Guitar Magazine 2009 Február

Guitar Magazine

A japán kiadású Guitar Magazin februári számának elején John lesz, benne pedig a The Empyreanre felvételeire fókuszáló cikk.

Az Emypreanhoz kapcsolódó hír, hogy az amerikai CD/LP megjelenést elhalasztották január 27.ére. Európában meg eddig is január 26. volt a megjelenés napja.

***Az invisible-movementnek köszönhetően íme a cikk. Japánok előnyben 🙂

  • Erika

    Én nem tudok japánul 🙂

    Akkor hozzám is később fog jönni amit rendeltem? 🙁

  • dan

    ez az újság kétnyelvű?
    vagy miért van angolul és kínaiul vegyesen írva a címlap? Úgy megnéztem volna hogy van a Frusciante kínai írással : )

  • nyuszo

    Dan, az az oldal, ahol belehallgattunk az Empyreanba is kínai vagy japán nem tudom 🙂 biztos ott van a neve is valahol a jelek között 🙂

  • niandra

    Ez nem igazság… nekik 2 számmal több + még az újság is… O_O

  • zani

    niandra, tuti nálunk is lesz róla szó néhány újságban 🙂

  • niandra

    Reméljük! De nem hinném,h. olyan terjedelemben és részletességgel,m. Ant “halálos vesebajáról”…

  • atika85

    Post frissítve.

  • atika85

    JF = John Frusciante
    GM = Guitar Magazine’s interviewer

    John Frusciante


    John Frusciante talks about his new solo album, The Empyrean:

    JF:”Music is a power which exists in the universe & it will be born through our hands or through our musical instrument. It doesn’t get born in the brain.”

    One of the most stimulating guitarists, John Frusciante. He released a solo album called The Empyrean. It’s been about 3 years since his last album.
    Everybody knows about him as a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which is a monster band.
    But his solo albums are also deeply attractive, tasteful, because they express his personal sides.
    Delicate feeling, dark & psychedelic music, daring arrangements via unique methods, his guitar tones make colourful expressions….these are building his unique world perspective with sweet voice and melody lines.

    This time, Guitar Magazine had a chance to exclusively interview John Frusciante.
    The contents of the interview are necessary reading, such as his new album’s secret story, his obsession with vintage equipment, the possibilities for guitar, and so on, all of which he talked about with passion.
    We want listeners to enjoy his endless spirit of inquiry for music by a guitarist who never stops evolving.

    JF: “It’s possible to extract a greater power of expression by utilizing the whole studio as a musical instrument.”

    GM: It’s been almost 3 years since your last solo album. This is a concept album, which tells a story, isn’t it? While you were making this album, what kind of image did you have?

    JF: “When I make music, I don’t think about lots of things. Although some people explain guideline or direction or their own rule in the lyrics, I just make music based on my own feeling.
    I wanted to make the album reflect the concept of the lyrics and gradually build up the musical energy. The songs for this album, they reflect the story which the lyrics convey.
    I just imagined the sounds that are the beginning of this album as being so dark, like a swamp, but then gradually it becomes more of a brighter world view.
    This explanation might sound very vague but I was just conscious about it. Other than that, I just made the album unconsciously & followed my feeling.”

    GM: I felt that when we listen to the sounds, it becomes visual.

    JF: “When I was making the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers album Blood Sugar [Sex Magic] (1991) & my first solo album [Niandra Lades & Usually Just A T-Shirt] (1994), I was searching for myself.
    At that time, when I listened to music, I had a lot of synesthetic experiences.
    I haven’t had such an experience for a long time, however, when I listen to music now, I feel a sense of specific space is created in my brain.
    Some people see colours when they listen to music, but it’s not like that. It’s not visual. It’s not an aural experience. It’s like there are mental symbols welling up when I listen to music.
    In the past 10 years, instead of being inspired by synesthesia, I’m inspired by these symbols. They help me make music.”

    GM: The album opens with a poetic guitar instrumental track… it’s long, more than 10 minutes. But do you have any important things that you care about especially, when you make music using just the guitar?

