Janick describes the playing style of H, Dave and his own

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I read the following in the fanzine, and I thought it was nice to learn how Janick describes Adrian and Dave, and himself. Here you go!

hamboy13: How would you describe your guitar playing style?? As it's very different to Adrian and Dave.

Janick:
I think we have three great guitarists in this band. Adrian is very rhythmic in his approach and a great soloist with lovely melodies. Dave is much more of an 'attack' guitar player, very powerful heavy rhythms, great fluidity, very smooth runs and a beautiful legato style. I'm kind of more edgy and abstract in my playing maybe for different things...    ...(he talks more about their chemistry)...    ... So yes there are three different styles and I'll leave other people to judge what my style is like but it's hard, heavy and aggressive, I know that!
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Cool find. On the subject of Jan, an issue of Guitar Player magazine from last year featured the three amigos doing an interview. I might be able to post it here.
 

czgibson

Invader
Janick has summed up their playing styles really well! The first word that comes to mind when Dave's playing is "fluid", closely followed by "legato", which pretty much mean the same thing anyway. He takes more risks on stage than Adrian, who tends to stick closer to what's on the records. Adrian is probably my favourite, though, for his compositional approach to solos. Over time I get more and more impressed by Janick's playing. I think he takes insane risks during gigs and can shred with the best of them, frequently pulling out amazing licks. In any other band he would be the undisputed highlight, to my ears anyway. 

There has surely never been another band with three guitarists as good as the three amigos!
 
I never knew how to describe Janick's style, but I guess that pretty much nails it; abstract. It's an acquired taste for most I think.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
I wouldn't call it abstract. I'd call it aggressive, fast, manic, but not abstract. Plenty of guitarists play like that.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Plenty of them play aggressive but some of Jan's aggressive solos have his own edgy quality that I don't hear anywhere else.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Forostar said:
Plenty of them play aggressive but some of Jan's aggressive solos have his own edgy quality that I don't hear anywhere else.
What do you mean I by this? I think he sounds like a sped up Jimmy Page.
 

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
That means he thinks that Janick possesses a certain quality that all other guitar players lack.
I'd agree and disagree. I don't like his sloppy playing, however sometimes he does play a clean shred that's of same speed "big shredders" exhibit. But sometimes that sloppy sound, properly controlled, can work as a charm. Most recent example would be his solo from closing track of Final Frontier.
P.S. what i like from him, is that he tends to just "let go" and enjoy himself, when he plays the solo, just let the fingers do the work. You try to play 20 seconds around some chord progression following some music theme, close your eyes and just let go. And count your mistakes.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
I respect that, but I can't come to like that type of playing.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
I prefer his melodic solos over any speed solos.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Janick's The Pilgrim, Ghost of the Navigator, The Legacy are aggressive, chilling, and have touches of melody. His work in the The Unbeliever rules too! :)

I think he can be a player with lots of attack as well, or at least he can make sudden sounds in his solos which others never do. That stuff sounds better in the studio than live.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Your right. But I was specifically talking about Adrian Smith. I don't think he did any real speed solos did he? Maybe in the first few albums? And I love the guitar work on Thu Unbeliever.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Well you did cause me to remember those great melodic solos. :) Sometimes I forget that he can do more than just play fast.
 

Babo 91

Nomad
Batman said:
Your right. But I was specifically talking about Adrian Smith. I don't think he did any real speed solos did he? Maybe in the first few albums? And I love the guitar work on Thu Unbeliever.

i would say new frontier, paschendale, the final frontier, the mercenary and wicker man live are all pretty fast. nowhere near as fast as guys like malmsteem or even roy z but i feel that when he speeds up his playing he is still able to maintain his feel and melody.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
The three of these guys compliment each other so well and it seems rare to have lead guitar players put their egos aside like these guys do for the sake of a better song.  Janick brings a lot to the table not just in the solos, but in his writing, and his aucoustic playing that really adds another layer to the music.  Adrian will always be my favorite of the three, but it's clear at this point that removing any of the three from the equation would have a negative effect on the music.
 
Top