Of Madness and Ruin
I am a 7 & 8 string progressive metal guitarist from Aberdeen in Scotland. My signature sound is known for outrageous and over-the-top technical guitar work, always seeking to push the boundaries of what can be done on the instrument. More than just a youtube guitarist, the objective of my music has always been to write technical progressive metal, that’s edgy, dark, unexpected, brutal and beautiful, never compromising on my vision as a musician. I am renowned for 8 string arpeggios, 8 finger tapping, 4 note per string runs, lightning fast alternate picking and legato, multi-finger tapping, unusual scales and arrangements, crushing riffs and progressive chord passages. My music centres around personal themes, often utilising alegoric concepts to give each song its metaphorical meaning, writing music heavily influenced by historical, political, science fiction and mythological themes. Far from simply shredding for the sake of it, I have always had the ambition to incorporate complex imagery into shred guitar work and progressive metal music; with other styles of music to mix things up! I write long songs and don't compromise or writing short marketable stuff - I always stick to the concept and meaning of why I am writing and the subject matter.
I began playing guitar at the age of 12 and naturally fell in love with everything about it. My earliest influences included Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen and Metallica, with a fanatical love for everything Metallica which I still attribute to this day for shaping the course of my music and life. At the age of 14, I was gigging regularly with a Metallica cover band, named Metal Militia, which gained me early notoriety in the local music community. I come from a family with a background in folk and traditional music, which I have always enjoyed and drawn influence from.
At the age of 17, I gained a love for power and progressive metal, citing bands such as Blind Guardian, Nevermore, Iced Earth, Persuader, Outworld and Symphony X as heavily influencing me at this time. It is also at this time that I began to really develop a love for virtuoso solo guitar. I vividly remember experiences of seeing the playing of Shawn Lane, Jeff Loomis, Rusty Cooley, Michael Angelo Bation, Francesco Fareri and many other chops from hell artists as heavily influencing my playing and direction. At this time, I began playing in renowned Scottish Power Metal band Ascension, in which I played lead guitar and was co-composer in for 5 years, with lots of gigging and writing in between.
I departed Ascension on amicable terms and took a long hard look at what I wanted to do with my passion for music. It is at this point that I realised my purpose in recording a solo album was my way forward, pursing a project I had always wanted to achomplish. After a pain-staking process and long song writing process, my debut album Hyper Kinetics was finally completed and was released in summer 2011. I gained an enormous amount of experience regarding the recording process of shred albums of this scale. Hyper Kinetics is loosely based on nuclear war, with a large amount of the content inspired by Stephen Kin's The Dark Tower series.
THE REVELATION STOCKPILE/ALEXANDRIA BEFORE THE FIRE
The next big chapter was my most ambitious project yet. I began writing and writing and it just didn't stop. When I visualised what this would all become, I knew that this was what I had been working toward. A double thematic album entitled The Revelation Stockpile and Alexandria Before the Fire. This album which was released independently and was an enormous task from the beginning, with 11 songs and over 2 hours of progressive metal, as diverse as songs with true 9 string guitar ranges, to world music themes such as eastern drums, and acoustic orchestrated passage and even a sitar solo. It was mixed and mastered at Ed Man Studios in Banchory, Scotland and is now available for download, utilising the most professional equipment available within a professional recording environment, including a Kemper profiling amplifier and professional production and mastering team. The results of my latest album is truely amazing to me. I could never have conceived that the songs, art, mixing, mastering would ever have turned out this good.
Now that my new double album is released, I truely believe I have accomplished something monumental. My future plans on the back of his brand new double album and ambitions. I plan to start playing live again for the first time in a very long absence physical cd copies of both albums are being created, a website is being constructed and merchandise created. With all this, I have also begun writing my next project, my new band called 'The Willing Flesh'.
AS DAWN BETRAYS US
So, 2017 is upon us. I have 95% finished my next album, titled 'As Dawn Betrays Us'. Im excited and afraid. Its such a large project which I will begin very soon. Cant wait too beign!
I use a Jericho Guitars Avenger 7 splated blue as my maimn guitar, with an Ibanez RGIF8 fanned fret 8 string, Ibanez UV70p green-dot, Ibanez Rg1527, Schecter Hellraiser 8 (tuned Bb to high A), Yamaha Compass, Ibanez Classical, Randall RH300 head and 4 x 12 Cab, Yamaha THR10X, Morley Bad Horsie 2 Wah, TC Electronics Dreamscape, Digitech pedals, Kemper Profiling Amp (studio) and Strings.
I am a proud endorsee and ambassador of Jericho Guitar and Swiss Picks, currently using my Avenger 7 Pro and Nuclear Chedder Jazz Mini.
Thanks for visiting my page, reading this and listening to my music.
As Dawn Betrays Us