Arielle: 'I Picked Up The Guitar Because I Have Something To Say'
UG: After re-emerging from the depths of your woodshedding, and configuration of you, can you sum up the description of yourself in one word?
Arielle: Future. Aerial. New. Real.
All of those things describe different spectrums and sides to me. In the end, they all merge to become this new life force that is about to blow everyone’s head off. (in a good way)
And your guitar playing?
Why did you start playing guitar?
"I am somebody who has very potent, crucial, and fertile inspirations that lie within myself."
I think I'm going to come into this question a bit out of left field, and tell you first off, that the reason I picked up the guitar was Brian May. I saw a video of Queen at Wembley when I was 6 years old, and I wanted to be just like him. I never thought for one second the difference between him and I, and knew it was what I was meant to do. It wasn't until my 10th birthday that my dad finally bought me a guitar.
This being said, the deeper, and in my opinion, far more meaningful answer to this question is, because I have something to SAY.
Anyone can pick up a guitar and play, but many don't keep up, even more are simply miming what they have already heard someone else do.
With my case, I had a very challenging, and pain filled childhood like many do. Instead of going and drinking, doing drugs, or even watching TV, I wanted to play guitar. When there is so much pain, love, sadness, anger inside yourself, it needs to be expressed in order for you to relax again. I found the guitar to be the most fluid of channels for me, and to this day I still do. It's an extension of myself, although I do like to also note, it's not NEEDED...I just feel it's the closest representation to my feelings as they get.
What was your practice routine like?
What IS my practice routine like? Well I am the person who used to play 15 hour days or more. Now obviously I have a lot of other things to do like promote, meetings, videos, photos, etc. But I practice any free time I have! There is so much to learn. I am the person who is sitting there practicing while the roommate walks out to go to the party. And when they get back, there I am still in the same place.
I do everything that people DON'T. I have already gone through 3 years of music school just for guitar. I have been going through theory since I was 6. I feel this is plenty of time to say, "ok, I get the "rules..." now I am gonna break them and pretend I never knew them in the first place." It's always nice to know just how far you stray out.
What is so unique about your self-made guitar, "Two Tone?"
Two Tone is the only guitar I ever want to play! In fact, I am completely confident in the fact of me saying I will not be playing guitars that come off the shelf. And why should I? I don't feel I am someone who is like anyone else, and I have certain features of the guitar I like, and want tailored to me. Once you determine who you are deep down, you find pieces that can accentuate you more than anything else.
Two Tone is a direct mix of a few different guitars that I have had. I was so annoyed that I kept having to switch through 4 guitars to get one thing out of all of them. I use a very tight, minimally porous ebony neck, which I came to love from my Custom Gibson Les Paul in Manhattan Midnight Blue. Since then I have sold it. I loved the color, but the weight was too much for me, and the 22 frets were limiting.
The guitar has a very long neck, which stems from the idea of my 1987 BC Rich Warlock, which has I think over a 26" scale length. I wanted mine longer, to the point where it fits into a bass case. I like feeling like the frets don't gradually get much smaller, and to me it makes more sense, and feels as if I have a bigger palate to choose from. It also has 24 frets, and diamond inlays which I also mimicked for Two Tone.
I had a Fender Jagmaster, which I loved the tremolo on, and the LSR roller nut. (to this day I'm not convinced works!)
Last but not least, a Brian May replica. I love the Burns Tri-Sonic pickups, the in/out phase switches, the chambered guitar, and the cool shape of it.
And the shape can be said to look like a firebird meets an explorer. Firebirds have always been too big for me, but I LOVE the way they look. That's about it though. So we made a new shape for Two Tone to flourish as something new!
Last but not least, the color coordination of orange and blue just happen to be my favorite colors. And the wood is korina.
What other gear do you have in your rig?
"I am the person who is sitting there practicing while the roommate walks out to go to the party. And when they get back, there I am still in the same place."
You know, I am still looking for an amp company of which I can call home. I have gone through Vox, Fender, Peaveys, Marshalls, Sunn, Carvin, Hughs and Kettner, and back to AC30's. I tend to look to my pedals and of course, the guitar and my fingers for the tone, more so than the amp. The amp I have always wanted to be interchangeable, however I would like to find something I want to stick with.
