Hailing all the way from the city of Los Angeles, CA, rock outfit Vespera are here to shake souls and take names by storm. The 4-piece group have released their newest single “Sleepless” late last year, and to show you just how much they mean business, we’ve teamed up with them to bring you this playthrough for the track, featuring guitarist Cairn Tse-Lalonde!
If there’s one thing we never get sick of, it’s quality licks, and this riff-driven tune is chock-full of ’em! Tse-Lalonde lays down some aggressive-yet-melodic guitar playing that is sure to please fans of rock and pop alike.
If that weren’t enough, check out this Q&A from Tse-Lalonde below:
When did you first pick up guitar? What drew you to the instrument? Can you play anything else?
The first time I got to hold a guitar was on Christmas when I was 12. I had the pleasure of unwrapping a black Fender Starcaster with a white pickguard along with a 15-watt Fender amp. I grew up admiring and aspiring to be like the guitarists of rock bands I saw on Much Music, a Canadian equivalent of MTV. Before my passion for guitar, I had already been taking violin lessons for a few years. I think that helped me catch on quickly to guitar.
Tell us about your current gear…
The two guitars that I’ve rocked in Vespera’s music videos so far are an LTD TE-407 and EC-407B FM. They both have Evertune bridges and Lace Drop & Gain Pickups. I also play a Guerilla M7-Fantom named Peanut Butter and a green Washburn WM526 named Relish. I run them through a Kemper, who I haven’t named yet.
And what’s your practice regimen?
Other than rehearsal for Vespera, sometimes I’ll learn a new song or an idea that I have in my head just for fun. Before Vespera, I developed most of my technical abilities from covering songs by Veil of Maya and The Faceless. I’ve found that recording myself is a great way to point out any overlooked imperfections in my playing.
What’s your favorite drop tune?
Drop Ab on a 7-string is the tuning I’ve been using for years. I wouldn’t say I have a favourite, but I first tried Drop Ab to cover an After the Burial song and have been playing in it ever since. It provides me with a low enough range to play anything I’d want to.
Who has influenced your taste/sound and how has it evolved?
I think my taste has been most influenced by Linkin Park. As much as fast and complex guitar parts that showcase a guitarist’s technical abilities intrigue me, it’s the simple and energetic riffs that get stuck in my head. Linkin Park’s first two albums are the epitome of that and are definite influences when it comes to my writing for Vespera.
And how did Vespera come into formation?
Our drummer Jonathan Schwartz and I met back in school, and Jonathan Wolfe had been in a band with him prior to Vespera. We summoned Paul from the depths of the internet shortly after.
What’s your process behind songwriting as a band and how did you write the guitar parts for your latest single “Sleepless”?
We’ll come up with a bunch of different ideas and see what we like best. It’s great to be in a band with people who have diverse talents that complement each other. Regarding guitar parts, my musical ideas tend to just pop up into my head rather than come from playing around on a guitar. Only after do I translate those notes and chords that I imagined down to the guitar.
You’ve been releasing single by single since 2017, what’s next for Vespera – is there an album coming soon?
We’ve got the first album completed, and we plan to release it later this year. We’re working on the next album right now.
If you could jam for one night only with any guitar player (dead or alive), who would you choose?
I would love to jam with Ian D’Sa. He plays guitar in one of my favorite childhood bands, Billy Talent. Even before I ever played guitar, the riffs in their songs would stand out to me. On top of writing vibrant riffs, I can tell that he has an ear for harmony. It would be a lot of fun to collaborate with him.