najvecih YU gitarskih talenata), Dragana Gužvana (Atomsko Sklonište),
Seada Lipovace (Divlje Jagode), Vidoje Božinovica Džindžera (Rok Mašina, Riblja Corba), Gorana Bregovica (rano Bijelo Dugme) i drugih ... Toliko o domacoj sceni. Pravi muzicko/ gitarski preokret je nastupio pojavom Švedskog gitariste, Yngwie Malmsteen-a na svetskoj rock sceni koga je otkrio americki producent Mike Varney (predsednik Shrapnel Records). Yngwie-jeva tehnika je ceo gitarski svet ostavila bez daha i okrenula naglavacke. Svi su morali da pocnu "ponovo da uce da sviraju". Zatim su se pojavili Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker ... i drugi virtuozi gitare koji su instrumentu dodali dotad nezamislivu dimenziju i tehnicki napredak. Inspirisan njihovim radom, vežbao bih nekad i po 10 sati dnevno da bih dostigao taj nivo i savladao tehnike sviranja kao staccato, legato, sweeping, tapping ... U stvari, želja mi je bila da jednog dana cak i nadmašim svoje uzore ako bude moguce. Pomenuo bih još i nekoliko impresivnih gitarista koje izuzetno cenim i koji su donekle ostavili traga u mom sviranju a to su John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, Allan Holdsworth, Eric Johnsona, Frank Gambale, B. B. King, John Scofield, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton,
Pat Martino, Bireli Lagrene, George Benson, Pat Metheny i Brett Garsed.

P: Kažu da si stekao reputaciju Wunderkind-a i da si se pojavljivao kao gostujuci gitarista u nastupima mnogih klupskih bendova. Pobijedio si 1988. godine na takmicenju mladih talenata što ti je donijelo saradnju sa nacionalnom televizijom. Od 1988. do 1992. si komponovao pjesme za razne radio predstave što ti je omogucilo priznanje od strane jugoslovenskih muzickih krugova kao jednog od najboljih gitarista u zemlji. Koliko (samo)odricanja je bilo potrebno da se sve to postigne?

O: Pa, meni u to vreme ništa što bi doprinelo napredovanju mog sviranja ili karijere nije izgledalo kao odricanje jer je upravo muzika bila to nešto što sam najviše voleo. Dakle - rad iz ljubavi i potpuna posvecenost instrumentu! Što se nastupa tice - kraj 80-tih i pocetak 90-tih je bilo vreme vrlo pogodno za rock svirku. Hard rock i heavy metal su bili vrlo popularni pa je bilo dosta mladih bendova tog pravca, a i dosta mesta za svirku. Tome je doprinosio i popularni radio program Hit 202 koji je vodio i još uvek vodi legenda BG rock-a, Vlada Jankovic - Jet kao i Zajecarske gitarijade
(na kojim sam nekoliko puta bio specijalni gost) i slicne manifestacije. Bilo je i nekog takmicarskog duha medu bendovima u stilu "ko ce bolje" što je omogucilo nekim boljim mladim sviracima da budu zapaženi. Ja sam bio jedan od tih. Moj demo snimak iz 1989. je pobedio jednim glasanjem slušalaca prvog radio programa (prezentacija mladih talenata) i to je bila moja karta za ulazak u svet studijskog rada.

P: Tvoja diskografija je zvanicno zapocela izdavanjem albuma za jugoslovensko tržište, Fantasy, za ITMM, 1996. godine. Možeš li posjetiteljima web site-a MBB, koji nisu imali prilike cuti taj materijal, ukratko opisati stil i atmosferu pjesama koje si stavio na taj album?

O: Dakle, kao što sam vec rekao, pojava generacije novih gitar-heroja je dala elektricnoj gitari novi polet. Tehnicka ogranicenja su bila srušena kao i stara pravila. Elektricna gitara je pocela da dobija potencijal ozbiljnog instrumenta. Ja sam inspiraciju u to vreme tražio i nalazio u delima kompozitora klasicne muzike kao što su Niccolo Paganini, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelsohn, Vivaldi ... Posebno me je zanimao Paganini. Pokušavao sam da primenim njegovo savršenstvo sviranja violine na gitaru.

