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In Words: Jeff Loomis

- Jeff Loomis - Oct. 2008 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Jeff Loomis - live 2001 w/ Nevermore
Claudia Ehrhardt

Jeff Loomis - Oct. 8th 2008 (by email)

I met Jeff Loomis a couple of times on tour with Nevermore and I was really looking forward to hear his solo album. Even if I wasn't sure what to expect, beside a lot of great guitar play. And I was quite surprised how fast I got into this instrumental album. Usually I'm not a big fan of instrumental albums, but this one got me quite fast and so I took the chance to send a few questions to Jeff and I really have to thank him for spending time answering my questions.

By now you already got some reactions to your solo debut. How satisfied are you with the way the album turned out? And what about the reactions from fans and media?

The CD has been out for about a month in Europe and a week in the States. I've been reading some great reviews so far. I'm very happy with the way the record turned out and consider myself very lucky to have worked with such talented musicians. I really wanted to show another side of myself as a guitarist on this record.
It's a very diverse sounding CD that showcases many of the musical styles i enjoy playing such as Jazz, Classical and Metal. I think anyone that is a fan of Nevermore will enjoy this music very much.

How long did it take you to write / record Zero Order Phase?

I started writing the record right after the This Godless Endeavor tour which was about a year ago. I spent about two months writing it and about a month and a half recording it.

Was Neil Kernon your first choice for the production? And why him?

Yes, he was. We both had decided when we were working on Dreaming Neon Black that if i ever did a solo project he would produce it. Neil and I have stayed good friends throughout the years ever since he did our first self-titled CD. It was great working with him in a very relaxed setting at my house on this project. I would love to work with him again because he really knows how to get some of my best guitar playing out of me. He is also a great musician. He played a big role in a lot of the arrangements on Zero Order Phase.

What's the idea behind the title? The artwork?

I really wanted a futuristic looking CD cover. I've always been a fan of the movies Blade Runner and Logan's Run. The train tracks going into the two monoliths represents the whole idea of an uncertain future. The meaning of Zero Order Phase is the amplitude and phase of a mathematical equation....which in a sense can kind of relate to the music.

How did you came up with the title Shouting Fire At A Funeral?

Just a crazy song title that fits the song. These are just instrumentals. I really had no intention on having a lot of meaning behind the titles. I really just want the fans or fans of this type of music to enjoy the songs for what they are on their own.

How did you choose the different guest and which song they contributed to?

I've been a fan of Ron Jarzombek since the days he played in Watchtower. I got a chance to meet him on the 2005 Gigantour when we played with Megadeth. We sat down and talked about guitar for a few hours. I called him up and asked him to be a part of my solo project and he said yes. I was totally blown away with his solo on this record. He is an awesome person and a great guitar player.
Pat O' Brian used to play in Nevermore from about '95 to '97. We just stayed friends throughout the years and I've always looked up to him as a guitar player. I'm happy he wanted to be a part of the CD as well.
Michael Manring is friends with Neil Kernon. Hopefully one day I will get the opportunity to meet this guy, because he is incredible. It took him about one day to come up with the insane solo he did for the song Cashmere Shiv.

What song would you like to do a video for? Or have I missed it?

I don't know, if i will do a video for this CD... but if I do, it would be the song Miles Of Machines.

Have you writen the songs for your solo album? Or been some initially written for Nevermore, but turned out not to fit to Nevermore?

Shouting Fire At A Funeral was suppose to be a Nevermore tune. I never got a response from Warrel regarding this song, so I thought he just didn't like it. Every other song on the record was written exclusively for the record.

You toured a lot with Nevermore, would you like to present your solo stuff live?

I would love to, but I don't think there will be the time to do that. I might do a few clinics. right now our main focus is to write and record the new Nevermore CD.

What do you think about Warrel's album? And has he commented yours?

I really like Warrel's CD. It shows another side of him that I really appreciate. From what he said, it sounds like he likes mine as well. He told me he expected a lot more fast playing on it which made me laugh.

Please tell us what's on your schedule next!

I'm sitting at home right now writing for the next Nevermore. I have about 6 songs written and hopefully if things work out, we will be in the studio by January for a Summer release.

Any question you miss? Something you want to add?

Thanks for the interview. We all look forward to getting back on the road to see all of our fans again!!! Stay Tuned...Jeff

Looks lke Nevermore fans won't have to wait for long to get some more from the Seattle boys and perhaps Jeff Loomis will do a few shows / clincs, so keep an eye on his website!
I hope that between Nevermore albums and tours he will find time to do another album - sooner or later!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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