Interviews

SEGAS Interviews Pyotr Belov

Pyotr Belov has done a lot during his career and has become an important name in the amp building industry. Pytor is now head of Ampeg’s new GVT line and has played a role in many amplification projects ranging from Gibson to his own line of “Belov” amps. SEGAS got a chance to sit down with Pyotr and ask him a few questions about the new GVT line from Ampeg, his career, and a few other things:

 

SEGAS: First, we would like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us!  How long have you been working in the instrument/amplification industry where did you work?

Belov: Professionally it has been since 1988. I got my first start with Roscoe Guitars, and was there for 4 years. From there spent 3 years at Sadowsky Guitars (New York, NY), 3-1/2 years with Svetlana Electron Devices, about a year with SEGAS Musical Supply (Petaluma, CA), Belov Amps for 3-1/2 years, was with Gibson for 4 years and have been with LOUD Technologies (Ampeg, Blackheart) since April of 2007. So I guess you can say I’ve been around.

SEGAS: What made you decide to get into this line of work?

Belov: Ever since I was a kid, I was always handy and like to work with my hands especially with wood. When I was about 14 I had a desire to build a guitar before I even knew how to play one. At the time building one from scratch or buying a kit was going to be more expensive than buying one used. Once I bought my first guitar (Univox Gold Top Les Paul Copy with Mighty Mite Pick-ups and Brass Hardware) form Sam Moss Guitars (Winston-Salem, NC) the first thing I did was to take it apart. Same thing happened when I got my first amp. From that point on it was a slippery slope.

SEGAS: You’ve done a lot, worked with Gibson, Ampeg, and Blackheart. You’ve made your own line of Belov amps and you even used to work for SEGAS.  When you look back over all of the things you’ve done in this industry, what would you say is your greatest accomplishment?

Belov: Thanks for putting me on the spot. There are so many that come to mind. It would be unfair so single one thing over another. This is going to sound like a very vague answer…. However, there is nothing more rewarding as seeing players using the product that I have personally built or designed. If it inspires them to create, then that’s just icing on the cake. If to select one project that was great to work on from beginning to the end I would have to say the 2010 Heritage B-15. Working with George Metropoulos was great and getting Jess Oliver’s endorsement was just amazing.

SEGAS: What album is in your playlist at this moment?

Belov: The Gold Diggers. They are my old friends out of San Francisco, CA. My daughter requests them every time we get in the car. Check them out of Facebook. They just did four shows in four days in Austin, TX.

SEGAS:  Favorite record of all time?

Belov: AC/DC “Let There Be Rock”

SEGAS: What can we expect from Ampeg this year at SEGAS?

Belov: All New Ampeg GVT Guitar Amp Series. For those who may not know, Ampeg has serious history in guitar amplification arena. In 1961 Ampeg introduced Reverberocket. Besides being an amazing amp, it was the first production amp to offer Reverb. In the 70’s Ampeg rocked the guitar world with V Series. The Rolling Stones back line during that era was a wall of Ampeg amps. If you want the real Keith Richards tone for “Exile on Main Street” and “Sticky Fingers” just get yourself an Ampeg VT22 and you are right there with the vibe, the smell, the taste, the tone and most important the attitude. The thru the 90’s Ampeg rocked the VL Series. With such rich history it was just a matter time before we were back to take what was ours.

SEGAS: We’re excited about the launch of the new GVT line from Ampeg, tell us; what inspired this particular line of amps?

Belov: Basically the V Series. The V4’s, VT22’s, VT40’s were used on some major recordings and were part of major tours. We took the vibe, the attitude, the tone and used it as the inspiration and foundation for the GVT Series. We hope the new GVT Series will inspire today’s players same way the V Series inspired those from the 70’s.

SEGAS: How many different models will be involved with the primary launch of the GVT line?

Belov: All in all we are launching with eight new models (two heads, two ext. cabs and four combos):

Ampeg’s GVT5H all-tube guitar head delivers simple, sweet tone that ranges from the sublimely clean to the down and dirty. The tone and power of the GVT5H are much bigger than you might think, with 12AX7/ 6V6 tubes and two power modes (5W / 2.5W) with classic Ampeg looks and undeniable American tone.

