Sevenstring.org Interview - Jona Nido of The Ocean/Switchback

Discussion in 'Artist Reviews & Interviews' started by DDDorian, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. DDDorian

    DDDorian Mantis Toboggan, M.D Super Moderator

    Messages:
    4,651
    Likes Received:
    1,241
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Location:
    Middle of nowhere, Australia
    <tr>


    <td class="alt1" valign="top" width="100%" style="padding:10px;" colspan="2">

    <hr size="1" style="color:#000000" />


    <div id="post_message_89657" align="justify"><!-- google_ad_section_start --><div align="right"><img src="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/hosted/191849d5ff5424397.png" alt="Jona Nido" /><br />
    <b>Interview: Jona Nido</b><br />
    <font size="1"><i>Interviewed by: Hufschmid</i></font><br /><br />
    </div><br /><br />
    <br /><br />
    <b>"The Ocean Collective’s oftentimes deeply convoluted compositions sweep across dismal landscapes shaped by faceless modern archi-tecture and symbols of power looming large on all horizons, tearing up the asphalt of our cities’ streets with berserk drum-attacks, at times pausing for a minatorial instant, granting the battered listener a short moment to breathe in the foul odor of panic, before winding up again, with deafening noise and sparks flying all across the stage, into the black city night’s skies... Rich with dire lust for life and oozing with complaisant brutality, they come across as epic and sinfonical, long yet hardly long-winded. Slow, calm and doomy passages with classical instruments and clear references to soundtrack music culminate in guitar-dominated outbursts of orchestral noise and modern, technical metal/hardcore." <i>-official biography</i></b><br /><br />

    <br /><br />
    <br /><br />
    <img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/hosted/191849d5ea6ac8f00.jpg" alt="Jona Mica" />
    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">Sevenstring.org</span>: Hi Jona! Firstly, does it get tiring being in such a fucking incredible band?<br />
    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Jona Nido</span>: <img src="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/images/smilies/laugh.gif" border="0" alt="" title="lol" class="inlineimg" />Glad to read that some people think it's an incredible band, thanks! but seriously, it might be tiring to tour 4 months straight, but it's worth it, that was my dream since I was a kid.<br />
    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: Tell us about a little bit more about yourself, the bands in which you play and what got you started playing guitar?<br />

    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: I'm 22, I started playing guitar when I was 12 and had my first band when I was 13. I think I really started after seeing the "Unplugged In New York" show from Nirvana. I first started on an acoustic guitar before discovering the power of distorted sound with Nirvana and especially silverchair. That really got me into guitar. I first learned almost everything from nirvana and at this time all the nu-metal shit (Limp Bizkit, Korn and so on...). The "revelation" I had, was the first SLIPKNOT album. That really got me into extreme stuff. I do not like what they're doing now, but this first album was and is still a killer!<br />

    I'm currently playing with 2 bands, SWITCHBACK from Switzerland and THE OCEAN from Germany. The first one sounds more like a tech/chaos band but we're not of this "sweep / nintendo" generation although I do like some of those bands, but still it's really fast, dark and technical and melodyless <img src="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" /><br />

    The second one is more kind of "post-core" thing, but really hard to describe, it also depends on which album...they first started with some instrumental stuff, then the first album that they released on Metal Blade Records (Aeolian) was more "math-core" and the last one, Precambrian, is more atmospheric, with more epic songs...we're also using several classical instruments like piano, violin, cellos...<br />

    I also played for 2 years with the "post-hardcore" Swiss band KEHLVIN, I recorded with them an EP/DVD called Holy Cancer and a 30-minute song with another band (so 10 people playing together!)<br />

    Otherwise, I'm always writing some stuff for myself...<br />

    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: Are you self-taught or formally trained?<br />
    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: I took lessons for several years, but as soon as I understood how to work alone, I just stopped...well...not only because of this, I wanted to focus more on playing with my bands.... But still, when I dont understand something I need, or cannot learn something properly on my own, I still give a call to my ex-guitar teacher just to go over it with him.<br />

    But actually, even if I know that lots of people are amazing self-taught guitarists, I still think that for most people it's better to go to a guitar teacher. Besides teaching you how to play guitar, he teaches you how to carry your guitar, how to place your arm, which finger to use on which note and so on...he teaches you how to be "aesthetic" I would say...and he also teaches you all the ways you can play a riff, and this is really important, because sometimes you dont think of the easiest.<br />
    <br /><br />


    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: Do you do warm up exercises? If so, what kind?<br />