To mi je bio cilj - da proširim mogucnosti elektricne gitare na nivo violine. Pošto sam pocetkom 90-tih cesto bio u ulozi studijskog gitariste za druge, poželeo sam da napravim jedno svoje izdanje bez kompromisa koje bi u pravom svetlu prikazalo moje sviracke i kompozitorske sposobnosti. Tako sam 1992. ušao u studio sa materijalom koji ce ciniti moj album "Fantasy". Album je bio instrumentalan. Polovina je bila sacinjena od mojih aranžmana i varijacija na neka dela klasicne muzike (Paganini, Bach, Handel ...), a druga polovina od mojih hard rock orijentisanih originalnih kompozicija.
Zbog YU ratova i svega što je išlo s tim, taj moj album je morao da saceka 1996. da bude objavljen. Bio je cesto emitovan nakon objavljivanja u medijima pogotovo kao "muzicka pratnja" raznim popularnim emisijama. Posebno se izdvojila i bila zapažena balada "Forever."

P: Težeci internacionalnoj karijeri, što je razumljivo, poslao si primjerak svog albuma Fantasy, Mike Varney-u, predsjedniku i osnivacu Americke kompanije Shrapnel Records, koji je u tebi otkrio veliki gitarski talenat. Ubrzo ti je ponuden ugovor za snimanje za ovu kompaniju. Tvoj prvi album za Shrapnel Records dobio je ime "Borislav Mitic" i izašao je marta 1999. godine. Na snimcima su te pratili studijski muzicari iz Quebec-a. Možeš li nam ukratko predstaviti materijal sa tog albuma?

O: Pa, ja sam u suštini uvek težio Jugoslovenskoj, a ne svetskoj karijeri, ali u jednom trenutku sam osetio da stvari ne idu u željenom pravcu što se tice moje karijere u YU. Rešio sam tada da pošaljem svoj album vlasniku Shrapnel Records, Mike Varney-ju, koji je otkrio i Yngwie Malmsteen-a, Paul Gilbert-a, Marty Friedman-a, Vinnie Moore-a, Greg Howe-a ... i još neke virtuoze i okušam srecu u tom pravcu. Ispostavilo se da je on bio zainteresovan i ponudio mi je ugovor što je rezultiralo mojim prvim internacionalnim izdanjem. Taj album, "Borislav Mitic", se po svemu razlikovao od "Fantasy" - od izbora zvuka, pa do pristupa snimanju. Kompozicije su ovog puta sve originalne. Iako je i dalje prisutna inspirisanost klasikom, pojavljuju se i neki drugi elementi kao etno uticaji Balkanske, Indijske i Keltske muzike. Zvuk gitare je na momente više okrenut nekim mojim korenima kao što su Hendrix ili Blackmore, mada su Yngwie, Eric Johnson ili Joe Satriani i dalje prisutni kao glavni uticaji. Želja mi je bila da spojim moderni pristup sviranja sa "dušom" starije generacije gitarista. Pokušao sam i, mislim, uspeo da napravim balans izmedu tehnike i melodicnosti sve u korist što boljeg kvaliteta mog Shrapnel debi albuma.

P: Moramo spomenuti da si na zahtjev svojih mnogobrojnih obožavatelja ponovo izdao svoj prvenac, album Fantasy, septembra 2000. godine. Ovih dana radiš na svom drugom albumu za Shrapnel Records. Da li si završio taj album i za kada se planira njegov izlazak na tržište? Po cemu se on razlikuje od prethodnih albuma?