Ampeg’s GVT5-110 delivers Ampeg guitar tone in an extremely portable combo perfect for rehearsal or small gigs. Two power modes (5W / 2.5W) and Baxandall EQ circuitry allow for a wider range of possible tones. Premium 12AX7 and 6V6 tubes, a 10″ Celestion speaker and a vintage Ampeg ’70s look complete this awesome Ampeg guitar rig.

Ampeg’s GVT15H guitar head delivers all-tube tone in a portable design with a vintage Ampeg ’70s vibe. Premium 12AX7 and 6V6 tubes push out flexible American tone thanks to Ampeg’s wide-bandwidth Baxandall EQ. With dual power modes (15W / 7.5W) and features like smooth spring reverb you get straight up Ampeg guitar tone every time.

Ampeg’s GVT15-112 is the perfect all-tube gigging guitar combo, with tone and portability to spare. High-end 12AX7 and 6V6 tubes, a 15W / 7.5W design and a 12″ Celestion speaker delivers the tone you need at any volume. Plus, you can really dial in your sound with an effects loop, spring reverb and flexible Baxandall EQ.

Ampeg’s GVT112E guitar cabinet delivers classic 70′s Ampeg looks in a road-ready design that delivers straight up tone. The 12″ Celestion Vintage 30 speaker beautifully handles up to 60 watts of power at 16 ohms. Perfect for any Ampeg GVT head or combo extension, the GVT112E offers true American tone.

Ampeg’s GVT112EW guitar cabinet delivers rich, full tone that only Ampeg can provide, featuring Ampeg’s double-baffle design for more low end. The 12″ Celestion Vintage 30 speaker beautifully handles up to 60 watts of power at 16 ohms. The GVT112EW is the perfect fit for Ampeg’s GVT52-112 guitar combo.

Ampeg’s GVT52-112 guitar combo is powerful, with a huge range of tones from clean with reverb to tube-soaked gain with attitude. The dual-channel, dual power (50W/25W) design with Baxandall EQ provides true flexibility while 12AX7/6L6 tubes and a 12″ Celestion speaker deliver pure American tone in a vintage Ampeg look. Straight up tone – GVT52

Ampeg’s GVT52-212 Guitar Combo delivers all-tube tone in a dual-channel, dual power mode (50W/25W) design. Featuring Ampeg’s Baxandall EQ circuitry, 12″ Celestion speakers, rich spring reverb, effects loop, 12AX7 and 6L6 tubes for classic Americas tone. The GVT52-212 is a workhouse that always delivers straight up Ampeg guitar tone.

SEGAS: Are there plans to develop more than this initial set of GVT amps?

Belov: Yes! Of course! Ampeg is serious about the guitar amp market just as much as the bass amp market. For years Bass players have been getting a lot of attention. So we want to share our love with the other side of the stage. There are a lot of players looking for new gear as inspiration. Ampeg GVT series offers players that extra edge. To experience it you just have to plug in and turn up. Ampeg GVT Series is just a first taste of what’s to come.

SEGAS: What, in your opinion, is the coolest feature of the new GVT line?

Belov: Baxandall EQ. Since the beginning, it has been a major part of Ampeg’s signature tone. The range and the independence of the Baxandall EQ will cover the traditional settings that a player gets from your traditional interactive style tone stack and can take them to extreme tone land that is not possible to achieve with traditional tone stack.

SEGAS: What other features will the GVT amps have in store?

