Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: Blaze

Fresno's got a new young guitar titan. He goes by the name of Blaze. He's a 15-year-old with a classic rocker's mind.

Like Corby Yates and Trey Tosh before him, Blaze has been wowing crowds with his guitar prowess since moving to Fresno last summer.

The kid stays busy -- playing in two young bands in Los Angeles (Blaze & The Young Guns, Can We Get An Encore) plus playing classic rock covers locally with Krossover.

You can see him with Krossover on April 17 and 18 at Sequoia Brewing Co.'s 1188 E. Champlain Drive location. Showtime is 8:30 p.m.

We caught up with Blaze to find out more about him.

For a 15-year-old, you're pretty busy: playing in three bands, plus doing solo stuff and traveling. How do you make it all work? First of all, my parents are very supportive and they drive me everywhere. I couldn't be doing all of those projects if they weren't behind me 100%. It also helps that I'm home-schooled.

What do you think has made you so drawn to the guitar? When I was 5, I saw Kiss in concert for the first time, and that was it for me. I was in awe watching Gene Simmons breathe fire, stomp all over the stage, and fly to the top of the arena while taunting the crowd. It was incredible.

Who are your guitar heroes? Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Slash, Dann Huff, Angus Young, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, and Satriani to name a few. Basically, if they're '80s and they're good, I like them.

You've made some noise playing with local cover band Krossover. Tell people what those shows are like. Those shows are a ton of fun! We always get a good crowd to come out and watch us play. Not to mention that I get to play some of my favorite songs from the '70s and '80s. And on top of that, it's a band of very talented players.

The other two bands you're in, one is more alternative and one is closer to hard rock. Which style do you prefer and why? I don't really have a preference. Anything that rocks works for me.

When you're not playing music, when you're just being a 15-year-old kid, what else do you like to do? Well, it's not very often that I'm not playing music, but I like weight lifting, whitewater rafting, painting, drawing and reading books. I've also been wanting to learn how to snowboard now that I live so close to the mountains.

Five years from now, where do you see yourself? Well here's a line from one of my songs: "I'm gonna live on top of the world / the fame, the fortune, the beautiful girls / I'll be such a big star, I'll make my neighbor Jack Nicholson cry."

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Know a local musician that more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda,