Orion Roos - leadguitar and backing vocals

Guitarist with heavy metal band Vortex and melodic rock band Maestro from Groningen, the Netherlands.

Started playing the acoustic guitar when I was eleven years old, after seeing a live show by The Shadows at a local venue.

My dad is a huge Shadows fan and brought me along. After seeing the show I told him “I want to be able to play like that”. My parents seemed alright with that and found me a guitar teacher, the Dutch jazz guitarist Jan Kuiper. He taught me how to play and taught me all about music theory, which I found very interesting. After some time I started listening to bands like Queen and Kiss. They really got me into the electric guitar. I just loved that distorted and powerful sound of electric guitars. A little later I got my first (very cheap) electric guitar and amp.

When I write songs I try to incorporate the things I learned over the years. Not only from my guitar instructor and experience, but also from the musicians I love listening to. I kind of studied some famous guitarists I really liked. Listening to Yngwie J. Malmsteen got me into playing arpeggios and the Harmonic scale. Also listening to Al Di Meola and Vinnie Moore made me aware of playing very precise and neat when playing with a distorted sound. That’s pretty hard when you use a lot of gain. I always loved the combination of lots of melody with the heavy guitar sound. Growing up in the eighties really got me into the melodic rock and AOR music. In 1987 I started my own melodic rock band Maestro with my friend and bass player René van Zonneveld.

At first we made some demo tracks and released them on music cassettes. We did lots of live gigs, but never got around to recording a full album. Professional recording studios were expensive, even back then. People who came to see our shows told us that we have a distinct own sound and that’s of course motivation to go forward. A while ago we started recording some of my songs at the studio of the Prins Claus conservatorium in my home town of Groningen in the Netherlands. The songs were produced by Henk Bulder.

I never found the time before, because I’ve been one of the guitarists of the Dutch heavy metal band Vortex for more than fifteen years. We did, by the way, record some Maestro tracks with Vortex. So I guess I finally decided to make time. So we picked up Maestro pretty much where we left off years ago. In the meantime, I even found the time to record albums with Elmar C. Fuchs for his progressive rock band Eloah. The Maestro album isn’t released yet, because I’m looking for a suitable record label and distribution, but we’re planning to release it next year.

To promote the Maestro album we plan on doing a lot of live gigs. See if people like our melodic rock music. At the moment we're rehearsing a lot, to prepare for the recording and the following gigs. We're looking forward to seeing you all at our show. Of course we’ll have Maestro merchandise and I’m also working on that right now. We’re are going to do some radio shows too. In the meantime we’ll be writing new material to record with Maestro. Still got plenty of ideas. Although it’s very hard, I’d like to try to keep it original. There’s so much more than just power chords, you know.

Orion Roos