Belov: To capture the vibe of Ampeg tone we chose 6V6 and 6L6 power tubes for true American tone. Yes I know historically V Series used 7027 and another popular tube for Ampeg was 7591. Since a true 7027 is not available, rather than having repined 6L6 as a 7027, we thought of the player and service tech and decided to give them user friendly 6L6 that is easily available. We took the same approach on 7591. The 7591 are great but we were able to get the same results with 6V6. As mentioned earlier the Baxandall EQ with wider bandwidth and more tone options than traditional designs. For speakers we chose Celestion Seventy 80 and Tube 10 for combo amps and Vintage 30 for two ext. closed back cabs. Each amp features full power (Tetrode) or half power (Triode) setting that is selectable thru a 3 position Full Power/Standby/Half Power Switch and a dual color jewel light. When the amp is on and in Standby mode the light is red. When it is in Full or Half Power Mode the light turns green. This is a great feature for a dark stage. Vintage look with black-line faceplate and black sparkle grille cloth that pays homage to old Ampeg and resembles our US built Heritage Series. And of course with a brand like Ampeg our customer expects a rugged, road-worthy build quality.

SEGAS: Are there going to be some models for demo at SEGAS?

Belov: Yes, at the show we will have for full demo GVT5H, GVT5-110, GVT15-112, GVT52-112, GVT112E and my personal favorite GVT112EW.

SEGAS: We have heard that you personally played a role in the design of these amps, what was your contribution on this project?

Belov: I was the lead but it was a team effort. The circuit design team for GVT were Rob Riggs our Analog Engineering Manager (responsible for designing Ampeg Micro VR and was also played a big part in test Heritage B-15 project), Dave Wood our Senior Design Engineer (one of the original designers for Neve Flying Faders) and myself. As an Ampeg product we had a pretty solid foundation and clear vision for what GVT was going to be. Besides capturing the legendary Ampeg tone, the key was to design it and build it like a tank, so it would live up to Ampeg’s name and reputation. The three of us had some seriously late night session into the early morning hours working on this project. Besides working with the team on tone circuit I was making sure everything was over specked and over built. From, 2 ounce cooper double sided 1.6mm PCB, to over specked components, to 16 gauge folded and welded chassis to void free birch ply to speaker selection and so on. We really hope the customer will recognize our efforts.

SEGAS: What types of players would get the best use out of the GVT amps?

Belov: Tone junkie looking for a tone fix. Seriously, players who have plugged into GVT amps found immediate inspiration to play riffs they have not played before or have not played in years. The amps talk to you.

SEGAS: How versatile would you consider these amps to be?

Belov: Very. Seriously, rather than me trying to tell you how great they are, blah, blah, blah…. Please take the time to find an Ampeg dealer to play test one for yourself. Or if you are planning to be at the SEGAS, please stop by to see me.

SEGAS: Can we expect to see a line of extension cabs to accommodate the GVT amps?

Belov: At the moment we have GVT112E and GVT112EW. I really encourage the players reading this to check them out. The GVT112EW is a tone monster that was inspired by the legendary B-15 Protaflex design. And yes we have more in the works that will be released later.

SEGAS: Is there a slated release date yet?

Belov: The GVT should hit the streets in late September or early October.

SEGAS: What else will Ampeg be bringing to this year’s SEGAS?

Belov: GVT is our main focus for the SEGAS

SEGAS: Great!  We can’t wait to see you guys there!  Thanks again for taking the time to sit down and do this interview with us!

 

 

 

 

 

September 13, 2011 in 2011,Interviews,News | Comments (1)

SEGAS Interviews Paul Ebersold

Grammy award winning producer and engineer Paul Ebersold has worked with an ever-lengthening list of A listers including but not limited to 3 Doors Down, Al Green, Chuck Levell, Sister Hazel and many more.  Paul is going to be running a clinic on his method of recording guitar (presented by 3rd power amplification) this year at SEGAS!  SEGAS got a chance to ask Paul a few questions about his career, the industry, and some other cool stuff.

SEGAS: We would like to first thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us!  How did you first get into producing?

 Ebersold: In my family, I was really the only one musically inclined. So I was kind of the weird kid. “Look at Paul, he can play piano/guitar/whatever with no lessons!”

The thought that music could be a career was just not a thought that occurred in anyone’s mind, much less producing. No one knew what that was, even myself.

But I somehow understood why “When the Levee Breaks” and “La Grange” worked. I realize these are iconic, perhaps cliché, songs to some people, but to me these songs were defining, and intensely so. I think I was 12 when my aunt gave Z4 and Tres to my older brother for Christmas. He listened 5 times.  I listened 500.  I was literally sucked in. I had no choice. I could not stop listening. I just knew.