O: Da, Fantasy je reizdat 2000. samo za fanove koji ne mogu da dodu do YU izdanja i dostupan je preko mog web site-a. Moj novi, Shrapnel album, trenutno je u fazi pripreme. Razlikovace se od prethodnih po tome što ce biti vokalan, tj. sa pevanjem. Pevac bi trebalo da bude jedan novi talentovani momak po imenu Chris Logan koji je upravo uradio turneju i novi album Michael Schenker Group. Muzicki stil ce biti malo kompleksniji, a gitarska sola ce biti mnogo žešca nego ikad pre!

P: Kako ocjenjuješ poziciju heavy metal muzike u svijetu? Da li je ona još uvijek na vrhu, da li zvijezda njene slave zalazi ili ...?

O: Heavy metal muzika sigurno više nije na pozicijama na kojima je bila pre pada Berlinskog Zida. Cak mislim da je najnovija generacija publike na zapadu potpuno zaboravila pravi rock. Oni uglavnom slušaju neke mutirane varijante muzike koje nemaju veze sa izvornim predstavnicima hard rock-a ili bilo cega. Prava publika i dalje postoji, ali velike korporacije koje kontrolišu muzicke medije onemogucuju ravnopravnu prezentaciju svih izvodaca cime bi omogucili publici da bira šta joj se dopada, a šta ne. Umesto toga, uvedena je neka vrsta diktature. A to šta se diktira, meni se ne dopada nimalo ... Ne vidim, npr. šta Courtney Love ili Kid Rock imaju da traže na naslovnoj strani casopisa kao Guitar Player? Ali to je razlog više da se bude još uporniji u pravljenju dobre muzike!

P: Cuo sam mišljenja da su se današnji predvodnici svjetske muzicke scene suviše udaljili od svoje publike.
Publika je, bar onaj dio njih koji se amaterski bavi muzikom, uvijek težila tome da oponaša svoje idole.
Danas je tehnika sviranja poprimila takve razmjere da je reprodukcija nekih pjesama postala nedostižna za mnoge, takozvane obicne smrtnike. Šta ti misliš o ovome?

O: Ne znam o kojim predvodnicima se radi, ali ja mislim da muzicari i izvodaci moraju da budu na višem muzickom nivou od publike jer ako ne bi bili onda ih ne bi bilo interesantno ni slušati ni gledati. Ali ako se neko udalji toliko mnogo da postane nerazumljiv publici, to isto može biti problem. Mislim da je važno uspostaviti ravnotežu izmedu krajnosti. Ruku na srce i pored svih muzickih i umetnickih aspiracija sviraca, mora se priznati da publika ipak samo želi da se dobro provede i zabavi!

P: Da li nastupaš uživo, imaš li svoj stalni band i ko su njegovi clanovi?

O: Da, imam nastupe uživo, ali ne i stalnu postavu benda do sad. U stvari, planiram da ove godine stavim akcenat na taj aspekt solo nastupa posle izlaska novog albuma. Trenutno pravim postavu za studio i za "Live" potrebe za 2002. godinu.

P: Kaniš li dolaziti u stari kraj i održati neki koncert?
O: Jako bih voleo da se to desi u što skorijoj buducnosti. Za sada nije bilo neke inicijative ili velikog interesovanja od strane promotera iz YU, nažalost, koji organizuju koncerte. Dobijam doduše jako puno pošte i podrške od fanova iz ex-YU, a pogotovo iz BiH. To mi je jako drago jer znaci da iako nisam tamo, deo publike je zainteresovan i prati moj rad.
Ipak, nadam se da ce do 2003 neki nastupi biti moguci.

P: Poznato mi je da svoje ogromno iskustvo sviranja gitare prenosiš na mlade kroz školu gitare. Možeš li nam ukratko opisati tvoj program rada sa mladim gitaristima i kada, u kojoj fazi, možeš osjetiti da je neko talentiran za taj instrument ili ne?

