Get this crazy baby off my head!


Toshi Iseda

Toshi Iseda - Full On! - 1998 - Over The Top! Records

“Years ago I had purchased 2 PRS guitars. Best guitars I've EVER played. At the time though, they weren't manufacturing a production 7-string guitar. I've been playing 7-string guitars exclusively since 1991. I've waited over 20 years for the greatest guitar manufacturer to make the guitar of my dreams. They're here. It was worth the wait." Born in Chicago Illinois, and after being mesmerized by his uncle Jeff Brown playing guitar, Toshi Iseda was inspired to pick up the guitar. A guitarist since the 7th grade, Toshi has become known as THE prominent up-and-coming guitarist in the Midwest. In the “beginning”, he was inspired by listening to a lot of different kinds of music, but especially that of KISS, Aerosmith and Peter Frampton (The song “Do You Feel Like We Do?” had a profound effect on Toshi). He then was motivated to practice up to 2 hours a day when first learning how to play. Toshi’s first “serious” influences were guitarist such as Rock greats Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Adrian Vandenberg (when he was in the band Vandenberg), Uli Jon Roth, Jimi Hendrix, and Michael Schenker among others. After reading an interview with then UFO guitarist Michael Schenker in an issue of Guitar Player Magazine where Schenker spoke of how he practiced as many as 4 hours a day when starting, Toshi decided it was time to up the stakes on his practice regime. Toshi then started practicing up to 5 hours a day in order to play like Mike! Toshi eventually worked his practice schedule up to 15 hours a day!!! This practice schedule also included Toshi’s classical guitar studies which he had later taken up after hearing about Randy Rhoads’ classical influence. Toshi’s classical guitar influences include Christopher Parkening, Andreas Segovia, Liona Boyd, John Williams and Julian Bream. Later his Rock influences would include Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Moore, Paul Gilbert (circa Racer X), Jason Becker - basically the whole Shrapnel records collection -, George Lynch, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai. Unlike many of Toshi’s guitar playing friends, he was also influenced by a great deal of non hard rock guitarist such as Ernie Isley, Al Mckay (from Earth Wind and Fire), George Benson and blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn, B. B. King, Johnny Winter and Robert Johnson. As Toshi improved his influences grew to include such “fusion” guitarist as Steve Morse, Al DiMeola, Allan Holdsworth, John McLaughlin and Bill Conners. In 1985 and 1986, Toshi entered and won the ‘Hot Licks’ contest for two years in a row. The only guitarist to ever do so! He then received a scholarship to the world renown Berklee College Of Music where he majored in Music Synthesis and Performance. At Berklee he was consistently asked by fellow class mates for instruction on the modern techniques of the time and started teaching. Soon Toshi would have enough students to where his was able to financially support himself doing this. Eventually Toshi was teaching over 50+ hourly students a week which is what he averaged up until he stopped teaching, due to career commitments, in 2001. (During his time teaching in Chicago Toshi, according to a readers poll results, was considered the #1 guitar instructor in Chicago - some say the