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July 6, 2023

Nuno Bettencourt on the reaction to his Rise solo: “It’s that scenario that you fantasize about as a kid”


Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt has spoken about the unprecedented reaction to his solo on the band’s track, Rise.

Extreme released their latest record, Six, last month (9 June). Rise, the opening track, features a solo that impressed the likes of Brian May, Justin Hawkins, Phil X and a whole load more guitar greats and industry figureheads.

In a new interview with Total Guitar, Bettencourt addresses the furore that arose from his solo. “When Rise came out, we thought, ‘OK, decent song, decent guitar solo’, but the reaction that it got was something else,” he says.

“When Rick Beato posted his video breaking down the solo, and he’s saying that Steve Lukather’s calling, and his brother is calling and Phil X is calling saying, ‘Have you heard the Nuno solo?’ It was really surreal for me.

“It’s that scenario that you fantasise about as a kid. He’s saying things like, ‘Other than Eddie, he’s the guy!’ You’re like, ‘OK, hold on a second!’ I had people I admire texting me, like Phil Collen from Def Leppard, Brian May reaching out and talking about it,” he recalls. “You have to take a step back and go ‘What’s actually happening here?’”

If you need a refresher, you can check out the track below:

Bettencourt has been compared to the likes of Eddie Van Halen for his impressive guitar work, but the rocker has dismissed the label of being his “heir”: “There is no heir to the throne of Eddie Van Halen. Nobody sits on that throne. Nobody takes that throne.”

When Rick Beato broke down the solo during one of his YouTube videos, he warned learners to practise it for too long to avoid injury: “It’s hard to play, and if you are trying to play along, don’t practise it for too long because you’re gonna get tendonitis, because I think I got tendonitis just from trying to play it slowly here,” he said.

The full list of Extreme’s tour dates can be found here.