 SEGAS: Did you go to school for this or did you simply gain knowledge via experience?

 Ebersold:  Mostly experience, although I took a few classes for engineering.  At the age of 26, (working for my father, on a drafting table, )  I heard that the University of Memphis had opened a Commercial Music Program, and they had a recording studio.  This major at a University made me think that music could be more than just a hobby. So I went back to college…. and failed the Music Production class. I thought, “I think I can do this.”  So I started my own studio. In a year, I was offered a job at the legendary Ardent Studios.

 SEGAS: How long have you been working in the music industry?

 Ebersold: Since 1988

 SEGAS: How did you get hooked up with 3rd Power?

 Ebersold: My day to day engineer, Scott Hardin comes in one day and says “I met this guy at lunch. We were talking about amps. He says he has an amazing one.”

Well, we hear this a lot, and try out quite a few.  And frankly, after a few days we just go back to the JCM 800, Plexi, Vox , Super Reverb, and the early Mesa’s, etc., because the new amps don’t measure up. Anyway, I call Jamie and he calmly tells me about his amps. He isn’t trying to sell me. He just is stating facts. He invites me over to check them out. So I go.  I mean, I went through his amps and really tried to find weak points in them but I simply could not. They really excelled in a way I cannot explain.  You just have to hear for yourself. I finally have a great Plexi that goes to 19.

 SEGAS: What is it like to win a Grammy?

 Ebersold: Humbling and very cool.

 SEGAS: Looking back from where you are now to where you started, what, if anything, would you do differently?

 Ebersold: Not much. Maybe stick to my instincts more.

 SEGAS: Are you looking forward to this year’s SEGAS?

 Ebersold: Are you kidding?

 SEGAS: For the folks who will be reading this pro tools and the like are a bit too digital.  In the respect of an entirely analog studio what would you say is the single most important item?

 Ebersold:  as far a guitar is concerned…. first, the player, second, the pickups/ guitar, third, the tone coming from the amp. Next, Neve mic pre’s and EQ. Then  appropriate compression / tape. The compression varies depending on the tone and the part, (as does the eq.)

 SEGAS: Any other secrets you could share with our readers?

 Ebersold: I try to go to 16 track 2″ and back to pro tools with all my drums, bass and guitars before I mix. And I try to add a little natural room sound to all guitar tracks when I record them.

 SEGAS: What can we expect from your SEGAS clinic this year?

 Ebersold: My point of view on how to record great tone. Perhaps some pointers on how to get great things out of your guitar players.

 SEGAS: Which project have you had the most fun working on thus far in your career?

 Ebersold: In 1989, I kind of met up with this kid named Eric Gales and his brother Eugene. We were writing and playing this crazy, sick psycho heavy blues. Hubert Crawford was the drummer and he was just like Bonham behind us. Then the “Screaming Cheeetah Wheelies” in 1993. Those guys were amazing. I recorded them pretty much live in the studio, everyone at once.   Just a few fixes to the take and move on. Mike Farris was the singer. The first 3 Doors Down album was fun.  Everything I engineered for Jim Dickinson. I learned so much from Jim.  Miss him dearly.

  SEGAS: What do you feel about the path that mainstream music trends have taken on the production side of things?  (For example, the extremely popular usage of auto-tune, digital correction, and drum replacement.)

 Ebersold: Well, I will tell you that I like singers and players that are the real thing.  There is nothing like it. Even if they aren’t yet at the top of their game, it is honest and real.  I have recorded Al Green and Mavis Staples on the same mike at the same time.  Jimmie and Stevie as part of a rhythm section with Chuck Levell. Incredible.  But, Lil Wayne uses technology in a good and creative way, and I respect good music.  I don’t like having to use AT and BDetective on my artists because we are short on time. I would rather have the time to rehearse them and help them to become better rather than “fix it” for them in the computer.

 SEGAS: What album is in your cd player/playlist right now?

 Ebersold: Leslie.

 SEGAS: Favorite album of all time?

