Interview with IKILLYA Guitarist Dave Kerr — Plus Free Download of "Jet Fuel Genetic"
GuitarWorld.com is proud to offer this free download of "Jet Fuel Genetic" by NYC street metal band IKILLYA.
The song is from their 2011 album, Recon. You can stream the song -- and/or download it -- below, at the bottom of this story.
IKILLYA -- singer Jason Lekberg, guitarist Dave Kerr, bassist Mansa Gory and touring drummer Jeff Gretz (Zao/Austrian Death Machine) -- put an original spin on their metal, mixing melody, chunky grooves and serious chops.
I recently got to speak to Kerr about the new album, and he really speaks with passion about the band's music. The complex transitions and guitar techniques tie together a number of genres effortlessly -- and I understood how all of this was possible when we discussed his influences and the band dynamic.
GUITAR WORLD: After listening to Recon for the first time, I couldn't help but think it's Damageplan meets Megadeath -- but with a diversity that appeals to more than your everyday metal head. You guys are dropping anchors instead of hooks. Tell me a little bit about the band dynamic and your songwriting process.
It usually starts with either Mansa or myself writing a little riff or something. He'll come in with something recorded on his cell phone that he wants to share with me, and we'll just work on it and keep messing around with it until it sounds good.
You use the wah to positively enforce a great riff instead of just wailing on it like some people. Do you agree with my great depression statement, and what have you done to "break the mold"?
Haha, I will agree with that statement. For me it goes back to the older days of hearing Kirk Hammet, Mark Knopffler and Pink Floyd. Using it as expression more than sound, or even sometimes more as a filter. I don't listen to too many metal guitar players.
Tell me a little about your guitar and effects that create your powerful sound.
I have a PRS guitar that I use for bigger venues and recordings, and an Epiphone with emg pickups in it. Mesa Boogie amps, and I don't really use effects. I use the amp distortion, the wah, and an mxr analog delay. You don't need a lot of gain for a guitar riff to sound heavy.
Aside from being a beast on the guitar, what are some other hobbies or projects?
I don't know if it's actually a hobby, but I used to be a chef. I like to cycle, and New York City is a great place for that. I also have a small project on the side that's more like hip-hop funk.
What about your sound do you think appeals to people?
That's a hard question. For us it's just trying to make ourselves happy with what we play. Some of it is a little more aggressive rock, and I think people like that. But after you've been playing the same song out for a while, you start wondering how you can fix this piece or that piece, and for us it's really just about writing what sounds good.
You can stream or download "Jet Fuel Genetic" below. To download the song, click on the "down" arrow to the right on the player.
IKILLYA - "Jet Fuel Genetic" by GuitarWorld