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‘Tech N’ Roll’: Seek Irony Guitarist Alex Campbell Talks New Album and Gear

‘Tech N’ Roll’: Seek Irony Guitarist Alex Campbell Talks New Album and Gear

Modern rock/electronica band Seek Irony arose out of Tel Aviv, Israel's burgeoning music scene.

But it wasn’t until founding members—and brothers—Kfir and Rom Gov relocated to Austin, Texas, that things really began to change.

Shortly after their arrival, the brothers welcomed several new band members, including Berklee-trained guitarist Alex Campbell.

As evidenced by the band’s recently released debut album, Tech N’ Roll, Campbell’s arrival takes Seek Irony to a different level altogether. “Devil in Me” and “Skin 2 Skin” reflect dark themes while still tastefully showcasing the band’s ability to combine electronic elements with inspired, hard-rock riffs.

Seek Irony features Kfir Gov (vocals), Rom Gov (drums), Mikael Oganes (synths), Adam Donovan (bass) and Alex Campbell (guitar).

I recently caught up with Campbell to ask him about Tech N’ Roll, gear and more!

GUITAR WORLD: How did you get involved with Seek Irony?

Back In 2013, I was doing a solo band while I was on a break from school. I was unsure if I was going back to Berklee and ultimately decided to audition for the band. I went down and met Rom and Kfir, and we really hit it off. They gave me music to learn; I auditioned, got the gig and have been full time ever since.

How did you approach recording for the band’s new album, Tech N’ Roll?

Rom and I come from a Dream Theater world in our approach to our instruments. My focus was to maintain that understanding on the guitar and translate some of that into the new music. It’s driven and heavy and a good mixture of hard rock and electronica.

What was the writing process like?

Most of the new album was written before I was in the band. Kfir and Rom wrote a majority of the songs. For new material, we’re constantly in pre-production in the studio. We rehearse and write there as well as throw down ideas. Some things work and some things don’t, but that’s part of the fun of being in a band!

Let’s talk about a few tracks from the Tech N’ Roll, starting with "Devil in Me."

That track has such a great guitar riff. Lyrically, it’s about addiction. It goes off the blues production of call and response. It’s very busy but maintains a dark atmosphere.

"Skin 2 Skin"

That’s the track that made me fall in love with the band. It really has a dark, atmospheric vibe to it. It’s about picking someone up at a club with the sole purpose of forgetting about them the next morning [laughs]. It’s another guitar-heavy track.

What inspired you to want to play guitar?

I don’t think there was just one thing. I’ve always wanted to be a musician and took guitar very seriously when I was 12. It wasn’t something I was originally interested in at first, but after about six months of playing and realizing I was making good progress, I started playing more guitar and less video games. It eventually became everything I would do—eight to 12 hours every day for years!

Who were/are some of your influences?

When I first started playing, it was David Gilmour. His playing is so lyrical, and I was immediately drawn to it. When I started getting into speed and technique I got more into Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson. Then it became guys like Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci and Guthrie Govan.

What made you decide to pursue a career at Berklee College of Music?

I knew it was a good school, and it became my dream to go there when I was in high school. I remember going up there to audition and getting accepted. I was beyond excited. Then when I actually got there, it was just as incredible. What you put in is what you get out.

How important is it for a guitarist to have an understanding of music theory?

It really depends on the player. For me, it’s in two parts. You have to understand why you play guitar. First is the motion and feeling you have from playing and the reason you picked it up in the first place. If you have that emotion but don’t have a good grasp of theory, you might be limited. But then look at it the other way. Suppose you go toward perfect technique and playing all the notes right all the time. You might find yourself playing around the notes instead of through them with emotion. You should really try to have the best of both worlds.

What’s your setup like?

It’s pretty simple. I run two 4x12 cabinets. The first is a Kustom 200 HD, the other is a VK 200-watt. They both run into my Boss GT 100 that handles everything. I have the amps set to be as clean as possible and will occasionally throw in some extra effects, but most of what you hear is straight out of the GT 100. For guitars, I’m using Ernie Ball Music Man JP7 and I’m beyond thrilled with it!

Now that the album is complete, what are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to seeing this music get to everyone. It’s good demonstration of the merging of rock, metal and electronica. It’s a good medium and I’m glad people are so receptive to it.

For more about Seek Irony, visit seekirony.com.

James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, GoJimmyGo.net. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JimEWood.

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