In 1993 he won Guitarist magazine’s "Guitarist of the Year" competition with his instrumental piece Wonderful Slippery Thing (a version of which would eventually appear on his debut solo album); the demo of the track earned him a place amongst several other entrants in the live final, which he then won. Subsequently, he submitted a sample transcription (of a Shawn Lane piece) to Guitar Techniques magazine; this earned him a job as a contributor to the magazine, ending a spell working in fast food.
Govan began his involvement with Asia playing on the album Aura. With his work on the album complete, Govan was added to the current Asia line-up [Geoff Downs, John Payne, Chris Slade] for the tour to support the new album. The song, Bad Asteroid, an instrumental in the live shows, was a Govan original composition; it dates back to his early 1990s demo. He went on to play on the band’s 2004 album Silent Nation as well.
In 2006, Asia keyboardist Geoff Downes left to reform the original Asia line-up; Govan and the other two band members, John Payne and Jay Schellen [filling in for Chris Slade on drums], formed GPS (named after the members' initials). After the addition of Ryo Okumoto on keyboards the band released the album Window to the Soul (2006).
Govan performs on a number of tracks on Your Music Is Killing Me, the debut album of UK electronic dance music act The Young Punx and is part of their live act. He also appears in the music video for their track Rockall.
Govan had been a member of Asia featuring John Payne with Payne, Schellen, and Erik Norlander from 2007 until mid-2009 when he was replaced by Mitch Perry.
Govan has played live acoustic guitar for Dizzee Rascal, including a performance on Later With Jools Holland.
Govan’s earliest influences were Jimi Hendrix and Cream-era Eric Clapton; as such he describes himself as coming from a "blues rock background". While he is "wary" of 1980s technique driven guitar music ("shred") he cites the imagination of Steve Vai (as well as Frank Zappa, with whom Vai played) and the passion of Yngwie Malmsteen as influences. Jazz and fusion elements are an important part of his style: he cites Joe Pass as a pivotal influence in this respect.
Govan is known for his virtuoso command of the electric guitar, due to both his technical ability and proficiency in various styles. Govan’s MySpace profile lists quotes from various guitarists to this effect; elsewhere, fellow virtuosos Joe Satriani and Paul Gilbert have praised Govan's playing.
Guitar Gallows Bio Information - Guthrie Govan
Guthrie Govan (born 27 December 1971 in Chelmsford, Essex, England) is a guitarist known for his work with the bands Asia (2001-2006), GPS, The Young Punx and The Fellowship as well as Erotic Cakes (a vehicle for his own music). He is a noted guitar teacher through his work with the UK magazine Guitar Techniques, Guildford’s Academy of Contemporary Music and currently the Brighton Institute of Modern Music. He is also a former winner of Guitarist magazine's "Guitarist of the Year" competition.
Govan began playing guitar aged three, encouraged by his father but initially learning mainly by ear. At the age of nine he and his brother Seth Govan played guitar on a Thames Television programme called Ace Reports. At secondary school he was exposed, via older classmates, to "shred" guitarists of the time.
After leaving school, Govan read English at the University of Oxford, though he left after a year to pursue a career in music. Around this time (by Govan’s own estimation, 1991) he sent demos of his work to Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records. Varney was impressed and offered him a record deal; ultimately however, Govan declined. Regarding his reasons he has explained: "it was as though all I really wanted to know was that I was good enough […] I found I was getting a bit wary of the shred movement."
The Guitar Gallows is all about everything to do with guitarists, guitar players, amplifiers, guitar amplifiers, guitar accessories, guitar pics / picks, guitar straps, guitar cases, guitar amps, guitar lessons, guitar strings, guitar tuners, top guitar players, guitar effects, guitar pedals, mandolin, acoustic guitar, banjo, bass guitar. Stay Tuned as we explore all the realms of guitar possibility!