Hi! My name is Ilya, I'm from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. I was at your concert in Orlandina club, and it was amazing! I was wondered that you play on Washburn guitar, that's why I play on this brand of guitar too. But the sound of my guitar is very bad. I want to ask you, how I can upgrade the soun of my guitar by guitar-processors, amps, sound pickups and others..
Second question to you.. How do you think, what the skill must beginner learn first of all: technics, speed, rhytm-technics, solo-technics, or may be another skill?
Last question to you. What is the date of the European release of you new album??
I'll hope, that you will answer the questions, thanks in advance!Answer 1:
Good to hear from you! Yes I play a Washburn (usually the Nuno models (N4), etc. but I have also dabbled in using the idols and various other body shapes. Normally when I get asked a question like this one (IE how can I sUp up my guitar sound) I tell people that the sound of the guitar is of upmost importance. Now I am not sure what model, body shape, etc. you’re playing so it’s hard to know exactly what to prescribe for your problem. That being said a good way to change the sound of a guitar that’s not working for you is by changing the pick up. I have sworn by Seymour Duncan’s for years. The Jeff Beck pick up they make is probably the most versatile, all around good sounding pick you can put into a guitar. So that might be a good place to start. I have however been falling in love with the Bill Laurence pick ups that come stock in the Nuno model Washburns. If you love metal there is no way to get that better full on gain/dime sound then to use the Bill Laurence. Really there are a million pick up options you can try in order to get that sound your looking for. Sure changing the amps, and using different out board gear can help dial in that tone but make sure you starting from a place you like. Its really hard to make up for the tone of a guitar that is lacking, usually if you start with a good sounding (AND PLAYING) guitar your going to end up happier with your overall sound.
I think the most important thing to learn while pursuing guitar as an instrument is patience. You must be able to learn how to do things slow before you do them fast. Seems like common sense right? Well you would be surprised how often long time guitar players miss this point. Its so easy to get caught up in the speed wars or the glamour of shredding but the reality is if you don’t learn how to do things slow (and correct) before you can do them fast you will hit a wall with your playing ability. Patience, repetition, concentration and determination are all key factors in one become an Uber-Shredder!
The Worldwide release of The Eternal Return is June 23rd, 2009! Lets do this!Question 2 From - funky munky
What is the funniest thing to happen to you while out on tour?
Any really good spinal tap'esque type stories?Answer 2:
Ill never forget one time we had been on tour for like 6 months straight and we were really wearing on each other. The lead singer of DH and I were just having a bad day and we ended up getting into a yelling match about the next nights set list. It didn’t occur to us how ridiculous it was until the entire flight crew of the 747 we were flying to Europe on asked us to behave ourselves. See only, long tours, a few beers, and a few 8 hour flights in a row and you have yourself all the fuel you need for a real life SPINAL TAP!
- oh and I have amassed a few other good stories but none fit for print!Question 3 – From EdHead
who was that killer cool dude who helped you with your randall rig?Answer 3:
Steve Gill, Jody Dankberg, and all the good people at Randall have been awesome. See a lot of artists don’t realize that the BEST thing about working with companies that endorse artists is the knowledge you can gain. I have been lucky enough to get first hand interaction with people that design and build these amps and it’s awesome because it helps you understand them in a way that’s really organic. And when things feel organic with your gear don’t change s**t!Question 4 – From BlueBuddha
Do you set your own guitars up? i know on tour you probably have techs, but when your recording? Whats your set up like? Action height? String gauges? All the techy nerdy info please dude Answer 4:
Actually like most working guitar players I am my own tech. I have of course gone the route of employing guitar techs and although it is a luxury that I love its not always realistic. That means you have to know how you like your guitar to rock. Now I’m not going to lie when the dudes at Washburn set up my guitars they sound perfect and I am definitely not as good as they are. But I can for sure handle setting up my own little dude. I like 10 – 52’s because we tune to Drop C (I feel that gauge string with a properly set up Floyd is the perfect amount of tension and width. As far as action height, I like my low. Yeah as low as possible just that point right before you get buzzing on any of the frets. Don’t get me wrong I also like to leave enough room for the string to breathe so you still hear the full note, its just about finding that perfect balance. Oh and some people find it odd that I like really heavy pics (2.0’s). You have to be carful not to push everything sharp if your ripping on a Floyd but if you can find that balance of attack and pressure, that’s when I find the tone comes to life!Question 5 – From Junior88
My question for you is, when you were younger, who was your number one inspiration for guitar playing? And, whereabouts does your band come from?
