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Janick Gers Interview
Author: FAQs
Date: 31-August-2000
Category: Interviews
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You are a great guitarist. What brand of strings do you use for your guitars and how thick ????
Jens Dahlgaard

Ernie Ball 10,12,17,26,36,46

To Janick: Have you heard Blaze's new album? If so, how do you think it sounds?
Frode Kverndal

I haven't heard it yet but as I know Blaze to be a very talented singer and songwriter I'm sure it will be amazing and wish him great success with it.

Hello Janick I wanna know what is your favorite song on the new album???

Blood brothers and Dream of Mirrors are my two favourites songs from B.N.W at the moment but it changes all the time.

Do you think you will change your setlist for your UK comeback in November?

Possibly or possibly not!

What was going through your mind when you hit the deck after you nasty fall? If you were unable to continue what would of happened to the remaining tour dates? Would they of been re scheduled or would a replacement for your self be drafted in?
Alex Roberts
Doncaster England

Question 1) Ouch
Question 2) Why, did you want the job?

How did you react about having to cancel some shows because of the fall?
Michael Corby,

I didn't want to cancel any shows but since I was a jibbering wreck, the decision was taken to abandon some shows. At the time I thought I could have done those gigs but looking back the Doc was right, although I was disappointed really I was in no shape to walk let alone play.

I saw a video from santiago Chile on the X Factour,and after Trooper the band got very angry with someone in the audience ... What had happend ??? Have a nice day Janic
Mikael Gustavsson

Somebody spat at Steve, which is to put it mildly, not very nice! We are there to play not be spat at. I think they thought we were a punk band ha ha ha!

Have you ever thought about using a wireless jack in your guitar? I am always afraid that you will end tied up like in the old b/w movies!!!
Dave The Clansman

I do sometimes use a wireless ( a sony ) but I feel that the guitar does not sound as good so I use it sparingly.

When are you guys going to play Florida? Or for that matter, anywhere on the East Coast? Nicko lives in Florida of all places. C'mon guys!
James Page
Tampa, FL

I'd love to play in Florida ( Nicko tells me it's brilliant there) it's just a question of logistics and concert hall availability, Perhaps next time.

How did you first hook up with Bruce?
Paul Cambria

I first met Bruce when I was in White Spirit and he was in Samson 78/79 when I joined Gillan we stayed in touch and he joined maiden, we live quite close to each other and so tend to meet for drinks on occasions in various pubs in our area, and it has been known on certain occasions with the help of Dave Murray to drink several pubs dry whilst touring, ha ha ha !!

Why have the last 3 albums featured very little harmonised guitar playing? Is this a conscious
creative decision?

Sometimes harmonial guitars can sound sweet, guess we didn't feel too sweet! Seriously; some melodies are so powerful to put a harmony on it would diminish its intensity and strength.

Any Chance you could do "Fog on the Tyne" during a set, and give the rest of the boys a quick brake?
Jeff Bade
Chicago IL

Yes I would like to but I fear upon hearing my voice the audience would run for the Tyne!

Whats your favourite song from your era with Jan Gillan band and have you every record which you have released with him? Thanx, my god
Zdeno Galis

Bluesy Bluesy and Born to Kill I quite like

I saw you In Portland the other night. Stood front row on your side of the stage....incredible!!!! My question is, Why do some of your guitars have cords and others are cordless? Why not all cordless? Thanks!!
Greg Hansel
Limestone, Me

The cord undoubtedly sounds better to my ears. It contains a warmth that the wireless simply doesn't have. The freedom the wireless gives you is great but you do compromise your sound for this.

Congrats on your songwriting on BNW! What parts did you write of Dream Of Mirrors, The Mercenary and Out Of The Silent Planet?

See if you can guess

You have been playing with Dave for about ten years, however, now that three guitars are together, how difficult has it been for you to adapt your style and the style you used to have with Dave with Adrian's? Thank you!!! It's good to know that you're back to continue with the action !!!
Erick Duran

The three guitars work very well together with the minimum amount of change to any of our styles. It really works quite naturally.

