Epiphone have published their recent interview with ANNIHILATOR guitarist Jeff Waters on their official website. Some excerpts can be read below:
If Epiphone were to have a have a hall of fame, Jeff Waters would not only be a charter member but he’d surely also be recognized as one of Epi’s greatest ambassadors. Those who have experienced one of Jeff’s guitar clinics know that he’s not only a spectacular musician but also a gifted teacher–funny, patient, self-effacing, and utterly devoted to his craft. Though he’s certainly proud of his work, he never plays to the audience, he plays for the audience. And the joy he finds in performing is infectious. To celebrate Jeff’s big year–new album, new tour, and new clinics, Epiphone.com caught up with the hardest working shredder in show business.
New music, new tour, new clinics–do you ever rest?
Ha! I was just playing my Epiphone as you called. Can you believe that? And I have an Epiphone clock above my studio. You know those old ones they had a few years ago? So, I wake up every morning at 6am and do a 9-5 of writing riffs for another record, just burying myself in this life.
And you’ve been in the studio?
Yes. It will be my 15th studio album. Still going, still ticking, still having fun. It’s supposed to come out in late October. We’ll see what happens–how quickly I can pull it off without rushing it.
Where does your inspiration come from? You obviously love making albums.
It’s like a battle. You put a lot of stress on yourself and there are so many things that can affect the writing–personal stuff and business baloney. Sometimes I write records when I don’t even have a deal. Honestly, it would be great to be in a position where I can do it a 100% for fun. But you also have to think about what’s on the schedule, what’s the next thing that’s coming, the next stressful business thing that has to be taken care of in order to actually make the record, have it sell, and be able to do it again. So, I always have that kicking around. I don’t think I’ve ever made a record where I can just kick back.
The other side is–like a lot of artists–I start to wonder: ‘geez was my last album the last bit of good writing I’ll ever do? How many more can I do without having failure?’ (laughs). There’s always something hanging over you, you know? But I’ve been lucky and it seems to work out that the pressure gives me a kick in the butt to come up with some good stuff. It’s hit and miss.
When you started on guitar, what kind of player did you want to be?
When I was a teenager, all my friends in Ottawa, Canada were into Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Van Halen. I took the opposite view of that stuff and sat down and noticed that AC/DC and Van Halen wrote songs first–the rhythm guitar playing and the songs were more amazing to me. The lead guitar–the shredding–I was never listening to the solos. I was listening to the rhythm–which I still can’t do. And lead guitar was a bonus. So at my clinics, I try to show that the leads are the icing on the cake. As Marty Friedman says: screw the solos–go join a band write some good songs. When I do clinics, our popularity is mostly in Europe, South America, and Japan. Fans know that I’m not the guy to do the covers and the 20 minutes solos.
Read the full interview at this location.