 Ebersold: Holy crap. There are so many…

 SEGAS: What piece of advice could you give to that kid who wants to be you one day?

 Ebersold: Don’t be me, be you. Make an honest assessment of your skill sets. Listen and learn from others. Know how to be wrong.  Always improve.  And being rude, mean or arrogant NEVER gets you what you want.

 SEGAS: We would like to thank you again for taking the time to do this interview with us!  We can’t wait to see what you and 3rd Power amplification has to offer this year at SEGAS!  I know that I will most certainly be attending your clinic.

 

July 19, 2011 in Interviews,News | Comments (0)

SEGAS Interviews Greg Howard

Greg Howard has been a touring guitar tech for the last 12 years.  He has worked with such artists as Aerosmith, Green Day. Linkin Park, Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes, Daryl Hall & John Oates, The Verve Pipe, Cry of Love and many others. On the road experience in gear selection, setup and onstage troubleshooting of guitar rigs. Responsible for the daily restrining, tuning, intonation and maintenance of touring guitars. Greg is a self-professed gearhead and tone seeker.  Greg is one of the 3 Monkeys of “3 Monkeys Amplification” a Vendor and Sponsor of this years SEGAS!

SEGAS:  We would first like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview!  How long has it been since your last interview?

Howard: A couple of weeks, I just did one for Jay at woodytone.com

SEGAS: How long have you been working in the music industry?

Howard: Almost 25 years now, since 1987.

SEGAS: How did you first get started in the business?

Howard: I started managing a record store right out of college, then I worked in the office of the two biggest music stores in the Triangle.

SEGAS: What inspired you guys to start 3 Monkeys?

Howard: I was going to start a company by myself. One day I was talking it over with Ossie (who was doing Blockhead Amps at the time), and he suggested we do something together. Being a big fan of his amps already, I said yes. Later we went to dinner with Brad Whitford  and he said he wanted to be a part of the company also.

SEGAS: Being that we all here are SEGAS are sound junkies, what advice could you give for finding that perfect tone?

Howard: Try out as much stuff as you can. We constantly try new things at the shop, whether it be a vintage amp, a new guitar, pickups, etc.

SEGAS: If you had one piece of advice to give to all the folks out there looking into building their own amps, what would it be?

Howard: Don’t. Ha. Seriously, if someone wants to do it I say read as much as you can on the subject, and make sure you have the skills to build an amp. You have to be careful, as the voltages inside a tube amp can be deadly, that is no joke.

SEGAS: 3 Monkeys will be at SEGAS this year, what kind of cool stuff can we expect to see from you guys this year?  Are we going to see the new “Virgil” amps?

Howard: We’ll have a plethora of amps in various colors again and I am working on a cool booth design. We will definitely have the new Virgil and Grease Monkey II models on hand.

SEGAS: What kind of things would you like to see 3 Monkeys accomplish?

Howard: I’d like to continue growing the company each year, adding new models and keeping the brand fresh and fun.

SEGAS: As a person in your position, how do the challenges of being one of the 3 Monkeys differ from those involved with being a tour tech?

Howard: 3 Monkeys is a creative outlet for me, whereas touring is more about doing the same thing every day, just in a different place. I enjoy both, neither really seems like a ‘job’, but these days I prefer to be home and working on 3 Monkeys.

SEGAS:  3 Monkeys won “Best Amp Head” last year at SEGAS, any projections for this year?

Howard: We hope to win a “Best of” again!!

SEGAS: Which aspect of this year’s SEGAS are you looking forward to the most?

Howard: I enjoy meeting and talking to players, seeing friends in the business, and hopefully turning new people on to 3 Monkeys.

SEGAS: Again, we would like to sincerely thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us!  We’ll see you guys at show time!

 

 

July 15, 2011 in 2011,Interviews,News | Comments (1)

SEGAS Interviews Ed Yoon

Ed Yoon has been in the music industry for over 20 years, Starting with Fender in the early 90′s and ending up working with The Aristocrats, this years headlining entertainment for SEGAS!  SEGAS got a chance to speak with Ed and ask him a few questions about music, the industry, SEGAS, and a few other things!

