When one of the top 100 guitarists of all time gives you a nickname … it sticks. World renowned guitarist Gary Hoey called him the “Stuntman” because he would jump around and play guitar, bass, drums, songwriter, and producer. So Justyn “The Stuntman” Czarnecki ran with it. He also designs his own guitars while forging a career as a guitarist and producer.
He recently finished his debut album “Aftershock”, which he co-wrote with his sister, singer/songwriter Madison Rose. The album is due out in January 2012 and promises to deliver pure rock & roll fun.
I talked with Justyn for about 45 minutes and he shared his thoughts on a number of topics including:
What are “Stuntman Guitars”?
JC: Justyn is a bit of a mad scientist when it comes to his guitars. He customizes his guitars in a quest for the right tone. He started out taking an original Dean body and modifying it. Since then, he’s now designing his own guitar bodies.
Working with his sister, Singer Madison Rose:
JC: He has very close relationship with his sister, “I’ll be her guitarist for as long as she wants”. They started playing music together as kids with Justyn playing guitar and Madison singing organizing Christmas and family event concerts. Now they are releasing their first album entitled “Aftershock” due out January 2012. The single “Teenage Runaway” was nominated for best pop song of 2011 by the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.
Recording in NH with Gary Hoey:
JC: He attended the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp with his sister, singer songwriter Madison Rose.
At the camp he met Gary Hoey and that put him on his chosen path. “Gary told me that I could do this,” meaning play guitar as a career. Justyn had always been passionate about playing drums and now took on the guitar full time.
After the rock clinic, Gary invited Justyn and Madison to his studio in New Hampshire to record the album. They spent two months and recorded “Aftershock” with Gary’s mentoring and expertise. They consider the experience one of the best times of their lives.
What I thought was very cool was that Justyn jammed with Michael Anthony at the camp playing the classic VH tune “Aint Talkin About Love”.
About his songwriting approach:
JC: He typically finds that he writes a song in one of two methods. Either writing a song based on a title. It’s a technique that Jimi Hendrix said that he used to writing many of his songs. The other is being overwhelmed by a very personal and emotional experience. He thinks that he has about four albums worth of material put together waiting to be produced.
Advice for aspiring musicians:
JC: It’s hard to become a guitarist. Think about how to stand out from the crowd. Realize that there will be better guitar players out there, but you can create your own unique style and sound to be successful. “Put your heart and soul into what you’re playing and be confident in your ability, don’t get down on yourself … find your own way and dare to be different.”
Endorsing Steve Clayton Custom Picks:
JC: He uses Steve Clayton custom picks because he says that they’re the best he’s ever used. He’s also looking forward to trying out their new line of Playboy Guitars.
Working with Gary Hoey:
JC: “Gary taught me to understand why I played certain notes for a riff.” Knowing where to go on the fretboard will translate into becoming a better guitarist.
Working outside his comfort zone:
JC: Studying with Carmen Grillo, former guitarist for Tower for Power has pushed him to expand his repertoire and improve as guitarist.
How to become a better guitarist …
JC: Find a guitar teacher that you like and that will push you to play outside your comfort zone.
Work hard to gain confidence in your skill as a guitarist.
Learn more about Justyn and his music:
Justyn’s Youtube Channel