Do you have a lot of experience with amp sims / plugins?
Only a little. I have the Bias FX plug-in for when I record my guitars.
What was the first amp sim you tried and how did you like it?
Some factory pre-sets in the Pro Tools program. It was not very convincing, as I recall.
The new Tyr album “Hel” (Metalblade) will be released to the masses March 8th. It’s the band’s first album with new guitarist, Attila Voros and new drummer Tadeusz Rieckmann. Did the line-up change drastically affect the writing and recording process?
Actually, the album was recorded long before Terji decided to leave the band. Tadeusz was a very good addition to the band, as was Attila. The songwriting process was better this time with a drummer involved in the process all the way. Tadeusz works very well and fast with the GuitarPro software that we use for compositions.
What did the rigs look like for Tyr on “Hel” and do they differ much from your live set ups?
Terji, Gunnar and I record direct signal in our home studios. We send it to Jacob Hansen for re-amping, mixing and mastering. I actually don’t know how he did it, only that it sounds great.
The lead tones on literally every Tyr release are absolutely fantastic. How do you get things to cut and fit the mix so perfectly even in situations where you seem to have several layers of harmonies?
Again, you’d have to ask Jacob Hansen about the sound and the mix.
What pickups do you use in your Ibanez and Bjarnastein guitars?
I record all rhythm guitars wiht my Bjarnastein. It has EMG active pick ups. I record most solos and clean guitar with my Ibanez. It has D Activator pick-ups from DiMarzio.
How far do you think amp sims have come over the last 5 years?
It’s excellent. We used to use Bias FX live a few years back, but now we’ve gone back to Kempers now. It’s amazing, really the only way to go for touring metal bands.
Do you think amp sims will ever get to a point where you’d consider touring with a laptop based rig?
I’m not sure. I don’t trust laptops. I’d rather have a simpler rig, like Bias FX or Kemper, as we have used recently. A laptop is overkill, and you’re inviting disaster by having one involved in your rig. I prefer applying simpler tools that are less prone to crashes.
We won’t ask you to give away all your secrets but if someone was trying to emulate your tone, what would you say is one piece of gear they absolutely need to have in the rig?
There’s no secrets here. You have to get Jacob Hansen to re-amp your guitar. As for live, Terji made my sounds when he was with us, and now Attila has taken that role. Guitar sounds are really not my thing, as you may have found out by this interview. I care much more about composition and songwriting.
I really love the variety of answers and outlooks that we get from interview to interview. It just shows you how similar and also how different we all are in every facet of our process as musicians and human beings. We were very happy to get this interview on the books. Thank you to Tyr and Metalblade,