Aristides Instruments is proud to welcome Aaron Marshall of Intervals as an artist. We spoke with him about his life on the road and creative process for the next album, as well as his thoughts on our instruments he’s been playing the last 3 years.
Aristides Instruments: Welcome aboard, Aaron! Glad to have you. You’ve been performing almost nonstop since the release of The Shape of Colour; what’s it like playing with such a diverse and ever-changing group of musicians?
Aaron Marshall: Thanks! Its definitely been a busy cycle since The Shape of Colour came out. These tours have been very refreshing in regards to bringing the songs to life with such talented and like-minded musicians, including older material as well. I think one of the most exciting things about being an instrumental guitarist is finding the opportunity to perform and interact with various musicians. It makes for a really unique and exciting dynamic. There has definitely been a lot of good chemistry this year!
AI: They all have pretty different gear too. Obviously, you’ve played some of the most highly regarded and sought after guitars on Earth. Why did you decide to choose Aristides?
AM: I’m a fan of guitars in general, and I believe every instrument has its own unique traits to offer. Variety is the spice of life, as they say! At the same time, consistency is something that I seek in regards to touring and performing. I need to feel comfortable and rely on the tools with which I do my job. One of the most (if not the most) attractive aspects of Aristides’ construction is the ability to produce consistent, high performance instruments that are resilient, reliable, sound wonderful, and are aesthetically pleasing. That pretty much puts a tick in all the boxes, actually!
AI: It definitely sounds like they’re valuable to you on the road. Do the guitars affect your creative process at all? What benefits does Aristides have in the studio for you? I assume you must be working on a follow up to The Shape of Colour.
AM: I’m really looking forward to getting a little more intimate with them in regards to writing and recording. I’ve been able to mess around here and there, but this year has kept me on the road for the vast majority so that time will come soon once I start to wind it down. Aristides and I connected back in 2014 though, so I have had a few fiddles around to mess with at home int that time, but this will be one of the first opportunities I have to really put them to work on that front. I’ll begin writing for what comes next after this upcoming North American tour with Animals As Leaders. Writing is my priority for the beginning of 2017 and on, until I come out on the other side with a new body of work.
AI: I understand that. It’s very easy to hear the evolution of your playing and music over time. Is it odd transitioning to a different style of music when you’re pretty ingrained in the modern prog metal community? Guys like Plini, Sithu Aye, and yourself seem to have a lot of crossover appeal.
AM: My favourite part about composing this type of music is that the boundaries are fairly limitless. Obviously it’s not tasteful to put the kitchen sink in every tune, but I feel like you can definitely get away with bending the listener’s ear in one direction or another as long as there is still some semblance of your identity in the music. So in a sense, I don’t think its ever really odd to change it up. We operate under the moniker of “progressive” music! I feel like you’re not really achieving that if every release sounds the same. Of course there are traits and characteristics that convey the unique identity of the composer, and that’s what ties us to the music, but the most stimulating aspect of this style for me is that I can inject my head space (which is ever changing) into a new body of work every cycle. I don’t think I would be as drawn to this kind of music if it felt rigid. I don’t really mess with rules like that. Order is key in most aspects of life, but when it comes to art or inspiration, I don’t like to feel stifled.
AI: In closing, if you wanted readers to know one thing about your music, and one thing about Aristides, what would those be?
AM: I would say that this whole thing is about the big picture for me. I don’t intend to do things the same as I did them before and I think that is evident in where I started and where I am now. My music is a journey that I want to look back on and see diversity and change. Hopefully you guys are down for the long haul! As for Aristides, it kind of boils down to the same things, really. The team exemplifies that drive to remain relatable and familiar, yet ever changing while exploring new territory. There are only a handful of companies that have really made significant advancements to the electric guitar as we know it. Aristides have not only found a way to create versatile instruments that perform to very high standards, but they have simultaneously aligned those values with a green initiative that I believe is setting the tone for the potential anatomy of the guitar in years to come. Our generation may, in fact, live to see that shift and if/when it happens. I believe Aristides are holding the recipe.
AI: Thanks for your time, Aaron! We wish you even more success and are looking forward to supporting you in the future.
AM: The feeling is mutual. Thanks so much!