What do you like most about your job?
I used to think that it can't get any better than playing guitar alone and write some music on the guitar. But when you make music with/for other people then the real magic happens. I also teach guitar and I like the idea that I can help other people with my knowledge and my musical ideas.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Don't judge by price. Prepare yourself before you go out and look for musicians to hire. Write as much documentation as possible, sample music, maybe even use some stock images to describe your musical project visually so the musicians can get a better feel for it
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I have a long and sometimes tedious background in software development and in being self-employed. Due to these circumstances I often had to put my musical development on the back burner, which I now regret. However as I got older I preferred to work solely on music and I guess I have found my true calling.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I would probably enjoy working with any of the guys from Dream Theater. It would definitely be a good musical learning experience ..
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm working on my own Doom-/Death metal project right now which requires a lot of personal creativity and the right mindset to produce music that is not commercial or contemporary. It's about the art, not about the money.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
Being an online session guitarist is just like being a freelance software developer, only the tools are different. I am not a rip-off, and never have been. So when there's a problem, we can sort it out. I wouldn't have survived 15 years of software development working freelance/self-employed without this attitude.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I always ask for musical influences first; there is so much stuff out there already so most things have been done before. Also, what is the reason for creating this music you have in your head/on paper?
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
I wouldn't even need 5 pieces. I would take one of my guitars (usually a Gibson or Epiphone Explorer), some laptop or device to record riffs, same device for playing music to listen to, picks and spare strings
Analog or digital and why?
Full digital setup in my studio because as a software developer I know the advantages digital recording can give you in the studio. There is no clear separation here though, micing a traditional tube amp is not that much of a problem to set up compared to digital amp modellers. If you're really looking for that traditional old-school guitar sound you might be surprised what digital processing can do nowadays. It also depends on the customers/listeners perspective you have in mind
How would you describe your style?
My style is a combination of all things I've listened to in the last 30 years. Kind of obvious but I didn't realize this for some time. When you are younger you tend to be more impressed by music than in later life so around the age of 10 to 12 I've probably soaked up most of my influences. 25 years later I did not forget my roots and where I came from though. My favourite albums are still those that are about 30 years old. Throughout the years of learning to play guitar I found out that my own playing style is even influenced by music that I don't even listen to much, such as Blues
What do you bring to a song?
You tell me what's important for your project and if I can stick to it I will let you know
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I am always inspired by other guitar players and I always check out new players, again the list is way too long to post here. I admire Gus G for sticking to the old-school true heavy metal sound, and on the other hand I love musicians like Devin Townsend who bring something new to the table with different tunings and extremely original concepts.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Due to my age, my style tends to be influenced a lot by old-school heavy, thrash and death metal, instead of contemporary metal music. Bands such as Celtic Frost, Obituary, Death, Sepultura, Iced Earth, Pestilence, ... the list is way too long to post here.
Please ask what style you need and I'll see if I can play it as close as you need it. In general if you need a guitar sound that is close to original heavy thrash and death metal please contact me! I specialize in rhythm tracks (precise double/quad)
Can you share one music production tip?
Write good riffs, iterate over a riff/song as much as possible to get a good quality. Don't hesitate to throw away all the not-so-good stuff. Don't look what others do, look inside yourself and find out what comes out from there, it is usually the best stuff
What's your strongest skill?
I'm a very rhythmic percussive player and I write a lot of riffs in different styles. People constantly tell me I write catchy riffs! I have collected a load of unused riffs over the years. Also I offer my services in German and English and I'm inclined to travel to your studio if you need it. With my background as a software developer I tend to work very analytically and organized. I have a strong background working online and meeting peoples expectations. I love metal music so that's the strongest skill you can have
What's your typical work process?
It depends on the project. For my own stuff I begin with short writing sessions on the guitar. I'll write riffs and eventually combine riffs and melodies into whole songs and eventually put leads on top of it. Each riff will be assigned a name based on style/influence so we can look it up easily later
Tell us about your studio setup.
My studio setup mainly consists of Linux computers running Ubuntu Studio. There I use software such as Guitarix, Ardour and Hydrogen to produce most of my music. Studio monitors and several guitars and soon also a vocal booth are part of the studio.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I specialize in different metal genres ranging from Heavy Rock to Doom/Death Metal and other Extreme Metal. I like raw and aggressive tones but also melodic type of sounds. My bending and vibrato is still a bit raw but controlled