EYAL & EMIL (Daath) – Double Trouble
- by Rune
- Posted on 24-10-2010
Eyal Levi er eneste gjenværende originalmedlem i Daath og i dette doble gitaristintervjuet deler han sine tanker rundt gitaristyrket sammen med sin medgitarist i Daath, Emil Werstler. Her finner du ut hvem som er årsaken til at de begge begynte å spille gitar, du får lese om begges første gitar og hvem som fortsatt har denne. Emil droppet ut på en del spørsmål på slutten, men dette er likevel interessant lesning. Her er Double Trouble med Eyal Levi og Emil Werstler fra Daath i deres bidrag 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?
Eyal Levi – I was 13 years old and it was actually a friend of mine’s older brother that got me into playing guitar. He seemed so much cooler because of it that I was immediately interested. The first bands that really inspired me though were Guns N Roses and Megadeth.
Emil Werstler: I started playing at 12. There wasn’t really a band that put me into a serious mode of learning until I discovered Pantera. After that, I was committed to learning everything I could to be free enough to just play.
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!
Eyal Levi – Comparing guitarists of the highest caliber is apples and oranges- every individual is unique. Both feeling and technique contribute to a guitarist’s artistic output. It is impossible to quantify exactly how much of each matter to the overall uniqueness of a musician.
Emil Werstler: I think to truly be unique, there has to be a higher level of vision. There is a huge difference between "wearing influence" and just blatantly ripping off a sound or idea to fit in with the times. Everything eventually sounds dated; the question for me would be "Is the player unique enough to withstand the test of time"
What was your first guitar? Do you still have it?
Eyal Levi – I saved up one summer and bought a Fender Squire. The next summer I saved up enough money to buy a Les Paul Studio. In honor I destroyed the Squire. It was baby blue and a total piece of shit. I listened to Nirvana a lot at the time and wanted to feel what it would be like to experience that. I’ve since broken a few guitars out of my own stupidity and believe me, the feeling isn’t the same.
Emil Werstler – My first guitar was a 200 dollar Washburn Lyon. I played that guitar for years. Once I got another guitar, I realized just how badly the Lyon played. It is still floating around in a storage space somewhere…
Do you think that the guitarist is making the quality or maybe the equipment can do magic?
Eyal Levi – No matter if you plug straight into an amp, or if you have a rack full of effects with top of the line boutique amps, the fingers, ears, mind, and intent of the player are what makes the magic. How many times have you seen a guitarist plug into and amp with nothing else and literally send shivers down people’s spines? How many times have you seen a guitarist plug straight into an amp and sound so bad that a screwdriver in your ears would feel better? And how any times have you heard a guitarist with a rig that looks like a space ship plug in and sound horrible? And how many times have you heard a guitarist who knows how to use effects take you to new places in sound you never imagined? What I’m getting at is that it’s the individual making the magic. Tools are just tools.
Emil Werstler – This is the same reason why you have doctors and lawyers buying 10,000 dollar guitars but they can’t even play a note. If you can’t play well or sound good, no effect or new instrument can help you. Besides, a beaten up, worn in instrument is going to play and sound better, and that is a fact. Buying something new is just going to assist you in sounding stale. Just practice.
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?
Eyal Levi – The only reason that I use different equipment live and in the studio is because I’m not in a band that can afford to take the amount of equipment I would like. We would need a full crew and trailer. We’re not at that stage yet. My current live rig is a Fractal Ultra, A wireless system, and in ear monitors. I play my custom Ibanez Iceman with Seymour Duncan Distortion pickups. Ernie Ball strings and Dunlop Tortex pics. The goal live for me now is to be as efficient as possible while staying as true as I can to the original sound we captured on the record. The studio is a different story. The studio is a science lab for art and sound and I’ll use any gear I have at my disposal to get the job done.
Emil Werstler – I use a few different models of PRS guitars live and in the studio. I tend to stick to one thing to build ultimate character. On this latest Daath record I’m using a Bogner Shiva for all the leads, and I’ll be taking it out on the road as well. My goal is to have a great live rig that sounds amazing in the studio as well. The same with the guitar, which is why besides one solo, I used the exact same guitar on the whole album, with rarely anything but the neck pickup.
Construct the guitar of your dreams…brand, pick ups, strings..everything!
Eyal Levi – I already did. You can look at it here. http://birdovprey.com/. Click under Objects. I designed this with Jorden Haley taking the reigns with the art, and Emil Werstler giving me some advice on wood types. I had my own personal touches installed like an onboard saddle-mounted midi system as well as a killswitch. The Pickups are my Duncan Distortions. This is the first material possession I’ve ever owned that I have a sentimental attachment to.
Now form the band of your dreams…with you participating of course…Which individuals you think would fit like a glove to your style?
Eyal Levi – I’m not a dream band kind of guy. My dreams involve always creating new and incredible music sometimes with the same band and sometimes with one off projects. There’s many people I would love to work with but Paul McCartney and John Lennon are just a bit out of my league.
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?
Eyal Levi – I am an artist first, a composer second, and a guitarist third.
Have you ever run out of ideas while composing a new album? How did you fight it? What was the solution?
Eyal Levi- I never run out of ideas. I power through and a solution is always found.
Do you have endorsements? Do you think endorsements are important for an artist?
Eyal Levi – I endorse a few companies. Ibanez guitars, Seymour Duncan Pickups, Ernie Ball Strings, and Jagermeister. Endorsements are important for a few reasons. If you look to the classical world, many great up and coming players can simply not afford their instruments. A good violin can cost $100,000 and up. Most of these players receive instruments as charitable donations. In the case of developing guitarists the opportunity for help from a company can very much be the difference between them sounding professional and sounding like a local band. Usually before a band is signed their gear is complete shit and they NEED new gear to be able to at least have a chance at competing soundwise. As your career develops and you grow a relationship with a company it really opens doors for you. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. You get to have instruments of your dreams provided for you and they get the benefit of the audience knowing you use their products exclusively. The sun shines for everyone. Of course none of this is needed if you’re already independently wealthy.
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!
Eyal Levi – You can’t play as many concerts as I have and not have problems happen. Nothing has ever happened that has stopped one of our shows and none of us have died on stage so I’d say so far so good. If you expect that Murphy’s Law won’t affect your concerts, and you don’t prepare for the worst, then you may have some serious problems. We try to anticipate what may go wrong. For me the very worst concert experience was when I was dying of swine flu and I had to tell the band 15 minutes before a show that I couldn’t play with them. I had to go to the hospital. I felt so terrible about that. I felt like I had let everyone including myself down. What a letdown! Then they had to finish the tour while I was in the hospital. In addition to feeling horrible physically, the guilt was gut wrenching.
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?
Thanks again and good luck with your project(s).
Eyal Levi – These questions are not at all punishing. It is great to get to speak in depth about what I do; this has been a very refreshing interview. There’s many guitarists I admire but Trey Spruance and Brian May are at the top of my list. George Harrison may be hard to contact.
Emil Werstler – Jimmy Herring, Jimmy Rosenberg, Pat Martino, Zakk Wylde… a ton more. I’m into players that can push air and you can feel them through the amp. I also like players that play outside of a rock context. I like people that don’t have to have low action and a compressor on just to play what they composed. I’d rather listen to Jimmy Hendrix create a bunch of feedback and play out of tune…