Sven Kuehbauch aka Svenson is an author, composer, performer and instructor. An endorser for Music Man Guitars, Peavey and Ernie Ball Strings, Svenson performs worldwide and has appeared in Bangkok, Beijing, Monte Video, Shanghai, Seoul, Stockholm, as well as the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival. He has also written Svenson´s Guitar Workshop, a series done exclusively for the multi touch book format .iba (Apple iBooks) and available only on iBooks and iTunes. Guitar Workshop E Books are available at Amazon and Google Play, which include videos too. The Books are available in three languages.
Svenson who studied at the Jazz and Rock School in Freiburg, Breisgau, Germany – an official partner to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, U.S.A. – has attended master classes and workshops given by: Scott Henderson, Greg Howe, Pat Metheny and Joe Diorio, and has recorded with such greats as Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson), Jerry Donahue (Hellecasters), Rhani Krija (Sting) and Lulo Reinhardt.
Recently Svenson released his “10th anniversary” album, containing 8 tracks which showcases his talents, marking 10 years of his solo instrumental work. It features Svenson at his best along with appearances from guitar legend Jerry Donahue (Hellecasters, Fairport Convention).
We are sharing our recent interview with Svenson.
Twist Online : First of all tell us about the start of your professional career?
Svenson : I have done a lot of playing in all kind of bands, some professional, some not – but always with a lot of fun and passion. After finishing university, I had already written some own tunes. So I recorded my first Solo Album and performed around the world. The Solo Album was the ignition of my professional career. That is now 10 Years ago, I can’t believe how fast time runs.
Twist Online : Who or what inspired you to get into music industry?
Svenson : As a teen, I spent hours sitting in front of my record-player and listen to all kind of rockbands like Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Slayer and so on. I was deeply impressed by their music and the cool record covers. So I bought my first electric guitar. After listening to the „Surfing with the Alien“-Album of Joe Satriani, which was given to me by my first guitar teacher, my heart was on fire and I started exercising seriously.
Twist Online : Tell us about your recently released ’10th anniversary’ album?
Svenson : The album “10th Anniversary” marks 10 years of my solo instrumental work. Moreover, you will find something really rare on this album – fasten your seatbelt, please: I SING! It is the song, where I met the devil: „Ride Away“. And you will find special guest Jerry Donahue on the album, we play „Yeehaw-Journey into Twang“ together. It was an honor playing with this guitar legend.
Twist Online : What kind of response you have received from the release?
Svenson : Lots of players asked me, how I managed to play „Tears from the Sky“ or got to that sound on „Farewell my friend“. So they appreciated my techniques and tone quite a lot, a great compliment for a guitarist. And I received rave reviews from the press, they really like my work very much. I am proud of that, but the quest of the „universal tone“ is never over.
Twist Online : What’s the inspiration behind re-releasing “Tears from the Sky”?
Svenson : Because of my collaboration with Peavey, I was able to test the Peavey 6505 Mini Head and was thrilled by its tone and distortion. It was exactly this distortion, that brought me to the idea of a new recording of “Tears from the Sky”. The tune is not an easy one! The title is composed as a solo echo etude for electric guitar. The core of the piece is a volume-potimeter-playing technique combined with an echo effect. Yngwie Malmsteen made this technique popular in his teaching video of Reh-Verlag in 1991: By turning the volumetric potentiometer on, the signal swells, a violin-like sound is produced, like the bow stroke of the violin.
Distorting this sound and making it sound human is difficult and has been a problem in the past. From the high degree of compression of the Peavey 6505 Mini Head and its rich overtones, I was immediately electrified and decided after 10 years, to give „Tears from the Sky“ another try.
Twist Online : What attracts you more, writing, composing, performing or working as instructor?
Svenson : This is a tough question. I really like to close my eyes and get lost in music, but best is, to share this with other musicians. And of course, it is amazing to render my passion to younger students and see, how their hearts begin to burn for music. So everything falls into place by combining all this aspects of music.
Twist Online : What’s your favorite music genre?
Svenson : Anything with guitar! HIHI. Actually I don`t like to think in genres. I once played with an Oud-player in Egypt and with friends in Asia – and we just played, what we feel. Music is unifying. And it is wonderful, what you can express on a guitar: I can be an ocean or a dry desert, an with my electric guitar, I even can be a volcano spiting fire.
Twist Online : What’s the biggest achievement in your career so far?
Svenson : 2011 I performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Besides that, I played concerts all around the world and have done some great recordings with Jennifer Batten, Jerry Donahue and Rhani Krija. And I love the fact, that my tutorial E-Books are available in three languages already and set a benchmark in multi touch book for learning an instrument.