Q&A with Argentina-born guitarist/composer Alex Anthony Faide, the secret rock weapon around the world

"It is striking to discover how close Music is to us at all times. All it takes is a willingness to listen. To embrace the sound of listening. It is easy to forget, but I am luckily reminded again and again. To quote Robert Fripp, “Music is a benevolent presence constantly and readily available to all.” "

Alex Anthony Faide: Echo of the Infinite

Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Guitarist/Composer Alex Anthony Faide has a decades-long international reputation for being the secret weapon in rock recordings, arrangements, and stage productions in Europe and Latin America. Now based in Seattle, WA, Faide released his long-awaited solo record – “Particles of the Infinite” (2022) – a display of guitar pyrotechnics in nine parts, on Trey Gunn’s label 7d Media. Inspired by and developed from concepts found in songs such as King Crimson’s “Fracture” and “Lark’s Tongues in Aspic,” Faide takes the work beyond the stratosphere into the mirror dimension to find something completely his own. In the words of his mentor Robert Fripp, “AAF plays my guitar parts better than I do.”

(Alex Faide / Photo by Karen Moskowitz)

Faide spent 2017-19 touring, songwriting, and arranging, with Mexican hard rock heroes Molotov on their MTV Unplugged Show “El Desconecte” and as a sideman for Molotov front man Tito Fuentes’ acclaimed solo record “El Ocaso.” He is currently working on a new project with legendary German producer/songwriter Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen, founder and main composer for the band Nena. Faide is the co-founder of cherished 3rd wave surf rock band, Los Twang! Marvels, in addition to Los Gauchos Alemanes/Electric Gauchos. He has also worked with artists including Markus Reuter, Namgar, Willie Campins, Crystal Beth, TROOT, Kathy Moore, Tiny Orchestral Moments, Los Primitivos, and Lutz Petersen, among countless others.

Interview by Michael Limnios              Special Thanks: Billy James (Glass Onyon)

How has the Rock music and culture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

As a school drop out, I must say I couldn’t have had a better education than Rock music. Music has allowed me to live in multiple countries (Argentina, Chile, Germany, Mexico, USA) - and tour extensively all over the world, experiencing language and culture at an intrinsic level that wouldn’t otherwise have been available to me. Music supersedes all borders and is a universal language - that is magnificent.

How do you describe your sound and music philosophy? Where does your creative drive come from?

I always wish that sound will own me, and not the other way around. I do not own sound. I can talk about how I approach practice and cultivation of tone - both on acoustic and electric instruments. That would exceed the format of this interview, but quickly, daily practice and solid discipline go a long way. Freedom is available through discipline. In that daily commitment, I hope and aspire that something will act through me, but I have no control over it.

Why do you think that King Crimson and Robert Fripp's music continues to generate such a devoted following?

I personally believe that contrary to the popular concept of Crimson/Fripp’s music being “too cerebral” and “hyper intellectual” that it is actually quite visceral and pierces right through the heart. Matters of the heart act outside of time and fashion.

"The only thing that helps at becoming a better musician - whatever that is - is a tireless and committed relationship to the Muse, and a solid and consistent practice. Somehow, in spite of decades of trials and tribulations, I have been able to maintain that practice, and I am grateful, privileged, and appreciative to everyone who has helped along the way." (Alex Faide / Photo by Karen Moskowitz)

Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you? What´s been the highlights in your career so far?

The simple answer is that all of my meetings have been important experiences because the combination of all of them brought me here and now replying to you in this moment. However, to bring it back to Particles of the Infinite, meeting and learning from Robert between 1995-2000 Guitar Craft courses around the world was a very defining split in my trajectory. There have been numerous other highlights, but those would take pages to do justice by…those will be saved for future records.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

That’s fine by me. The idea of missing something from music of the past is a tricky question - nostalgia is a trap. I try not to visit there. As for the future, I wish and hope that artists around the world stay true and with open hearts & ears to their muse. That seems the most important thing right now - and perhaps always was. Music is first. Whatever that means to each individual.

What has been the hardest obstacle for you to overcome as a Latin American artist and has this helped you become a better musician?

Fighting for visas to be allowed to live and work around the world has not helped me become a better musician. Mostly it has taken time, energy, and resources that could have been applied to Music but instead were taken away from Her. The only thing that helps at becoming a better musician - whatever that is - is a tireless and committed relationship to the Muse, and a solid and consistent practice. Somehow, in spite of decades of trials and tribulations, I have been able to maintain that practice, and I am grateful, privileged, and appreciative to everyone who has helped along the way.

What is the impact of music on the socio-cultural implications?  How do you want the music to affect people?                             (Alex Faide / Photo by Karen Moskowitz)

I can’t determine how music affects people, nor do I want to. It is not my job to do that. My job is to remain open to what the Muse may require from me. In my experience, once you create or make something it immediately begins teaching you and takes you on a ride that you never imagined possible, even long after the process of creation is complete. It has a life of its own. So, we are now on this journey together.

"The idea of missing something from music of the past is a tricky question - nostalgia is a trap. I try not to visit there. As for the future, I wish and hope that artists around the world stay true and with open hearts & ears to their muse. That seems the most important thing right now - and perhaps always was. Music is first. Whatever that means to each individual."

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?

It is striking to discover how close Music is to us at all times. All it takes is a willingness to listen. To embrace the sound of listening. It is easy to forget, but I am luckily reminded again and again. To quote Robert Fripp, “Music is a benevolent presence constantly and readily available to all.” 

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