Spotlight: James McKendrick of Void Of Vision

Void Of Vision. Credit: Hector Clark
(Image credit: Hector Clark)

JAMES MCKENDRICK

HAILS FROM: Naarm/Melbourne, VIC
PLAYS IN: Void Of Vision
SOUNDS LIKE: Sensually charged digi-core
LATEST DROP: Chronicles II: Heaven (EP out now via UNFD)

What’s your current go-to guitar?
My live guitar is an ESP LTD SCT607B. I think I came across it because at the time, it was the only baritone seven-string I could find that wasn’t the typical pointy metal guitar. I’d also never owned a Telecaster at that point, so I guess it ticked that box for me. I love it because it just sounds great, despite me sweating all through it over the years – and it’s very road worn, so it just feels more personal to me. 

How did you initially fall in love with the instrument?
I’d always listened to guitar-driven music, whether it was the more contemporary music my parents would play, or the rock and metal that I gravitated towards as I got older. My first guitar would’ve been one of those random brand “starter pack” red Stratocasters. There’s not much of a story behind it, other than it being the victim of many botched Red Hot Chili Peppers riffs.

What inspires you as a player?
Dave Grohl is the reason I play music, his tenacity has always stuck with me and my playing. I’d then say Jeff Ling of Parkway Drive really shaped how I played and wrote guitar as a metal musician, and Jonathon Deiley of Northlane has been a big influence recently in my career. I think he uses the guitar in such a different way to lots of modern metal guitarists.

Are you much of a gear nerd?
I definitely used to be, but since we’ve been digital live for a while, I’ve kind of moved away from that. We run Kempers live, so we let our producer, Lance Prenc, take the reins on the guitar tone/amps and go from there. I like messing around with his pedals when we record, but lately I’ve been messing around more in-the-box when I’m writing.

Do you have any ‘white whales’?
I’ve never been one for super expensive music gear, but I’ve always wanted a nice off-white American Fender Stratocaster. An OG Block Letter 5150 would be pretty cool to own, too.

What would your signature model look like?
It’d have seven strings, a 28-inch scale length, an EverTune bridge, locking tuners, a Superstrat shape, a maple neck with a streaky ebony fretboard, a mahogany body with a maple top, and a contemporary inline headstock, upside down. Colour-wise, it would be matte black with a black pickguard… Can you tell I’ve thought about this before?

If you could jam with any guitarist, dead or alive...
Very basic, but I’d cry if Dave Grohl let me play ‘Everlong’ with him.

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…

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