O: Ranije sam držao školu gitare u Beogradu, ali danas nemam vremena za takve stvari. Ipak ako ponekad naletim na nekog za kog procenim da poseduje talenat koji obecava, spreman sam da ukažem na neke "precice". Da li je neko talentovan ili ne, vidi se u par sekundi bez obzira na nivo. Suštinu nekog mog programa su cinili osvrt na harmoniju i teoriju (u granicama koliko je to potrebno rock sviracu), kao i pregled gitarskih stilova u poslednjih 50 godina sa posebnom analizom najvažnijih predstavnika. Zatim, proucavanje raznih tehnika uz adekvatne vežbe vezane za skale, arpeda itd, a zatim fraziranje i improvizacija.

P: Šta bi, kao generalni savjet, mogao poruciti mladim gitaristima koji vrijedno rade kod svojih kuca, a nemaju priliku da se usavršavaju pod vodstvom nekog vrhunskog muzicara?

O: Najvažnija stvar bi bila da stalno istražuju i pronalaze novi muzicki materijal za slušanje. Neophodno je skupljati što je više moguce informacija pa cak i o nekim stilovima koji isprva izgledaju nezanimljivo. Bitno je izvuci ono što je najvažnije i u samoj srži nekog pravca. Na taj nacin se stvara neka vrsta "muzickog recnika" u glavi što jako obogacuje sviranje jer ono dolazi i iz glave, a ne samo iz prstiju.

Pozdravi svim citaocima i hvala MBB na ovom intervju-u!

Interview by Mladen Radakovic, August 2000
for Gitara
Avgustovski intervju: Borislav Mitic

Dakle, da bismo predstavili Borislava Mitica siroj YU rock publici,
najbolje je poceti pricu sa nekoliko biografskih detalja:
Rodjen 1970 u Beogradu, poceo da se bavi muzikom 1982 inspirisan Beatles-ima. Potom su uticaj u tvom umetnickom razvoju imali Deep Purple, AC/DC,Iron Maiden posle kojih uzima elektricnu gitaru u ruke. Dalja inspiracija su Hendrix, Blackmore, Clapton, Knopfler, Gary Moore, Van Halen,Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, ...

Izdao je cetiri albuma:
1) Borislav Mitic St. - Shrapnel Records, 1999
2) Scream until Yu like it - RockExpress Records, 2000
3) Okean - City Records, Beograd, 1997
4) Fantasy - ITMM, Beograd, 1996

1. Kako bi ti definisao specificnost zvuka tvojih pesama i sta ti je predstavljalo inspiraciju kada si ih smisljao?

Moja muzika (predstavljena na albumu koji sam snimio za “Shrapnel Records”) je prozeta uticajima klasicne i rok muzike ali isto tako i uticajima nekih etno muzika kao sto su na primer :indijska, keltska; blisko-istocna i slovenska(balkanska). Naravno tu je prisutan i uticaj bluza i dzeza ali ne u “tipicnoj” formi. Zeleo sam da spojim najbolje iz svih tih”svetova”i stvorim muziku koja bi bila sviracki i aranzmanski vrlo slozena ali isto tako i vrlo “ljudska” i emotivna (posto je osecanje-”emocija” sustina muzike i umetnosti uopste). Inspiraciju sam nalazio u svojim zivotnim iskustvima kao i u svemu sto sam naucio od svojih ”muzickih uzora” do sada.

2.Da li prizvuk i asocijacija klasicne muzike u tvojim pesmama sa elektricnom gitarom poticu iz nekog tvog minulog muzickog skolovanja?

