Article by: Leanne Ridgeway
The Gear Assembly interview series is especially for the music gear addicts, or simply the curious like myself.
Each article in the Gear Assembly series features a different musician answering the same questions, highlighting both their varying preference in music gear, as well as their own music that results from using that gear. Hopefully it brings some awareness to both the artists and their gear makers. You’re reading, so we’ve got at least one more. Find new music, learn about who’s making it and what they use to create it…
GEAR ASSEMBLY Series #16:
THE W LIKES’ Lars-Erik Skogly
Norway’s THE W LIKES has had a few starts and stops since releasing their ‘Into The Within‘ demo in January 2013. Some lineup changes here and there, then a second release, ‘This Time‘, with the new crew in October 2015. Once solidified, they re-recorded the songs from that second EP to include with the new tracks on their debut full-length ‘The W Likes‘ in June 2017, released through Rampah Records.
Their most recent was a 2019 split LP release, ‘Chapter X‘, which is the final record in the Ripple Music ‘Second Coming Of Heavy‘ series. THE W LIKES bassist Lars-Erik Skogly is here today as our sixteenth piece in the Gear Assembly! Rock on…
Riff Relevant /Leanne: What instrument(s) do you play?
Riff Relevant /Leanne: Give us a rundown of your current live gear set-up.
On my pedal board, I use Boss Chromatic tuner, 2x Ampeg SCR-DI, a Norwegian distortion pedal called Grombass (Onkart Gromt) and currently on my second ABY pedal (do not have any brand loyalty to that one yet… as long as it works).
Riff Relevant: When was the exact moment you realized you wanted to play your instrument(s)? Who was your primary influence at that moment?
I was 13 and I didn’t like playing guitar. I got guitar lessons for the previous X-mas, but I couldn’t get into it.
My influence, at that time, to pick up the bass was actually Duff McKagan. I still like Guns N’ Roses more than Metallica. Take that Rollsløkka elementary school, with your preferences to the latter, haha.
Riff Relevant: Which one of your songs best exemplifies you as a musician? Why?
“This Time” a song we released as a digital single and later re-recorded for our debut album.
Willy (guitarist and vocalist) started playing a somewhat laid back riff that Erik, our previous drummer, had started playing something fast over it – and I jumped on it with the riff that, to this day, is exactly how I played it the first time… only less sloppy.
I demanded to write the lyrics by myself (Willy and I usually collaborate on most of it). So this kinda laid back song ended up being a burst of energy that I absolutely love to play.
Riff Relevant: Is there specific gear you prefer to use in the studio that would be different from your live set-up?
The last three recording sessions we have done were in a small studio, in our hometown Hamar, Memphis Bound Studio.
I use everything except my cabinets in there and it seems to work out great.
Riff Relevant: Any type of pre-show/practice warm up rituals?
Just the nerves kicking in. If they don’t kick in, the gig usually is crap from my part. Nerves go away after one or two songs and then it’s all good.
Riff Relevant: How do you keep things interesting when able to be out on tour & playing the same set each night?
It’s mostly been weekend gigs, so I still dream of going out on that long tour and try not to kill each other.
We never get enough stage time, so we have to change the set lists so we get to play them all.
Riff Relevant: What do you think gives your playing its signature sound?
When I feel the rumble from my cabinets, I fall into the groove with the other guys and can’t give a damn about anything else in the world. Just playing our hearts out.
Riff Relevant: Any brand loyalty? Are you partial to one company over another? Any current sponsorships or your own signature gear?
I still have my first Fender Precision – three in total. I’ve been up to five.
I’ve had a couple of other basses, but it never works out. I’m loyal to my Fenders. I love my Ampegs and EBS amps, and dream of adding an Orange stack into the mix. No current sponsorships or my own signature gear.
Riff Relevant: What is the most important piece of equipment currently in your live set-up? Why? What is it about that one?
My Fender, it’s a love story.
Riff Relevant: What do you enjoy doing outside of music, that you feel ultimately contributes to your musicality? (For example, a hobby that you turn to in order to stimulate your creativity.)
My girlfriend and I bought a house up in the hills, with very few neighbours, two years ago. I enjoy the quiet, surrounded with forest, walking the dog, and the occasional visit from elk in our backyard.
Taking care of the house and the upcoming building of a rehearsal room /studio gives a lot of peace of mind for what’s to come. That transfers into more creativity.
Riff Relevant: Are there any newly emerging artists or bands who are currently influencing you (or you just enjoy)? If yes, how so?
Yes, as all good music does. I am first of all a music fan. It kinda feels that Majestic Mountain Records could just go ahead and give me a subscription to their roster.
Riff Relevant: If you could give one piece of advice to an up and coming musician, what would it be?
Play what you love and play as much you can.
Riff Relevant: How has the virus pandemic impacted your music life or career? What are some ways you’ve been doing things differently? (Note: some of the answers may be from several weeks ago.)
It’s been some crazy days at work. I’m now on temporary leave, so I’ve tried to catch up with some sleep. And as I typed that, I was called back for tomorrow. Crazy days indeed…
Music-wise, it will be hard hard, since we were banned from crossing county lines unless you’re working. We are trying to write music and sending each other ideas. But now it might be crazy work hours again for me.
Riff Relevant: If you could have any music gear you wanted, what would be your ideal set up?
The one I have, plus an Orange stack and more Fender Precisions… loads more. Also might be an idea to have some wireless system, haha.
THE W LIKES
Want to be featured in a future Gear Assembly article? Answer our questions [HERE]!