SIMON FÜLLEMANN (Arma Gathas) - I knew I needed to shred

Av Rune Grande
(Metal Blade)

(...this interview is in English...)

Simon Füllemann begynte å spille bass som 12-åring. 2 år senere byttet han ut bassen med gitar og har siden da lekt med gitaren. Soloer er hans store lidenskap og det er Guns n' Roses gitarist Slash som er det store forbildet. Her er The G-String Series og Simon Füllemann fra Arma Gathas.


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 first picked up a bass for like 2 years before changing to guitar as the bass was not aggressive and shredding enough!

I started playing back in the 80 when I just became 12. I listened to Attitude Adjustment - American Paranoia and Slayers "Reign in Blood". And knew I needed to shred.

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!

Its 2 things: Your personal style you develop over the years and your feeling. It also depends if you are a rhythm player or Solo Guitarplayer. I was never into solo. I was always very attracted by great riffs and songwriting. So I tried and achieved my own style in rhythm guitars.

Satriani is great in soloing or Slash can do both - I am jelous. He is my hero.


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

No, I don't have it anymore. It was a handmade Gibson custom guitar from 78. The worst thing is I broke the neck falling on it. I couldn't be repaired unfortunatelly.

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

No, it's all in the guitarist fingers! Equipement helps to push through and support your sound but it doesn't bring the person to live the way he plays.

Too many kids today think they can watch equipment movies on youtube, by the same stuff/copy and then sound like them. Just listen to Devin Townsend what he pulls out of a simple ractifier.

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 use a combination of JCM 900 with a Marshall Plexi. We play 2 ams at the same time over vintage marshall boxes. Pedals we use is maxon, equalizer and noisegate form boss.

We play Gibson Guitars with Seymour Duncan pics - modified (secret J).


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

Gibson 71 custom, sandburst or white, seymour duncun pick ups, 62 to 13 d'addario strings with .90 pleks.

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

Wow, tough one, but I would think Gene Hoglan on drums. Kerry King on Guitar, Steve Bettie on bass. This would fit on the music we do.

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 compose all the basic songs. To express yourself through music is the most important thing in a song. If it does not come from the heart/stomach it's not a good song. I could never be in a band where I would have only to play songs from someone else. I would artisticly die. Its my way of expressing myself. I can't do it as well with words as with my guitar. I create my own world and heal myself to some extend.

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

No, never run out of ideas, just had the problem of repeating myself, being a little dull. Then you need to take a break. I did. I took a break but not in the way not playing music/guitar, no, I tried out a total different kind of music, guitar, set up, etc. I played in Placebo kinda band for a while to get new inputs and to create new musical life for heavy metal. It worked.


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

I used to be endorsed by ESP. But not anymore. Too many people play ESP and it lost its personal touch for me. Too much of a product. I use Gibson - personalized. Hopefully I get endorsed by them some day.

We are also endorsed for bass and strings.

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!

Hahaha, several things. I once fell of the stage in Koblenz, Germany because of a bottle. I once forgot to change batteries in my wireless and had no cable with me. The worst was that in 96 I forgot to pack a Guitar - custom made. When I came back it was gone.

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).

Slash!!!!!! He is the reason why I love solos. November Rain is the most amazing solo I know.




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