How often do you practice? What do you consider to be "practice"?
Jeff Palasek

I don't really practice, just play quite a lot. I'm not into the usual thing, I'm looking for something a little different to that kind of mechanical prctice, I don't want to sound like a Bumble bee in a jar. Ha Ha ! ! I want feeling.

first of all i hope you are ok after the accident.i want to ask u about the cancelation of the greek there a possibility for maiden to come in greece in mid-november?
sotiris "the navigator" stavropoulos
Kalamata, Greece

Yes see web page!!

When you first joined Maiden, did you ever feel pressure that you had to fill Adrian's shoes?

Not at all. I always knew Adrian well and liked him as a person and a guitar player, but I just play like me so it was always going to be different.

Hello Jan! Can you tell me what is your biggest regret in life? Thanx.

Regrets, I have a few, too few to mention.

Which hobbies do you have (apart from music)?

Football, movies and very bad golf. I like to drive my car. Read lots of books and I like to listen to lots of Music.

after the gigs how long does it take for you to "come down"from the adren rush.
danny wirral

Too bloody long!!

Janick, at what age did you first pick up the guitar?
Adam Hawkins
Alabama, United States of America

I got a guitar for my eleventh birthday, so since then; I suppose I made a cardboard guitar when I was about 7, ha ha !!

Hi, will you come back in France at the end of this year???

I don't think the band's schedule permits it. But I love coming to France and shall return at some point!

Hey janick, in your opinion, what's your most difficult solo? keeping rockin' man....

I don't think of any of them as difficult, I'm just trying to make the songs better by penning a melodic yet aggressive solo or something that hits but can be a bit off the wall.

I quite like the solos on the white spirit album which The 'rake' on your guitar,which occurs always signifes your signature guitar lick.Is this played out of habit or was this an innovation you learned during concerts?
Neil Rego
Bangalore, India

I think it is very much a live thing and it generally signifies that I am excited. You can sometimes get sounds out of the guitar that just make it a little more exciting by doing unusual things with it.

Do you feel you appreciate the success you have all the more because you started with the band later in life, and know what its like to go without?
Paul Stoate
Blackwood, South Wales

I never got into to music to make loads of money, so success to me was playing lots of gigs with a band I liked. I did this with White Spirit and Gillan quite extensively while I was quite young so when I joined Maiden I was quite a seasoned player in terms of gigs playing and touring etc.

What do you think of Deep Purple without Blackmore.
Mathew Lee

If you go to see Deep Purple you are always going to get great musicians playing together, the new line up is no exception.

Where did you get your tour jeans? they rock! (ps hope yer feeling better) you are god!

I bought these jeans in 1990 for the Tattoos Millionaire tour I think. I bought six pairs, they have gradually gotten more beaten up as I've gone along. I am obviously a foreigner to fashion Ha Ha! For this tour I have some ones with bleach parts on them. Hence the puke look!

Why didn't Maiden explore the infinite possibilites of triple guitar harmonies and solos on the new album ?

Expect the unexpected we didn't want to spoil what Maiden is about and we didn't want to kill the sound with too much guitar the idea was to be creative and not have guitar meglomania, we are the three amigos not the three egos!

What guitar players do you admire?
Esteban Rivera
San José, Costa Rica

Beck, Page, Gallagher, Hendrix, Blackmore, Gilmore, BB King, Collins, Paul Kossof and many more.

Which guitars did u used on "Brave new world"....?

Stratocasters through marshall amps

Hello, awesome show in mass a few days ago Janick. My question is, how can you make a Fender Strat with single coil pickups sound so good? :-)

The amount of lights Maiden use causes problems with interference on single coil pick ups, so I use Seymore Duncan Pick ups mainly.

What changes did you have to make in writing songs when you joined Iron Maiden?
Rob Reinhart
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

None really I just come up with lots of ideas, some work, some don't. I believe that's all you can do, if they work great, if not keep them for some other time.

Janick, on 'No Prayer for the dying' your own personal style certainly added a new feel to maiden albums from that point on. However, did you get much say into the direction and musical content of that album ? P.S. I hope your recovering well :o)
Robert Trott
Melbourne, Australia

I came to the No Prayer album off the back of making Tattooed millionaire with Bruce ; most of the stuff was written already, so I just added my style to it. Bring your daughter was originally written for Tatooed Lp but we brought it to the prayer.

if the band asked you if its ok with you to play as a 5 men group,when you were injured would you have accepted?

