with Andrč Erbyeah of Three Kings on the Hill
Name: Andrč Erbyeah
Bands: Three Kings on the Hill
Websites: http://3koth.com/, http://threekingsonthehill.bandcamp.com/
Listen to “Gone Forever” by Three Kings on the Hill
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Andrč – It was a simple no-name Japanese made Les Paul type with bolt-on neck & all gold finish. I sold it a few years later when I started my first band & got a beat up 62 Fender Strat, white/rosewood.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Andrč – Right now I’m keeping it simple: Guitar - Zoom G5 - amp. But I also have a larger set up: Guitar - tuner - wah - amp & through the FX-loop I’m running whammy - Eventide mod - & time-factor - stereo-power amp. Most clubs don’t come with stages big enough, though...
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?
Andrč – Guitar, it’s like an extension of the body & the mind.
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Andrč – Blackstar HT-100. All tube, sounding great. A lot of choices in tone.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Andrč – 2002 ESP Horizon. I like the shape of the neck. It’s got a bolt-on neck, which doesn’t make the sound too dense. It comes with a Floyd Rose. I changed the pick-ups though for DiMarzios. They are two humbuckers & I changed the switching to get a funkier single coil tone.
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Andrč – Strat body (smooth shape), bolt-on neck, 22-24 frets, Floyd-Rose, humbucker bridge, 2 single coils mid & neck.
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Andrč – 5 or 6 when I counted last.
QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?
Andrč – Durability. I mean I always like things to last forever, no?
QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?
Andrč – Well, I need a crunchy (or even quite heavy) & a semi clean funky rhythm sound. & screaming leads. So I’m always tweaking around, trying this & that. I might go for weeks with something & then trying something else again.
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?
Andrč – Washburn N4 I like, simply because of the neck attachment. It makes it real easy to play the upper range.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Andrč – 15. I got an acoustic though when I was 11. I had no idea how to play & nobody around to show me. I kept stuffing a mike into the hole & set a tape recorder to record & wrecked everybody’s nerves.
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Andrč – Still working on it.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound
Andrč – Hendrix, Page, Van Halen, Nile Rodgers, but there are many more I really like.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?
Andrč – Making place for a humbucker in a single coil guitar using hammer & chisel.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Andrč – Not enough, that’s for sure. But I’m going to quit my day-job, get a cleaning woman & a chef, & I’m stylin’.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Andrč – Medium, it should say that on it. The exact gauges I can’t tell. Heavy ones I don’t like. It feels like a brick in my fingers. & with thin picks you need a new one after each chorus or so.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Andrč – 9-46. We use standard tuning, so there you go. I like heavy bottoms, because it gives me a tighter low-end.
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Andrč – Depends on how much playing there is. If I am just practicing myself, I can go for a week or two if they hold that long. Definitely before each gig.
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Andrč – Luckily hardly ever. Only happens when I forgot to change them before a rehearsal after already playing them for a while.
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Andrč – Basically they need to go together of course. But I think my strumming is what makes my playing. It’s a steady up & down, whether I hit the strings or not. It’s almost like playing percussion.
QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?
Andrč – I’m happy to know a couple guitar techs, so I stopped fooling around myself.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
Andrč – I can read a little. But I prefer tablature so I know where to put my fingers. Tablature alone doesn’t really do it. For writing my own stuff I use normal notation. & hope to remember where to put my fingers.…
QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?
Andrč – I keep a right angle at my elbow. That way I have the right angle of attack for my wrist & it’s also much better for my fretting hand. I don’t have to over bend it.
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Andrč – Isn’t rock & roll all about bad habits?
QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can’t?
Andrč – I’ve never got the hang of arpeggio & sweep soloing. It’s feels completely alien to me.
QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?
Andrč – Tuning maybe... what’s a trick? A summersault that makes the string bend, let the guitar twist around your neck, stuff like that. Everything else is technique. You know it, use it, or not. But maybe there are tricks. & damn it, I don’t know them.
QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?
Andrč – Fingerpicking.
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Andrč – At 15 I did have a few lessons with a jazz player. That was absolutely not my style, but he explained to me the importance of phrasing, how to properly hold the fretting hand & picking technique. & he introduced me to the Berklee method of modern guitar, which opened several doors.
QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?
Andrč – Never, I don’t have a use for them.
QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?
Andrč – Rhythm you got to be able to play. & first off, a band needs a rhythm player. If you only play lead but you don’t know rhythm, what’s the point? So you stand around picking your nose instead of the guitar, waiting for the next solo. & if you are the only guitarist in a band you got to be both, like Hendrix, Page, Van Halen, etc.
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Andrč – No way!
QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?
Andrč – Mattias “IA” Eklundh from Freak Kitchen. That guy is over the hills & way out there. Here I would say, the guy knows “tricks” on guitar. It really is puzzling what he’s doing.
QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?
Andrč – My band Three Kings on the Hill has just released its first album Shindo. Check out “Earthshaking Voice” & “Disconnect”. There you have a variety of stuff I’m doing.
QRD – Anything else?
Andrč – The other 9 songs are good, too. So make sure to check them out!