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The NAMM Show 2018 Interviews: Ariel Bellvalaire of Paradise Kitty

Ariel Bellvalaire at The NAMM Show

The NAMM Show 2018 Interviews: Ariel Bellvalaire of Paradise Kitty

One of the many superb guitarists making their way to The Namm Show at the Anaheim Convention Center this year was the one and only Ariel Bellvalaire.  Whether performing with Paradise Kitty – All Girl Guns N’ Roses Tribute Band or with the iconic Cirque du Soleil, Ms. Bellvalaire absolutely shreds with an epic guitar virtuosity which is absolutely inspiring. Highwire Daze Online interviewed Ariel The Aerialist  at The Namm Show in the Media Center to find out more about her work with Paradise Kitty, appearing in the Cirque as well as on Broadway, an upcoming solo EP, how a classic song called Crazy Train changed the way she approached playing guitar, and a whole lot more rocking and rolling!  Read on…

What was the name of the very first song you ever wrote, how old were you, and what was that song about?
I think I was about 10. The song was called Why?. It sounded like a relationship song, but in all actuality, I’m pretty sure this girl just stole my lunch money or something random like that. I was mad! I wanted my $1.50 back, man!

What are you looking forward to the most about NAMM this year?
I’m really excited to be a Fender artist now. I’m just walking around representing my favorite brand. Ernie Ball as well – I love their strings – I’m happy to be on board the Ernie Ball team as well. I’m just happy to play catch up with everybody I haven’t seen in years. NAMM is like one big musical family – it’s great!

What is your weapon of choice live onstage?
I love my tapping riffs – and then the splits onstage. It will pretty much end any shred off! You could be playing the most complicated riff ever, but if you do the split, then it’s all over. So probably stage gymnastics – and tapping while doing it. It’s fun!

Ariel Bellvalaire versus Jenna Syde in Paradise Kitty

How did you wind up becoming involved with Paradise Kitty?
They were actually a pre-existing band and they needed another Slash. Their other guitar player was off doing her own thing and doing really well. They were just looking for a female lead guitar player who could perform, get the audience going, and actually play Slash solos note per note. They found me and I auditioned. And I love it! I’m so glad to be playing with them.

Have you met Slash or any of the other Guns N’ Roses members – and have they commented on your performance?
I haven’t met Slash in person, but he did see a couple of my YouTube videos – and he said he liked the split – and I said “Yes!”

Slash approved! So what is your favorite G N’ R song to play live and why?
I like a lot of them! Slash has the bluesiest solos – there’s amazing riffs in each one. But I think my favorite is probably Mr. Brownstone – just because I love that solo – and then it’s in all positions on the neck – which I like. But it’s still so melodic you could sing it. And then the WAH pedal is also fun too.

You and Jenna Syde definitely have a good chemistry onstage. Tell us about that…
We don’t actually map anything out. We’re going to sit down and actually try to come up with some non-organic things. We get along so well and we have that personality that meshes together. We just love to mess with each other. So onstage, we will just amplify it to 10. She’ll say something and then I’ll just throw it back and vice-versa. Next thing you know we’re right on top of each other and just battling out and having so much fun. And the audience loves watching it. We’re just looking forward to coming up with some actual planned out things as well, but we’ll still throw it back every now and then. You never know…

Ariel Bellvalaire rocking out in Paradise Kitty

What has the experience been like working with Cirque du Soleil and how did you become involved with the show?
Cirque – and in every Circus based show I’ve done – they did not know that I was an aerialist at the time. Ariel The Aerialist! I do a lot of aerial work and I’ll actually play guitar upside down. All the circus based shows I’ve done – I was literally just playing guitar. I was going to be working with the acrobats – and I was like “Just wait till they see when I put them together…” But just playing with such talented people. They hire the best. It’s just amazing working with them – either up in the air or on the ground playing guitar. They have an amazing cast, so it’s pretty great.