SYKELIG (Den Saakaldte) – A Norwegian Greek
Dette er det aller første i forhåpentligvis en lang serie med intervjuer der gitaristene skal i ilden. Første gitarist ute er en kar som opprinnelig er fra Athen i Hellas, men som bosatte seg i Oslo for et drøyt år siden. Gitaristen vi snakker om var kjent som Morpheas og han var frontmann i Naer Mataron. Nå går han under artistnavnet Sykelig og spiller gitar i blant andre bandene Den Saakaldte og Paradigma.
ET – When did you start playing the guitar? In what age and which band was actually the one that made you wanting to grab a guitar and start playing?
SYKELIG – I started playing the guitar back in 1992. Back then I was 12 years old. I guess the bands that actually made me to go and buy a guitar were Metallica and Manowar. I really liked those bands back then. I still like Manowar's latest works but I can't say the same for Metallica as well…unfortunately.
ET – What actually makes a guitarist unique? Feeling or technique? Many people for example cannot stand Satriani…who is absolutely a master when it comes to techinque!
SYKELIG – I agree with that. I can't stand Satriani or Vai etc…they are briliant guitarists but I can't say that I am a fan of their music. The individual that I CAN listen to his music and is a MASTER with the guitars is definitely Malmsteen due to the fact that his way of composing approaches a lot classical music. But anyway, in order to answer to your question, I think that a combination of both is the right thing. You need the technique in order to manage to express yourself the best as possible. I am not the best ever guitarist when it comes to technique but I guess I can manage quite well expressing the things that I have inside my mind and heart.
ET – What was your first guitar? Do you still have it?
SYKELIG – My first guitar was a Fender Squier. No I don't have it…I guess right now it must be somewhere in Athens…I hope still alive and kickin'!
ET – Do you think that the guitarist is making the quality or maybe the equipment can do magic?
SYKELIG – Equipment cannot perform music. It is the individual that makes all the effort. Still though the better equipment you have, the best potentials you get in order to perform something good. Good equipment expands your horizons as a musician. You can develop your way of thinking as a musician if you have good effects and good sound in general.
ET – What kind of equipment do you use? Guitars…pick ups…amps…? Do you use different equipment in the studio and different while playing live? If yes then what is the reason?
SYKELIG – I have a B.C. Rich Warlock with both bridge and neck Seymour Duncan pick ups, a Peavey LTD V-type Øneck-thru-body guitar with a Seymour Duncan dØual-blade ceramic neck pickup, a Les Paul Gothik neck-thru-body by Epiphone with an SH-8 Invader Seymour Duncan pick up and now I am expecting my custom guitar from Revenant. Also I have like 4 classic guitars and an Ibanez GSR200 bass. When it comes to other stuff I use the V-amp of Behringer and the always trust worthy solution of Boss' Metalzone. For an amp, I am thinking right now of buying a Mesa Boogie…it is not something completely urgent but it is quite necessary when it comes to rehearsals. For practising at home the V-amp does just fine. Personally I use the exact same equipment both in studio and during live concerts. I want to have the same sound so…
ET – Construct the guitar of your dreams…brand, pick ups, strings..everything!
SYKELIG – My dream guitar is actually being manufactured as we speak by Revenant Custom Guitars. Custom guitar, the Sykelig Ghoul neck-thru-body, with an SH-8 Red Seymour Duncan Invader bridge pick up and a black SH-2 Seymour Duncan neck pick up and a ØKahler hybrid tremolo in black. When it comes to string I use Ernie Ball or Blue Steel for years. I can't wait to get my hands on it. Hopefully it will be ready in like two months.
ET – Now form the band of your dreams…with you participating of course…Which individuals you think would fit like a glove to your style?
SYKELIG – I will basically name some of the pioneers of the 2nd black metal wave and actually I am quite lucky as I have co-operated with two of them. That would be Jan Axel aka Hellhammer on drums, Vicotnik of DHG on bass, Fenriz of Darkthrone on vocals and Ivar of Enslaved on guitars. That would be something!
ET – Are you participating in the composing of your bands material or you're just a performer? How important is it for an artist to be able to express himself? I mean, if for example you were in a band only for performing someone else's musical themes…would you handle it not participating…not being able to express yourself?
SYKELIG – When it comes to Den Saakaldte of course I am the main composer as Den Saakaldte is my creation. With Paradigma so far I have been just a performer for the live concerts we have done as we haven't started composing anything for a new album yet…I haven't at least because as far as I know Tom Kvålsvoll has already composed two songs. As for Nuctemeron, this band is Jan's main project and I am just participating as a bass guitarist. It is very important for a musician to be able to compose. For me music is like a doctor. It helps me to heal myself, express all the sorrow-hate I have inside me, so as not to burst it to someone I know and care or even towards myself. Definitely I experience this with Den Saakaldte and I feel relieved.
ET – Have you ever run out of ideas while composing a new album? How did you fight it? What was the solution?
SYKELIG – Sure…things like that happen mostly due to a lot of stress. I guess the solution is just to try to relax and to reconsider the reasons you have started playing music. After that looking the things you are experiencing in your life, always provide you feelings that you can transform into music…it works for me at least.
ET – Do you have endorsements? Do you think endorsements are important for an artist?
SYKELIG – My endorsement is Revenant Guitars from the United States. For sure endorsements are important for an artist as the artist is getting reliable and quality equipment that helps him in what he is doing, and financially also it is a huge breath.
ET – In all the years that you've been playing did something go totally wrong during a concert of yours? If yes, what was it? Please go ahead!
SYKELIG – Totally wrong…hmm…no, nothing extreme has ever happened. I guess the worst thing I have experienced on stage was in Italy back in 2004 at a festival in Milan. The temperature on stage was like 42 degrees… It was really horrible and i was feeling like i was about to melt. I really hope that i will not experience something like that again in my life.
ET – Ok then…thank you for answering these questions..One last thing now! Who is the guitarist that you admire or that you would like to "punish" him by answering these same questions?
Thanks again and good luck with your project(s).
SYKELIG – Hmm…I will try not to have great expectations…but still I will name two as i always enjoy exaggerating! The first would definitely be Dave Mustaine. I really like his way of playing and thinking when composing. The second one would be Ivar of Enslaved as I really like what he has been doing throughout the years. Thanx for the honor being the first one answering these questions. All the best Rune! Cheers from Oslo!