    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: Hmm....not really....too lazy <img src="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" /><br />
    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: How did you start playing extended range instruments initially?<br />
    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: I think I bought my first 7-string seven or eight years ago...it was a LTD F207 with EMG-HZ. I just wanted to go lower and I didnt want to use a baritone guitar, because I felt really comfortable playing on the bigger neck and really like the range between low and high strings.<br />
    <br /><br />


    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: Which advantages does an 8-string offer you?<br />
    <br /><br />

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/hosted/191849d5ea6b088c2.jpg" alt="Jona Nido" /><span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: Well, of course you can go lower than ever with the 8th string, but what really attracted me is the range in between the lowest and the highest notes. I mean playing-wise, and sound-wise, it's fucking brutal! I love all kinds of dissonances, and when you play some with the lowest strings it sounds so dark and then you can directly jump to another dissonance, but in the highest strings and, even if you're normally tuned, the difference is so big and unusual that it's a must! I also like it, because with your standard tuning on the 6- or 7-strings, you can play some really standard and nice chords / harmonics and then switch to 8th string and add some depth to your songs.<br />

    About tuning, the advantage too, is that you can experiment with shit loads of non-existent tunings, especially adapted to one song. I'm definetely more on the "experimental" side than the "shred" side really.<br />
    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: Tell us a little more about the way you compose. Who inspires you and what are your influences?<br />
    <br /><br />


    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: Well, it really depends on the mood I'm im and for which band I'm writing. For my Swiss band, SWITCHBACK, I really focus myself on the groove and the most aggressive stuff I can; I start with recording roughly a few riffs that fit together, then I start programming drums and then I find the good transitions to make the whole thing smooth. Programming drums and recording some stuff yourself allows you to try 1000 solutions and just find the best (for you of course).<br />

    In terms of influence for SB, it's mainly about MESHUGGAH, not really the way they play, but the way they choose to write music, without compromises. Hard to explain... then, we're pretty influenced by THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, ION DISSONANCE and MIKE PATTON.<br />
    <br />
    For THE OCEAN, I'm also recording a few riffs, but then, we meet with the drummer and just try together, we wanna have something more "organic" with this band, it's more rock'n'roll too, so it's more about the feeling. What inspires me for this band...of course what THE OCEAN did before I joined them, otherwise, THE MARS VOLTA and some progressive stuff.<br />

    I also like to write some acoustic mellow stuff for myself with some electro elements. Generally I just need to be in a certain mood, be alone and focus myself on finding riffs for a few hours.<br />
    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: Tell us about your gear live and in studio and the pickups you enjoy using most.<br />

    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: Live I'm using all Mesa gear: a Triaxis preamp with a 2x90 power amp and a 4x12 Rectifier cabinet, with a Boss GT Pro for effects. Everything is in a rack, and everything is MIDI-controlled; as we're playing to a click, the midi sequencer's controlling my effects and channel changes and the samples we're using.<br />

    With Switchback I'm using ONLY HUFSCHMID guitars, 7 and 8 string, Those are the perfect guitars to play extreme metal. The handmade pickups are the most amazing i've ever tried, of course they are especially designed for extreme metal, but the power they develop in terms of gain and volume have nothing to do with everything else on the market. The tone is amazing too, super bassy with sharp hi-treble. I love those guitars, definetely.<br />

    For The Ocean, I'm using SCHECTER Guitars exclusively. I've got a HELLRAISER C7 with Floyd Rose and EMG HZ active pickups, a BLACKJACK C7 with two passive Seymour Duncan humbuckers and a TSH 1 with one single-coil Duncan-Designed pickup in the neck and a humbucker in the bridge. I know it's surprising, but those Duncan-Designed sounds pretty good live! I might change them, but haven't got the time to try some others.<br />

    Other guitars I also use depending on the project are a GIBSON custom shop anniversary edition, with 2 P90 pickups and a FIRST ACT Sheena. In the studio I usually use a shitty Line 6 POD to do the pre-production, I also record a DI signal in order to reamp the guitars afterwards, Mainly through an old mesa triple rectifier or everything else!<br />
    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: What are you musical and non-musical influences, maybe?<br />

    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: As I said before: MESHUGGAH, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, ION DISONNANCE, THE MARS VOLTA, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, and for the non-musical side I'd say H.R. Giger and I know it's late but I'm getting more and more in the universe of David Lynch and of course....my emotions and my lady<img src="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" /><br />
    <br /><br />