-Ne.Ja nikada nisam isao u muzicku skolu ali zato sam “sam prosao” kroz klasicnu muziku. U jednom momentu svog razvojnog puta na gitari dosao sam do neke vrste krajnje granice bar sto se rok muzike tice. Logican nastavak (inspirisan primerom nekih drugih muzicara) je bio utapanje u okean “klasicne muzike“. Proveo sam nekoliko godina u proucavanju tehnika, stilova i kompozicija najvecih majstora “klasike” (slusajuci ploce i CD-ove) kao sto su to :npr.: Paganini, Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt,... i jos veliki broj drugih.Zeleo sam da obogatim svoj sviracki stil i unapredim svoje kompozitorske sposobnosti. Klasicna muzika je bila ogroman izvor informacija i inspiracije.Zelja mi je bila da prevedem “jezik” violine na “jezik” Elektricne Gitare i da tako priblizim rok publici jednu “riznicu lepote” kakva je klasicna muzika.Takodje sam zeleo (i postigao- nadam se) da srusim tehnicke granice sviranja el.gitare i da podignem stepen virtuoznosti i ekspresivnosti skoro do savrsenstva nivoa violine.

3. Gde trenutno zivis?

Trenutno zivim i radim u Kanadi,Montrealu. (od 1998)

4. Da li radis nesto u zivotu sem bavljenja muzikom?

Profesionalno se bavim jedino muzikom. A pored muzike imam mnogo drugih interesovanja kao sto su Religija (Hriscanstvo), Istorija, Umetnost uopste (volim da crtam i slikam mada ovih dana nemam puno vremena za to!). Od sportova volim : trcanje, streljastvo...

5. Imas li namere da se vracas u Beograd?

Svakako!!! Ja sebe prvenstveno smatram (mozda i jedino) Beogradjaninom i zaista jako ,jako volim svoj grad. To sam izmedju ostalog napisao i na omotu svojih CD-a (“Fantasy”sam posvetio Beogradu a text na CD-u za Shrapnel glasi: ”I come from Belgrade, the capital of Serbia a country lying on the crossroads of East and West. It is also a meeting place of various religions and cultures whose influences left a mark on the music I make. My desire was to take you on a mystical guitar journey through this diverse world that I drew my inspiration from. I hope that the journey will be a pleasant one and that you will find moments of bliss on it.”) a tako se inace i predstavljam u stranim medijima. Jedini razlog mog privremenog “dislociranja “iz Beograda je profesionalni! Ali to je bilo neophodno da bi gitarska rok publika sirom sveta cula napokon i za nekog iz Beograda (tj.iz nase zemlje)! Na to sam vrlo ponosan!!!

6. Gde tvoji ljubitelji mogu da te vide i cuju?

Za sada ne planiram neke koncertne nastupe ili turneju jer mislim da jos nije vreme za to.Voleo bih da u blizoj buducnosti budem u mogucnosti da nastupim u Jugoslaviji i bolje se predstavim nasoj publici...Ali za sada jedini nacin da me cuju oni kojima se dopada moja muzika je preko CD-a.A da me vide (i cuju) na mom Webpage-u: Tamo isto mogu naci i dosta informacija o meni kao i clanke iz stranih medija (i gitarskih sajtova) koji govore o mom “Shrapnel” albumu.

7. Kazi nam nesto o izdavackoj kuci Shrapnel Records za koju si snimio poslednji album.

To je najpoznatija americka izdavacka kuca-specijalizovana za gitarsku (instrumentalnu) muziku.Njen osnivac i predsednik je Mike Varney legendarni gitarski “guru”i lovac na gitarske talente.Osnovani su negde pocetkom osamdesetih. Mike Varney je otkrio takve gitarske velicine (koji su snimali albume za Shrapnel Records) kao sto su: Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert (Mr.Big), Marty Friedman (Megadeth), Jason Becker(David Lee Roth band), Vinnie Moore, Tony Mcalpine, Greg Howe, Richie Kotzen (Poison),...i Borislav Mitic. Izmedju ostalih za Shrapnel trenutno snimaju (ili su objavili albume)Frank Gambale (Chick Corea), Scott Henderson (Tribal Tech), Larry Coryell, John Norum(Europe),Neil Schon (Journey),Allan Holdsworth, Joe Lynn Turner(ex pevac Rainbow), Glen Hughes (Deep Purple), Michael Schenker (UFO,Scorpions,MSG)... a na nekim “Shrapnel” projektima su ucestvovali i npr.: Steve Lucather (Toto), Jerry Goodmann (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Steve Vai (Steve Vai, Whitesnake, David Lee Roth, PIL, Alcatrazz, Frank Zappa)...

