ETHAN LANE (Lecherous Nocturne) – Art does not exist without self-expression

ETHAN LANE (Lecherous Nocturne) – Art does not exist without self-expression

ETHAN LANE is one of the guitarists in the American death metal band Lecherous Nocturne. Four former and current members of Nile are or have been members of Lecherous Nocturne and the music is by many described as brutal and technically brilliant. Ethan joined the band in 2009, but began playing guitar at nine years old. He has much to share with us in his contribution to The G-string Series, so this interview is well worth reading.


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?

My dad showed me a couple of chords when I was about 5 years old, but since I was also very heavily into piano lessons at the time, I didn’t really start learning guitar in earnest until I was 9 years old. I was always fascinated by musical instruments as a child and had already wanted to learn the guitar, so of course the fact that my dad owned a guitar and would play every once in a while was a huge influence on me. In addition to that, I grew up on all my folks’ old favorites (you know, The Beatles and a whole host of other "oldies" and classic rock stuff) But there was a specific moment that I clearly remember that somehow triggered an instantaneous and feverish desire to play guitar (in two parts, actually). The first thing that happened was I was walking through the house, and the PBS special called "Songs of the Civil War" was on TV, the folk guitarist Ritchie Havens was just strumming his heart out on a Martin acoustic, and something just clicked… I literally walked into the next room that very minute, grabbed my dad’s guitar, and never put it down from that moment forward. That was when the guitar bug really bit me for the first time. The other momentous event in my guitar playing history happened shortly after I started and fuelled my desire to get into electric guitar. I heard the opening guitar riff to the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Up Around the Bend", and became obsessed with the supreme sound of the distorted electric guitar (an obsession that continues to this day). You can imagine that it didn’t take me long to get completely sucked into Metal, as the fundamental building block of Metal is the distorted electric guitar.  

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!

You can sit back and list a bunch of things like "feeling" or "technique", but none of those things by themselves are what makes an artist unique. Technique and feeling are merely examples of "devices" a good musician/artist should already have at their disposal in order to properly convey the end product (the actual music). How a musician applies these devices is what matters. It’s not the "what", but the "how".

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

My first guitar was actually my dad’s guitar (the one I learned on) – a hand-made Brazilian nylon-string classical guitar (Del Vecchio). I do still have it…It became mine after my Dad passed away, and it is still one of the most beautiful sounding guitars I’ve ever heard. (How my dad came to acquire it is a whole other story though, as they were not exported and rarely found their way out of Brazil)  My first electric was a cream-colored Squire Stratocaster, which I also still have (Though, It hasn’t had strings on it for well over 10 years though, haha) 

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

Poor quality equipment certainly can be a hindrance to one’s playing, and flashy effects/equipment can certainly cover-up mediocre playing (it happens all the time), but a good musician shouldn’t need a bunch of gimmicks to deliver a quality performance. Equipment and/or effects should be used (if at all) to merely accent quality playing that is already magical.


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?

My two main guitars are a USA Jackson KE2 Kelly (With the standard passive Seymore Duncans in it) and a B.C.Rich Deluxe Warlock with EMGs (81 and 85). Both guitars are neck-thru of course. The rest of my rig is an old 2-channel Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier for amplification, and it’s going through a Vader full stack (Eminence speakers). The only additional piece of gear is a simple Boss noise-gate, and whatever cables are required to plug it all together…that’s it. I wouldn’t even use the noise gate if it wasn’t totally necessary. We use the same gear in the studio as we do live, but we choose the best combination of our collective live rigs to produce the best sound. For example, on "Behold Almighty Doctrine" we found that the best setup for the record was Kreish’s Triple Rectifier going into one of my Vader cabs. (his Vaders have Celestions in them, I believe) And I used my Jackson KE2 on the record as well.

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

I pretty much already have the guitars of my dreams… See above.

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

Once again, I have to say that I feel like I’m already in that situation. I’m very grateful for the other guys in Lecherous… we’ve all had a long, difficult journey to get to this point… the cosmos has brought us all together for a reason and we all complement each other’s style very well. Though, I have to admit I’ve always thought it would be great to work with Ihsahn (Emperor).

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?

Absolutely, yes, I am involved in the composition of our music. Composition is one of the primary reasons I play music. I think that statement alone gives my opinion on how important it is for artists to express themselves. Art does not exist without self-expression. Even if you’re in a band solely as a "hired gun" there are still ways you can find to express yourself.   


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

Of course everyone runs into a wall when composing from time to time, but things like meditation, collaboration with your bandmates, serious thought, work and rework… sometimes you just simply have to put it down and walk away for a while before the answers become clear.

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

We have a few low-level endorsements, nothing fancy…BC Rich and Vader cut us a break on equipment price, and cost savings are definitely a much appreciated benefit when finances are tight.

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!

Seldom is a show played where something, however small, doesn’t go wrong. And of course, problems can only happen during the show if you can even MAKE it to the show:  Radiators blow up in the desert, wheel bearings melt down at 4:30am in a foot of snow, (Speaking of snow, don’t forget treacherous white out blizzards in the mountains with 30-50 ft drops on either side of the road…and your trailer keeps sliding off the edge even though you’re going only 15 mph), border-crossing nightmares happen, band members suddenly disappear, everyone has a 100+ degree fever (where every time you try to blow your nose, it looks like a maxi pad), and sometimes, you’re staring down the barrel of a gun… On top of all of that, we’re our own drivers, guitar/drum techs, vehicle mechanics, and roadies, so there’s nothing at all (not even a tour bus) to shield us from the plethora of problems waiting to devour us out on the road. 

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?

Put some names into a hat, shake it up, and pick one… (no metalcore "guitarists" though) And thanks for your interest!