Lightsabers and Wookiees and . . . classical guitar riffs? After the viral success of their Star Wars-themed YouTube guitar cover, Sébastien Moreau and Robbin Blanco launched onto the cosmic ride that became the Montreal-based Guitar Wars Project. Naturally, we here at CmdStore were all over that like C-3PO on conventions of intergalactic etiquette. We caught up with these two to learn more about this super-rad creative undertaking. Read on to get all of the juicy gossip, from how it all started to being hypothetical jacuzzi pals with Jabba.
Hi, guys! Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
Sébastien: I’m from Trois-Rivières, [Quebec] and we both live in Montreal . . .
Robbin: But I’m from Mérida, Mexico.
Tell us a bit about your backgrounds in music.
Guitar Wars Project: We met in university during our studies. We’re both holders of master’s degrees in music performance.
Sébastien: I’ve played in a lot of different projects before Guitar Wars. I’m more a classical guy. I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of concerts in established festivals, mostly here in Canada and in Europe.
Robbin: I did studies in classical music, but I’ve always been an electric guitarist, playing jazz, rock and pop all around Mexico, South America, the U.S. and Europe. Outside the Guitar Wars Project, I have a power fusion trio with original music and a tango project.
What gave you the idea for Guitar Wars? Was there a special “Aha!” moment?
Guitar Wars Project: We are fans of the movies, and also we think that the John Williams soundtrack is awesome.
Sébastien: So my Robbin here decided to write unplayable arrangements for two guitars [laughs].
Robbin: And of course you wanted to do this project to have a valid reason to put on a costume and possess “real” lightsabers [laughs].
Your “Imperial March” music video went viral not too long ago. What did that feel like?
Guitar Wars Project: We’re really happy with this first video, but to be honest we hope that our next one will get more views.
Sébastien: But having great feedback from fans all around the world is amazing.
What’s the weirdest or most awesome thing that has happened to you as a result of this project?
Guitar Wars Project: We did this concert at a music festival in Mérida, Mexico. More than 500 people came with costumes and toys. Even Darth Vader wanted to make a speech.
Sébastien: By now, I feel kind of strange when people tell me that this project is weird.
Robbin: I told you that the costumes were a bad idea . . . I just wanted to play the music on guitar [laughs].
On a scale of one to this excited train guy, how stoked are you about Star Wars: Episode VII coming out in December?
Sébastien: My excitement level exceeds the highest level of midichlorians ever found in a human.
Robbin: I’m very exited about the next film and also very happy with John Williams’s participation in the score! He rocks.
You’re playing a comic con in Dubai as part of your tour. How did that come about?
Guitar Wars Project: The “Imperial March” video helped a lot when it came to showing our project to people all around the globe. By now, we’ve received other invitations that we’ll announce soon. But don’t miss our show in Montreal on March 28.
Sébastien: Lord Vader wants us to find two droids hiding in the desert . . .
Robbin: It’s a good opportunity to show our concept in front of many people and also a great place to visit.
What is your favorite thing about Montreal?
Sébastien: I have lived in many cities, and I can tell you that there’s no place more amazing than Montreal in the summer. The bars, festivals, restaurants . . . and the multicultural aspect is so awesome. The amount of activities to do is astonishing.
Robbin: It’s a cool place. The winter is a little long for me (a Latin guy), but I like to meet people from everywhere.
What sorts of cool things can audiences expect to see at your shows?
Guitar Wars Project: This is a concert, so you’ll hear the best theme composed by John Williams in a totally new way. We cover the entire saga, from “Duel of the Fates” to “The Emperor’s Theme”, along with “Princess Leia’s Theme”, “Main Title”, “Cantina Band” and, of course, “The Imperial March”.
Sébastien: For us, it’s a great way to show all the possibilities of the guitar with great music. And you can expect different music styles, from jazz and world to classical.
Robbin: But please keep in mind that this is a concert, not theater. I broke my clavicle last year, so no more lightsaber fights [laughs].
If you had to watch one Star Wars movie on repeat for a month, which would it be?
Sébastien: My favorite one is definitively The Empire Strikes Back.
Robbin: Return of the Jedi, and I think I already did that [laughs].
If you had to be in a hot tub with three Wookiees or one Jabba the Hutt, which would you choose? (Snacks would be provided.)
Sébastien: I would never join them in a hot tub. I’m a Jedi, like my father before me.
Robbin: Maybe this question is more for the girls [laughs], but for sure we would rather hang out with Princess Leia and Amidala. I think they’re the only hot chicks in the saga [laughs].
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The Guitar Wars Project will be performing in Montreal, Canada on March 28. Scope the official Guitar Wars Project website for more details, and grab tickets for their live Montreal performance. You can also buy the Imperial March single on iTunes.