Boston-based instrumental progressive power trio The Surrealist are set to release their debut EP Naked Awareness on September 17th. Guitarist and founder, Roopam Garg, who attends the prestigious Berklee College of Music along with drummer John-Marc Degaard and bassist Beauman Edwards, did a guitar playthrough of “Flowering of Consciousness” taken from the EP, which is exclusively brought to you by Gear Gods.
Talking about the creative process that informed Naked Awareness, Roopam said: “The writing and recording process happen simultaneously. Whenever I sit down to record a track, I rarely have any preconceived ideas or riffs. Instead what happens is that as I’m recording, I’d come up with an idea on the guitar, then rearrange it, splice it, reseample it and twist it around until it becomes something that sounds totally different from the original take. I would then learn it and rerecord the part. This allows me to achieve really non-guitar-like ideas that would’ve otherwise been impossible to come up with directly from the guitar.”
The heart of Garg’s guitar rig for recording the EP was The Axe-Fx II XL by Fractal Audio Systems. He says, “The plethora of settings offered allows one to go infintely deep. We ran all the guitars directly through it, so no mics or cabs were used. About half of the EP guitar material was recorded with a Schecter Hellraiser C-7 FR. There was some intonation issues I ran into, so I ended up borrowing a friend’s Kiesel/Carvin guitar for the other half of the EP. While doing so, I just fell in love with the Kiesel/Carvin. So I actually ended up getting one myself, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I used Elixir Nanoweb strings, as they have a very silk-like smooth texture and amazing tone. I also used Dunlop carbon fiber Jazz iii picks. In terms of mixing, I used Audio Technica’s M50x Monitor Headphones and Yamaha HS8 Monitors.”