THE MAN…THE GUITARIST…THE BRAND

Phil Xenidis

better known as Phil X (born 10 March 1966) is a Las Vegas based Canadian guitarist.

Early beginnings (1982-1987): when Phil was 16 years old, he formed a band with a bassist Kevin Gingrich, drummer Scott Masterson and a singer Todd Farhood. The band was called Sidinex which is Phil’s last name spelled backwards. They played high schools and were opening up local shows for bands like Nazareth and Thor as well as shows of their own. When Phil was offered a gig with Frozen Ghost in 1988, the band called it quits.

An early opportunity in Phil’s career came when he was asked in 1990 to tour with Randy Coven, whom he met through Aldo Nova. In 1991, he toured the US with Aldo Nova, supporting Aldo’s new album Blood On The Bricks. While on tour with Aldo Nova he got the chance to meet and jam on stage with Jon Bon Jovi several times and that got him a session at Jon’s house with Bon Jovi himself and Tico Torres recording guitars for the song Levon to be featured in the compilation album Two Rooms.

In 1993 he  replaced Rik Emmett in the Canadian rock band TRIUMPH, for the Edge of Excess album and tour.

In 1994, Phil collaborated with Terry Brown, Doug Varty and  Rob Kennedy to form a short lived band, The Bushdoctors. They recorded one album, a self titled debut, now out of print.

In 1997 he decided he would leave Canada and move to Los Angeles, California where he became a prolific session guitarist. In true hollywood story style, one day Phil was painting the garage of a hot shot record producer and the next, trading the paintbrush for a Les Paul to play on Tommy Lee’s new project, Methods of Mayhem (MCA 1999). The new kid was on the block and had the heads a spinnin’.  Playing for Tommy Lee led to playing for Rob Zombie, who gave Phil’s phone number to Alice Cooper (Phil played on “Brutal Planet”, Spitfire Records 2000), while becoming the in-house guitar player for producer Scott Humphrey laying down some “X Magic” on Andrew W.K.’s “I Get Wet”, BT’s “Emotional Technology” and more recordings by Tommy Lee and Rob Zombie. Not only did Phil record “Brick House” with Mr. Zombie for the “House of 1,000 Corpses” movie soundtrack, he performed the Commodores’ smash hit live on The Tonight Show (Jay Leno) with Rob and Lionel Ritchie as well.  As Phil’s name began to crop up in more and more circles, names such as Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry, Chris Cornell, Orianthi and Adam Lambert were added to his credits with the list continuing to grow.

Although Phil X was known for playing in several rock bands, his real breakthrough happened via YouTube, when the vintage guitars shop Fretted Americana employed him to host a series of videos where the guitarist demonstrated some of the instruments in stock. There’s plenty of instrument reviews and gear demonstration videos on YouTube, but Phil X transformed his clips into a real show, not simply limiting himself to review the guitars, but showcasing his great charisma and larger-than-life personality. His mad guitar skills and fierce playing, combined with his sense of humor, transformed him very quickly into a YouTube sensation, generating millions of views for the channel and building a great international fanbase of music enthusiasts.

With that kind of exposure, it’s not surprising that Phil X would get the call to fill in for Richie Sambora in Bon Jovi while the band’s lead guitarist took care of some personal issues. Phil played the last 13 US shows of the 2011 Circle tour triggering rave reviews and the growth of his already expanding fan base. From April 2nd 2013 onward, Richie Sambora departed ongoing Bon Jovi 2013 Because We Can tour for unspecified “personal reasons”; Phil X once again replaced him, this time for the remainder of the tour. In 2015 he toured with the band again, playing sold out shows on mini Asia tour (9 shows from Sept 11th to Oct 3rd 2015).

Phil X was a co-founder of the Los Angeles-based turbo pop band Powder. Formed in 2001, they appeared to be a two-piece band made up of him and his then wife, singer Ninette Terhart. They released 3 albums: Sonic Machine, Powder and Nothing. The band called it quits in 2010.

Phil X is a co-founder and a frontman of The Drills, a three-piece band made up of him (as a guitarist/ singer/songwriter/producer), Daniel Spriewald (bassist/background singer) and a drummer (various). So far they’ve released 3 albums (Kick Your Ass in 17 Minutes, We Bring The Rock N Roll and We Play Instruments N Shit) and are currently about to release the next one Stupid Goodlooking due out in 2016 along a documentary Give the Drummer Some featuring the impressive drummers the band has used to record the various tracks on the album.