Barracuda Strat Copy (awesome sound)
Art & Lutherie AcousticAnswer 5:
Well my main influences as a real youngster were classic players like Angus Young, Eddie Van Halen, and Randy Rhodes. Later I got into players like Dime, Zakk Wylde, Steve Via, and Paul Gilbert. I always love it when I can see the classic influence of any of those players in younger dudes. To me Dime took Eddie and made it metal, Zakk took pentatonic and made it badass, as for Via and Gilbert well, they took it to another world. I think it’s always important to try to keep changing and evolving as a player.
Darkest Hour hails from Washington, DC although we tour enough months out of the year that we’ve come to find the backstage room IS home, where ever that is!
Question 6 – From fs5150ii
I bought an isp pro rack g w/ stereo mod and its an amazing piece of gear but the only problem i have is that i bought when i use to have my 5150 and it had an effects loop but i recently the 5150 and bought a different head that has no loop thus making my $500 i wasted on the isp a complete waste. The problem i have with my new head is that theres background noise coming in when its on past halfway and i cant figure out how to take it away because of the lack of the effects loop. Any suggestions to solve this? I also use a 808 in the front as a clean boost btw.Answer 6:
Man this is a hard problem. For years I would always run Marshall JCM 800’s that almost never had effects loops. Background buzz, gain hush, and even intermittent radio was a constant noise problem. Combine that with the ever-changing club environments of the world and well you have a recipe for unwanted stage noise all the time. Now the decimeter is an amazing piece of gear, I use one myself and I believe it probably solved this problem when you had the 5150. But alas that magic piece of gear cannot save you now.
Sadly I never found a real good solution to this problem. Well not until I switched to using the Randall MTS heads. Yeah I know it reads like a commercial but for real it has 2 effects loops and this has completely solved my stage noise problem. Using the two loops I can choke one with my noise gate yet still let the other run the delays. So in essence it lets the delays wash over the gated noise and, presto! s**t sounds sick, no noise at all!
So that probably doesn’t help you if your just love the sound of that specific head so I will also throw in these following suggestions just from a dudes experience:
1. Check all the tubes
2. Make sure your using SPEAKER cables (NOT Guitar/instrument cables)
3. Make sure there isn’t any grounding issues with your rig regarding where it is always plugged in (for years I thought this head of mine had problems and it was just cause I never plugged it in to another OUTLET!)
4. Try backing off the gain and using a foot pedal you can turn on and off. (This is a technique I use whenever we fly in to other countries and the gear is totally random and rented. It allows me to get rid of stage noise (usually amplified by a lot of gain) but still get the tone I want when its time to shred) – s**t did I really use brackets inside of brackets!
Lastly I noticed you mention using an 808 on the front. Although they sound sick you may want to try changing out the pedal as well, there’s many different ones out there that may help you rock with a little cleaner overall signal.Question 7 – From the_high_number
I'll level with you, before this Q&A session popped up, i'd never heard of you or your band, and as such have never heard your music!!
if you could tell me to go listen to one of your tracks to get me hooked, what would it be??
I would suggest you check out the new Darkest Hour record “The Eternal Return” out June 23rd via Victory records. If you want to hear a free sample just check us out via our myspace: www.myspace.com/darkesthour
Its some pretty intense metal action so get ready to slay!Question 8 – From BlueBuddha
have you managed to convince your other guitarist to play washburn yet ? I only recently discovered Darkest Hour and really impressed by everything I've heard!Answer 8:
Actually Mike (AKA Lonestar) loves the Nuno’s too. We both used them all over the new record. In fact the only guitar that even stood a chance was another Washburn, a Southern Cross. Dude that Washburn is sick as s**t and Mike loves it too. You’ll seem him rocking that a ton. And I can say actually as of almost a year ago if you went to a Darkest Hour concert you would have seen us both playing WashburnsQuestion 9 – From Pike
Hi Mike, what Washies do you play?Answer 9:
Nuno N4 (Vintage) - Main
Nuno N6 (Black Finish / Maple Neck) – Back Up 1
Nuno N4 (Swamp Ash) – Back Up 2
I have also dabbled with a few USA Idols that I love. As well as a Paul Stanly Preacher that rocked pretty hard too!