Exclusive Interview: Rohan Stevenson (I built the sky)

Head in the clouds

In this article we’re more than honored to have the pleasure of speaking with Ro Han of “I built the sky”! Currently on “The Sky Is Not The Limit Tour”, Ro was kind enough to grace us with a few words!

GS – Gear Snobs 

Ro – Ro Han

GS: Why do you use the guitars you use? And if you are brand bias, how long have you been using that brand and what made you switch?

Ro: I have been using a Kiesel CT624M which is a carve top 6 string Mahogany body guitar since January of this year, it’s beautiful and an amazing guitar. I recently switched to Kiesel from PRS guitars during NAMM and have been really enjoying the change. Kiesel have a really great range of modern style guitars that just suit my sound perfectly. I have definitely noticed the amount of cut I get out of my sound compared to my PRS which allows for my notes to really pop out nice and clear in the mix, as well as making the heavy parts really bite hard. My CT has been outstanding and I definitely push it pretty hard live, alternate tunings and a lot of movement on stage but it’s been very stable and done the job beautifully.

rohan1

GS: Tell us a bit about your rig and why you use your particular set up over other set ups(do you use a tube amp with pedals or digital or digital/tube)?

Ro: On this current tour I’m using a Fractal Axe Fx 2 into a Matrix Poweramp into my Sherlock 4×12 cab. This combo sounds incredible and is a great setup as the sound I hear is from my cab predominantly but the sound the audience hears is a direct send to the monitors so I get the best of both worlds where it feels good on stage and sounds very clear and crisp for the crowd. Having an Axe Fx unit is very handy for live as it’s super portable and consistent sound, as I’m  doing some flying around for tour it means I can retain the quality of my tone wether I’m using a cab on stage or not. I actually enjoy using both tube amps with pedals and digital but it really depends on the type of show I’m playing.

GS: Digital with a mix of authenticity in the cab opposed to using an FRFR solution, I see, so what’s a piece of gear you want the most(guitar, keyboard, pedal, anything)?

Ro: I really want a drum kit to just smash around on at home and try and build some skill… maybe one day

GS: What gear do you consider a holy grail(something you can’t really get on a whim even with the cash, like Dimebags original ML with lightning bolts or Princes guitar)?

Ro: A 1954 Stratocaster haha, I’m a big fan of vintage Strats and hope to get one at some point in my life…probably play some blues on my porch with it when I’m old haha

GS: That doesn’t sound like a bad gig ha! I’m curious, what musicians are your most notable influences that affect your playing/writing?

Ro: I’m big into good songwriting and my favourite artists for that are outside of metal for the most part, people such as Chris Conley, Elliott Smith, Kenny Bridges, Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain… of course there are many but the list will get too long if I was to attempt to include them all

GS: Oh yeah, those guys can all write hits for sure, when did you start playing your own ballads? 

Ro: I was about 11 when I started learning guitar in school. My dad plays guitar and knows probably about 4 chords so he showed me them early on. I’m definitely still learning and I feel like that process never ends…it’s all good fun

GS: “still learning” still learning how to explain to people why you shred so much more than them? haha, personally I’m not so strict about it but do you use a lot of Music Theory in your writing?

Ro: I think subconsciously yes, but I never start making a song based on a mode or rhythm pattern or anything, I just jam a long to a simple drum beat and try to explore the fretboard and sound and see what happens. Sometimes it sucks….well mostly it sucks…but it just takes that one cool idea to spur on a whole song so I hold out for that. A big part of it is the way a riff feels to play, it’s got to be fun and sometimes I know a riff is a good one when it has a certain feel to the way it’s played. All of the theoretical elements I’ve learned in my life are all within me and I no doubt draw them out when I’m playing but yeh never consciously.

GS: 
What music do you listen to when you’re not writing your own?

Ro: Fat Lip, Saves The Day, Avril Lavigne, Thy Art Is Murder, MESHUGGAH, Elliott Smith, Motorace, Sunk Loto, Antiskeptic, Moneen, Toe, Darwin Deez, I could go on for a while haha.

GS: 
Pretty diverse taste there! What are you working on lately?

Ro: Lately it’s just been everything related to my tour, there’s a lot of organising involved and it takes up most of my time. I’m really looking forward to making more music so I’m starting to think about that too.

GS: 
Any tips for the musicians reading?

Ro: Set Goals for what you want to achieve and take the necessary steps towards achieving them, once you’ve achieved a goal, set a new one and repeat. Keep it fun, enjoy the moment and be a good person  

GS: Words of wisdom! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us and we wish the best of luck and many beers for your tour!

Ro: Thanks for having me! Come see us live in Australia if you live in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane or Perth. All dates are on my Facebook page! 

Facebook.com/Ibuiltthesky

We hope you enjoyed the article and learned a bit about Mr. Stevenson! Make sure to “Like” the band page on Facebook and support the artist! We were very honored to have the opportunity to talk gear and bug this busy shredder with our trivial questions!

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