    JF: “I was listening to Maggot Brain by Funkadelic with my friends after midnight, and I like instrumental music because it’s not music that pushes the listener.
    If the listener wants, they can go into the space that the song provides. At first, I was going to put very dynamic & energetic songs at the beginning of this album, but I didn’t end up using those kind of songs.
    After I recorded “After The Ending,” I thought I want to put very striking music as the opening song. I wanted to make an “entrance” through which I could invite listeners gently, which I don’t normally do but I worked out an idea of the song in my head in advance.
    I didn’t want the opening song to be pushy. One morning, as soon as I woke up I made a rhythm guitar part for “Before the Beginning” and had an idea for the drum beat so that evening I invited my friend Josh Klinghoffer (p,k,d) and we recorded it.
    While I was playing rhythm guitar, I heard how I should play the lead guitar phrase in my head, so at that time I recorded the guitar solo as well. When I listened to Maggot Brain, I felt the same feeling so I wanted to reflect the same feeling in my song.
    Then, on the next day’s mix, I added various kinds of effects. Later, it was interesting to show my songs to my friends because we had the same feeling when we listened to Maggot Brain at five in the morning. (laughs)
    On this album, I was really into reverse reverb and echoes. I tried lots of experiments with effects sounds. At first, I tried them on my vocals, but I ended up mostly applying them to my guitar.
    This time I recorded with analog tape and I turned over the tape & recorded six or seven tracks of reverse reverb & echoes. Then, I turned the tape back to the way it was & equalized it to emphasize the guitar.
    I could make it sound as if the guitar was rising 100 metres high. Also, I could improve the expressive power of my guitar playing by using certain EQ settings and the console faders when I was mixing.
    When you play the guitar, you can express your feelings by adding vibrato or playing with specific volumes or effects. But, it’s possible to extract a greater power of expression by utilizing the whole studio as a musical instrument.
    For example, I put an effect on a guitar part I’d recorded using modular synthesizers, arranged the volume and added panning to the reverb. Before, I had complaints because I had to ask engineers to do that sort of thing.
    But, now it’s possible for me to remember how to better use a recording studio through a little bit of study. If I do that study, I can use the mixing desk effectively, like a musical instrument.
    Normally, engineers don’t use the desk like this. When I mixed “Before The Beginning”, only I was able to use the studio console. I tried to extract the feeling of expression in my guitar solo through the mixing desk.
    Another thing is, this time, because I used analog tape for the recording, I had to do a lot of tape editing. In fact, before I cut & pasted the tape, I tried to edit it firstly through the computer.
    If there weren’t any problems in the computer edit, I applied that edit to the tape by cutting & pasting it. If I did that, there weren’t any mistakes.

    GM: I thought the electronic noises & effects were very carefully layered… they make the world view of the song very vivid. Were you obsessed not only with guitar phrases, but also these little bits of effects that you later added to each song?

    JF: “I mainly listen to electronic music, so I wanted to make interesting music for me. While making the album, I didn’t really care about making “nice” songs or making songs that the listener wants to hear.
    It was more important for me to make music that I wanted to listen to, even after finishing the album. In electronic music, there are a lot of sound changes in one song, I wanted to try the same approach.
    I created space for the acoustics to change through mixing and through tape editing. I tried to make the acoustics of the verse and the acoustics of the chorus sound completely different.
    I put musical surprises throughout the whole album… I transformed a lot of different sounds, and then I arranged those various sounds.
    At first I didn’t try these approaches, so the album wasn’t so interesting to me. So, I tried to make music that I really want to listen to. As a result, I listened to this album when it was finished the most out of all of my solo works.
    It’s very enjoyable for me to listen to The Empyrean, it’s an album that takes me on a musical trip. I wanted to create sounds that seem like they’re floating above the speakers and I did that by arranging the quality of sound and space.
    These sounds never get boring. (laughs) When I listen to the music as just a listener, sometimes I wonder “how did he make this?” and I felt like I was in a different world. To be able to create that kind of illusion or hallucination is “magical” to me.
    Ever since I was a child, I’ve liked music that makes me feel like I’m in a different world.

    GM: When can hear the sound effect of the tremelo in the left channel in “Unreachable…” are you playing this with your guitar?

    JF: “That sound is from an electric piano. Originally I had made the music in that section with the guitar, but after laying down the rhythm guitar parts, I swapped them with electric piano & organ.
    When I started to make this album, I listened to rock music that was focused around keyboards, like The Doors & Roxy Music. In “Unreachable,” I only used the guitar for the solo and the ending.
    The sound at the beginning of this song is Josh playing the keyboard & me arranging the sound with a modular synthesizer. At the beginning of the guitar solo, I used the mixing desk to alter the volume.
    At the end of it, I played through the step filter of a modular synthesizer. Using this I could change the frequency more boldly than if I’d used a wah pedal.
    At the end of the song, I play the harmonies using five guitars & all of them are put through the filter on the modular synthesizer.

    GM: We can hear the sound of a wah playing on the important parts of this album… did you use your WH-10 wah pedal, your favourite Ibinez one?

    JF: “That’s right. I’ve used other pedals but my favourite one is the WH-10.”

    GM: What was the key equipment for this album?

    JF: “I made extensive use of modular synthesizers by Doepfer & Analog Systems. Sometimes, I recorded guitar using a fuzz or my wah pedal, but mostly I recorded without those effects & then later I added them using the modular synthesizer.

    I used my English Muff’n pedal [by Electro-Harmonix] at the beginning of the solos on “Central” and “Enough of Me”.
    On “Before The Beginning” I used a Holy Grail and a Big Muff pedal [also from Electro-Harmonix], as well as a Fuzzrite pedal [by Mosrite, from the 1960s] and Boss Turbo Distortion.

    On [the bonus Japanese track] “Ah Yom”, I used a Fuzz Wah volume pedal by Foxx.

    Compared to a normal wah pedal, it can create lower frequencies and also cut higher frequencies boldly, so I could create unique sounds.

    I also often used an EMT 250 [by EMT] and All Digital Reverb [by AMS] for both my guitar parts and vocals.
    These were the key pieces of equipment that helped me make the album’s sounds. You might hear an effects pedal, but in fact it was often created using a modular synthesizer, because I could’t control the sound through an effects pedal in the way I wanted while I was playing the guitar. When I was playing music using both of my hands, I couldn’t turn the effects knobs on the pedal, so it was interesting to use the effects of a modular synthesizer later. It was like I was playing with four hands (laughs). At first, I recorded the guitar onto tape & then sent it through the modular synthesizer & then back to the tape again.