SEGAS: We would like to start this thing off by saying thanks for agreeing to this interview! Do you get asked to do many?

Yoon: Thanks for asking me to do an interview! Not sure that I’m worthy but I’ll try my best. I’ve done a few interviews in the past and thought it was fun.

SEGAS: How long have you worked in the music industry?

Yoon: I’ve been in the industry exactly 20 years now. I started my career in this industry at Fender in the early summer of 1991.

SEGAS: Did anyone in particular influence your decision to make this your life?

Yoon: Not anyone in particular. I felt it was simply a calling that I needed to answer. Without rhyme or reason, I just knew that this was the industry that I had to work in.

SEGAS: What advice can you give to anyone who may be interested in getting into a relative line of work?

Yoon: I think the most important thing is balancing the passion one has for music with the grim reality of making a living and putting food on the table. It’s not an easy industry to make good money in. In fact, it’s a very difficult industry because so many people want to be in it but the amount of money going around isn’t as much as people think. It’s the old supply-and-demand equation. Generally speaking, there’s more supply in this industry than demand.

Still, it’s my thought that one should be in this industry for the pure love of it. If the primary goal is only for the purpose of making money, I’d look elsewhere myself. But money has never ever been the main factor during my career. For me, it’s always been about doing something I really love and truly believe in. Money can never replace that. Over the course of my 20 years in this industry, I’ve always had problems with people who are purely driven by nothing but the desire and goal to make more and more money. I can’t relate to that way of thinking. It certainly isn’t what drives me to do my best. Life is short. Might as well make fun a major part of it.

Call me idealistic or whatever, but it has to be fun first. Do what you really love and do a great job at it. Money will then follow naturally. Still, this is a business and you have to be good at it as well if you’re going to have a successful career. For instance, I follow the tech industry with a passion – kind of like a football fanatic following his favorite NFL team. I learn a lot about business strategies, tactics, and marketing ideas through it and, again, it’s a lot of fun.

My new job managing the Aristocrats is the ultimate extension of what I’ve been striving for in my career. So my advice is to find what you really love to do and then do whatever it takes to be damn good at it. Make it fun. I love to plan and execute with a long-term vision in mind. When it’s fun, everything becomes that much easier.

SEGAS: Times have been hard everywhere with the present economic situation the world over, most industries have taken some fairly substantial hits; the music/instrument industry seems to still be thriving and growing. In your personal opinion, why do you think that is?

Yoon: From what I’ve been able to gather, it seems the music and MI industries have taken a sizable hit from the Great Recession. But it’s true a certain segment of the industry has done quite well. A good example is how successful Suhr has been over the past few years after the real estate bubble burst and the recession hit. In fact, Suhr’s growth accelerated while many other guitar companies have been laying people off and cutting back production. Excellent and consistent product quality with superior customer service that Suhr provides with some marketing buzz surrounding the brand means the company will do just fine even in the most difficult economic environment.

The music industry is mature with a long established base. Compared to, say, the high-tech industry it moves or changes at a glacial pace. Music is here to stay. Good music (and good instruments) won’t go obsolete in a year or two like high-tech gadgets. I think a lot of people find that very appealing. In a way, music is a way to get away from the dizzying technological developments we have to deal with day-in and day-out. People simply need music like they need food and shelter. It really is like food for the soul. It’s a release from all the daily routines and problems we deal with in everyday life. People simply need music and I don’t see that ever changing.

SEGAS: How do you like working with a virtuoso like Guthrie?

Yoon: Hmmm… I can actually write a book about this! Perhaps I will someday when it’s all said and done. But to put it succinctly, it’s really an honor and I consider myself very fortunate to have met Guthrie and having this opportunity to work with him. He’s also a good friend and a genuinely humble and nice person. There’s a lot more than things about music and guitar playing that I learn from Guthrie. We often talk more about non-music kinds of stuff than this industry because we are both interested in a lot of different things – culture, history, sciences, literature, travel, etc. During our travels, we’ll talk for hours on end about such subjects.

