Brazilian guitar virtuoso Lari Basilio is part of an exciting new wave in instrumental rock music—carving a unique sound that seamlessly combines sublime technical proficiency with catchy, energetic melodic phrases. No better is that realised than on Basilio's brand new release, 'Your Love' which is out now worldwide. In this issue's cover feature, Nick Jennison sits down with Lari to talk about the new album, signature gear, songwriting inspiration and much more.
'Your Love' is Lari's fourth original instrumental work. Recorded at United Recording Studios in Los Angeles—the album is a collection of ten uplifting and emotional tunes (written, arranged and produced by Basilio) that capture Lari's passion for instrumental music while showcasing her unique playing and composition style.
"Writing new songs is what I love to do the most, and every situation of my life serves as an inspiration to me. Each song has its own story of composition, and the process is always fun and surprising. 'Your Love' is about God's love and how it fills my life with hope and joy, and I hope the listeners can experience the same," Basilio explains.
Lari has once again gathered an incredible lineup of musicians for the new album: Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Leland Sklar (bass), Sean Hurley (bass) and Ester Na (keys/piano). In just two days of recording, they brought to life Lari's compositions exceptionally with brilliant performances.
Always seeking a new sound, Lari pursued a modern approach to the overall sound of this album, from guitar tones to production. What hasn't changed for sure is Lari Basilio's versatility, going from rock to ballads and also acoustic tracks in another engrossing and eclectic release.
Born in São Paulo to a musical family, Lari always had a natural ear for melody. She started playing the organ at age four, and at eight years old, her father showed her a few guitar chords. Later, enrolling in private lessons, she followed her passion for guitar playing as a lifestyle, inspired by the likes of Andy Timmons and Paul Gilbert.
Her debut EP, self-titled 'Lari Basilio' (2011), set the stage for her melodic elegance and on 'The Sound of My Room' (2015), she fused instrumental guitar with a visual experience, debuting it in a movie theatre. On Basilio's previous album, 'Far More' (2019), her instrumental style soared to new heights as she collaborated with top session players to create a technically spellbinding (yet always accessible to the listener) release.
A big part of Lari's style is an underlying melodic sensibility and note choice. "A good melody is what can make a song remarkable," says Basilio. "Since I started playing, I've always tried to work on that. It's great being led by melodies, but more than thinking about it, I try and let it flow and play what I'm feeling."
Songwriting is an artistic journey. And creating instrumental guitar music is a true art. It's a canvas speckled with unique phrasing, bends, vibrato, leads—splashed with other techniques and nuances along the way. Basilio's guitar is her singular voice. The paintbrush: her hands/fingers, sometimes a pick, sometimes a combination of both, highlighting her fretboard with every shade in between.
Constantly growing as a player with each new release, some legendary names took notice, and in 2019 she was invited as a contributor at the G4 Experience—an instructional event led by Joe Satriani, which gathers guitar's best of the best for a few days of guitar clinics.
With great success as a player, the opportunities for signature gear usually present themselves. Last year, Japanese guitar giant Ibanez graced Basilio with a stunning debut signature model based on their newly-designed AZS series model: the LB1.
Built to the exact specifications of Basilio—the Ibanez LB1 is a versatile instrument that's ready to burn. This T-style axe's Seymour Duncan Lari Basilio signature pickups tackle smokey blues licks and high-octane runs with uniform ease, while its Dyna-MIX9 switching system offers a never-ending plentitude of tones. The LB1's S-Tech roasted maple neck and compound-radius fingerboard offers enough high-performance playability to satisfy every player—even a battle-tested G4 Experience alum like Lari. Armed with a Gotoh T1702 tremolo for expressive pitch bends and ultra-stable dive-bombs, the LB1 also includes rock-solid Gotoh Magnum Lock tuners, a bone nut, and luminescent side dots.
