"I’ve always felt like a bit of an outsider, and coming together around music gives us a strong bond."

Posted: November 15, 2023
Image by: Grace Sims
Guitar Thrills Magazine
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Neil Swanson is a rock star and guitar virtuoso. Bringing the guitar genre to new generations with his unique and masterful guitar skills, respect and passion for the instrument! Neil has earned his reputation for standing out and garnered creds from some of the biggest names in music.

Neil is an epic and legendary player. Being recognized by Grammy winning guitar icon Steve Vai for being one of the top 10 guitar players in the US, is testament to his powerhouse talent and sound.

In 2014, Neil won Guitar Center's Steve Vai Sessions contest and earned the extraordinary opportunity to open up for Vai on his Story of Light tour. Neil has also been honoured by joining Steve Vai onstage and rocked as a guest performer.

Neil has been rocking the big league hard, including backing up guitar goddess Orianthi.

He has worked with other legendary guitarists/singer songwriters/producers, like Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi and mega producer Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics.

Neil is sponsored by Charvel and Jackson guitars, Boss/Roland, Orange amplifiers, Jim Dunlop, Ernie Ball, Seymour Duncan, Neural DSP and he's sought after for new product demos, catalogues, promo ads and as an exemplary clinician.

Neil Swanson is a fire-hot all round entertainer. A diamond star of a player!

Image by: Mitchell Pantzke


Sophia Radisch: Neil, I'm so impressed with your diverse skills, knowledge and experiences as a guitarist, exploring so many musical genres over your career. How do you feel that these guitar explorations helped to raise you up and inspire you to become the extraordinary player that you are today?

Neil: Well, first of all thank you for saying so!
There's no finish line in music, and every time I work with someone new, the goal post moves again! The different perspectives I see from artists have a huge effect on how I play and write too. For example, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics taught me a lot about creating in the moment and not trying to plan everything.

Sophia Radisch: Your self-titled EP debut Son of Swan is a project that combines powerful rock riffs and beautiful melody with electronic elements of modern music. What single element of the creative process on this project did you find most satisfying and why?

Neil: I’ve always been an eclectic player. That album was a passion project of mine from years ago that really let me explore what I was capable of with zero boundaries. It also helped get me noticed by several of my influences including Steve Vai!

Sophia Radisch: Your commitment to the genre you believe in is solid. What do you think most gives you the enduring quality and indestructibility you exude as a guitar virtuoso?

Neil: Confidence sometimes comes from necessity, and finding guitar as an awkward kid gave me a voice. That voice has been my strongest ally in building my personality on and off the instrument. The awkward kid is still in there though, and that’s what keeps the need to be heard going!

Sophia Radisch: You have a tremendous following. What do you want to share with your fans about your dedication, devotion and belief in the guitar as your instrument of choice?

Sophia Radisch: The community I’ve gathered is largely based on relating to people as much as it is music. I’ve always felt like a bit of an outsider, and coming together around music gives us a strong bond. I feel like the guitar is just sort of the centerpiece and symbol of freedom that we center around. Music is the soundtrack to our lives, and something we all have that in common.

Sophia Radisch: Your social media presence and content creation is dynamic! The way you engage and interact with your fans is exceptional. Your new unique original rock releases, and brilliant takes on covers are intoxicating. The connections with your fans are real and measurable! What is your greatest pleasure when you create your guitar tutorials on your Youtube channel?

Neil: I genuinely enjoy sharing what I love. Expressing yourself isn’t easy for everyone, and it makes me happy to be a voice others find as a kindred spirit. I’ve been fortunate to have an eventful life and career in music, and sharing my experiences, stories, and playing just feels like what I’m supposed to do. For me, making music, videos, and content isn’t just about getting reactions from people, it’s also so I can look back at my life and know I did a little something positive!

Sophia Radisch: Neil, It's been an absolute honor and thrill to get to speak with you about your extraordinary career in rock! Thanks so very much for sharing, rock star!


Sophia Radisch is the kind of songwriter and performer blessed with a golden voice and universal appeal who understands her musical vision and brings an undeniable talent to the process. She’s a joy for any listener to discover – a soul trader in genuine energy, aiming straight for the heart.

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