“I have been using Aristides guitars now for a couple of years. It’s a Dutch guitar company and they make guitars out of their own secret formula, a synthetic material called Arium.
"It’s something they made to resemble all the best acoustic qualities of organic materials. Their guitars have a lot of sustain, something that I think comes through in my eight-string.”
“Ihsahn from Emperor introduced me to Aristides. He told me, ‘You’ve got to try these guitars’. We’ve known him for a long time – we were his [solo] backing band for a lot of years.
"He’s the guy who introduced me to eight-string guitars in general. I had to buy my first eight-string guitar when I played with him. I’d never had an endorsement with a guitar brand before and it turned out [Aristides] were big Leprous fans – so that was ideal for me!”
“This is the model called 080S; it’s the fanned fret model. This is the first guitar I’ve had especially made for me. First of all the appearance is of course the first thing you notice and I was a bit unsure whether to go for the black and gold because it could suddenly turn into a Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding kind of feel, but it was classy enough and I think it’s really, really cool.
"It really didn’t take long to get used to fan frets. It gives the right vibrance on the lower strings and also the thinner strings; instead of compensating somewhere in between, it gives you the optimal scale length.”
“I vary a bit with string thickness but I usually go with .010s and maybe all the way down to .070 on the thicker strings. I do a lot of different tunings in our set on different songs so it was important that it didn’t have any advanced tuning systems that locked. I like this system and it’s really easy to tune.”
Bare Knuckle 'buckers
“The pickups are Bare Knuckle, especially made for the fan fret [model]. They’re passive pickups and I prefer them to active ones. It gives a bit more of a twangy sound compared to the active pickups. It depends on what you’re looking for but for my sound and Leprous’s sound the passive pickups work a lot better.”
“I use the coil-split a lot, which I can activate here on my volume knob. When I push it in it’s the humbuckers that I use a lot for the distorted parts like single string distorted parts that need more sustain.
"I’m the main rhythm guitar player in Leprous and I play the lower frequency stuff and it needs more of the sustain sometimes. But usually on almost everything else I pull the coil-split and it gets a lot more of a twangy sound.”
“I like to bend the neck – the guys from Aristides won’t like this but I have a couple of songs where I can’t bend down the thicker strings so I just bend the entire neck to get this ‘baaaooowww’ effect.”
Leprous play London and Manchester on 7 and 8 November in support of their forthcoming as-yet-untitled new album