DIOGO BASTOS (Satyricon)
Diogo Bastos from Luxembourg have been a live guitarist in Satyricon since 2013. He is also a member in the band Scarred. Diogo was challenged by one of the girls in the Dutch band Dictated (Sonja Schuringa) and he replied promptly with great answers to all our questions. Here is Diogo Bastos from Sayricon and his contribution to 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 started playing the guitar in the christmas of 2002 at the age of 15. I always wanted to be a drummer actually, deep down I’m more of a drummer than guitar player. When my parents got divorced I had to move to an apartment making it impossible for me to own a drumkit. I remember very well how frustrating that was! Not long after I moved, I made a friend at the time that owned an electric guitar and that’s where I got to play one for the first time. I liked it but it isn’t what made me want to own one. The click came in august of 2002. After my first year of high school my dad took me to the WACKEN festival in northern Germany, approx. 8 hour drive from where I used to live. It was my first metal-festival experience on such a scale. 30.000 – 40.000 that all shared my passion for metal, that was the best feeling ever. It’s by watching all those bands and shredders and being in that place, just the whole vibe, the world of heavy metal! That’s what made me want do this. I knew right there and then : this is what I want to do!
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 what makes a guitarist unique is "the whole package". Feeling, technique, expression, charisma! I certainly enjoy watching and listening to super fast guitar players that obviously have immense technique. Back in my early days I was all about the neo-classical thing and the fast shredding. I still like it but I guess that with time I’ve come to appreciate the feeling aspect of guitar playing more. I prefer guitarists that are able to write great songs and/or write solos that are just pure feeling and personal expression. You should always try your best to find your own sound. That’s what people remember!
What was your first guitar? Do you still have it?
My first guitar was a dark-blue Ibanez RG GIO series. It was came in a package including a 15W Ibanez combo amp and an educational VHS with Andy Timmons if my memory serves me right. I still own the guitar and the amplifier for that matter. Still sounds and feels great, not kidding. I’m not someone who sells gear. If I bought it I’ll keep it. Even if I’d have money problems, my gear would be the last thing on the sales list for sure.
Do you think that the guitarist is making the quality or maybe the equipment can do magic?
I think having good equipment will make things sound better and it certainly can do magic but I think that most people will agree if I say that the majority of the sound comes from the person playing. A guitarist with soul will always sound good no matter what heshe plays through.
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 the past 10 years in terms of amps I’ve been using my Mesa-Boogie Dual Rectifier with a Tubescreamer in the front. Seems to work perfectly! Recently Schecter Guitars sent me 2 new guitars just before a European tour with Satyricon that are truly amazing! I’ve had EMG 81 pickups for as long as I can remember but I’ve felt like I needed some change and I’m playing on passive Seymour Duncan now. The black winter. Very articulate, I love them.
As far as studio goes I try different types of amps and guitars. Strangely I always end up with what I usually play. Maybe specific gear for certain parts. but it also depends on how you want your record to sound or what you are going for musically.
Construct the guitar of your dreams…brand, pick ups, strings..everything!
Well in terms of brand I’m very happy with SCHECTER so I’d definetly go for them. I’d get a 7-string guitar with an alder body, maple neck and ebony fingerboard. A very simple setup, 2 pickups neck and bridge, one volume knob and a 3 way selector. I guess for the pickups I would have to try different types because it depends on how the guitar turns out and I haven’t found THE pickups yet…the finish would be something like a matt black/red combination. It’s not that easy actually haha everytime I think about building a guitar I get new ideas and I can’t decide.
Now form the band of your dreams…with you participating of course…Which individuals you think would fit like a glove to your style?
Alright! Mario Duplantier (Gojira) on drums, Jeff Loomis on the other guitar, Martin Mendez (Opeth) on bass, David Vincent (Morbid Angel) on vocals and perhaps Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) on piano/keys!
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?
In Satyricon I’m part of the Live Band so I’m just a performer. In my other band Scarred (from Luxembourg, check it out) I compose a lot of material. I mean for me it’s very important to express myself. I love coming up with ideas and build them into songs over time and see how everything takes shape. Writing music is part of who I am but then again I guess it depends on what you like to do. Me, I like both aspects and it works for me to have a good balance between the 2.
Have you ever run out of ideas while composing a new album? How did you fight it? What was the solution?
Plenty of times! Somedays you are very inspired and things just pour out of you but then there are other days where you don’t come up with anything you are really pleased with. I don’t really try to fight it, mostly I find a solution by doing something completely different or it just comes to me when I’m lying in bed, reading my mails in the toilet or driving my car. Sometimes I ask other people’s opinions because it can get you to a certain train of thought which will ultimately lead to some ideas. What works best though is when I try and picture what I want people to see when they hear a song I’m writing, helps me to see where the song should go!
Do you have endorsements? Do you think endorsements are important for an artist?
I do have an endorsement with SCHECTER guitars. This makes me very happy as I have been playing with their guitars for the past 6 years before I got endorsed in the first place. They are actually the only company that replied right away and willing to send me a couple of guitars just 2 weeks before the tour started! I would like to use this chance and thank Ulf Mickols at Flitzpatrick and Robert Axelsson at LiveLab, both from Sweden, for making this possible!!!! I think endorsements are great, both parties can benefit from each other! For me it’s important, I guess that when you get an endorsement it feels a little bit like you’ve got some recognition. Also the music world is a community and it’s by working together that we keep it a good one.
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!
Oh I remember! It was when I played with Scarred in Wacken 2009! I had been looking forward to that show for weeks and despite hearing nothing on stage, 30 seconds into our set my main guitar at the time stopped working. After checking , pulling and shaking the guitar I noticed that the screw that keeps the input of the guitar OUT, had popped off! I had no choice but to use my backup guitar, which I remember to be the hardest guitar to keep in tune ever. It completely ruined the first half of the show!
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?
I will nomite Mr. ATTILA VOROS! He plays in an a hungarian band called Leander Rising and used to play in the Nevermore live band. Give him my best 🙂
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