8. Kako si uspeo da snimis album za Shrapnel Records?

U mom slucaju -jednostavno... Poslao sam im neke svoje snimke i Mike Varney me je nazvao cim ih je cuo. Za mene je to bilo prijatno iznenadjenje jer znam da mnogo gitarista sirom sveta pokusava isto (saljuci svoje snimke). Shrapnel Records dobijaju stotine snimaka raznih gitarista svake nedelje. Medju svom tom konkurencijom njima se eto dopalo to sto ja radim.

9. Da li si upoznao neke poznate muzicare u svojoj novoj izdavakoj kuci?

Pa imao sam na primer ponudu pevaca grupe UFO Phil Mogg-a da se prikljucim reoformljenom bendu i zamenim legendarnog Michael Schenker-a (UFO, Scorpions, MSG)ali na zalost obaveze oko mog albuma su se isprecile toj saradnji. Upoznao sam Greg Howe-a (isto snima za Shrapnel) koji je trenutno gitarista Enrike Inglezijasa, pa Jennifer Batten gitaristkinju Michael Jacksona, u kontaktu sam sa Patrick Rondatom poznatim francuskim gitaristom koji je radio sa Jean-Michel Jarre-om (album Chronologie), John Petrucci-a (Dream Theater), John Scofield-a... a imao sam i tu cast da upoznam i jednog najvecih svetskih gitarskih imena- cuvenog Steve Vai-a.

10. Kako si ucio da sviras gitaru?

Ja sam prakticno samouk. Najbolji “profesor” mi je bio- gramofon. Poceo sam sa nekim stvarima kao sto su to The Beatles npr. Kasnije sam se orijentisao vise ka bluzu i roku da bih na kraju otisao u klasiku i dzez (donekle). Skidao bih stvari ”po sluhu” sa snimaka svojih omiljenih gitarista i pamtio te fraze trudeci se da ih “razvijem”
dalje na neki -“moj nacin“.

11. Koliko je vezbe potrebno da bi se dostigla virtuoznost koju ti prikazujes?

Potrebno je dosta ozbiljnog vezbanja i istinske posvecenosti gitari i muzici da bi se postigli ovakvi rezultati. Dosta toga je i stvar ”licnog afiniteta”... na primer gradja sake, duzina prstiju kao i njihova snaga i fleksibilnost imaju znacajnog udela- mada ne presudnog. Po meni najvaznija je kolicina ljubavi i strasti koju neko ulaze u svoje sviranje... Od svega toga kao i od sluha i neke doze urodjenog talenta zavisi da li ce nekom trebati 10 godina vezbanja od 12 sati dnevno ili ce doci do “zeljenog cilja” za 3 godine sa po 4 sata dnevno,...ali,neko mozda i nikad... Ja sam u svojim pocecima nekako “stalno” bio sa gitarom. Trudio sam se da naucim sto vise - sto raznovrsnijih stilova i tehnika sviranja. Bio sam “zaljubljen” u gitaru.

