Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Axemen Series : Mike Olson and Gary Campbell of Ariel’s Attic

1.Tell us your name and the band you play for
My name is Mike Olson with Ariel’s Attic
And I”m Gary Campbell with Ariel’s Attic


2.Who made you want to pick up the guitar 

Mike---- My mother was a guitarist in the 60s.
Gary----- My mom got me a guitar for Christmas when I was 13.  She was expecting Johnny Cash…  Oops.  Ha ha!

3.Are you self taught or did you take lessons? 

Mike----- Primarily self taught.. I’ve probably had less than 10  face to face proper guitar lessons in my life.  I do however, collect instructional material.

Gary----- I started off teaching myself.  I had been playing trumpet for a couple of years so I learned guitar by learning how to read music.  After I’d been playing for 3 years I took a year of classical guitar lessons.  

 4. Can you read music, Can you read tab? 

Mike----A little, and yes..

Gary---  Yes and yes.  Which really worked out for me early.  I played lead guitar in the stage shows Jesus Christ Superstar when I was 17 and played 2 others after that (Follow the Star and Fiddler on the roof (At the audition - Me?  Yeah, sure I play mandolin as well… ).

. 5.Do you feel like you have your own sound tone? 

Mike----Yes, I think so.. Is that a good thing? Depends upon the ear of the beholder :)
Gary---- Bob, the bass player and the guy who records me, and I have spent quite a bit of time over the last 3 years coming up with my sound.  We actually have at least 4 sounds.  A lot of times Bob gets me to record 2 different sounds and then puts one on the right and one on the left.  Works well!

6.Tell us about your guitar ( brand ,model . year , color ) 


Mike--- I, am a gear whore.. There, I said it ..  At present my go to guitar is a White 2014? Carvin ST300C with a Holdsworth headstock.. I pulled the stock pups and installed a Seymour Duncan JB and 59.. I LOVE my 2018 Gibson Les Paul Std as well.. Flamed Cobalt Blue. And my N4 Padauk… And my ESP E-II  Blue Natural Fade …  And my….
Gary---- My main guitar is an Ibanez JS1000 (signed!).  Beautiful guitar to play for sure.  And it has a great tone with those Seymour Duncans!  I love and hate the floating bridge.  It stays in tune forever but changing strings is a nightmare.  My second guitar is a Godin electric acoustic.  Beautiful guitar to play and look at.  And made in Canada!

7.What about pickups? Passive or active ? Tell us about them 

Mike--- I am not a big fan of actives. The Seymour Duncan JB and 59 set are my  clear favorites.

Whatever Mike said.  He’s the gear nut!

8.Lets get into amplification, Same drill brand , model , speakers etc 

Gary - I use a Peavy Classic 30 when I’m playing live. 
9.Do you have a pedal board? 

Tell us about that badboy 

Mike--- No, I like simple. I drop a tube screamer in front of my rig and that’s it.
Gary--- I use a Boss GT 10 live.  Gives me all the effects I need!  For recording I use the effects, etc. in Logic.
10..Now tell us your Dream Rig in detail.....

Mike---- Too many to list.. Bogner Uberschall to Marshall to Engl to EVH to etc etc..

Gary---- I have exactly what I want.  JS1000, Peavey Classic 30 and Boss GT10.  For live acoustic stuff, I use a pedal graphic equalizer and a digital delay.

11.What guitarist can you not stand? 

Mike--- I’m sorry, I simply do not do guitarist bashing..
Gary--- How many guitarists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?  2.  One to do it and one to stand at the bottom of the ladder and tell everyone he could do it much better…  I’m with Mike on this one...

12. Is tone more important or is technique? 

Mike-- Tone without question

Gary--- Both are important but tone wins that one.
13. Name your top 5 guitarist 

Mike--- In no particular order Eddie, Yngwie, Michael, Alex and Criss… Can’t leave out Dime ;)

Gary--- Jimmy Page, Alex LIfeson, John 5, Joe Satriani and David Gilmore
14.Who is the most overrated guitarist 

Mike---  See #11

Gary--- I learned early that just because I don’t like what I hear on a recording doesn’t necessarily mean it defines how good or bad they are.  

15.Who would you like a one hour private sit down lessons with anyone dead or alive?
Mike--- Probably Dime

Alex Lifeson


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