SONNY CARSON (Gnostic) – I’m not sure if Endorsements help at all

SONNY CARSON (Gnostic) – I’m not sure if Endorsements help at all

Sonny Carson er opprinnelig gitarist i det tekniske progressive death metal bandet Gnostic, men har gjort som de fleste andre medlemmene i Gnostic og begynte i tillegg i Atheist i 2006. Han ble som mange unge inspirert til å begynne å spille metal etter å ha hørt Slayers "Reign in Blood" men har funnet sitt forbilde i Jason Becker. Siden Gnostic kom med sitt debutalbum nå i vår og Atheist slipper liveskive i sommer, måtte vi sjekke med Sonny for å høre hans bidrag til vår The G-String Series.


When did you start playing the guitar?

I started playing the guitar when I was 10 years old. My father had an old Kay acoustic that I was tinkering around with at the time. I then started playing the bass and moved back to the guitar after a few years.  

In what age and which band was actually the one that made you wanting to grab a guitar and start playing?

I was around 14 or 15 when I heard Slayers Reign in Blood and that perked my interest. My first influence was Black Sabbath and Foreigner 4 back when I was younger.

What actually makes a guitarist unique? Feeling or technique?

I would say both on top of several other factors. Listening to a wide variety of music styles would be the most effective I believe. You can get stagnant just listening to one particular genre of music.

Many people for example cannot stand Satriani…who is absolutely a master when it comes to technique!

Well my absolute favourite would be Jason Becker. I have a ton of other musicians on that list but he is the best in my opinion. 

What was your first guitar?

My first electric guitar was a Washburn which I was given from a friend. He liked the way I played so he just gave it to me. I'm not sure what the model number was.

Do you still have it?

Unfortunately not, I replaced it with a Fender Heavy Metal Strat.


Do you think that the guitarist is making the quality or maybe the equipment can do magic?

Sometimes it does. I adapt to what I'm using normally but sometimes you get that one piece of shit. In my case many lol.

What kind of equipment do you use? Guitars…pick ups…amps…?

Nothing other then Mesa Boogie for my amp equipment but I use Ibanez and Schecter for my guitars. I'd like to try others but haven't decided on getting something new at the moment. I use Dunlop picks .50mm nothing used other then those things really.

Do you use different equipment in the studio and different while playing live? If yes then what is the reason?

I used a POD for my solos only because our recording engineer suggested it. I don't think I'll use it again. I'm no great soloist either I just like coming up with new material for Gnostic.

Construct the guitar of your dreams…brand, pick ups, strings..everything!

I like what I have now but I love a guitar with no inlays It only confuses me when I play. I know that sounds a little backwards but I guess that's just me. I love a Fender neck minus the ugly looking headstock with 9 awg DR strings. The headstock would be a Schecter Diamond series and a standard C body. EMG pickups with 60's in the bridge and 81's at the neck. An original Floyd Rose bridge which is the main reason why I purchased the Schecter.

Now form the band of your dreams…with you participating of course…Which individuals you think would fit like a glove to your style?

Man that's a hard one. I would love to join Gorguts and I would be happy. There is so much talent out there but you never know who would fit like a glove.

Are you participating in the composing of your bands material or you're just a performer?

I'm usually the composer and ask for some input by the other guys. Unfortunately I haven't been able to spend time with the other guys so I usually come up with material and we all work it out together.

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?

I wouldn't even give it a thought unless I was really given a challenge. I'm not a real fan of cover bands at all but if its for the original band then most likely I would participate. Atheist being one of those bands.


Have you ever run out of ideas while composing a new album? How did you fight it? What was the solution?

Oh yes. That is the most frightening thing for me. I usually grab a drum rhythm and work on that on top of some classical listening. I get certain ideas some good some not but after a while I start to recover from it.

Do you have endorsements? Do you think endorsements are important for an artist?

I'm not sure if Endorsements help at all to be honest. I've never had one and I'm not sure who to work with. I have some ideas and putting together a promo is sort of a pain. I'll get around to it but I have what I need right now.

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!

Boy has it. My first band Severed was the most memorable. Right after our 3rd song we completely stopped playing in the middle. We then restarted the song which was probably the wrong thing to do. The other time was the first Atheist show in England. The airline lost our gear and we where stuck using unfamiliar guitars. I was given a 6 ft cord to play with on stage so the stack was right in my ear. Needless to say I wasn't able to hear a damn thing. I look back and laugh about it now.

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" by have him answering these same questions?

Punish? That would be Chris Baker ha-ha. We love making fun of each other and giving him any type of discomfort is a goal.