SEGAS: What album can you just not stop listening to right now?

Yoon: The new Aristocrats album, of course! But besides that, I’m very eclectic in my musical tastes and need a constant rotation of different kinds of music ranging from classical composers like Wagner and Mahler to techno-pop like Imogen Heap and Squarepusher. I actually listen to very little guitar-based music. Guthrie has introduced me to a lot of great music that I would not have found out on my own – for instance, the Indian slide guitar player Debashish Bhattacharya, jazz singer Rachelle Ferrell, bassist Richard Bona, electronica band Venetian Snares, violinist Kanako Ito and on and on and on.

SEGAS: What is your “guilty pleasure” album?

Yoon: There’s a part of me that loves some old sappy pop, so I have a lot of “guilty pleasure” albums in my iTunes library. If I had to choose one right now, it’s Donna Summer’s ‘On The Radio’ greatest hits compilation.

SEGAS: You used to work for Suhr, that must have been a demanding job, how do the challenges differ between your past occupation and your current job of managing the Aristocrats?

Yoon: Yes, the Suhr gig was quite demanding and the workload was overwhelming at times because there is just so much to know and be on top of. Managing the Aristocrats is quite different from marketing and selling high-end guitar gear but the overall principles are the same. I really enjoy this new challenge and am learning a lot very quickly. The main difference is that Suhr is a gear manufacturer and the Aristocrats creates and markets music through the recorded medium and live performances. I’m much more interested in music than gear at this point in my career.

SEGAS: What instruments do you play and how long have you played them?

Yoon: I’ve played the guitar on and off for around 25 years now. I went through all the phases of practicing 6 hours a day at one point and being a total gear nut in the past but that’s all ancient history now! I learned piano for a while as a little kid but couldn’t stick with it. I really wish I had continued learning the piano. It’s one major regret I have in my life.

SEGAS: We all here at SEGAS are completely amazed by Guthrie’s level of skill, do you know any of his secrets to success?

Yoon: Well, I’ve attended many of his master classes during the clinic tours over the past several years and I can confidently say that there are no “secrets” involved to his success. It all comes from his genuine love of music and being dedicated to his art and craft. Of course, there’s amazing talent involved here but passion and hard work played a major role as well.

He also experimented a lot on his own and played along to records rather than practicing scales over the beat of a metronome. For Guthrie, it’s all about having serious fun with music, not trying to raise the BPM practicing patterns of playing 16th note triplets and things like that. He looks at music as a language and a form of communication. All the mechanics involved like technique, music theory, gear, etc. are just a means to an end, not an end in itself.

SEGAS: Are you excited for SEGAS this year?

Yoon: Yes, I’m very excited. I’ve been to Raleigh only once before for a Guthrie summer workshop at Paul Warren’s Raleigh Academy of Music back in ’09, so it’s great to go back with this amazing band and put on a show to a larger audience. It’ll be a lot of fun.

SEGAS: What kind of plans does Guthrie have for the future? Any big stuff on the horizon we can look forward to?

Yoon: At this point in time, the Aristocrats band is the focal point. We’ve got a lot of big tours in the works. We’re going to cover every corner of the globe because fans of Guthrie and this band are literally everywhere – from Australia to Sweden and from Korea to Brazil and from Seattle to Miami and all points in between. And we’ll try to find time to record another studio album in between the tours next year. I’m sure a live DVD/CD will result from one of these tours as well. There are just so many things to do and every project is very fun and interesting.

As far as Guthrie, I’m sure he’ll also work on his second solo album at some point in between the tours as well. When Bryan and Marco have other side projects going on, Guthrie should be available to do master class tours as a guest lecturer at music schools and institutions. But, right now, getting the Aristocrats album out and touring as many places as possible are our top priority. We’re at the beginning of what I’m sure will be a long and amazing musical journey for Guthrie and the Aristocrats. Stay tuned. We’re going to go all out and, hopefully, leave a lasting legacy.

SEGAS: Again, thanks so much for your time! We can’t wait to see you this year at SEGAS!

 

July 13, 2011 in 2011,Interviews,News | Comments (0)