Midwest!) It was during 1988/89, that he hooked up with then Aerosmith keyboardist C. Bruce Ost who had recently gotten off tour with the group and formed the band ‘Shoot Shoot’, which went on to become one of Boston’s most popular bands. Toshi left Shoot Shoot to form his own groups ‘Clyde’ then ‘Autumn Lords’ which also featured recently departed Tony MacAlpine bassist Mike Jacques. He then submitted tapes to Mike Varney and John Stix and featured in both Guitar Player Magazine’s “Spotlight” column (July/1990) and Guitar F.P.M.‘s “Resume” column (November/1990). It was then, in the winter/spring of 1991, that Toshi received a call from Columbia recording artist Heaven’s Edge and was asked to join the group. Iseda had met the guys in the band while hangin’ out one night in Philadelphia in 1990 with Shrapnel recording artist Richie Kotzen. Toshi then relocated to New Jersey where the band is from, and went on to play with them for approximately 6 month’s where he then moved to N.Y.C. after leaving the group to be closer to a major music metropolis. While in New York he also taught privately and at the American Institute of Guitar in Manhattan. Toshi has also served as a visiting instructor at the Musicians Institute in Tokyo, Japan and is a former faculty member of The National Guitar Workshop. It was right about then that Toshi started playing 7-string guitars. A major turning point in his musical life. Toshi now plays 7-string guitars exclusively and is considered to be the foremost rock player and authority on 7-string guitars, currently owning 109 of them. In 1996 Toshi co-organized and performed at the ‘First Midwest Jason Becker Benefit For ALS’ in Chicago, Illinois. The Benefit that Toshi spearheaded featured such stellar musicians as Eddie Van Halen, Marty Friedman, Zakk Wylde, Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Moore, Greg Howe, Billy Sheehan, Steve Lukather, Richie Kotzen, Michael Lee Firkins and many, many more! Toshi has been featured in guitar/music magazines around the world including; Guitar Player, Guitar World , Guitar/Guitar One, The Guitarist Network. Internationally in magazines such as Young Guitar, Guitar F.P.M. and Guitar Magazine (JAPAN), Musica Pro (South America), Guitar Chef (Italy) and others. He also writes instructional columns for several guitar oriented magazines. He has been featured in full page, full color ads with Carvin guitars, Morley pedals, Audix microphones and Spectraflex cables. Having been featured on over 14 CD’s (including all four of Guitar World magazine’s ‘Indie Bin’ CD’s - the only guitarist asked to be on all four CD’s!), in 1998 Toshi released his first solo CD, the critically acclaimed ‘Full On!’ (Over The Top! Records), and collaborated with former Dixie Dregs bassist Andy West to record and co-produce ‘RAMA 1’ on Magna Carta records. This project also features such renown musicians as drummers Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater/Liquid Tension Experiment), Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs/Winger/Jazz Is Dead), Jonathan Mover (Joe Satriani/Einstein) and keyboardist Jens Johansson (Yngwie Malmsteen/Stratovarious), T. Lavitz (Dixie Dregs/Jazz Is Dead) and Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa/Steve Vai). He is the Editor-In-Chief of ‘Intense Guitar!’ Magazine. Newsletter © PRS GUITARS 2012 http://www.prsguitars.com/artists/profile/toshi_iseda

