An integral part of any company is it's customers. Without their support, you simply can't grow. In our case, they become Family and help us to push new boundaries both in finishes and quality. This month we talk to California based guitarist and all round top bloke, Sergio Chong-Loo about his relationship with Aristides Instruments and delve into his psyche a little! He's picking up one of the wildest, if not THE wildest 070 we've ever made! A stunning highly polished steel finish, decked out with a Floyd Rose and EMG pickups. Check it out at the 2019 NAMM show!
Ladies and Gentlemen...meet Sergio.
What first drew you to Aristides Instruments?
A couple years back I was looking for a Custom Shop open minded enough to take on some weird requests of mine. I bumped into one or two videos on YouTube from reputable artists mentioning a Dutch company that made custom guitars out of a “special compound”, such material was called Arium and it supposedly had near perfect resonance qualities. That last part alone caught my attention and interest since I’m all about innovation and forward thinking.
I decided to reach out to them to see if they’d be willing to accommodate my requests, shortly after “some dude” circles back not only willing to take on my requests for the first time, but with an incredible customer service and attention to detail altogether… that guys is the infamous douche we all know as Pascal, the man behind all the Arium magic.
I still remember the moment I struck my first high-gain chord on an 080 at NAMM, that was it! Everything was there: punch, clarity, resonance, sustain, thickness… What started as a one custom guitar request turned in to what soon will be 6 (by early 2019)… Arium is pretty much all I play now.
How many Aristides guitars do you currently have? Any in the works?
Currently own 3 070 loaded with:
- Green/Blue Chameleon with Lundgren M7/Sustainiac
- Aged Steel with Fishman Moderns
- Worn White with Bare Knuckles Ragnaroks
… with 3 more on the way!
Tell us a little more about the style of music you play. Any live shows coming up, video releases etc...?
I generally lean towards the Progressive Metal, “shred” area, although my I have a mellow side that will forever fall on the Floyd mood and textures.
I’m a studio (bedroom) player. I enjoy all angles of music production: playing, recording, mixing and mastering. While creativity doesn’t quite kick in, I enjoy practicing and recording covers (songs or excerpts). At the end of the day all goes to social media, mainly:
Describe your rig for us, are you a digital guy or enjoy the creamy warmth of tubes?
I’m particularly drawn towards high gain, 7/8 string guitars. As expected, I’m a tone freak always looking for the ultimate “chug”. Although I’ve had experience with today’s modelers/profilers, I found that a boosted, real tube amp gives that unique punch in the chest that digital devices don’t quite do.
My rig looks something like:
- Guitar -> KHDK Ghoul Jr (od/boost) -> Mesa/Boogie Mark V:25.
- I bring everything together via a Boss ME-3 multi effects in 4-cable method for maximum versatility.
- Before I hit the cab I use an attenuator which simultaneously gives me a direct line to a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 that goes straight to the computer for recording. This Scarlett unit also gives me re-amping capability
Have you seen Pascal’s magic trick at NAMM?
No, but I’ve heard about it and for the record, I’ll merely be an expectator should the opportunity ever arises to witness such… magic.
Finally, what famous quote sums you up?
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” - Henry Ford