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Pontus H.W. Gunve

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Pontus Gunve from 2019

MSJ:

It has been about a year or so since we last did an interview. What is new in the world of Pontus Gunve?

I launched my new album Black Hole BBQ in October. The process took about four years – from writing, recording, editing, mixing, and mastering everything. Also, I have been working on a few videos. The title track, "Black Hole BBQ" video is out on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iS496_cC3s) and another video is currently being edited and finalized.

MSJ:

Talking about the new album. How would you compare and contrast it to other of your works?

This has a bit more emphasis on the guitar and maybe a bit “heavier” overall. I also worked with my friend Ian O’Brien (Fastus) on modular synth elements. He really helped by adding amazing soundscapes and modular synth sections.
MSJ: What’s the best thing that’s ever been said about your music?
Always a hard question, but Salim Ghazi Saeedi wrote a nice thing about the music with the title “The Magician of Rich Melodic Canvases of Sound” in an interview from 2015 - http://www.artrockin.com/interviews/2015/01/pontus-gunve-the-magician-of-rich-melodic-canvases-of-sound/
MSJ:

What’s ahead for you?

I want to write more music this next year, 2020. I am planning on taking some time and really think about what direction I want my music to take and how to put this together. I want to explore different compositional styles and sonic textures and just learn as much as I can - maybe lock myself in an isolated room for a few days to see what comes out of that. But yeah – I want to keep writing new material.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

I have been listening to Stars of the Lid And Their Refinement of the Decline, a 2007 release. It has some amazing textures and atmospheric compositions. Also – Deadprod’s 2004 album Morals and Dogma - there are some amazing textures of sound in this album – and it is really a frightening sound - cold, desolated, and straight out of a horror films. The second track "Dead People's Things" is really spooky, but amazing to listen to. I have been trying to listen to music that is not necessarily in my genre to get inspiration and new ideas.

MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?

Sadly I have not been able to read much lately,  but read A Brief History of Time recently and found this fascinating. It was released in 1988 and is a captivating read and helps the “laymen scientist” understand some of the concepts relating to the story of the universe and the laws holding it all together.

MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

I saw Marty Friedman earlier in the year at St. Vitus in Brooklyn. It is a small venue – and great atmosphere. Basically you get to see this big guitar hero put on a shred show in a small size club. There is something special about that intimate type of show – it is a whole different experience – compared to the stadium sized (and over priced) shows in NYC. I was trying to get tickets for Queen recently but could not find a single seat that was less than $300 - and those seats were very far away.

MSJ: Have you come across any new gear recently that you love?
I have been trying to simplify my guitar rig lately - sort of back to basic principles – based on my previous guitar tones. I picked up a treble boost (Dallas Rangemaster Clone) for a Queen tribute show – trying to emulate Brian May’s guitar tone. The pedal really did the job, and I am trying to figure out a way to incorporate this into my current rig. I try to stay away from too much craziness with guitar tones, but if I am experimenting with drones and atmospheric tones I tend to blend pure guitar tones with reverb or delay plugins (in Pro Tools). I found the Valhalla Shimmer to produce some epic guitar reverb tones over a clean or lightly overdriven tone.
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

Keep making music. Keep supporting local bands, and keep creativity going. Live music is a very special event, and I hope that people will continue to support it and keep showing up. 

 

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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