"Toshi's new stuff sounds great! His use of the 7-string guitar and some real cool effects are refreshing. The tone is real warm and precise and his playing is totally wailing!" - John Petrucci (guitarist for Dream Theater/Liquid Tension Experiment).

"Toshi plays awesome guitar on these tunes. He will surely be the envy of any guitarist who hears his work!" - Marty Friedman (Shrapnel/Favored Nations Recording Artist and former Megadeth guitarist)

"Toshi, all the best to you with your music. Great playing!" - Eric Johnson (Capitol Recording Artist)

"Combining melodic sense and raw energy with enough chops to fill a butcher's shop, Toshi seems destined for greatness." - Guitar World Magazine

"One of the most enjoyable sessions that I have been a part of in quite sometime, has been my contributions on the new Toshi Iseda CD. It has always been a pleasure of mine to jam with great guitarist of our time, and certainly Mr. Iseda is included on that list. Enjoy this CD as much as I enjoyed playing on it." - Tony MacAlpine (Shrapnel/Favored Nations Recording Artist)

"Toshi is not only a great guitarist, but a brilliant songwriter and producer. The new CD ROCKS!" - Michael Angelo Batio (Solo Artist)

While not up to world-class instrumental rock standards, Chicago guitarist/instructor Toshi Iseda's playing has plenty of flash and the artist demonstrates his massive chops to fine effect on this debut. All the ingredients needed to create fine shred material are here: dense harmonic motifs, dynamic musical shifts, intriguing arrangements, and, of course, tons of skilled guitar trickery. Iseda just about has it all but, unlike the best of his genre (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Steve Howe, Yngwie Malmsteen), the guitarist doesn't quite display the unique guitar tone/voice or the strong rhythmic sense needed to make his million-note melees coalesce into something more than musical free for alls. Iseda's rhythm guitars and melodies can sometimes drift in front of the beat -- a bad habit many shredders can't shake. Regardless of genre, the best guitarists never fight the beat. With a keen sense of time, the finest players keep the pocket stabilized, maximizing compositional power. While perhaps not perfect, Iseda is no hack, and this metallic collection sports some fiery soloing. The Chicago shredder basically keeps up when trading licks with monsters Michael Angelo on "Affair With a Stranger" and "High Noon" and Tony MacAlpine on the melodic epic "The Sheltering Sky." In addition to laying down a torrent of guitar tracks, Iseda produced, arranged, composed, recorded, and mixed Full On! in its entirety, and while the drums get lost amid the guitar flurries on rare occasion, the guitarist proves himself very capable on both sides of the recording console. By the time Full On! was released in 1998, there were hardly any new musicians breaking into the minuscule instrumental rock market, so Iseda must be given credit for being true to his own musical values and doing the hard work necessary to make this debut the fast and furious entry that it is. © Vincent Jeffries © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/full-on%21-mw0000043992

Great hard-driving instrumental metal and rock from the Chicago born guitarist, Toshi Iseda. As usual, the music critics compare this guy to Greg Howe, Joe Satriani, etc., etc., usually saying that he is not up to their level of “greatness”. I hate comparing guitarists, as all great guitarists have their own unique skills, and Toshi Iseda is no exception. Listen to this album on it’s own merits, and you may be impressed. Listen to Andy West’s great “Rama 1” album which features Toshi on six tracks [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 144 Mb]


1Tokushima 2:11
2 Full On! 3:42
3 If I Were King 4:24
4 Custer's Last Groove 5:45
5 Prelude 1:25
6 The Sheltering Sky 9:54
7 92 in the Shade 4:35
8 Angels Masquerading as People 1:57
9 Affair With a Stranger 5:24
10 Predator 5:00
11 High Noon 4:54
12 Crimson Tides 2:14
13 Maryjane Rottencroch 5:47
14 After the Fix 13:41
15 Krackhead 3:02

All tracks composed by Toshi Iseda


Michael Angelo, Eddie Head - Guitar
Tony MacAlpine - Guitar, Keyboards
Toshi Iseda - Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Drums, Sampling
Andy West, Steve Hart - Bass
Derek Bernal, Craig Quinn Kasin, Bobby Domings, Michael Terrana, Kit Bergman, Gregg Potter - Drums


Seven-string guitar virtuoso Toshi Iseda finally burst out with his own full-length CD, Full On!, after years of honing his "axe" skills; writing articles for guitar-oriented publications such as Guitar World, Guitar, Guitar Player, Showcase Midwest, and Guitarist Network; and giving guitar lessons and clinics all over the world. Iseda had previously recorded with Columbia group Heaven's Edge and was included on four of Guitar World's Indie Bin compilation CDs. Iseda always had aspirations of being a professional rock musician. He initially picked up the guitar in the seventh grade in part because of the popularity of big rock bands such as Kiss, Peter Frampton, and Aerosmith. His uncle, Jeff Brown, was a closer source of inspiration. Iseda played in a bunch of high school rock bands while taking music lessons. While east, Iseda joined New England area band Shoot Shoot formed by Aerosmith's Permanent Vacation tour keyboard player C. Bruce Ost. The band had a Top Five Boston radio hit with "Blind Faith." Guitarist Reggie Wu contacted Iseda about an audition for a second guitarist for New Jersey band Heaven's Edge; Iseda was with the band for a year. In May 1987, he attended Boston's Berklee College of Music. After living in New York City for a year, he moved back to the Midwest. Full On! was released in 1998. © Ed Hogan © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/toshi-iseda-mn0000797455

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