CHARLY SAHONA – Erfaren debutant

CHARLY SAHONA – Erfaren debutant

Charly Sahona er til daglig gitarist i det franske bandet VENTURIA. Han er nå aktuell med sitt debut soloalbum kalt "Naked Thoughts From a Silent Chaos". Skiva slippes av Lion Music på nyåret og vi fant det derfor passende å dra inn Charly i vår G-String Series.


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

I started to play the guitar at 15, because I was fed up with studying classical music only. The other reason was because I was really touched by the versatility of the instrument. And I must say that I thought you look pretty cool handling a guitar.

I used to listen to a Paul McCartney live album called "Tripping the Live Fantastic" a lot and I was totally blown away by the guitars on this album.

Then I discovered the "serious guitar things" with Yngwie Malmsteen "Odyssey" and the Mr Big "Lean into it" CD's.  I couldn't stop listening to these albums and I knew at that moment that I really wanted to be a guitar player like my heroes.

There was a Steve Lukather guitar solo from the song called "Gypsy train" I was crazy about too.

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!

Both….But when you say "technique", it doesn't mean playing as fast as you can necessarily. You need to master enough technique to express what you want to play.

Having a great vibrato needs technique too, and many shredders don't sound good when it's about to play with feeling.

And of course some guitar players have a unique style because they have a unique technique too.

On the opposite, The Edge in U2 or the guitar players in Coldplay can play a whole chorus with 2 or 3 notes only and the magic is there too.

But in my opinion, what actually makes a guitarist unique is a mix of many things that includes technique, feeling, phrasing, sound, musicality and attitude.

Joe Satriani is the perfect example of the musician who plays with amazing feeling and technique as well.


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

My first guitar was a cheap Hohner ST-57 copy strat that I sold to the first student I had.

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

Equipment can help and is part of the magic but the guitarist is making it.

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?

I've been playing with Ibanez guitars and Line 6 equipment for a while now and I feel extremely comfortable with it.

I use RG 7 strings guitars 99% of the time. My amp is a Line 6 Vetta 2 combo: an amazing modern and versatile machine. I also use the Pod X3  when I have to play in smaller places. This way, you don't have to carry a lot of equipment, you just have to plug and find any kind of sounds you want.

During the recording of the last Venturia album and in my solo album as well, I tried different amps that weren't mine. As I use the reamping technique in studio, it gives you the opportunity to spend more time on the guitar sound as I already recorded the dry signal of my guitars at home.

There were some different amps in the studio and as I'm curious, I also did some takes with different equipments. Some parts were recorded with Mesa-Boogie, Orange and Engl amps in addition with my Line 6 products.

Live, I always play with the Vetta 2 or with the Pod X3. You cannot have more versatility with another brand.


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

I'm very happy with the equipment that I use. I feel pretty excited when Line 6 and Ibanez release new products.

I like Dimarzio pick-ups and 009-046 strings with a 058 for the low B-strings or 064 if I drop the B to A for an open tuning.

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

Same thing here, I feel extremely glad and proud to play with my bandmates in Venturia. Anyway, if I had to create the line-up of my dreams, it would be: Christina Aguilera on the vocals, Jordan Rudess on the keyboards, Virgil Donati on the drums, Victor Wooten on the bass.

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?

Yes, I do. I write 85 % of the music and of the lyrics in Venturia and I wrote the whole songs of my last solo album called "Naked Thoughts from a Silent Chaos". Writing songs is a natural process for me. More, it's like the air that I breathe, I just need it. Playing the songs somebody else wrote is not a problem for me. Every musical experience enriches you. If it's well done, it's always interesting.

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

Well, not really, Composing has always been easy for me. I feel like a sponge. I'm always eager to create and discover new music. So, everything that I hear whether it is a song, a sound or something I experienced in my life, everything gives me new ideas as I think about music most of the time. I always have some stuff to develop.

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

I've been endorsed by Ibanez, Line 6 and Slcw picks.

It can be helpful for the exposure.

But I know some musicians who don't want any endorsement as they want to be free to use any equipment they want at any time.


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!

Even if I was used to play the piano on stage since a very young age, my first gig as a guitar player was the worst gig ever for me. I was 18 and I was suffering from stage fright.

The music school where I was studying gave the students the opportunity to play a couple of songs live.

I was playing a Jason Becker song called "Eleven Blue Egyptian".

My hands were shaking and my fingers were numbed, it was a nightmare for me. That's one of the reasons why I decided to push my technique so far. As I realized I could only play at 20 percent of my possibilities on stage, I decided to work like a lunatic to increase my speed and stamina so my loss ratio on stage was lighter.

Another uncomfortable situation is to play on stage when you're ill with fever…It seems like minutes last forever.

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?

Well, I'll mention Steve Vai as a guitarist I admire. This guy is a genius, a great composer, great showman. His career is amazing. More, he's great in business and extremely good looking. Well, he's perfect.