With the next W.A.S.P. release — tentatively titled “Golgatha” — and it’s subsequent tour slated for spring of 2015, Douglas Blair, the band’s American lead guitarist, stands poised to finally introduce his long-mothballed ‘main’ project, the aptly-named power duo SIGNAL2NOISE, to Finnish audiences during the interim.
In association with Rock Academy Finland — for whom Blair is a visiting professor (traveling to and coaching groups at the program’s various nationwide locations), the duo will be scheduling club shows to perform music from its ‘fighting mental illness’ collection. Along with Boston drummer John Anthony, Douglas will also be hosting daytime clinics/workshops at RAF locations in each city.
Blair — who’s relocating to Turku from Boston — formed signal2noise at the turn of the millenium when he decided to tackle a new instrument he’d actually designed and developed for his bassist. The GuitarCross is an 8-string bass/guitar hybrid that allows the player to play both guitar (5 strings) and bass (3 strings) simultaneously and completely separately, through multiple amplifiers. The instrument will certainly catch the attention of the growing Extended Range Guitar (ERG) and prog communities, in the vein of Meshuggah and Animals As Leaders.
Known more for his spinning saw-blade themed stage guitars with W.A.S.P., Douglas explains the GX concept: “There’s a really cool American industrial band from the 90‘s called Filter, and how they used two guitars slamming harmonized single low notes inspired me to find a way to have my bassist do that, with me (on my guitar). That’s where it started — with one note — and now it’s expanded exponentially. Two of us can sound like five — with no backing tracks whatsoever.”
“I’ll be using John (Anthony) whenever his busy schedule allows, but I’ll also be looking for creative and innovative drummers of all types to collaborate in this way. As is the flexible nature of a duo, styles can move in any direction — and I’ll also look forward to working with guest vocalists and soloists along the way!”
As if all that were not enough, Blair contends the duo will perform “inside out”: Anthony’s drums set up in front of Blair (standing on a riser), adding that this arrangement actually “mirrors the reversal of roles that is occuring quite often while we play — the GX takes rhythym, while the drums take the lead role.” Quite interesting indeed…