For those that don’t know, Zac Tiessen is a young solo guitar wizard from Canada. He is part of the first real wave of wholly post-djent guitar kids that grew up on Tosin Abasi and Scale The Summit. Which means you won’t find him playing any less than 8 strings. He also primarily plays FX-heavy clean tones. Oh, and he’s got that “thump” pick/slapping thumb thing down, like a doctor.
EMGtv always have their finger on the pulse of breaking virtuoso guitarists so they had Zac on to perform a song from his latest EP, Traverse. And although he wears those aforementioned influences on his sleeve, Zac manages to take the style somewhere a little more dramatic with his track ‘Clear Skies Ahead’.
Zac’s pickup array: EMG 57-8H in the bridge and 66-8H for the neck.
Zac’s path to becoming a prodigy is an odd one. He’s definitely not your average bear. He suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was 13 that resulted in a severe alteration of his personality. However, much like in cases of acute gamma ray exposure, there was a silver lining. Zac, for some strange reason, became hyper-focused on music and morphed into a relentlessly determined student of the guitar.
Though Zac’s story is bizarre, that kind of thing is not unheard of. 80’s stand-up comic Sam Kinison suffered a similar traumatic brain injury as a child. According to his biography, it transformed him from a quiet, studious, well mannered child into a ultra-extroverted screeching wild man. If you’ve got a minute, I recommend checking out the episode of the Decoding Genius podcast that featured Zac’s unusual story and investigated why a head injury could have such a result.
But most importantly, Traverse over to the Zac Tiessen bandcamp if you want to hear some more heroic AALcore.