French guitar virtuoso Stéphan Forté is a musician unlike any other. As a solo artist and with his band Adagio, Forté has spent the better part of his impressive career blending elements of neo-classic metal in the model of players like Yngwie Malmsteen with modern flavors to create a sound all it’s own.
In 1996, he graduated from the prestigious CMCN music school in France and began immediately working on his first demo. The 4-song EP titled Visions turned quite a few heads in the music world for it’s stylistically dark undertones and mind-bending fretboard wizardry.
Five years later, Forté released the first record with his band Adagio titled Sanctus Ignis. It was the beginning of a nearly ten year partnership that saw the release of a further six records.
In 2011, Stéphan released his first solo record "The Shadows Compendium", as Something Else Reviews noted: a shred instrumental album that can blow your mind while you’re listening to it, yet leave you humming the melodies hours later. That’s a rare and beautiful thing.”
Throughout his career Stéphan has been heavily influenced by the work of fellow guitar virtuoso Jason Becker. On The Shadows Compendium, Stéphan dedicated the song “De Praestigiis Daemonum” to Becker’s honor.
Stéphan has spent the last few years touring the world supporting some of the biggest names in music, including one of his personal heroes, Marty Friedman. He’s also kept himself busy writing, recording and mixing his latest record Enigma Opera Black a modern, neo-classical metal masterpiece.
Stéphan Forté and I got acquainted during the 'Jason Becker Not Dead Yet festival' in 2011. I was involved in the organization of the Festival and Stéphan was invited to play some Becker songs, together with his Adagio bandmate Franck Hermanny. From the very first moment I picked them up from Schiphol Airport we got along great. Super nice guys! We spent a few days rehearsing at Barend Courbois' house with all the musicians that were invited to play at the Festival. Knowing just a bit of Adagio at that time, I was heavily impressed by Stéphan's songs he rehearsed for the Festival with Atma Anur, Franck Hermanny and Marcel Coenen. There was just pure magic in the room. The Festival itself was amazing, check Stéphan's interpretation of Jason Becker's 'Opus Pocus', just insane!
Years later in 2015 my wife organized a surprise party for my 50th birthday, and guess who my friends arranged to come over and play some songs ? I was extremely surprised and grateful to have Stéphan at my birthday party, and the bonus was to have him play some songs with my band AC/DShe.
It was clear to me that I wanted Stéphan on my album, and I was lucky and grateful that he was willing to do a few solo's. Stéphan is a fantastic musician and a very warm and nice guy. The contradiction between Stéphan and the scary stuff in his Sector A UNDEAD videoclip just could not be bigger.
Stéphan jamming with AC/DShe 2015