I use a Scott's Crispy Cream Treble Booster, of which they don't even make anymore. I leave that on at all times, although there is an on switch. For distortion, I double that with the OCD pedal and it sounds smooth, with a bite. I like being in the middle of those two polar opposites.
For tuners, I use a Korg Blackout (I LOVE the pretty lights), and of course I have a Banshee Talk Box, a Line 6 GT 50 Wireless. And every other effect I have comes through my AXE FX Ultra with the MC 101 pedal board.
I have been working with them for almost a year now, and I am one hundred percent convinced it can do anything and everything you'd ever want it to. Without having to lug around a billion pedals.
I really am a purist, who loves things to be simple. The least that can go wrong, the better. Having the AXE FX, it makes life a lot easier so I can just plug right in and be confident that it will sound the same, and I wont have to bring a thousand other effects with me. And the pedalboard is great once you figure out how to use everything. I have 2 expression pedals, of which I use wah and volume.
I use Dava Picks, the Nylon and Delrin. They are really cool, and bend in the middle so they can be pretty soft, or if you choke up on them, they get firm.
I also use D'idarrio strings gauge 9-42. Normally the ones made for floating bridges.
What about guitars?
To tell you the truth, I really don't have many. I have Two Tone which literally comes with me everywhere I go. I have the BC rich warlock that I mentioned earlier, and the jagmaster. I would probably have gotten rid of it, except for the fact that my amazing friend, who is a ridiculous guitar player, Danny B Harvey gave it to me. The neck is very small, and at the time I was having really bad hand problems. I feel like it helped me get through, and because of it I won't get rid of it, unless I felt like there was someone else to pass the baton to.
I have a 1970 Guild 12 string, and I am seeking a really amazing 6 string at the moment. I experiment until I find something that really, really works. Then I stick with it, and make it better.
Tell us about Daisy Rock rebuilding your guitar.
Daisy Rock had approached me to build another version of my guitar. I never really sought out to get it remade, since I figured the whole process would happen organically. We are doing a (hopefully) better, more advanced version of my guitar. It's going to be silver and blue instead of orange, for a nice modern edge. Seymour Duncan have already made me my own custom pickups, and they are phenomenal!
You'll just have to see how everything else plays out. It's being made in the Schecter custom shop, of which Shigeki has been doing some UNREAL stuff. I cannot wait to play it for the first time. We are also trying it out in mahogony to see the sound difference between that and my previous Korina. Also, we put in a set neck instead of a neckthrough.
I saw you were featured in the "Guts and Glitter" digital magazine through Guitar Player Magazine. What can you tell us about that experience?
"When there is so much pain, love, sadness, anger inside yourself, it needs to be expressed in order for you to relax again."
Yes, the fascinating thing about it is that I was approached to do that when I decided that I was going to re-arrange a few things about me, and the music I create. They feature 20 female guitarists, and I was chosen to be on the cover. I was honored, and honestly, not surprised to be on the front. I feel so deep in my heart that there is so much on the cutting edge, that has yet to be released. And when it does, it will be undeniable where the history of guitar is going.
Talking to Michael Molenda, we had a very intriguing and fascinating interview, many times of which were a bit challenging... it's hard to talk about something that the world hasn't seen yet. But try explaining the computer to someone a month before it's invented. How could you possibly get it across without them seeing it first? I feel like the world, females in particular need a role model, a leader who can stand in the face of anyone and say, "This is me, like it or not." Everyone needs that in order to find it in themselves.
Stylistically, what can we expect from you in the near future?
Think Lady Gaga meets guitar, meets rock, and you will find me there. I have music that can easily be played on the radio, yet I took the guitar and the tones to a new level. Dance is a huge thing right now, while rock has almost completely vanished. Why not find a way to combine the two in order for it to be friendly to everyone? There are ways to do that without having to change much at all.
It's just a constant balancing act to figure out exactly where the center is. Mark my words, there will be guitar solos on the radio again. In pop culture, in your face. And I will be the first one to bring it back. Why can't we have real music, real artists, and real emotions in people's faces? The audience can see right through the falsity, and the masks.
The rest you'll just have to keep a look out for, to see how else the future of guitar is changing dramatically, in a cooler, edgier, and even more unique way.
Check out "Guts And Glitter" digital magazine at this location.
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