Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Myrrors Interivew: Interview/Gear Review with Nik Rayne!

The Myrrors, hailing from Arizona, U.S.A, have been the muse of many a psychedelic and desert rock fanatic for the past five years now as the popularity of their first record, Burning Circles In The Sky, spirals forever upwards. Amongst other things, fans of the band, including myself, have always been fascinated with how the 'Circles' EP was recorded exactly, I caught up with the bands guitarist Nik Rayne to find out more...

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Dan: What guitars were used (with addendum regarding other instruments) on Burning Circles in the Sky?

Nik: Since the band's earliest days my mainstay electric has always been a Gretsch Double Jet. It's got a strong, sharp attack and, perhaps most importantly, a Bigsby tremolo that I really abuse the hell out of. For a while I was messing around with a Fender Stratocaster, but it just never did it for me. Acoustic guitars are been more of a mixed bag. The title track on Burning Circles In the Sky was, to the best of my memory, recorded on a cheap Washburn steel string. Between the band we have a rather large and motley assortment of stringed instruments. In fact, a lot of our gear was either salvaged or entirely homemade. The dulcimer that leads "Nobody's Children" even has some scratchy handwriting inside reading "made on a rainy day November 9, 1979"...so if your out there, mister Robert Sitnek, thank you for the wonderful instrument! It's always a beautiful thing unearthing historical footnotes on old pieces of equipment like that. Grant [Beyschau, drummer] and I really have a passion for finding and learning unusual instruments, and we've recently started incorporating a lot of new textures into the music. He plays a righteous free jazz sax on our latest single "Ramona Parra," for example, and I've been working out the charango and quena, which I picked up back when I lived in Chile.


Dan: Additionally, What pedals and amps were used on the recordings of Circles, Solar Collector, and Ramona Parra?
Nik: I've actually gotten a lot of mileage out of a little Fender Eighty-Five that I picked up at a thrift store several years back, and it's that amp which is most likely featured on Burning Circles In the Sky (in any case it was most certainly the one used for the guitar parts on "Ramona Parra" and the Solar Collector tape). The rest of the band has been on me for a while now about getting a new amp, but I have to admit I've grown close to the little bastard. It doesn't look like much, but it packs a punch. As for guitar effects, I'm very fortunate in that most of the ones I use are handmade by a friend of the band's named Claira Safi, including the fuzztone that drives "Warpainting." I've got an echo box of hers that I use that has so many unmarked controls that no one really knows what it's capable of! Hell, even my power supply comes from her worktable. I'll confess that I do still use a stock Dunlop Cry Baby and an Electro Harmonix reverb on occasion, however. I know the former made it onto "Plateau Skull."

Some of Nik's Custom Pedals

Dan: Furthermore, what can you tell us about the Circles recording sessions?

Nik: The first record, Burning Circles In the Sky, was recorded at my home studio back in Phoenix, Arizona in rather piecemeal fashion over the course of a summer. That record was, more than anything, us attempting to find our way in the studio, and some of the material reflects the rather tentative, experimental nature of the proceedings. The rhythm tracks were usually laid down first, then the rest of the instruments would build up from that. A few of the tracks were already live staples, such as "Mind's Eye" and "Warpainting," but the rest was thrown together as we recorded it. Though the record turned out pretty firmly structured, we have always been much more about free improvisation...in the end we only ever included one or two tracks from the album on any given night's setlist, though I suppose we'll probably keep playing "Warpainting" for a while, as that one seems to be pretty popular.


Dan: Follow up and new material?
Nik: After reflecting back on the material after five years there is a lot about the recording process I would have changed, but in that way I suppose it is an honest reflection of the band at that early stage of development. We relied far too much on post-production and multi-tracking in those days, and not enough on capturing what we really sounded like as a band. Fortunately we have almost wrapped up cutting our long overdue second album down here in Tucson, where I've been living for the past four years, and in my opinion the music is not only sounding a lot more interesting than that on our first record but also much more organic. The three jams on our recent cassette release Solar Collector are kind of an unpolished kodachrome of that new stage in our evolution as a group, I think.

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The Myrrors have currently released a new single, you can listen to it here:



The Myrrors released 'Burning Circles In The Sky' in 2008, you can listen to it here:


To here more about The Myrrors new album, make sure to like their Facebook page.


Posted by Dan Sharman, 13:27, 28/08/2013.

6 comments:

  1. Awesome interview with the genius behind a band everyone needs to hear. Thank you!

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    1. Happy you are enjoying the music, this is surely desert rock at its finest!

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  3. Good interview and excellent band! Listen to the infinite...

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    1. Thank you, it's your kind words that keep this ship sailing!!!

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