    <img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/hosted/191849d5ea6b29036.jpg" alt="Jona Nido" /><span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: The Ocean is a very interesting concept because it's made up of different musicians from different countries who go on tour together. Is this a difficulty or an advantage?<br />
    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: Actually I have to correct you on that - we've pretty much got kind of a stable core now, but yes, that's right, the band started as a collective, and it's still the case as we consider all the people involved in anything to do with the band (like visuals, artwork, classical musicians and so on...) as members of the collective. The main guy is from Berlin, the drummer, bass player, sound guy and myself are from the same town in Switzerland called LA CHAUX-DE-FONDS and the singer is from Warrington (UK).<br />

    It's kinda difficult for the rehearsals, but in the end it's cool, I think we're professional enough to rehearse on our own and when it's time to go on tour, we just meet one week before and rehearse like motherfuckers. For writing it's pretty chilled because as we're three people living in the same town we can meet once a week to jam, for the rest they just send us songs by mail.<br />

    <br /><br />
    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: There are quite a lot of guitar changes in the gigs I've seen by The Ocean, how many tunings are they using, what and why?<br />
    <br /><br />


    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: Not that many really, we're now using 2 different tunings (which is already complicated enough as we need one backup per tuning, so that means that we travel with 4 guitars each...) one is in drop-C and the other one is in drop-A. For the drop-A, the other guitar player is using a baritone guitar, I'm using 7 string. We also drop the 1st string as it makes things easier to make some crazy dissonance and nice harmonies (CGCFAC and AEADFAD). It might look like we're changing a lot guitars on stage, but in fact we're just switching between those two tunings... But generally we try an "A" set and a "C" set.<br />
    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: How was the Cynic/Opeth tour in Europe?
    <br />
    <br />
    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: That was amazing of course! Playing sold out venues every night in front of 2000 people and huge stages! It was kinda hard in terms of conditions; I dont wanna complain, but in the UK for example, we had only chips and water in our backstage (when there was some...) and we had no accomodation, but that's the way it is, we were the supporting act, and actually, it was the same for Cynic, the main support so... We had only 30 minutes stagetime, which is really short for us, especially for the more epic songs, but still it was a great experience. Otherwise, the Cynic and Opeth guys were amazingly sympathetic and chilled. Our singer became their guitar tech for a few days too... so many things to talk about.
    <br />
    <br />
    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: Have you any funny experiences to tell about what you went through on tour?<br />
    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: So many...Like our van crashed one hour after leaving Berlin for the Opeth tour in November or some crazy night-drives, parties, troubles on stage....too long, definitely too long...<br />
    <br />
    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: How does endorsing both Ibanez and Schecter work out?
    <br />
    <br />
    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: Actually I'm endorsing Schecter guitars only.
    <br />
    <br />
    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: How long did it take and how hard was it to come up with the concept for Precambrian?
    <br />
    <br />
    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: I joined the band right for the release tour of Precambrian, so it'd be better to check some interviews of mister Robin Staps, the other guitar player and despot in charge in the band :) He's the one who worked out the concept.
    <br />
    <br />
    <img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/hosted/191849d5ed4cb9a05.jpg" alt="The Ocean - Precambrian" /><span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: Have you guys begun writing the next album yet?
    <br />
    <br />
    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: Oh yes baby, cant really tell you anything about it, but there will be some surprises...
    <br />
    <br />
    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: How does your Hufschmid compare to your other, endorsed guitars?
    <br />
    <br />
    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: Well, the HUFSCHMID guitars are perfectly designed for extreme metal (to my taste...) I think there are no guitars that compare with them. If I chose to use another brand with THE OCEAN it's because we have way more elements than just big distortion and after trying, I realised that to have the sound I needed for the clean parts I had to add an extra EQ on all my presets, which is a problem when I was switching to my SCHECTER 6 string. Otherwise I really love the Hufscmid neck which is generally thinner than any other 7- or 8-string.
    <br />
    <br />
    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: What would you like to say to the members of sevenstring.org ?

    <br /><br />

    <span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">JN</span>: Know why do you play a 7 string, practice your technique but dont forget that it's a small part of the work, music is about feeling, emotions and not speed and technique! Love your instrument and if you play guitar just to impress girls, buy a shitty acoustic guitar, make a fire and play some hippie shit to some drunk and stoned people! And, and feel free to <a href="mailto:jona@switchback.ch">contact me</a> for anything!<br />
    <br />
    <div align="center">
    <span style="color:eek:range;font-weight:bold;">For more information on Jona and his projects:</span><br /><br />