12. Mozes li da preporucis pocetnicima nacin na koji da vezbaju i na sta da usmere svoju paznju?

Prvo, dobar muzicar mora da bude -dobar slusalac. Vazno je ne ogranicavati sebe nego uvek imati “otvoren vidik”. Treba biti radoznao,istrazivati nove stvari, stalno traziti i nalaziti nesto novo (u sebi ili drugima)... Kad se vezba jako je vazno ”realno “ slusati sebe jer tako je najlakse i najbolje...-stalno korigovati samog sebe! Kad je potrebno uvezbati nesto tehnicki tesko-najbolje je prvo to dooobro uvezbati u “sporijem” tempu pa zatim “ubrzavati”. Potrebno je i uvek “vracati se nazad” tj. ponovo prouciti stvari i stilove koje mislimo da smo vec savladali!Neverovatno je koliko na taj nacin covek otkrije koliko razlicito “danas“ cuje neke stvari nego sto ih je cuo pre “nekoliko godina“. Tehnicki gledano “pravilna postavka” leve i desne ruke su takodje znacajne. Trzanje desnom rukom treba da bude “iz zgloba” a ne iz ”lakta”. Zglob leve sake ne treba da bude suvise iskosen a lakat iste ruke ne treba drzati predaleko od tela. Gitaru treba drzati u predelu stomaka- bilo da sedimo ili stojimo. Obavezno treba vezbati i “stojeci” -kao da ste na bini. Na kraju treba nauciti sto vise fraza, skala, arpedja i akorada i stilova gde bi se sve to moglo upotrebiti. Ukus treba uvek da bude na prvom mestu... Treba u principu vezbati sve tehnike svaki dan... Treba biti uporan... kao i znati da nikada nema “kraja” ucenju i da uvek ima neceg sto jos ne znamo i sto je ispred nas.I najvaznije od svega -treba uvek svirati iz srca!!! Jos bih preporucio slusanje i “skidanje”drugih instrumenata osim gitare kao sto su to violina,klavir, saksofon, sitar,... To moze jako da prosiri gitarski ”recnik” i donese svezinu zvuka.

13. Da li postoji neka skola gitare na internetu koju bi ti preporucio pocetnicima?

Znam da se moze naci dosta raznih transkripcija na nekim sajtovima,... ali nisam siguran da postoji neka ”skola “ koju bih mogao posebno da preporucim. Doduse ja sam poceo da pisem rubriku za casopis “Muzicar” (koji je pokrenuo Rockexpress) koja je u stvari- moja skola gitare a nameravam da napravim nesto slicno i na svom Webpageu (kao i na sajtu koji je jos u pripremi) uskoro.

14. Gde si nastupao?

Imao sam dosta nastupa u Yugoslaviji -od kojih su neki zabelezeni i na video traci kao npr.Hit Decenije (PGP-RTS), Zajecarskim Gitarijadama (koje su kao i HIT 202 bile u organizaciji naseg legendarnog “rok-promotera” i mog prijatelja-Vlade Jankovica Dzeta koji je uvek imao “uvo” za dobru svirku)... a bilo je tu i mnogo manjih klupskih nastupa. Pomenucu i poslednji koncert na kome sam ucestvovao 1998 nedelju dana pre odlaska iz Beograda- ”Instru-Mental Forces” (ciji sam bio clan i jedan od osnivaca) u Atelje-u 212. Ideja je bila da se promovise instrumentalna muzika u YU kao i njeni kompozitori (stari i novi) kao i dobra svirka -izmedju ostalog. Po meni -to je bio muzicki dogadjaj decenije. Koncert je snimalo i nekoliko velikih domacih TV “kuca” ali mislim da do dan- danas jos uvek nazalost nije emitovan. Iza tog projekta ostala je kompilacija ”Okean” (City Records)na kojoj je i moja kompozicija “Forever” (sa albuma Fantasy) koja se godinama “vrtela” kao “background” u nekim od najgledanijih TV i najslusanijih radio emisija.

15. Koji je po tebi, do sada, tvoj najveci uspeh u muzici?

Mislim da je to nesumnjivo objavljivanje albuma za Shrapnel Records i time ostvarenje mog sna da uspem da “upisem” svoje ime u knjigu svetskih gitarskih virtuoza.

