PAUL BAAYENS (Asphyx) – I already play in the bands of my dreams

PAUL BAAYENS (Asphyx) – I already play in the bands of my dreams

Paul Baayens er gitarist i Hail of Bullets og Thanatos i tillegg til Asphyx. Han spilte også i et band som het Cremation, men dette bandet ble oppløst i 2003. Han begynte å spille gitar som 15 åring og overraskende nok er det Michael Jacksons video av "Dirty Diana" noe han oppgir som en av årsakene til at han begynte å høre på metal. Vi i Eternal Terror har vært i kontakt med Paul siden Asphyx spilte under fjorårets Hole in the Sky i Bergen og han var selvskreven til å være med i The G-String Series.


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?

I really started playing when I was 15 or so. I was always into heavy/guitar music. This sounds stupid but back then I liked the guitars and video clip of Dirty Diana from Michael Jackson. Ha ha! Shortly after that I started listing to bands like ACDC, but somehow I did like to compose music by myself instead of covering bands.

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 technique!

For me it's definitely the feeling and the possibility to adapt and fit into the bands needs. I have seen bands with great guitarists, who want to be in the picture all the time by showing all the techniques and fancy stuff. At the end the audience is coming to see a big ego, but a whole band with some good riffings and songs.

Satriani knows and feels the balance between good compositions and techniques.

What was your first guitar? Do you still have it?

My very first guitar was an acoustic one. I got it from a guy next door. There were only 3 strings on it and 2 of them were the same. Actually I do have a recording/composition on tape with this guitar. I don't know anymore what happened to this guitar. It was damaged beyond repair so probably it's with somebody else.

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

Some guitarists I know try to make impression by buying expensive stacks, like insecure men with great, impressive cars. Ha ha! Of course it's hard to make your music sound good without good equipment .So it's necessary in a way. At the end you just have to find out what kind of noise you want to make. For example I use a complete different setting with Hail of Bullets and with Asphyx.


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?

For all bands I use boss pedals/multi processor together with Sennheiser wireless systems.

With Hail of Bullets I'm using a Marshall amp, boosted by Equalizers which I put in the send/return of the amp. With Asphyx I'm using two 200 watts transistor London City amps. Incredible, but these amps beat Marshall in the clean channels.

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

It's quite simple for me: just a BC rich or Ibanez with a brutal sound, not top heavy and with a nice shape.

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

To be frankly, I already play in the bands of my dreams. We have so much fun and all members have the same goals and aims so far. We're doing what we like to do: making good albums and set the stages together with the audience on fire. So musically speaking I am a happy man!

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?

With Asphyx I am mostly responsible of the new material. With Hail of Bullets all of us are composers. Of course I have a bit more feeling with my own songs when I play it, but playing others themes and techniques is cool as well. It makes the band complete as a team.

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

Sometimes when I'm too focussed to write new material, it can block me. The ideas are coming up when there isn't too much pressure. Most ideas for Asphyx I wrote spontaneously, after having a couple of beers late in the evening without amplification. When I've a writers block, I start playing other guitars which give me most of the time new inspiration. Or sometimes I start write a song with only drums and play there some guitars lines on top of it. But also the other band mates give me ideas which I work out. So there are a lot of possibilities for us to compose. Nowadays its lot easier to write complete songs on your own with the available software, but still the interaction between the band members is very important.


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

For Hail of Bullets I'm endorsed by Ibanez, which is pretty cool because I play Ibanez when I started playing guitar. Endorsements are interesting for both the artist as the brand I think. For Asphyx I use Bc Rich by the way.

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!

Sometimes it's not accomplish perfection and play every note 100% while banging your head off on stage and go wild. So far ordinary things have happened: other band mates stepping on my effect pedals or stepping at cables of others, who had to search for the plugs in the dark on stage while a large crowd was watching. At some wild shows my guitar heads has hit the heads of the bass player and the vocalist and caused bleedings. Bleed… The Brutal Way. Ha ha! During the Party San festival show I played a solo and tried to give the last 3 notes more body by using switching to the other pick up. Probably an internal cable was fucked up; these notes sounded so silly. It's even on DVD which came together with the latest Asphyx CD. The good thing is that people see and hear that there are no edits done during the mix; just pure, raw and typical Asphyx.