Orianthi: "I wanted to really mess with my sounds and try new stuff"

(Image credit: Joseph Llanes)

Not many of us can say we spent our formative years shredding out alongside such virtuosic legends as Steve Vai, Alice Cooper and Carlos Santana. Adelaidian rock queen Orianthi can, though – hell, her very first time on a stage outside the walls of her Anglican high school were with Mr. Vai, wailing out on her six-string as though she’d been doing it for decades (despite being just 15 years old herself). And in the 20 years since that faithful night, Orianthi’s hunger to kick down the barriers of the music industry and riff her way to the top has only intensified. 

On the outset, things may not look so hectic: she released her third solo album, Heaven In This Hell, in the early months of 2013, followed by a casual stint of world touring and a few lowkey side-projects like BeMyBand and a run playing alongside Dave Stewart. In 2017, she teamed up with Richie Sambora to debut the collaborative RSO project, which apexed in the 2018 album Radio Free America. But aside from those occasional blasts of off-kilter creativity, Orianthi has been almost alarmingly quiet.

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…