'Kaiser and the Machines of Creation' guitarist features on new track from That Rock Guy
That Rock Guy is excited to announce that guitar virtuoso Paul Kaiser, best known for his work as the principal protagonist with 'Kaiser and the Machines of Creation', will be featured on the new track 'Your Dreams' to be released on the upcoming album 'Nothin' To Lose'. on label AOR Heaven.
We sat down with That Rock Guy to get the lowdown:
How did this collaboration become a reality?
"When I was a young guitarist back in Adelaide I used to go and see all the big bands that were making a name for themselves on the scene. Bands like Teaze and the Zep Boys, who recently performed a hard rocking collaboration with the Australian Symphony Orchestra. As a young kid, I'd watch from the audience and I wanted to bring my guitar playing up to that level. I was just blown away by his fretboard prowess and I bugged him to take me under his wing and show me the ropes. So he tutored me for about a year studying advanced guitar techniques like sweep picking, double handed tapping, legato technique, stuff like that. After he toured the east coast with his band, I moved over to Europe and our paths rarely crossed, so it's been great to re-connect again in a musical way"
So, similar to back when Joe Satriani was tutoring Steve Vai?
"Well (laughs), I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to put myself in that category of genius, but Kaiser is clearly in that league. There certainly was an element of hunger for fretboard knowledge, and although labeling someone the best in any creative endeavor is a subjective opinion, he was certainly one of the best rock guitarists around and that holds true to this day. Check out his YouTube channel and you'll see what I'm talking about (https://youtu.be/rits4Y_I4pw - Ed.)"
You're on tour in Japan now and Kaiser is based in Australia. How did you overcome the logistics of the situation?
"Actually, I was on tour in Europe when I contacted him. We'd just finished some sessions in the studio in Sweden when the idea hit me, and Kaiser was the first guitarist that came to mind. Thankfully, we live in an age where, because of the internet, communication is a lot easier than it was30 years ago. It was as simple as me sending him a copy of the tracks and he played his fingers off and sent it back. That's not to say there weren't other challenges by working this way. Obviously without having him in the studio in Europe in person, there were technical difficulties with the recording process, Being logistically separated means less control, for example, we can't shape tone or use mics or rooms that we have in Europe. We've got a roomful of classic vintage and modern amps in the studio, from vintage Marshall JMP Plexi heads to modern Rectifiers, so the mix engineer originally wanted to take Kaiser's dry clean signal and run it through some of these cool amps to create the best re-amped tone for the track, but some technical issues in Australia prevented that from happening. But it's all good, we found a way to make it work. They say tone is all in the fingers anyway (laughs)."
You're recording your debut album and it's a solo album. You're writing all of the tracks yourself, and you're doing all the lead and backing vocals, guitar parts, even playing drums on certain tracks. What made you depart from that process to involve another guitarist in the project?
"OK, I'm doing 90% of it myself, but I'm incredibly grateful for the input of some hugely talented individuals on this album; Kaiser on this track, another track features Alex Cozzoli playing some beautiful acoustic guitar lines on a song that we co-wrote a while ago. Marcin Palider from Europe has already laid down some killer bass tracks on some of the songs, and I really dig his style, man. I'm thinking of having him do all the bass tracks on the album then come out on tour with us. Regarding this track specifically, I felt the song was calling for another point of view. I'd written the track a fair while back and the solo is quite long by today's standards, really an epic length. The solo section goes through about 4 different key changes and when I was listening to the demo, it reminded me of some of the classic two-guitar lineups throughout rock history like Iron Maiden of even Keel. I remember one Keel song in particular 'No Pain, No Gain' where Marc Ferrari and Bryan Jay were just exploding fireworks back and forth having a great 'dueling guitars' moment during the solo. Similar to Iron Maiden's 'The Trooper' solo where they play off of each other, it's more complimentary than a duel. I felt the new track was screaming for that vibe, and it needed another color to complete the painting. Ultimately, Kaiser provided technicolor to a black and white movie."
Are there plans to tour with Kaiser together in the band or to collaborate on other material in the future - an album together maybe?
"Well, that sounds like an awesome idea! Who knows? I personally really dig it when artists with different influences and experiences work together to create something special. At this stage my vibe is quite elementary in that it has simply been a real honor and pleasure to have him on board and contribute in such a significant way to this track. I know he's a busy guy and quite in demand so that may be an issue. Ultimately, once the label releases the album we'll be waiting to see what sort of response we get and the size and duration of the European Tour will depend on how well the album is received. We'll just wait and see and if we're both free and keen then I guess I'm open for that to happen. Not sure I can afford to pay him what he's worth though! (laughs). Let's just get the album out there and we'll see what happens."
That Rock Guy released the follow-up single "Can't Get Enough Of You" this month and you can view the music video here: https://youtu.be/jV-y1UbShxI