Interview: Andreas Weis of CHINE

Chine

Swedish death metallers Chine are launching their new EP “Like Vultures” on March 2nd. It was a good opportunity to talk with guitarist Andreas Weis about the upcoming release, picking up guitar, gear, and more.

Let’s kick off this interview with a talk about your upcoming EP “Like Vultures.” What can you tell me about the creative and recording phases for this release?

It usually starts with me recording ideas into my phone, they tend to pop up when I least expect it. I never sit down and try to write stuff. Then I bring a bunch of riffs put together into a basic song to the table, and we try it out in our rehearsal studio and usually re-arrange and tweak the parts into something that feels right. The pre productions are very important to us, we sometimes end up having more than ten different versions of the same song before we feel satisfied. That does not however mean that the song has to be complicated or contain tons of technical stuff.

How would you describe your initial exposure to music?

It was something I picked up very early, like when I was 3-4 years old. The music videos from MTV but also swedish programs contained great stuff that was pure magic for a kid.

How did you get into playing guitar?

I was greatly encouraged by my father, and I did find the electric guitar to be the coolest instrument ever. I used to watch Bryan Adams ‘Everything I do..’ video where he played a red stratocaster over and over. First guitar was a sunburst strato copy, the brand was ‘Overland’ or something like that.

Andreas Weis

Did you start to listen to music differently once you discovered guitar?

Not really. Learning to play guitar as an eight year old wasn’t as easy as I had hoped, so I kind of wandered away from it for a bunch of years, until I began studying on a school with a music profile at the age of 13.

Who were some of your early guitar influences?

I always loved Adrian Smiths playing. His solos are the ones in Maiden that mean something, not just doodling away as fast as you can. Before that it was Ace Frehley and the whole Kiss thing that just blew me away.

Tell me about your guitar technique.

I have never been an aggressive shredder, tried it but its really not in my nature. I love slow tones and harmonies, and I usually play a bit to soft with my right hand haha. Used to hold my pic between thumb and middle finger for some dumb reason, but learned that the index finger just worked a lot better for getting punch in riffing, and everything else.

What guitars are in your connection?

I used to play ESP, the Eclipse model, so I own a bunch of those. Recently swapped to Solar Guitars with Evertune bridges. Works amazing, especially when you play with low tuning. We’re in drop A with baritone six string guitars. I’ve never liked the feel of a seven string fret.

With the advancement of the technology and amp/effect simulation, do you still use pedals?

This was probably the last time we recorded with real amps. We use Line 6 Pods live, but we’re looking into a more digital solution, like going through a sequencer and be able to have automation for switching between the different sound and so on. But cool pedals are great fun to use in the studio, and once you’ve recorded the effect there’s no turning back without recording it again.

In your opinion, what are the three skills that every guitarist must bring to perfection?

I think its really about getting the sound that you have in your mind out through your fingers, whatever that may sound like. Of course I could also say tone, vibrato and picking but that won’t be the truth for every guitarist in every genre.

CHINE - Like Vultures

Back to music, what were the biggest challenges you faced as a guitarist when making “Like Vultures”?

There where some challenges in the studio I must say. Some of the riffs just didn’t come out as good as in the pre production where we used a digital amp. The analog amp can really be unforgiving, so you need to stay in shape and go through the parts thoroughly before recording. In the end it worked out nicely on ‘Vultures’, but it took some time to get it right.

How do you go about channeling inspiration into writing?

By taking whats pops into my mind and interpret it into something that can come out through writing. Hopefully its sound’s as good as it initially did inside my own head.

Tell me about your guitar rig you use for recording Chine material.

We did a lot of A and B testing in the studio, using different mics, cabinets and amps. The classic 5150 won the race in the end. We also tested every element in the Marshall JCM cabinet separately to find the best sounding one, and this was a new approach to me. I had no idea that the 4×12 cab could have four completely different sounding elements.

What other dragons are you looking forward to slaying?

I still haven’t had that perfect gig where it all adds up yet. Doesn’t have to be a big one, just you know, to have great sound on stage in a cool venues with an audience that is totally into your songs. All those things at once, that is on my bucket list for sure.

For more information about Chine visit their website.