Yes of course. In fact when Adrian had to go back to the UK during the Canadian Ed Hunter tour we did 2 or 3 gigs as a 5 piece and he had no problems with that at all.

what part of england are you from. my mom was born there just right out side of london
Jason Garcia Pueblo
colorado usa

I am from the Northeast of England a place called Hartlepool, but I have now lived in London for 16 years.

Hope you've recovered from your accident... I would really like to know which kind of harmonics you play in the 'Out of the Silent Planet' solo (string/fret) - it sounds brilliant!
Swen Heiland
Dortmund, Germany

Thank you I 'm just hitting harmonics and bending the strings on the nut of the neck.

Janick,I'm a 26 years old fan from Bulgaria and I want to ask you will the band add a date for Bulgaria, coz we missed you because of the terrible accident with you.I hope you are better now! I've always wanted to see this very line-up.Will you give us a chance? Thanx
Stefan Yordanov

We would love to come to Bulgaria and will do do so when it next is possible but I can't say when.

Were you active football player and which place?What is your favourite football team, do you smoke?
Jozef Bratislava,

Hartlepool United. I used to be a good goal keeper for years but since joining Maiden I'm not allowed to in case of breakages Ha Ha!! I still play occasionally. I don't smoke.

Is that 3rd solo on Fallen Angel yours? If not, then whos?

It's mine! Good guess! Top marks!

Hi Janick, I am the Bald Man who was torturing you with questions in a San Sebastian pub the day before the show. I wanna express my thanks for your gentleness, and for your performance in San Sebastian and Barcelona Shows !!!! My questionn is... Have you (as a guitarist) considered making an instrumental song as ides Of March or Losfer Words ??? I think now is the perfect time as you are a member of the only one "three guitar team" in the bussiness.
Peter Chain
Barcelona/San Sebastian

What would we do with Bruce!

For one where do you get all of your energy? And mainly I understand you were in a band called White Spirit. Was it a real heavy band? And where can I get a copy. You are a awesome player. Thanks.
Wayne Arnold

I think the CD is available but only in Japan - Yeah it was a cool band ; check out Midnight chaser and fool for the gods.

What kind of strats do you play, vintage or modern?
Eric Thorsen
New Jersey, USA

Both. Fender made me some custom guitars copied from my old 60s models.

What's the most embarrassing thing that's happen to you on stage?
Jonny Jönsson

Falling off!

Will you ever do some "clinics" here in Italy? How did you aquired that velocity? I think you're the best guitarist in Maiden!
Daniele Ugolini
Bollate (Milan), Italy

I don't really like that guitar school thing, SO NO. I won't be doing clinics. But thank you for your comments! If you want advice, just play how you feel, you can't go far wrong!

What do you think about the black and death metal version of clasic maiden songs, play by bands like Lord Belial or Arch Enemy?

I haven't heard them.

How do you warm up your fingers before each gig?
Da Mezziah

I don't warm up before gigs. I like to wait and see what happens! It makes it very interesting, I never know how I am going to play.

why do you, dave amd adrian use only strastocasters?it´s rare to see iron maiden guitarrists playing others you enjoy Flying-v/x and explorers?
Paulo Rudolf Herren

I have other guitars and on occasion have used them on records, but for live it's the strat for me
and always has been.

Janick, when I first listened to your playing in "No prayer for the dying", I was blown away by your pace and speed ... compared to the older maiden albums. I'm a guitarist myself ... playing guitar for almost 8 years now and I am playing rhythm guitar in a band ... and I want to upgrade myself to playing some leads ... My question is ... How do you started off to play lead?
Duane reggie

Learn some solo's from your favourite albums and play them, good luck!

Janick, Why do you only use Fenders Stratocaster? Don't like you Gibsons, Jacksons, Ibanez and another?
Bruno Trindade Oliveira
João Pessoa, BRAZIL

I have a Gibson, but I like strats live!

