" It is a gift to listen to you playing guitar"
Daniel Flors (Berklee Guitar Faculty)
Alessandro "AM Dandy" Meynardi is an Italian guitarist and composer based in Boston (MA), USA.
He was born in Mondovì, a small village in North West Italy.
At nine years old he picked up his first guitar, after piano and cello, but he started his music instruction at the Conservatory "Ghedini" (Cuneo) and the Academy of Modern Music in Turin few years later.
He graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Some of his notable mentors and unbelievable inspirations have been Mick Goodrick; Daniele Gottardo; Bobby Stanton; Jim Kelly; David Tronzo; Tim Miller; Gianluca Ferro; Luca Allievi and Marco Roagna.
Strongly influenced by iconic artists such as Steve Vai; Frank Zappa; Pat Metheny; Guthrie Govan; Joe Satriani and some others, he declares that the big range of music styles inside his playing is the directed consequence of this variegated background.
Solo Artist with the AM Dandy & the Elements; Lead Guitar and Vocals for Thunderpets are at the moment his main projects. He produced at age 16 his first studio album "Invert Traditions" (NBD); on August 25th 2019 he released his first solo album "Secret Garden". On February 24th the Single "I Couldn't" (Tribute to Kobe & Gigi) was released, anticipating the release of the EP "Eramai" (April 24th) and a Live Album recorded in Boston with the Elements.
A Thunderpets' album and a second solo album with the Elements will be released between late Summer 2020 and the end of the year.
Many collaborations in studio, included Italian Pop Rock artists and young musicians around Boston and LA. Live experience as solo artist, with NBD and as a session man (Rustfield) all around Europe, Japan and USA, also opening from international artists (Planet Funk in 2012; Steve Vai 2012-2013; Fates Warning 2014; Arti&Mestieri 2015-2016).
Between 2018 and 2019 he collaborated as Lead Guitarist and Band Director with Berklee College of Music for a big project consisting in a memorial video live performance in honour of the Great Frank Zappa, available on the Official Berklee Youtube Page.
- "Best Instrumental Performance" at Hollywood Music Awards (HMMA)
- "Jimi Hendrix Award" from Berklee College of Music (2019)
- "Global Music Award" 2019 (to "Eva's Song" and "Tu, Paradiso")
- "Best Rock Album" from Akademia of Los Angeles (2019)
"I grew up listening to a very big variety of music styles. I still remember my dad playing in the car going to school people like Santana; Robben Ford; Dave Valentine; Di Meola; Satriani; Vai; SRV; Metheny Malmsteen; Zawinul and other dozens of great artists. So basically I didn't just have the opportunity to discover a pretty big amount of different music genres, but I did it through great performers. If we pick for a second the rock players in the list they are true monster of the stage. Look at Steve Vai. When he performs he literally destroys the stage under his feet, no matter how technically hard is the line they are playing. People like him taught me a cool performance needs a great playing and nice music, but a memorable one wants a huge stage presence too.
So a perfect performance has to be engaging in a real, directed way in my point of view. The audience has to be part of it and/or has to feel like participating to a theatre piece based on a music show. In this context I always think about Zappa and Steve Vai, to me the greatest rock performers ever. They are my biggest inspiration also about how to manage a performance in terms of show."
What made him totally falling in love with the guitar was the legendary "G3: Live in Concert" featuring Joe Satriani; Steve Vai and Eric Johnson (even if, to be even more precise, the very first time was the Marty McFly solo on Johnny B Good in Back to the Future). "When I saw how cool was Steve Vai playing the riff of My Guitar wants to Kill your Ma' by Frank Zappa I thought that one had to be my job". But then, was the Steve Vai's solo in the G3 Live in Denver with the triple neck guitar. To him that was a perfect example of the perfect playing. Musical, spontaneous, virtuoso, spectacular in terms of performance and full of pathos.
Today he considers Steve Vai; Frank Zappa and Pat Metheny his favourite artists, considering compositions, playing and overall creativity. As regards more specifically guitar playing his influences for many aspects can be considered Steve Vai; Guthrie Govan and Joe Satriani.
"Around Spring 2012 I suddenly discovered Guthrie Govan and the Aristocrats. I was shocked. As people like Vai and Satch talks through the guitar, this guy (and of course Marco and Bryan too) thinks through his instrument! It looks like his brain is connected to his fingers and to the guitar! Astonishing and quite scary at the same moment. A massive inspiration for all of us".
His Solo project with the AM Dandy & The Elements has and always had a fundamental role in his production, despite many other parallel projects or collaborations. Especially the Zappa Tribute of Fall 2018 (release on January 2019) powered by Berklee College of Music.
Lately, he is producing a new rock album with a band called "Thunderpets", a Hard Rock project between David Lee Roth Band and Winery Dogs. AM Dandy at Lead Guitar and Voice, in collaboration with Stif (Lorenzo Meynardi, his brother) on drums.
The Thunderpets band is a great example of the teenage Classic/Hard Rock's massive influence on him (especially AC/DC and Led Zeppelin), parallel to the instrumental and progressive music mentioned before. A debut album is going to be released in Summer 2020.