1.Tell us your name and the band you play for
Sarah L Allen, I was the former bassist and now I play guitar for Torizon.
2.Who made you want to pick up the guitar
Well it was definitely more than one artist. Though if I had to pick my aha moment It was actually David Gilmour, which made so many kids at school think I was lame as hell! But my uncle had a mad record and CD collection, he would lend me stuff all the time and one day Pink Floyd’s Pulse fell into my hands. It was a dvd and cd edition so of course I played the dvd first and it blew my tiny mind. Gilmour still does today, in my humble opinion he can’t be touched when it comes to expression on guitar.
3.Are you self taught or did you take lessons?
Bit of both, I started out self taught, I was lucky enough to be the age when there were a fair few beginner lessons online allowing me to begin finding my way with the instrument. It wasn’t until much later when I wanted to start actually playing in front of people that I pursued formal lessons.
4. Can you read music, Can you read tab?
I can read music...very slowly. Tab actually confuses the hell out of me, I mostly play with chord charts and by ear. I find it helps me remember parts far better if I have to actually figure them out.
5.Do you feel like you have your own sound / tone ?
As much as I’d like to say yes, I highly doubt it, It’s impossible not to be influenced by the bands you love. I’d say my tone is the bastard child of Brent Hinds (Mastodon), John Baizley (Baroness) and Stephen Carpenter (Deftones).
6.Tell us about your guitar ( brand ,model . year , color )
Only one??!! Lordy you guys Don’t make it easy. I’ll have to go through all of them as they all get used with our upcoming material.
First up is my Sterling Petrucci 157 in Sahara Burst, i chose this axe when i made the switch from 5 string bass to guitar in the band, I found I was really missing that extra string, the neck profile and badass active pickups just absolutely sold it for me. I get alot of my brutal sounds from this axe.
Second is my 2019 Les Paul Tribute, as much as Gibson have been in dire straits when it comes to negative publicity this is a lovely no frills balls to the wall les paul. I love it.
Third is an axe I’ve nicked from my partner who also plays guitar. It’s an EVH Wolfgang Standard in silverburst. I actually took the mickey out of him because i've never been much of a Van Halen fan (too cheesy for me), but I have to say EVH knows how to build a brilliant guitar.
Lastly I play a guitar that I actually have no idea what the brand is as i got it on ebay for $30. I'm certain it’s a chinese ripoff, but I got it as I’ve always wanted strandberg but could never afford one, stripped the gross rusty electronics out and put some EMG 85’s in, now it plays like a dream!
7.What about pickups? Passive or active ? Tell us about them
Both definitely have their place, especially when it comes to recording. My general rule of thumb is passives for clarity, actives for attitude.
8.Lets get into amplification, Same drill brand , model , speakers etc
I barely ever use an amp onstage, but for recording some tracks I’ve been using a DV Mark 250 M (the M is for Metal!) it's a really nice amp with tons of headroom for recording, then putting that through a marshall studio classic 2x12
9.Do you have a pedal board? Tell us about that badboy
My pedalboard is ridiculously simple… and quite underwhelming to look at. It consists of a Line 6 HX stomp, a Morningstar MC6 midi controller and a Mission Engineering expression pedal and that actually does a ridiculous amount of sophisticated work on my behalf. I am a massive fan of not doing the pedal dance anymore, I’d much rather do the programming beforehand!
10..Now tell us your Dream Rig in detail…..
I think I've actually found it - the Helix system is incredible, as much as i’d love to own many of the tube amps that it emulates, realistically i'm a small female with little lifting capabilities… i love getting a monster sound out of a tiny unit.
11.What guitarist can you not stand?
Jack Johnson - now he’s not a bad player and i appreciate what he does but my family played that one debut album on repeat for far too long so when i hear it now it actually makes me irrationally angry.
12. Is tone more important or is technique?
I’d go with technique first, then worry about tone. No point having a great tone if you can’t play the darn thing.
13. Name your top 5 guitarist
This is really hard to narrow down- I’d have both of the Mastodon boys in one - the combo of the two is epic, another dynamic duo for me is Gina Gleason and John Baizley from Baroness, I love Devin Townshend, Josh Homme is another whose composition I really rate. Also all three lads from Periphery - their music is amazing!
14.Who is the most overrated guitarist
While I appreciate his abilities and technique, I can't listen to hours upon hours of sweep picking, so i'll go with Yngve Malmsteen.
15.Who would you like a one hour private sit down lessons with anyone dead or alive?
I’d go with Guthrie Govan, the man is a mad guitar wizard, though I don't think an hour would quite scrape the surface.