As Everything Unfolds' Adam Kerr: “You can have the heaviest riff in the world, but if there's nothing but palm-muted chugs leading up to it, it won't hit like it needs to”

Adam Kerr
(Image credit: XLDH Photo)

Could As Everything Unfolds end up becoming the breakout band of 2021? It seems likely, given the early reaction to the UK post-hardcore sextet’s riff-laden debut. 

Tracks like On the Inside and Stranger in the Mirror could very well be anthems in the making, seamlessly splicing metal and electronic sounds with some brilliant usage of pitch-shifting effects. Here Adam Kerr, who shares duties with co-guitarist Owen Hill, walks us through exactly what we’re hearing.

Which guitars and amps did you end up using for the recordings?

“All the driven tones came from an amp that needs no introduction, the iconic Peavey 6505! As for the clean stuff, we used a Friedman Pink Taco, which I can say – without a shadow of doubt – has some of the most beautiful tones I’ve ever heard. 

“The six-string rhythms were recorded with my Jackson DK2, which, thanks to the alder body and Seymour Duncans, sounds modern without becoming 'djenty.' The seven-string rhythms were with my Jackson Misha Mansoor HT7. For the leads I used my current favorite, a Charvel DK24 with Seymour Duncans and the most unbelievable caramelized 24-fret maple neck.“

How about pedals? It feels like there’s a lot of octave stuff  at points.

“Oh yeah, I’m absolutely in love with the octaver sound. The Digitech Drop has been a staple since I bought it, and we must’ve used it on at least half of the record. I love how it adds this Mick Gordon Doom soundtrack kind of flavor, both in the 50/50 mix setting and the full wet octave down setting. 

“There was also the Electro-Harmonix Canyon, which I’d never heard before, but it sounded unbelievable, adding that sense of depth you didn’t realize you were missing. And then there was a Tube Screamer for extra drive and a Vox wah, which I’ve since become hooked on using.

What’s the secret to the AEU school of riffing?

“I think the key to a good riff is knowing the most important elements of what you’re doing, and making sure the rest of the instrumentation capitalizes on it, or at least doesn’t cover it up. It has to build nicely. You can have the heaviest riff in the world, but if the listener hears nothing but palm-muted chugs leading up to it, your riff might not hit like it needs to.“

Which guitarists influenced you most as a songwriter – and tonally?

“There’s probably an overwhelming amount of players that are subconscious influences from over the years. But the main ones I always find myself always being inspired by are John Petrucci, Intervals’ Aaron Marshall and Misha [Mansoor] from Periphery.“

  • Within Each Lies the Other is out now via Long Branch.

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).