“When the G.O.A.T. gives you a call, you say ‘when and where’”: Mateus Asato reveals his heavy side as he shreds over Linkin Park with an EMG-loaded Suhr

Mateus Asato is one of the most respected neo-soul players on the planet – but that's not to say he can't lend his playing to heavier styles. And in a new video from Linkin Park man Mike Shinoda’s Already Over Sessions, the Brazilian guitarist shows exactly how his chops adapt to a more distorted setting.

As part of an all-star influencer band assembled by the Linkin Park man to promote his new EP, The Crimson Chapter, Asato first romps through latest single Already Over, before turning up the heat on Linkin Park’s Faint.

Kicking off with some clean, delay-lathered chordal work – which chimes a little more with what we'd expect to hear from the guitarist – he effortlessly drives through its drop-tuned progressions and even drops a cheeky pinch harmonic into its bridge riff. Then, he unleashes a tasty, warp-speed solo.

A blaze of dizzying runs, bends that scream in syncopation with drummer Nate Mueller, and some expressive whammy dumps to top it all off, Asato clearly impressed his peers. At one point, keyboardist Palu the Piano Man has a wonderfully discernible sour face as Asato navigates a series of acrobatic bends.

“When the G.O.A.T. Mike Shinoda gives you a call, you don’t just say ‘yes’, you say ‘when and where,” the guitarist reflected on an Instagram post, later adding, “I can go a little heavier sometimes,” and on Faint especially, he proves that with aplomb.

For the session, Asato plies a black Suhr Classic S Strat with gold hardware. Loaded with HSS EMG pickups, and with a maple neck complimenting its alder body, he gets some delicious tones out of the guitar, including a gnarly, octave-ravaged tone for Already Over.

There’s also a crystal clear clean for the free-flowing jam that soundtracks the video’s credits – something which Asato kickstarts by sitting on the floor, cross-legged, and just playing. 

The session also featured Morgan F. Kennedy on rhythm guitar, who said on an Instagram post: "What I thought at first was a scam, turned out to be one of the most amazing, unforgettable experiences I’ve had in my life." It was also the first time the influencer guitarist had played with a band.

The two guitarists are joined by drummer Nate Mueller, mynameisnotdrew (bass), Nalu the Piano Man (keyboards), and Bobby Amaru and Veda (backing vocals).

The Los Angeles session comes hot off the back of the launch of Asato’s Neural DSP plugin, which focuses its efforts on neo-soul-flavored clean tones.

Neural DSP CEO Douglas Castro called collaborating with the guitarist an adventure in creativity and inspiration,” adding that "Archetype: Mateus Asato is a tribute to his talent and a celebration of his unique style."

To watch other Already Over sessions, head over to Mike Shinoda’s YouTube channel.

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.