Interview With Ac(e) G

What does your band name mean?
Basically Ac G relates to ‘Ac’oustic ‘G’uitar. the additional (e) came with time as radio stations introduced me as A.C.G or Ace G, and i liked the Ace thing. Frankly speaking: the first idea came when riding around in my car with a friend, and thinking on what could be a cool name. As it was a hot day, we turned on the AC, and AC’s are cool:). With that, the alter ego ‘A’nthony ‘C’arlos ‘G’augin was created too.
What genre do you consider yourself? Why?
Alternative acoustic / percussive campfire. That’s a tricky question, because that’s what i like most about the acoustic guitar, i don’t have to care about styles.
At the moment i am doing the “replugged cycle”. It’s an attempt to create a band like sound. I do it by treating the guitar part (strings) like an electric, while seperatly utilizing a drum like sound on the percussive part. That’s done using some fancy technical setup with lots of signal splitting and Midi triggers.
How long have you been making music?
2014 i had the idea, and started learning to play fingerstyle, with begin 2015 i started Ac G.
What brought this together?
Basically two coincidences: I could not find people to start a new Band, and discovered the acoustic guitar.
What drew you to music?
Initially it was the sound of the electric guitar. When i was capable of playing the first lines and chords, it became kind of an urge to me to writing songs. Since that time i can’t live without making music.
What are some of your most influential bands? Why?
Mountain / Leslie West: a great and powerful guitar sound, catchy melodies, and his rough, rocking voice.
Mike Stern: his Chord structures and elaborate melodies.
Frank Zappa: his perfect mix of arranging skills and improvisation on songs.
King Crimson: they are just far out
Jon Gomm: He gave me the idea, that it’s might be possible to cover a band arrangement on acoustic guitar.
Robert Johnson: The King of Delta Blues, what more to say 😉
There are still many more like: Jarle Bernhoft, Thomas Leeb, Joe Pass, Yes, Peter Gabriel, Small Faces, Prince, AC / DC, Slayer, Gilbert & Sullivan, Johann Sebastian Bach, Buena Vista Social Club, Cypress Hill… All of them had a big impact on me
What was your first song together?
My Fall, it was released with the first Album “One” in 2015 but written Automn 2014
What is your song writing process?
There’s a seed. It can be a melodie, riff, chord progression, a word or phrase, but most of all, it’s always a feeling making the start.
Next step is jamming around that seed. If it’s a good jam (means fitting to how i feel) the basic parts (Verse, Chorus…) come on their own.
On that basic arrangement i start rehearsing, and shape details, until it’s fun to play.
Then i give it time (can be weeks or months) and play it over and over again. If the song still isn’t boring me, it comes to recording.
Recording is a vital step to me (I got a Home Studio perfectly fitting my needs), because it provides me that outside look on the song, as i can sit down being a listener. At that point the final decision is done: i like the song, or OK it’s not relating to me.
The Final step is production (and mostly re recording it). On this step i fix the arrangement and Form. About lyrics: Basically they are built the same way like the music, and go through all these steps. As my songs come out of situations and feelings i like to keep lyrics vague, as i consider emotions not to be precise in detail. It’s a bit like painting with words. So most of my lyrics are kind of soft Dadaism 😉
How has your music evolved since you began playing together?
It went through several stages. First was qccquiring the necessary skills on acoustic guitar. Then the fusion with my approach to music. Now it’s a bit of getting in my roots (replugging it like an alectric guitar). I guess the biggest achievement was learing to keep it simple.
What songs do you perform the most often?
till now Tuesday, Now & Then, Desire, Dreaming.
Do you play any covers?
Yes i do. That’s kind like the writing process. In a certain moment i remember a song, start fooling around with that, and if i like the idea, i do it.
Do you have a set play list?
I got a basic set, but always change it to what i believe makes best sense on the circumstances (unplugged cosy house concert to Rock stage). It has that wonderful upside that even if you attend two gigs of mine, you might get a totally different set.
Is there a secret meaning in any of your music?
In some way it is in every song, as i don’t try being striking with the meanings.
What is your favorite part of working in music?
creating songs
What is your least favorite part of working in music?
Doing the administrative parts. RPO stuff, booking, all those non musical, music biz parts.
Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety? If so how?
Usually I am constantly struggling with that. But i guess that’s part of the game and is a motor to improve.
How old were you when you started playing your instrument?
16 when i started with the electric guitar, 39 when the acoustic came in.
How do you describe your music to people?
Fingerstyle guitar with a lumberjack approach 😉 accompanying lyrics, evolving from situations and feelings.
What image do you hope your music conveys?
Everything has it’s up and downsides, and it’s your decision what you make of it.
Where have you performed?
As Ac(e) G i am doing unplugged house concerts, but also small clubs. Before the acoustic guitar, playing in Bands, gigs tend to be bigger (e.g. support for Raemonn, Blood Hound Gang) and of course clubs.
Do you have any up coming shows?
They’re not set yet, as focus is on recording the replugged album, but by 2019 i want to bring the album on stage. But there are still a few dates for house concerts, but they are not public so i don’t list them.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Getting over myself, to start singing.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a band?
relates to the achievement, getting me singing.
Are you happy with the current success of your band?
Of course not. As the income is still to low to make real living (it barely covers expenses, not talking on time invests) and my focus is not undivided to music.
What is the ultimate direction for your band?
Making music, afford life with it.
What steps have you taken to get there?
Setting my mind more on the business part (remember: least favorite part)
What steps do you still have to do?
Scheduling all business tasks in a way to have them done more effective, and gaining time for music.
How do you feel about the internet and the music business?
It’s a revolution to the business. Giving everyone a chance, but making it harder to stand out or make a living. It is a great opportunity to get away from Junk Food Music (Music designed just to fit the market) and giving back more of the art aspect.
What is your favorite concert you’ve attended?
Pink Floyd Division Bell Tour, an overhelming show
What do you do besides music?
Software Developer, that drains alot of time from music too 😉
What is something you would like to tell your younger self?
Go for the acoustic guitar (But my younger self would not have understood that), and tons of business advices.
What is your favorite song? (not by your band)
I can’t really give an honest answer here. There are too many songs for different reasons. But if you really want me to nail it, i’d say “after you” by Mike Stern, even if i don’t favour it more than the others (like “criminally insane” by Slayer, or NY Jazz Ska Ensembles version of Harlem Nocturne… )
What do you wish you spent more time doing 5 years ago?
My own music, as i took kind of a break back there (just played for a cover band that time). But in the end it led me here, so i guess it’s good the way it was 🙂
What advice do you have others wanting to start their own bands?
That’s a hard one too, but basically: know what moves you and the people on the band, and double check if you’re moving same direction. Don’t underestimate the administrative part, and don’t forget music is the primary part.
Any last words?
Music is Magic

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