A PRS COLLECTION TO ENVY
Welcome to our talk with Andrew of Melbourne rock band Arakeye.
WHEN DID YOU START GUITAR?I was about 15 and a good friend of mine had a band that we really looked up to. He played guitar and suggested that i should learn to play bass so we could start our own band. I ended up getting lessons for about a year on bass at school and used to practice on an old nylon string acoustic i had bought for twenty bucks off of my cousin. I took the top two strings off to emulate playing a bass. I didn’t have enough money to buy any bass equipment at the time so we used to jam at school using their gear until i saved up enough money to buy my own stuff. I eventually ended up buying a small practice amp and a cheap red strat copy off of another friend. That was my first electric guitar.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY GUITAR? CAN YOU PLAY ANY OTHER INSTRUMENTS?I got kinda bored playing bass after a few years and found i spent a majority of my time practising on that old acoustic i had. I guess i found guitar more challenging and just enjoyed it more. A lot of the music i listened to would be guitar driven with huge riffs and i loved learning how to play them and jamming along. So just bass and guitar. I occasionally jump on the drums at band practice but it doesn’t take long before the guys give me the old "wrap it up mate" haha
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DECENT GUITAR?When i decided to start my first band as a guitar player i thought it was time to upgrade from the strat copy. I sold off all of my bass gear that i had and went to the local music shop (Underground Music Werribee) and bought a sunburst Epiphone Les Paul. I think it was about six or seven hundred bucks. I sold it years ago but thinking back it was a great guitar.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM GUITAR?My dream guitar has always been a PRS. All the bands i was listening to at the time played them. Incubus, P.O.D, Linkin Park, Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin all had them and i had to get one too but they were so expensive. I’m lucky enough to have a few of them now but i remember buying my first one from Manny’s Music. I had got some inheritance money from my grandfather and decided i was going to go buy a PRS. I went and played a few then ordered one that was the standard grade top so it was a little bit cheaper but there was this amazing Custom 22 that was hanging up behind the counter. It had this awesome half flame half quilt top in amber but was out of my price range. When my order arrived i went in to pick it up but i had saved up a bit more cash and asked to play the Custom 22 behind the counter. It sounded and played so good and the guys there offered me a great deal on it since it had been there for a while. So i went home with what was my dream guitar instead of the one i actually ordered!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR GUITARS? LOOK / SOUND / COST?First of all they look great. I’ve always been drawn to the amazing flame tops and bird inlays. The quality has never let me down and they sound great. Also very versatile, so they cover everything i need.
WHAT GUITAR DO YOU PLAY MOST, AND WHY?I would say my Hollowbody. It’s got a unique sound that’s not very common in heavy music. It’s got an unfinished rosewood neck that i love because my hands tend to sweat and grip too much on the gloss finished necks. It’s also got a piezo pickup for acoustic sounds that you can blend with the magnetic pickups which can come in handy.
(Arakeye) are just a one guitar band so i use effects to create more layers and texturesAndrew H
DO YOU USE EFFECTS IN YOUR RIG?Yep i love my effects. I would say the level of my playing isn’t the greatest and you won’t see me shredding a huge solo or anything so i try make up for it by being creative with effects. Also we are (Arakeye) just a one guitar band so i use them to create more layers and textures. One effect that is my go to is a Foxrox Octron 2. It’s a low octave that i use for single note/string riffs. It’s massive when i use that with the bass player doing the same thing RATM style. Also without my delay pedal i’d be fucked haha I use that with 90% of the things i play. I’ve got the Strymon Timeline and thats been great. I use a whole bunch of different tempos that i match to the song. We play to a click so it’s important for me that the delays ring out in time. Other effects that are on my board are Reverb, another analog delay, tube screamer, Zvex Fuzz Factory, Strymon Mobius, EHX Hog 2, Compressor, Wah and tuner. That’s all controlled by a Musicomlab switcher that also switches channels on my amp.
ARE YOU A TUBE AMP OR DIGITAL FAN? HAVE YOU HAD EXPERIENCES WITH BOTH?I’ve got both and i think they are both great for specific things. I’ve got a Fractal AX8 that i use for home recordings and also home practicing. Then i have my full tube amp with pedals for live. I’m pretty old school in terms that i need to feel the air pushing behind me when i’m playing live and i like to be able to simply adjust a knob on a pedal or my amp at any time. I know you can set up the Axe FX that way and there’s a ton of benefits with using digital gear live but i get a bit overwhelmed with all the options and dialing in and parameters, haha. I’m sure i’ll get around to setting it up properly eventually but at the moment i’m only using it for recording. For recording it’s been awesome. I can plug straight into the computer, chuck on some headphones and go for it without bothering any neighbors like i would with an amp/mic set up. Like i said i think both tube and digital are awesome so it just comes down to personal preference.
PRS CE22 1996
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PRS CE22 1996This popped up on a gear trade forum a few years back. I’d always loved the older model PRS guitars and had heard great things about the CE models. Drew Goddard from Karnivool plays one too, I’m a huge fan of his and this was almost identical to his. I went on a bit of a road trip and it was way more beat up than was described but i loved it and end up getting it a bit cheaper. It’s a pretty rare find with some of the specs it has so i was pretty pumped. Most PRS guitars are perfect and shiny and look too good to play so there’s something i love about this one being beat up. In the words of Darryl Kerrigan "Charm... adds a bit of charm"
PRS Hollowbody II 2014
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PRS Hollowbody II 2014I got this about 3 years ago. It’s an Artist Package that PRS started offering again around that time. You could choose any model then upgrade your own specs off a list they had offered like custom colour, different wood options, pickups etc. Being a big fan of Incubus growing up i always had a thing for the PRS Hollowbodies. I also wanted a guitar without a gloss finished neck so i was able to choose rosewood. And then the icing on top was that they come with the piezo pickup.
YOU PLAY IN A ROCK BAND, HOW DOES THE HOLLOWBODY WORK IN THAT GENRE?It’s got a unique sound that’s a lot different to the solid body guitars. I guess instead of trying to fit that particular sound of the guitar to the genre that we play i will write around what that guitar sounds like. Does that make sense? haha