16. Mozes li da izdvojis nekoliko imena gitarista koji su ti danas idoli?

Draza mi je rec “uzori”... Ima zaista toliko ljudi koje bih mogao da navedem da je tesko suziti izbor na samo nekoliko.Ali evo da izdvojim neka imena...: Jimi Hendrix, Mike Oldfield, Mark Knopfler, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, John Mclaughlin, Django Reinhardt, Mike Stern,Pat Metheny, Al DiMeola, Allan Holdsworth, John Scofield, B.B.King, Eric Clapton, Brett Garsed, Trevor Rabin, Eddie Van Halen, Wayne Krantz, Lenny Breau, Brian May, Michael Schenker, Gary Moore, Richie Blackmore, Uli Jon Roth, Greg Howe, Angus Young, Frank Gambale, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Danny Gatton, Steve Morse, Albert Lee, Frank Marino, George Benson, Tal Farlow , Brian Setzer, Edge, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Dave Gilmour, Jason Becker, Ry Cooder i... Carlos Santana!!! To bi bio moj “najuzi” izbor gitarista cije sviranje mi predstavlja inspiraciju...a ako bih morao da odaberem samo jednog onda bi to bio - Jimi Hendrix! On mi je bio jedan od prvih uzora. Tako da danas posle 17 godina sviranja kao da sam napravio - “pun krug” i vratio se svojim muzickim “korenima”! U Hendrixovom sviranju je na neki nacin spojeno skoro sve najbolje sto se tice el.gitare. Neprevazidjen ton, sjajne kompozicije, odlicna tehnika, vrhunska ekspresivnost, uzvisena emocija, neobuzdana energija i strast, inventivnost, spontanost u improvizacijama kao i “inovatorstvo zvuka”. On je na mnogo nacina i zapoceo i zavrsio “knjigu“- Elektricna Gitara! I danas - kad cujem njegov album ”Band of Gypsys” (npr) moram da priznam da se do dana danasnjeg nije culo nista bolje od toga-sto se el. gitare tice!

17. Tvoji planovi za buducnost? Snimas li novi album? Nastupas li negde?

Nameravam da napravim jos dosta dobre muzike i da i dalje nastavim da napredujem u gitari i muzici. Trenutno radim na pripremi tj. komponovanju materijala za novi album (za Shrapnel Records) koji ce nadam se prevazici sve sto sam do sada snimio i pokriti jos siri spektar stilova!

18. Sta mislis o ovom sajtu -

Mislim da je sjajno sto ovaj sajt postoji! Nadam se da ce nastaviti i napredovati u trendu kojim je i poceo! Bilo mi je veliko zadovoljstvo da dam ovaj intervju-u svakom slucaju...

Puno pozdrava svim citaocima!!! - Borislav Mitic

Music Box
Interview by KarolG - January 2001
Music Box (In Slovakian)

1) What kind of stuff do you prepare for next album?

The next Shrapnel album (for 2001) will probably include instrumental and vocal songs. The music will be more ”heavy” and the playing will be more intense than ever before. I have a lot of new licks, ideas and sounds to play… I expect it to be my best work so far!

2) Have you found the right musicians for that?

The line-up for the new album is not defined as of yet, although I do have some idea about who is going to sing on it…I can’t say anything more about that right now. I will say more in time on my WebPage.

3) How about living in Canada?

The winters are very cold and long!!! It’s nice if you like snow…

4) What was surprising in music for you for the last couple of months?

Well, it’s a nice surprise that I see Yngwie’s return to the scene in USA. I hope that it is a beginning of a new “surprising” resurrection of an era of good music and musicians! Uli Jon Roth made also an amazing album “Transcendental Sky Guitar”. Apart from that it’s (still) surprising for me how Angus Young (AC/DC) moves and plays on stage… It was also good to see someone like Carlos Santana showing everybody that it’s still the Electric Guitar that rules the music world!

5) Does your wife support you in music?

Marie is very supportive and is helping me in a lot of things regarding my music career (for example she is the creator and in charge of my WebPage, etc…). She has a lot of strength and energy and I find it admirable and inspiring.

6) Will you play some live shows?

I hope so. I will really try to make it possible to go and play live in support of my new Shrapnel album and meet my fans in 2001…

I wish all the best in the New Year 2001
to the readers of and all my fans!!!
Borislav Mitic