Oden and the Oni
Oden tells us about his Oni and his other guitars that are now dead to him.
WHEN DID YOU START GUITAR?A little while ago now haha. I was about 14 I think.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY GUITAR? CAN YOU PLAY ANY OTHER INSTRUMENTS?As cheesy as it sounds it kind of chose me. I actually wanted to play drums but my parents weren’t keen. By chance I started hanging out with this kid at school that I’d never really had much to do with. I went back to his place one day and it turned out he played guitar and I was blown away. I instantly gravitated to it and had to learn it. I convinced dad I wanted to do it so he bought me a cheap nylon string and off I went. The only other instrument I’d played was the recorder at school.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DECENT GUITAR?It was this hot pink Marina with a Floyd Rose, kind of Jackson inspired I guess. Such a physically heavy guitar, I still blame it for my shoulder issues. It was a really decent instrument and it only cost about $800. It saw many hours of Metallica and Pantera run throughs and never missed a beat... until I dropped it on my driveway and snapped the headstock Dimebag style. It still kept going though! The locking nuts held it in tune until I got it fixed. Mark Spagnolo at Mark’s Music Factory in Mackay did a great job of repairing it, he was a great teacher too.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM GUITAR?I pretty much have it, the Oni. My only dream is to have more with different configurations and tunings.
WHAT GUITAR DO YOU PLAY MOST, AND WHY?Again the Oni. Everything about it speaks to me. The tone, the look, the feel, the comfortability, the 8 strings (anything less than 7 feels weird to me these days). It's such a ridiculously well made instrument, you have to try one if you get the chance. It goes from humbucker heavy to split coil glassy cleans, pretty much does it all. I’ve dropped the low F# down to D for one of my new tracks and it still holds its tuning.
ARE YOU A TUBE AMP OR DIGITAL FAN? HAVE YOU HAD EXPERIENCES WITH BOTH?I love both but I mainly use digital for convenience and logistical reasons. I tend to use plugins at home because its easy and sounds great for demos etc. Most of the ambient background sounds on the Like Thieves recordings are plugins. I've had a Mesa/Boogie Triaxis preamp and Stereo 2:Ninety power amp for years that I love and will never get rid of, it’s just too heavy to travel with. I plan on using it more for future recordings.
DO YOU USE EFFECTS IN YOUR RIG?Definitely. Live I always use the Axe FX 2, straight to front of house and foldbacks, no amp or cab. At the moment I'm using a Diezel amp model, cant remember the cab setup though. Effects mainly consist of different delay/reverb settings depending on the track, nothing too crazy. Any slightly whacky stuff stays in the backing track guitars otherwise there would be 4 of me on stage, nobody needs that.
BEFORE WE GET TO THE MAIN EVENT, TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR OTHER GUITARSTaylor 814ce
Ever since Like Thieves recorded "Alibi" from "The Wolves At Winter's Edge" EP I've been in love with Taylor Guitars. Matt Bartlem at Loose Stones Studios let me use his Taylor 914 (I think that's what it was) on the recording and it sounds amazing. I knew from there I needed one. I was lucky enough to find mine heavily discounted a couple of years ago so I grabbed it.
I picked this one up about 10 years ago for a steal. Steve Vai is one of my biggest influences and this guitar was a must have. I don't play it that often, mainly because of the lack of strings, but I love it. I just need to meet Mr. Vai one more time so I can get his signature on it, then it will be going into a glass display cabinet!
My first 7 string, this one IS signed by Steve Vai. Man, this thing must be 15 years old. We (Johnny Fordham and I) started tuning down 6 string guitars in our old band Red City but decided 7 strings were a better way to go. It used to be all black but I spruced it up a few years ago and made it as new. It has a Dimarzio Evolution in the bridge position and a Liquifier in the neck.
The K7 came about at the same time I purchased my Mesa rig. It was time to upgrade everything so I took out a personal loan for the amp and guitar. I didn't get it because of Korn, I bought it as it was the best 7 string that I could find at the time and it's still one of the best guitars I own. I had Dan at Oni guitars rewire the pickups for me though as I didn't like the stock ones. The bridge is heavily corroded due to my "acid sweat".
OKAY TELL US ABOUT YOUR OniAh the Oni, my other baby. Dan had this one ready for me the first day of the Dead Letter Circus "The Insider" tour in May 2014 I think it was. I'll always remember a couple of hairy notes and really having to pay attention to where I was on the fretboard at times as the 27 frets threw me out a bit at first. I think I first saw an Oni in passing on a guitar forum or something and I couldn't stop looking at it, it was so unique. I started looking into it more and more and got chatting to Dan (Oni Guitars) about having one made for me. After playing one of his guitars I knew I had to have one. I can't speak highly enough about them. The curved fret design that Dan came up with is brilliant. I guess I've been influenced by some of the same bands everyone else has regarding 8 strings/low tunings but I try and use the guitar a bit differently if I can. I like using all the strings to make riffs and chords, not so much in a "djenty" way (such a terrible term) with all the back and forth tweedles, but in more of a progressive rock style. Moving to 8 strings was more about tonal options rather than heavy low chugging alone, although I do love that. I think I'm always trying to write something that crushes like the main riff from "Sad But True".
WHAT IS NEXT ON THE WANTED GUITAR LIST?Like I mentioned before, I'd love a few more Oni Guitars but I'm pretty keen to get a decent Fender Strat for something different. I really like those tones and different guitars inspire different ideas.
ANY UPCOMING GIGS/NEWS?Nothing I can mention at this stage :)
AND HERE ARE SOME MORE IMAGES BECAUSE... EYE CANDY.
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