    <span style="color:white;font-weight:bold;"><a href="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/www.myspace.com/theoceancollective" target="_BLANK">The Ocean on Myspace</a></span><br />
    <span style="color:white;font-weight:bold;"><a href="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/www.myspace.com/switchbackch" target="_BLANK">Switchback on Myspace</a></span><br />
    <span style="color:white;font-weight:bold;"><a href="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/www.myspace.com/kelvhin" target="_BLANK">Kehlvin on Myspace</a></span><br />
    <span style="color:white;font-weight:bold;"><a href="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/www.myspace.com/jonalehard" target="_BLANK">Jona Nido on Myspace</a></span><br />
    <span style="color:white;font-weight:bold;"><a href="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/hufschmidguitars.com" target="_BLANK">Hufschmid Guitars - the official website</a></span><br />
    <span style="color:white;font-weight:bold;"><a href="http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/schecterguitars.com" target="_BLANK">Schecter Guitars - the official website</a></span>

    </div><!-- google_ad_section_end --></div>

    </td><!-- google_ad_section_end --></div>
    </td><!-- google_ad_section_end --></div>

    </td>
     
  2. DDDorian

    DDDorian Mantis Toboggan, M.D Super Moderator

    Messages:
    4,651
    Likes Received:
    1,241
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Location:
    Middle of nowhere, Australia
    Thanks to Jona for taking the time to answer our questions, and of course to Hassel-Huf for doing the interview!:kd:
     
  3. arktan

    arktan Icnomptenent

    Messages:
    2,186
    Likes Received:
    125
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Switzerland
    :hbang:

    Thanks for this interview. I saw the Ocean in Zürich while they were on tour with Opeth and they were amazing. Very atmospheric musicians indeed.
     
  4. ShadyDavey

    ShadyDavey 7ibrarian

    Messages:
    6,002
    Likes Received:
    899
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Peterborough, UK
    Awesome stuff - nice interview and of course some exposure for our own Dr Huf :)
     
  5. hufschmid

    hufschmid Banned

    Messages:
    7,889
    Likes Received:
    2,556
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    switzerland
    I also have to mention that Jona is one of the most down to earth person I have ever met in my life (not a big head) and that everytime he comes to the workshop to test a guitar I'm always blown away by his guitar playing skills :bowdown:
     
  6. daemon barbeque

    daemon barbeque Banned

    Messages:
    1,672
    Likes Received:
    259
    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Location:
    Côte d'Azur
    Hahah ,nice interview! Well done Patrick! and thanx Jona!
     
  7. Groff

    Groff Medicine Chief/RHLC© Contributor

    Messages:
    14,386
    Likes Received:
    1,479
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Nice interview!

    (Fix the links btw, you have to add an HTTP:// before the addresses, if not, they just link back to the main page)
     
  8. Ishan

    Ishan Giant Fridge Magnet Contributor

    Messages:
    4,079
    Likes Received:
    219
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Location:
    Paris, France.
    Very nice! I love that band since I saw them with Opeth last year.
     
  9. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

    Messages:
    11,297
    Likes Received:
    1,022
    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    Melnibone (duh!)
    Great stuff! I'll need to check these guys out...
     
  10. Rick

    Rick ALL HAIL DJOD Forum MVP

    Messages:
    18,915
    Likes Received:
    1,485
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    That was really cool!
     
  11. signalgrey

    signalgrey Ambiente Savante

    Messages:
    3,774
    Likes Received:
    302
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    Somerville, MA (formerly Seoul)
    rhyacian is one of the best songs ive ever heard. I always wondered what you guys played gear wise! Come to Korea and then adopt me into the collective and then go to New York!
     
  12. gaucho

    gaucho SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, On.
    One of my all time favourite bands (the Ocean), so this interview was great insight! )I missed out on their fogdiver vinyl on Ebay and was uber pissed...only osmwhat related to the article/interview...but hey, why not)

    Also really cool that Jona provided a contact address if anyone ever wanted to ask anything! :)
     
  13. Malacoda

    Malacoda Fogdiver

    Messages:
    859
    Likes Received:
    158
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    Oberlin, OH
    The Ocean is my favorite band ever. Great interview.
     
  14. marky

    marky SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    London
    Hey,

    You're really awesome! Playing 2 bands, How do you mange that? I mean, it is not smooth all the time,is it?

    Are there times like the SB will complain about u playing in The Ocean (or the other way around) ?

    PS.

    SS, very well done! It's just what people are expecting from an interview! :)
     
  15. mayx

    mayx SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    65
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Location:
    Austria
    Saw The Ocean yesterday opening for dillinger escape plan! GREAT SHOW :hbang: and their Sound was Huge!
     

Share This Page