ASHMEDI (Melechesh) – We have our own sound
Ashmedi grunnla Melechesh som et soloprojekt tilbake i 1993, men allerede året etter var andregitarist Moloch, bassist Thamuz og trommis Lord Curse på plass i noe som skulle bli Israels mest kjente extreme metal band. Ashmedi kjøpte sin første gitar, en Hondo Explorer Shape, fordi hans forbilde James Hetfield hadde en. Videre forteller han at det var thrashen som gjorde at han endte opp som musiker. Han forteller også at hans drømmeband består av blant andre Klaus Meine og Rob Halford på vokal. Les mer om denne utflytta israeleren i hans bidrag til 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 was 15 when I was fooling around with guitars. I think the thrash metal bands like Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth made me want to play guitar but I always loved the sound (also of the drums) and when I was into more extreme music I felt like composing."
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!
"I am more into guitarist with their own feel and style which i guess falls under technique. For example I never got into virtuosos stuff, at times it gives me earache . I never got into Malmsteen though I respect his skills. I prefer good riffs and elegant melodies or solos . I am mainly into riffs."
What was your first guitar? Do you still have it?
"I bought a Hondo Explorer Shape because James Hetfield had it, it was a Loss Explorer Shape or V. I bought it at a weird shop in USA for 70 Dollars. My family was not rich so I saved those from all my allowance and that is what I could afford then. I wish I still have it, I loaned it to some jerk who never returned it.
Do you think that the guitarist is making the quality or maybe the equipment can do magic?
"Give a great guitar to a bad musician and it will sound bad, give a cheapo guitar to a good musician and it will sound good, but give the good musician good equipment then music will sound great! I had a cheap Jackson and did many albums with it only modified tuning keys and pickup, but then I got some pro stuff it was very reliable like my Jackson KV2T USA, it’s great. Still my other Jackson is the one I like composing with."
What kind of equipment do you use? Guitars…pick ups…amps…? Do you use different equipment in the studio and different while playing live?
"I have 2 Jackson guitars and I am endorsed with them. My main Guitar is a Jackson KV2T, I use a Rocktron Voodu valve pre amp and a Marshall 100/100 poweramp, for live I use EMG 81 active pickup. On the album I change the pickup to a passive I used a Seymore Duncan zebra…, and directly connected it to a Marshall 2000 head for left and right guitars it gave an organic feel with lows and highs, but then recorded on top of it with left and right, Mesa Boogie dual rectifier to give sustain and loud output and mids. I feel my Rocktron / power amp EMG combo is reliable easy to use live. When I travel far away I don’t take my power amp I can use any amp with FX return and still maintain relatively same sound quality. The Rocktron also has a great noise gate. Fernandes will send me a guitar to try out I am curious. We also used 12 string electric guitars as main rhythm for some songs in the recording."
Construct the guitar of your dreams…brand, pick ups, strings..everything!
"Jackson Kv2t USa series EMG 81 pickup, sustaniac pickup but has 12 strings. Bronze, gold or Wood color."
Now form the band of your dreams…with you participating of course…Which individuals you think would fit like a glove to your style?
"We have our own sound, but would not mind having Tony Iommy on guitar, Tommy Lee on drums, Klaus Meine on vocals together with Rob Halford, Geezer Butler on 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?
"I write most stuff, yes. Sometimes it is good just to play good ol’rock’n’roll and not stress about details and compositions but in the entity of Melechesh I like composing the music I envision."
Have you ever run out of ideas while composing a new album?
"I have lots of ideas. However, yes, at times I don’t feel like composing, I try to seek inspiration for various things, philosophies, different music, like eastern meditative music and look to the roots of rock and metal then just jam."
Do you have endorsements? Do you think endorsements are important for an artist?
"Yeah, I do mainly Jackson, Vigier and Fernandes guitars. Some endorsements are useless, some are great they offer the artist services, supplies and such."
In all the years that you’ve been playing did something go totally wrong during a concert of yours?
"Nightmare show; my Rocktron’s power supply cable was not there, then it was found, then it started smoking up, I touched the Rocktron and got a nasty electric shock, meanwhile I tried to look as cool as possible, I had a delay pedal it fell apart, my strap lock broke, broke a string, used a borrowed backup as I did not get my backup that time, the backup had not strap lock, its strap got loose.. shall I continue? I toughed it out and finished the show. This is not usual and we have top gear and always backups but as they say – Murphy’s law!"
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).
"Hank Sherman and Micheal Denner, they both rock!"