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mdolceBy the age of six, Michael Dolce already had the guitar bug. His playing credits today include the TV show The Voice (Australia), Delta Goodrem, Keith Urban, Lionel Richie, Seal, Roachford, Mica Paris and more. Michael’s latest achievement is his instrumental guitar album ‘Everything Til Now.

What was your first guitar?
My first guitar was given to me by my parents. It was a Fender Musicmaster which I still own and love to use in sessions. It has such a beautiful warm sound. I’m actually holding that very guitar on my album. cover.

What’s your main guitar now?
I’ve never been the type to be drawn to big name guitars even though each individual brand and make have their qualities about them. Over the past 15 years of my career I’ve stuck to Charles Cilia custom guitars . They work great for me. I own 9 of them. Each has a great unique quality about it. I use those guitars on “The Voice” along side my Takamine acoustics.

The way I see it is like owning a house, you can by a house which is comfortable but nothing compares to building one from scratch exactly the way you like it. I do have a favourite which is my own Charles Cilia signature series Its called the Harlquin MD series
Modelled off your typical Tele shape, the main difference is the custom shaped big leaf maple neck and hand wound custom pickups with a dog leg control plate with volume closets to the strings to make volume swells very easy and comfortable.

Through what amp and why?
I have several set-ups. My main around town gigs set up  consists of an older style Bogner Shiva head. I swap between a 2×12 cab and 1×12 cab loaded with V30’s. I just love the fullness the Bogner gives. It responds great with my approach and my guitar.Every note always sounds nice and round.

On The Voice and major tours I’ll always use my Fractal Audio Axe Fx direct into the desk. You can’t beat the quality of effects and flexibility that the Axe FX has.
It feels and sounds incredible in my in ear monitoring compared to having your amp mic’d under the stage and hearing it through your in ears.

Which pedals are your standards?
With my live set up I use an Xotic AC boost for my lead sound and a Vox Tonelab for my effects. Seems to work fine for me. Pretty simple set up. When I’m recording at home I’ll just use the amps gain stage to dial and lead sound. That’s what I did on my album.

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
My album was my most recent original project and that was 2 years ago haha. I’m in the process of recording my new album which I’m hoping to get out this year some time cross the fingers ! The most recent Instrumental recording I’ve played on was a guest solo on Marcel Yammouni’s up coming album, that was heaps of fun. Look out for the album he’s a killer player and one of my favs.

Most recent pop recordings have been The Voice iTunes releases . Over the course of the show we’ve recorded over 350 singles that have been released.
I was very excited to be a part of the 10th anniversary edition release of the Innocent Eyes album by Delta Goodrem. We recorded the DVD/Documentary totally live with no overdubs in 3 days with all new arrangements it was purely acoustic. Really proud of this.

What gigs have you been playing lately?
My time has been taken up by The Voice, it takes up 6 months of the year. The 2nd half of the year always opens up to touring and doing my own thing i.e,Clinics, masterclasses etc..

Most memorable gig?
So many great moments but nothing compares to your own gigs.

Worst stage nightmare?
Hahaha …. When I was touring with Roachford, we had just stepped out on stage and within moments I realised that the chilli kebab I ate earlier was seriously not agreeing with me. I lasted 3 songs and ran off while he was still singing and the band was still playing. I was so mentally effected by this, I ended up writing a song called “I Gotta Go” which appears as the first song on my album ha ha ha!

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
I’ll be still be on The Voice til mid year, after that I’ll have some exciting gigs happening.

A guitar tip for the kids?
Always practice to music, don’t be scared to record yourself and listen back. I still do it and hate to listen back but I know it’s good for me and  it really lets me know what I need to work on. The recording doesn’t lie! Most important, a great attitude and respect towards others will get you far and be patient, don’t force yourself into gigs!

You’re more than welcome to contact me via my website if you have any questions.