Three legendary heavy metal guitarists KK Downing (Judas Priest), Kimmo Kuusniemi (Sarcofagus) and Varg Vikernes (Burzum) were interviewed for an extensive US rock webzine Peacedogman “Guitargument” article.
This in depth interview makes comparisons between three generations of influential metal guitarist – KK Downing from the 60’s, Kuusniemi from the 70’s and Vikernes from the 80’s… and asks – amongst other things – about their music making methods, guitar preferences and the essence of metal. The article has some brilliant and interesting revelations!
Guitargument: The Three Guitarists interview by Devamitra Volksfaust:
“Thousands of years have seen generations of bards and minstrels shape wood, caress strings with their fingers and pick ever more complex and varied tunes for the entertainment of kings and peasants, for joy and for grief. It’s been roughly 80 years since the magnetic pick-up was invented and soon was to be connected to electric amplifiers, to make guitar the unique conducting rod between the musical forces of the past and the future. Everything from pacts with the devil to manifests against social oppression have been channeled through the thundering vibrations of the “axe”. There would be no rock music as we know without it, much less heavy metal or punk. Whichever your preferred strain may be, it’s fair to assume that a reader of this site is more or less particular, if not religious, about commanding guitar riffs and intense guitar solos.
So it was high time to arrange some serious discussion about this guitar business. Heavy metal heroes come and go and each new issue of the bigger guitar magazines demonstrates a hyped-up melo-death geek or self-possessed power metal “how many notes per second” twat bragging about expensive equipment and superficial guitar tech trivia. But as can be expected, they rarely get down to the essence of things, which is how to cut the crap and make the magic happen. The surge of infernal energy right through your brain when the guitar-driven band pulls out all the stops and reaches for the night skies: the metal moments.
K.K. Downing formed his first heavy rock band with his pal Ian Hill in 1969, at 18 years old. As a member of JUDAS PRIEST he has toured Europe, America and Asia countless times, performed on 17 albums, profoundly influenced heavy metal and speed metal in sound and presence while blowing our brains out with instantly memorable riffs and some of the most famous and widely imitated solo work in heavy metal.
Kimmo Kuusniemi, a son of little northern country called Finland where no-one had heard the words “heavy metal” before, formed his egyptomaniacal entity SARCOFAGUS in 1977, shooting both figurative and literal fire from his guitar in magisterial stage shows far ahead of the times. He released three classics of Finnish occult and progressive metal filled with his unique amplified guitar histrionics before moving on to other media , while he has continued to preach the sermon of true metal to unbelievers and act as the benevolent godfather of the Finnish metal scene.
Varg Vikernes seems more like a myth than a real person, the antagonistic metal magician of Norway, the progenitor of BURZUM, who first picked up the guitar in 1987 and barely five years later, unleashed a multidimensional wave of darkness upon the world – one that we would come to know as black metal. Hypnotic, ethereal and frightening, the runic spells of Varg’s possession never stayed the same, formulating seven albums full of the mysteries of the forest and the past, weakly imitated countless times since not only in metal, but in post rock, industrial and indie drone as well.”
YOU CAN READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE: www.peacedogman.com/gtrgriff.htm