Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X discussed his struggle with impostor syndrome after replacing Richie Sambora in the band.

The Canadian guitarist, once a member of Triumph, stood in for Sambora for a few shows in 2011. Jon Bon Jovi called him back when Sambora suddenly quit the band two years later. X has been in place ever since, becoming an official member in 2016.

However, in a recent interview with Masters of Shred (video below) he said it had taken him a while to shake the feeling that he shouldn’t be there.

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“When… you’re filling in for somebody, and somebody comes up and says or writes a comment, ‘That was my first Bon Jovi show, and it was Phil X,’ I feel bad, sort of,” X said. “I feel like, ‘Yeah, that should have been Richie.’”

He recounted an emotional moment for the band to illustrate his sensation of being an outsider: “[W]e were in Milan and we did the Stadium Bowl – that was my 30th or 40th show in 2013. [Fans] do this thing called choreography… you’re in a stadium and they hold up signs.

“So I saw, ‘Okay, over here is the Bon Jovi symbol.’ You go to another stadium, ‘This is a Bon Jovi symbol,’ and it’s usually just a section [of the crowd]. In Milan, it was the entire bowl.

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“All the front seats were holding up the Italian flag, and across the entire Bowl it said, ‘Bon Jovi Forever.’ It was the most amazing thing I ever saw. [I] never saw Jon stop a song because he was emotional – and he stopped.”

X’s own feelings were slightly less warm. “Now, you know what I was thinking? I was thinking, ‘This isn’t my moment, as amazing as this is. Richie should be here for this.’ … [T]o me, it was weird being the guy having a cool gig because of somebody else’s situation.”

Watch Phil X’s Interview

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Gallery Credit: Anthony Kuzminski

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