Essentially an elegant T-shaped version of their popular AZ guitar, Ibanez's LB1 has a stellar feature-set with many custom Lari-requested tweaks. Equipped with a set of Basilio's signature Seymour Duncan pickups, the LB1 sports further modern-day appointments that include a rock-solid Roasted Maple neck, stainless steel frets, Luminlay side dots, Gotoh locking tuners and a genuine bone nut.
The LB1's roasted maple neck was subjected to Ibanez's S-Tech nitrogen-heating treatment, which increases its stability, durability, water resistance, and tolerance to temperature changes. This neck's custom LB shape fills your hand nicely at the lower frets, while providing a more modern feel when you're playing up high. And its roasted bird's-eye maple fingerboard is tailor-made for fleet-fingered fretwork, thanks to a compound radius and extra-durable jumbo stainless steel frets. The feel of this neck is enhanced by Ibanez's Prestige fret-edge treatment, an extra step to ensure maximum playing comfort and long-term playability. You also get a sculpted neck joint for effortless access to the guitar's upper frets, and a bone nut for maximum resonance and superior tuning stability.
Voiced specifically for this guitar, the Ibanez LB1's Seymour Duncan Lari Basilio pickups are among the most sonically flexible on the market. Laid out in an HSS configuration, these pickups deliver killer blues licks, scorching metal riffs, and everything in between with the utmost in dynamics and clarity — even in high-gain situations. Beyond that, Ibanez's Dyna-MIX9 switching system with an Alter switch provides nine different sound combinations and can shift between humbucker and single-coil modes with a flick of a mini toggle. You can even simulate a humbucking sound by combining the two single-coil pickups. Whatever tone you're hearing in your head, the LB1 can achieve it.
Developed in collaboration with Gotoh, the LB1's T1702 tremolo features brass saddles and a brass sustain block, which ensure a natural, warm tone with quick response and amazing articulation. String skipping and hybrid picking are effortless thanks to narrow string spacing. Loading the guitar's tremolo arm is a breeze, by virtue of the T1702's snap-and-hold socket, and its arm torque adjuster allows for fine adjustments without any tools. The T1702's stud lock screws lock the stud bolts in place, enhancing the instrument's resonance and providing excellent tuning stability. Beyond that, the T1702's non-recessed design provides an astoundingly smooth tremolo motion that expressive players like Lari Basilio rely on.
Of course, no electric guitar can sound great on its own, and Lari's partnership with Laney Amplification solves that issue in abuncance.
The first of three "go-to" amps for Lari's from Laney's current product lineup is the Ironheart IRT-SLS. She describes this 300w tube amp head as having a "warm sound with lots of dynamics." The IRT-SLS gives players three channels to choose from: clean, rhythm, and lead, with separate EQs, boost, and two power modes. Another desirable feature is the USB Audio I/O and a RE-AMP send jack, which means that players can change the guitar tone of an original recording without having to re-track anything.
Another Laney in Lari's arsenal is the CUB-SUPER TOP. This little boutique head delivers 15 watts of straight-ahead vintage tone. One special feature of this amp is the < 1-watt input, which allows the player to drive the amplifier harder at lower volumes. Another feature is the foot-switchable spring reverb, which is based on the spring reverb algorithm of the Secret Path pedal from Black Country Customs.
The Laney Lionheart L20 all-tube head completes this trio of tones for Lari. Known for delivering an abundance of hot and rich sounds, the class A amplifier is also a favourite here at Gi and always provides a tone that lives up to its British name—elevating your playing, even if you only have a fraction of Lari's ability.
...and elevation is the key word, as it's evident that Lari Basilio has done that to the whole genre with her guitar playing in 2022—adventurously improvising, letting the melodic energy flow, tone for days. Yeah, that's Lari Basilio. In her words, "I'm always searching, always learning, and always growing."
Lari Basilio's latest album 'Your Love' is out now worldwide on all formats.
Lari Basilio 'Your Love' Track Listing:
01 - Fearless
02 - Alive and Living
03 - Your Love
04 - Here for You
05 - Running to the Other Side
06 - Novo
07 - Golden Hour
08 - All to You
09 - It's All Right
10 - It's Been a While
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