Interviews are usually done during the promotional stage of an album or a tour – and then they centre around these topics. However, albums and shows wouldn’t exist if the interview partners weren’t such enthusiastic instrumentalists. In our series „Saitengespräche“ (pun: „string talks“/“side conversations“) we want to take this into account – with interviews that focus entirely on instruments, amplifiers, effects, and other tech stuff. From gear nerds for gear nerds – and for those who aspire to be.
In this part of the series we talk to Sonia Anubis, guitarrist of CRYPTA and COBRA SPELL. as well as former guitarrist of BURNING WITCHES.
Hello and thanks for taking the time for this interview. How are you doing?
Hi there! Thank you so much for having me on your interview. I am doing ok now, I have had quite of a busy time lately. Giving a lot of guitar lessons, just had the release of the first EP of Cobra Spell titled ‘Love Venom’ and also working a lot with the debut of Crypta.
When did you start playing guitar?
I got my first guitar when I was 15 years old. I didn’t really take it very seriously at first because I played more the bass guitar. When I was 18 I started taking the guitar more seriously.
What made you want to learn guitar back then?
Firstly as bass-player I was very inspired by Gene Simmons from KISS. As guitarist I was very inspired by Marty Friedman and Dave Mustaine from Megadeth.
Have you already learned (had to learn) another instrument before?
Yes! I have played the traverse flute, a little bit of acoustic guitar, and I was part of a choir when I was little.
Do you remember which model was your first guitar?
My first electric guitar was a Epiphone Flying V. I bought it secretly since I wasn’t allowed to have a guitar from my dad. I has to sell it when he found out… But later on I got a Schecter Omen-6 Extreme from my grandmother.
How many guitars do you own?
I think 13.
Do the instruments have different uses for you, so do you have different ones for different bands or occasions, like studio, live gigs and holidays?
Yes! Very much so. I have 2 guitars for every tuning that I need. For example C# for Crypta, Eb for Cobra Spell and E standard for my guitar lessons. The thing is that I always play guitars with a Floyd Rose system, and these are hard and time consuming to tune to different tunings.
What do you attach particular importance to from a technical point of view, what criteria must an instrument meet for you to be satisfied with it?
It has to be a Jackson Warrior, with EMG pick-ups, a good Floyd Rose system and a total of 6 strings.
You often hear about musicians who seem to have a special connection to their instrument. Do you feel the same way? Do you have a favourite instrument?
I definitely have a very special connection with my guitars! I give them also unique names. My favourite is my first Jackson Warrior WRXMG named The Raven Warrior. It’s the only guitar I’ve preformed with.
Did you make special modifications to it, or is it a custom model anyway? Can you tell us the technical details here?
Not on that guitar.
Is there a model, such as the instrument of a great role model, that you would like to play one day?
I would like to play USA Jackson WR1’s only! Hopefully a customised one ever.
Which type of guitar picks do you use – and why this type?
I use InTune Guitar picks standard ones in the thickness of 1mm.
Amps are often leased for tours – is that okay with you or do you have your own amp with you? Which model do you play?
In the past I’ve leased amps, but the amps that I prefer to use are EVH5150 III and Kemper Profiler.
Besides the instrument and the amplifier, sound effects play an important role in the sound. Do you rely on single pedal mines, a multi-effect board or a combination?
Currently I use a BOSS GT1000 and in-build effects of the Kemper.
Let’s go into detail: Please explain the elements of your effect loop. Which devices do you use, in which order and why?
Delay and Reverb.
Mind game: You are only allowed to take one single (!) effect on stage – which one do you choose? Which effect pedal makes up your sound?
Do you have an effect that you use in a completely different way than originally intended, or that you have perhaps even (re)built yourself?
Not really, honestly. Im quite simple when it comes to tone. I just need my overdrive, delay, reverb and I’m good.
Do you use a noise gate – why (not)?
Not when I practise, only for live situations.
Is your effect board „ready“ or in constant change?
I think right now it’s near ready. But it changes occasionally.
Finally, do you have a tip for beginning musicians?
Don’t ever give up if something seems too hard to play or if people tell you something negative. Always keep on playing as long as it makes you happy. Also, jam with other musicians and play standing as much as you can! If you get a change to play a concert, take it! Never forget to enjoy the moment.