The latest “15 questions” feature is with guitarist Jason Myles. Jason is one of two members from US based band, “La Fin Absolute du Monde”. La Fin Absolute du Monde is a diverse, creative band embracing a somewhat darker edge.
Guitar Jar catches up with Jason, to find out more about his technique, equipment and what the band has in store for the coming months.
…now with computer software I believe tone is even more limitless…
Hi Jason, before we get into the details of your equipment and music, can you give Guitar Jar readers an insight to why you first picked up the guitar and how long you’ve been playing?
Umm… let’s see. I picked up the guitar when I was 12. I heard Megadeth and at that point I knew I wanted to play the guitar but use it as a weapon. Dave Mustaine, Slash, those guys MADE me want to be a guitar player.
In the first few years in learning the instrument, which guitarist(s) were you influenced by the most and why?
I was a metal guy through and through. James Hetfield, Dave Mustaine, Jeff Hanneman, Kerry King, Dimebag, and EVH – I totally wanted to be another one of those guys. Oh, I can’t forget Prince – another person that made guitar a sexy weapon…
“La Fin Absolute du Monde” produces an eclectic mix of atmospheric music. Can you tell our readers how the band was formed?
Well Cyndy and I are a married couple. We had both done music, I played on various rap albums and had been in some local bands and she had played in a bunch of Vietnamese pop groups and toured the world.We had a lot in common and were both fed up trying to put together a “band”, so we decided to just… do it all ourselves! We come from different musical worlds, Cyndy being classically trained to play piano and flamenco / classical guitar, and myself coming from the heavy music world. It’s a nice mix of both of those worlds… eclectic.
Your guitar playing is diverse, embracing brutally heavy sounds through to sensitive atmospheric soundscapes. Can you tell us about your choice of guitar, amps and effects when playing live?
Right now I’m playing through the computer. I used to be a Mesa guy, you know from the metal stuff, but as I got older my tastes started to become a little softer. A little less “death”, a little more Radiohead.Mono, and Mogwai were taking the guitar to these great new places and I felt the Mesa was too one dimensional. I then started going the Line 6 route right around the time the Vetta II came out.
I loved it, loved all the things it could do, loved the different tones, and now with computer software I believe tone is even more limitless.
How does the band approach song writing? Is it a shared responsibility?
Yes! Very organic. Some songs I do everything, some songs Cyndy does everything, but most of the time we just see where the song takes us, but we never sit there and go “You know I think we’ll do a heavy as hell intro and end with a beautiful classical number“… that’s just what we hear when we’re together.I mean it’s kind of a problem. If we were just heavy, you could label us. If we were just atmospheric, you could label us. One of the big reasons we started doing this was because we HATE LABELS! Like we’ve wanted to do something kinda dark and Motown-y sounding.
We feel musically fearless. I think that’s what people like about us – the unpredictability of the music. I mean, that‘s what we like…
How often do you practice and what aspect of your guitar playing do you feel needs working on?
I don’t practice as much as I should. I‘ve never really been a guy that sits around and practices scales. I mean, when I got my first acoustic nylon string guitar I sat there and played on it until it sounded like a song, and used my cassette recorder and recorded a little acoustic diddy and took it to school.I see a guitar and I just have to write a song. But Chicky, (that’s my nickname for Cyndy) is always getting on me about technique. She is of course flawless…
What influences the lyrics for your songs? Emotions? Politics? Relationships?
Life definitely helps out. We’re both divorcee’s who have some interesting life experiences, also coming from the heavy music / punk world, the world around us gives us endless topics.
What’s your opinion on music downloading? Are free/donation based downloads the way forward?
Well, selling music today is passé. I don’t know how I feel about that. I like that fact that websites like Soundcloud, and Stereokillergive people a chance to hear new bands , but on the same hand, MySpace kinda sorta destroyed the music industry, not Napster.I’m from an era where there was the “Big 4”. There will never be a big 4 again. Too much out there to choose from. MySpace made it possible for anyone with a computer to record a demo, “pimp out” a MySpace page add a million people and become a rock star?! Now MySpace is dead, I would say a big reason is the over saturation of bands on there.
The younger generation puts no value on music. I’m talking kids between the ages of 12-18. These are the kids that have grown up in the downloading era. All they know is that music is free.
Record stores are a thing of the past. Hell, cool album art is a thing of the past. So there’s no attachment to the youth of today and the product they download. It’s just as disposable as fast-food to them.
How has La Fin Absolute du Monde been received by the music community?
People dig it! A lot. It was nerve racking at first. We know the music was a little out there, but the response has been great.We are working out a single release with a record label out of the UK. We’ve even gotten VKRS records and Crazy Ant record artists doing remixes of some of our songs.
We love that the electronica/house/techno/ambient world is digging our stuff.
What can people expect from a La Fin Absolute du Monde live performance?
Chaos. Passion. Energy. Love.
Your house is burning down. What’s the one guitar item you would save?
ESP/LTD AH-600. Ebony fretboard, EMG-81’s love that guitar, not a fan of the guy it’s modelled after, but damn was that a cool guitar. It can take a pounding and stay in tune; a weapon, a true weapon.
A DeLorean time machine has just burst onto your front lawn. With your hover-board in hand, you’re ready climb in and hit 88mph. Will you go to the past or the future and why?
I’ll go to the past, during 1955. Meet Little Richard. Learn what Rock n’ Roll is all about. We forget, but people like him started all the crazy stage antics and the energy in his songs… I don’t know man… Little Richard, Chuck Berry – I would love to tour with dudes.
If you could form a super group using famous musicians past or present, who would you have on drums and why?
Sheila E. – being from the San Francisco Bay Area, the Escavedo family is a huge name here.Sheila E. (besides still being HOT!!!) is just solid, the way she plays, her style, I love it… Latin jazz man, makes you wanna move. She can put that Latin jazz flare on anything, I’d love to hear what she could do with us… you never know, maybe she’ll read this and I’ll get a call… lol!!!
Lager or Cider?
I don’t drink. Not straightedge, just don’t dig liquor. I’ll buy you a pint though!
What’s the plan for you musically for the next 12 months?
Release the single “She’s Got to Be a Pirate” and another song called “Good bye Chino”, and tour until we can’t move – that’s about it. Get ready people… get f’in’ ready!
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