When you first played the old songs, from Adrian-Dave times, with the three of you, do you tried to create new elements to the music or you just reforce the songs putting another guitar on the song?
Fabiano Nadler
Porto Alegre, Brazil

A bit of both really ; we tried to add to the songs, rather than just do the same things. Some songs Adrian tuned down to D to add texture to the songs. Also some of the songs had more than two guitars and it meant we could play them live on the road, ie three-part harmony.

Will there be an Ed hunter Tour live video coming out soon?!

I don't think so! But we may record the B.N.W. tour for a live video at some point.

When You do next live video??

Possibly Brazil in 2001

What are your favourite BEERS (please, don't tell me you don't take any alcoholic drink!!!)?
Milano / Italy

When in America or Mexico I drink Corona. I always try to drink the beer of the place I'm in, ie the local beer. Followed by tequila or vodka. Cheers, Hic, Burp!!

First of all, when you are coming to brazil? And have you ever fell down from the stage sometime before?
Eduardo Amorim

Firstly yes we are coming to Brazil Rock in Rio and no I've never fallen off stage before although I got a close call in Glasgow in 1981 with Gillan. I jumped off PA just as the lights went out, alas, I landed safely!

when are you going in to the studio again?
Kristian graff

Not Sure

Janick, I love your style! Are all your bridge and neck position pickups on all your guitars Seymour Duncan Hot Rails?

No some are and some are JB pickups. I actually like single coil but Maidens light shows are so huge the noise for single coils makes them almost unplayable.

Janick, I know you have been a fender strat player since joining maiden, and I know that Dave has been playing fender strats since day one. Since the tour, when I saw Adrian playing fenders, I was wondering. Does Iron Maiden have an endorsement contract with fender or is it just personal preference.
Lee Hemenway
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

I bought my first Fender in 73, and I'm still using it with Maiden, all be it with a different neck (the first one fell off)

What did you fell when you play with Ian Gillan?
Eagle Jorge
Viña del Mar Chile!

I love playing with Ian Gillan, he is still one of my biggest influences as well as a favourite singer of mine.

When will we see a composition with, Smith&Gers.
David Alejandro
U.S.A. weslaco, tx

Yeah I'd like to write with Adrian and Dave.

Have you considered any solo or colaboration record with any other rock artists ? I ask you that because of it's clearly demonstrated your personal value as a writer in the band, so maybe you have artistic things so different from maiden style that you want to express.

I've worked with Ian Gillan, Bruce as a solo artist and Fish from Marillion.

Janick, You have been a pretty constant part of Iron Maiden for a long time now, since Adrian left in fact. How do you feel about Adrian being back? Is it kinda strange for you? Also do you have any plans to do a solo project?
Bob Lincoln,
NE (U.S.A.)

Not at all, I think its worked very well. I knew Adrian for years anyhow and we have always got along so it was no problem.

Janick, what was the best thing about working on Brave New World?
New York

Working with Kevin Shirley, and the way he recorded it fast and live, it was very spontaeneous and I liked that.

Are you using a distortion pedal for your sound and if so what kind of pedal are you using

No it's pretty straight into the amp but turned up very loud. I also lock the pre amp off a bit as I don't like it if it is too distorted I like to hear the notes distinctly as opposed to fuzzed over.

I notice your sound is more fuzzy and a little bit dirtier than dave and adrian, is that due to your hot rails pickups or is it an amp setting or some kind of effects, and what makes you like the hot rails pickups better than a standard full size humbucking pickup?
Tim and Brian
Olympia, Washingtion

I think the sound for the solos is a bit dirtier and that is because the solo's were in the mainly done live with the backing track as opposed to setting a sound up. But I felt the spontanaiety was worth the slightly inferior sound quality.

[ Add Comment ]
22-February-2009 8:47 pm 
:: says...

" Im persuming this topic has finished now:p "

26-May-2010 11:33 pm 
:: says...

" janick, i dont know if you are still ansering, but if you are i would love to ask you 2 questions.i have herd you are left handed, but you play right handed, is i hard or natral? my second question, what were you doing during sanctuary at rock in rio 2001 and how do you get all those wired sonds and do all those stunts without worieing about harming your guitar??? "


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