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Guitar Slayer, Jamie Slays talks Guitars and Genres with Review Zoo!

Updated: Jun 4, 2023


Hi Jamie, Welcome to Review Zoo and thanks for taking part. What got you into playing Guitar and how old were you when you first started playing? I got into playing guitar around the age of 16. Listening to the box, kerrang and scuzz tv was what drew me in the most. I've been listening to my dads music all my life, sex pistols, ace of base, the jam, ub40 REM etc but I never wanted to pick up a guitar as much as I did when I first saw the music video to left behind by slipknot!


Can you cast your mind back to the first riff you learnt? :) My dad has a friend who has been playing most of his life and he came over to help tune the guitar. The CD I had that it came with was so difficult to tune by ear especially when you're so new to the instrument. He showed me back in black, everybody hurts and highway to hell. I can still remember those songs to this day! But initially I was disheartened because I wanted to play music I loved. But I stuck with the songs he showed me and was flying into nu metal and metallica in no time haha! What’s your axe of choice? My absolute go to at the moment is my Purple glitter sparkle LEPSKY CUSTOM - element model. It’s so beautiful. Custom made for me by the great guys over at lepsky and gifted to me to play and demo to the world. I just fitted fishman fluence moderns into it and now it sounds even better. I've got it tuned to E standard with a custom gauge of 9-52 strings for the low e riffing! Which piece of gear is your all time favourite and wouldn’t go without? I think the best thing I've purchased in the last 5 years was the neural dsp quad cortex. It does everything I need it to and more. I don't use it as much as I'd like to but when I go out and about or I need to record remotely it’s perfect. My favourite piece of digital gear has always been the neural DSP nolly Getgood plugin but there's a new one on the horizon so stay tuned! When you’re not in front of the camera for your YouTube channel, do you play in any bands or projects? If so, please can you tell us a bit about them, and tell us about which gear you use live compared to in the studio? Believe it or not I'm not in any bands or side projects, I work in retail 30 hours a week so it takes up a lot of my time. Also working with other people can be really frustrating and difficult to organise. I was in a band way back when that ended in 2010 called through the abyss from bristol. Check it out on Apple Music and Spotify etc but it was basically my studio project that we eventually turned into a live band. Im working on original music at the moment that I may tour or play live one day and just bring in some hired guns to help out! What are your hobbies outside of music? The problem with me is I have way too many hobbies haha they're all expensive also. I love Gaming, getting tattooed, going to Japan, watching anime, collecting figures and trading cards, learning japanese, going foraging in the woods and watching tv/movies. I play video games a lot. Maybe even more than guitar. Every morning I at least play PS5 for 30 minutes before getting ready for work and I play for a few hours in the evening. I love going for walks in the woods to forage and take photos of mushrooms also. Who’s your biggest musical influence? Id have to go with bands rather than specific people, the black dahlia murder, sylosis, metallica and pantera are my absolute go to bands. My original music I'm working on at the moment is a huge combination of those 4 bands mainly taking inspiration from sylosis and TBDM. But the bands I grew up on that shaped my guitar technique and interests were; Lamb of god, trivium, killswitch engage, children of bodom, cradle of filth, pantera, metallica, slipknot and avenged sevenfold. Do you play any other instruments? Not really, I can ‘play a bass’ in the same way I play guitar but not with my fingers or any popping/slapping etc. I can transcribe drums out in midi but I can't play. I'd love to be able to play the drums if I had the space and time to learn. I have a lot of energy so I feel like it would be a good outlet and some of my favourite bands have the best drummers ever. RIP JOEY JORDISON/VINNIE PAUL Do you listen to any other genres outside of your chosen genre, if so which ones? YEH! I love all types of music. Genuinely. I love grime, hip hop and RnB, gangster rap, techno, house, dubstep, DNB the list goes on One of my favourite artists ever is Post Malone. but I love listening to Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, skrillex, Eminem and dr Dre, lil Wayne, kendrick Lamar, childish gambino, Ariana grande, lady gaga, billie eilish, thin Lizzy, queen. Literally everything haha. One of my favourite bands growing up was the berzerker but before that I was obsessed with destiny’s child and so solid crew. So it shows how eclectic my tastes are I guess?! Stuck on a desert island, you can have one album, what is it? I think it has to be hybrid theory by Linkin park? That album shaped my generation and got SOOOO many people into heavier music so I have to pay homage to that album hugely! What are you listening to at the moment? The black dahlia murder, nocturnal/miasma. Sylosis - conclusions of an age Metallica - the black album The home team - slow bloom The new singles by sleeptoken Malevolence - malicious intent Mastodon - Emperor of sand The song which has the most meaning to you? I really love nothing else matters. I've been with my partner for 18 years now since 2005 and it was always ‘our song’ we don't say that it is much any more but when I saw them live at download and they played it. It was awesome. i was with just my dad at the time so I was texting her frantically saying “they're playing our song?!” We also grew up 22 miles apart so the “so close no matter how far” line always made me think of that! Thanks Jamie you're a legend

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