AJ Harvey
Model(s) Used: S7
Band: Last Chance To Reason
Ibanez: Who were some of your biggest guitar influences growing up?
AJ: Growing up and now, I¡Çll probably switch back and forth. Fredrik Thordendal. I¡Çm really huge into him. His solo phrasing is really sick. Just the tonalities that he uses when he solos are awesome, and the rhythm aspects of his playing are sick. Paul Waggoner, John Petrucci, Randy Rhoads. I liked Satriani a lot growing up. Lately, I¡Çve been getting into Tony McAlpine. He¡Çs a really awesome guitar player.

Ibanez: Did you take any kind of lessons?
AJ: Yep, I¡Çve studied with a few different guys. I studied with Scott Hughes. He¡Çs more of a fusion guy. He¡Çs into guys like Alan Holdsworth, and he was brought up on early metal. So we kind of hit it off, because he had similar ideas. He gave me some new things to play with.

Ibanez: When did you start playing Ibanez guitars?
AJ: I think when I was sixteen I got an RG, and it played better than anything I had before it. I still play it. The action is really low on it, and it has this cool string-thru bridge.

Ibanez: Was there anything in particular that drew you to the S7320?
AJ: Yeah, the bridge on it is awesome. It stays in tune so well. It¡Çs the best playing seven string that I¡Çve used.

Ibanez: Last Chance To Reason¡Çs music is pretty unique. What¡Çs the writing process like within the band?
AJ: I think the tonality on our stuff is pretty different. A lot of bands in our genre, or the genre we¡Çre thrown into, use a lot of minor tonalities. A lot of the tech metal bands are doing this diminished thing. It¡Çs a lot of the same ideas. We have similar rhythm ideas to a lot of those tech metal bands, using different phrase lengths and odd time signatures. I think our tonality is a little different though, because what we do is take an octave. We spell one note at a time going from one to the next and seeing if it sounds good. We work our way up until we have 12 different notes or pitches all within the octave. Then, we use that as a scale to base the song on. Aside from that, we definitely make sure that it¡Çs badass and heavy [laughs].

Ibanez: What was the recording process like for Lvl. 1?
AJ: We recorded it in January of 2007, and I think we started working on the first song in November of 2005. We did a bunch of touring and didn¡Çt work on it for a while. During the summer, we really started cracking down on it. We wrote about 3 or 4 songs, and we were really using that 12-tone idea. We¡Çd cram about 2 or 3 of those into one song. We were making the songs really long, so we went back and started trimming the fat off of everything. Then, we started using one scale per song and just varying it a lot rhythmically. That seemed to make everything more cohesive. Then, we went in with Jamie King and laid down all the drum tracks over a couple of days. He had some cool ideas for recording guitars, too. We¡Çd record the raw signal split into a 5150 and re-amp it later. A lot of the lead tones ended up being a JMP-1.

Ibanez: Have you guys written much new stuff since that album?
AJ: Yeah, we¡Çve actually been spending quite a bit of time writing lately. Right now, we¡Çre splicing some riffs together in the other room. Our tonality isn¡Çt so much 12-tone anymore. It¡Çs kind of all over the place now. If we modulate things to different keys, we¡Çve found that that has a cool sound of its own.

Ibanez: What are you guys up to for the next couple of months?
AJ: We¡Çre going to be writing our asses off for the next few months. We were going to go into the studio in May, but we pushed it back. We felt that we needed more time to develop this stuff. We¡Çve got a lot of great ideas, but we needed some time to step back and make sure that all the part put together work as songs. We just need to make sure that they¡Çre arranged well before we go into the studio with them.

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