Jake Dreyer Details Recording Solo Debut "In the Shadows of Madness"
Band Photo: Jake Dreyer (?)
Jake Dreyer is the all-American guitar prodigy. Much like guitar heroes “Dimebag” Darrell Abott and Randy Rhoads before him, Dreyer has accomplished much at a young age. At 13-years old, he professionally recorded his first album and opened for nationally recognized acts. He would have joined power metal icons Jag Panzer at the ripe-old age of 19 if the group hadn’t disbanded.
Dreyer was awarded Jagermeister’s guitarist of the year in 2008 and 2009. He has studied under David “The Shred Demon” Shankle (DSG, Ex-Manowar), Chris Broderick (Megadeth, Ex-Jag Panzer, Nevermore) and Rusty Cooley (Outworld). Barely old enough for strip clubs and the draft, Jake Dreyer has all the tools to place his name among his tutors with his first solo-dubbed recording.
“In the Shadows of Madness” (read the review) is a short instrumental EP. The album may be short, but Dreyer is long on chops. Modern, chugging groove, melody and more scales than a Weight Watchers clinic, “In the Shadows of Madness” offers a brief glimpse of greatness.
Metal Underground spoke to Dreyer via cyber land about his land mark release and his six-string obsession that brought him to his point.
Darren Cowan (Rex_84): Why did you choose to form a solo-dubbed band?
Jake Dreyer: I have always been a huge fan of instrumental guitar music and I was really inspired by both Jason Becker and Marty Friedman’s solo albums “Perpetual Burn” and “Dragons Kiss.” The reason I chose to make it more or less a band is because I wanted each instrument to stand out on its own rather than just having guitar be the main attraction. I also like how in a band each individual member brings in their own personality and ideas that contribute to the music.
DC: Why did you leave DeadRingers Guild? How does that band compare to your solo band?
Dreyer: I left DeadRingers Guild to go out to Los Angeles to attend school at the Musicians Institute. Once that happened, the rest of the guys in the band just kind of did their own individual things. There is no bad blood between anybody in the band. I still talk to those guys all the time. I wish I could go back and have one more rehearsal with those guys. I could write a book on some of the absolutely useless hilarious information and facts that would be cited off by someone on any given day. Rehearsing and gigging with that DRG lineup was always a great time.
DC: How did you meet and choose your band mates?
Dreyer: I had been a fan of Adam’s drumming for quite sometime. The way we actually got together is that DeadRingers Guild was set to do a show with Adam’s band at the time Skindustry. The show never happened, but I was good friends with the promoter and he had Adam’s contact info. So I gave Adam a call and we hit it off immediately. Adam recommended Noah Martin for the gig and after talking with him, I knew he would be a great fit as well. Both of those guys completely blew me away in the studio with how professional they were and how well they played their parts. Great dudes for sure!.
DC: How did you record “In the Shadows of Madness?” Did you record the album in the studio with all of the members together or through mail?
Dreyer: The majority of the album was recorded at producer JJ Crews’ studio Boogie Tracks in Panama City, Florida. Adam and Noah were flown down, and the drums and bass were laid down at this time. JJ and I tracked the rhythm guitar at Hemisphere recordings in North Hollywood, Ca. Then we both met back up in Florida a few months later to finish up/record all the leads.
DC: Are these members a permanent part of your band or did you use them on a session basis?
Dreyer: Adam and Noah were both treated as session players, but Adam and I have been in constant contact about working on the next album, which will definitely be more of a project. Noah is pretty busy with Arsis at this time but I believe I speak for Adam when I say he has an open invitation for the next project if he would like to come aboard!.
DC: Is the Jake Dreyer band strictly an instrumental group?
Dreyer: All the songs on ITSM were written with the mindset of having it as an instrumental band. The material that I am currently writing/working on now is written for vocals. I foresee the next project having its own name and not flying under the Jake Dreyer band banner. At the same time it will definitely be around the same style that the songs in ITSM.
DC: “In the Shadows of Madness” features many layers of guitar. How did you record the guitars and what guitars did you use?
Dreyer: The producer JJ crews and I used a handful of Bogner amplifiers to track all the rhythm and leads. We were lucky enough to have the cool guys at Bogner amplification allow us to use their fleet. We used a Bogner Ecstasy 20th anniversary, Bogner Shiva 20th anniversary and an Uberschall plugged into a few Bogner cabinets. We also used a Diezal VH4 paired with one of the Bogners for the rhythm guitar and a Top Hat Emplexador paired with a Bogner Ecstasy for a few of the lead tones. All of the main guitars lead and rhythm were cut with my Jackson CS KV7. For the clean guitars we used Sampson-era Matchless combos with two different Fender Telecasters straight into everything no pedals. I actually called up JJ to get the whole rundown on what he was using. JJ has a lot of really cool vintage gear. All the guitar tracks were run into an old Collins ermanium mixer or a Altec 1567a tube mixer.
DC: Some of the rhythms resemble Swedish melodic death artists such as Amon Amarth (low guitar tones) and Arch Enemy. Do these artists or other artists of this fold inspire you?
Dreyer: I think both of those bands are extremely influential on this new wave of rhythm guitar playing, so I would definitely say yes. In the death metal category, I would say I find myself listening more to the later progressive side of the band Death’s catalogue, singling out “Symbolic” and “Sound of Perseverance.” I think Chuck wrote some amazing music with those albums. I know some “death metal” purist might shun me for saying that those are my favorite. I am not saying one Death album is better than the next, but those are just the ones I always find myself listening to. I also think Cynic’s first album “Focus” was amazing. As for the actual rhythm guitar, I would say I was influenced a lot by Jeff Loomis’s rhythm guitar playing in Nevermore, John Petrucci’s in Dream Theater, Michael Romeo from Symphony X and of course Chuck.
DC: At age 14, you discovered Yngwie Malmsteen, which changed your outlook on playing. What about his music made led to this transformation? What type of music were you playing before this change?
Dreyer: When I discovered Yngwie, I was playing (or attempting to play I should say) in a speed metal/heavy metal type band. We looked up to Maiden, Megadeth, Helloween, etc. What grabbed me about Yngwie’s playing was that this was the first time I had ever heard these classical violin-inspired lines and arpeggio progressions played on a guitar with what sounded like such ease and control. But yet at the same time, it still had this really badass rock attitude to it. His early instrumental compositions were also very well written. I am sure some would argue, but when listening to some of his work off of the “Rising Force” record the fast playing works so well within his songs musically that it almost doesn’t appear to be to over the top. I am still blown away every time I listen to early Yngwie releases.
DC: You have studied under guitar greats Rusty Cooley (Outworld), Chris Broderick (Megadeth, Nevermore) and David Shankle (DSG, ex-Manowar). If you could pin a certain aspect of your playing to each of these musicians, what would it be?
Dreyer: Wow! That is a hard question. Each one of those guys has helped me out tremendously on so many different things. I would say with Rusty it would be the legato technique. Chris was very adamant on me using metronome and focused in on my sweep picking and vibrato technique. Dave would be alternate picking. Another guy I take from, Terry Syrek, helped me out a lot on putting the T2 T3 tapping techniques paired along with arpeggios.
DC: Where do you see the Jake Dreyer going in the future? Will we see a tour?
Dreyer: Honestly, I suck at predicating my future. Every time I think I might have it planned out, something comes up and sends me down a whole other trip. However, I do know we will definitely see a tour at some point. Next to writing songs, playing live is what I live for.
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