HAKEN’s Guitarist CHARLIE GRIFFITHS Explains Heaviness of His Debut Solo Album: “It’s Fun To Be Able To Push This Heavy Music As Far As I Can”

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Charlie Griffiths, guitarist for British Progressive Metal band Haken, has just released his debut solo album “Tiktaalika”. Written on six-string guitars, “Tiktaalika” is a riff-fest, where Charlie professes his love for heavy music. The influences of Slayer, Metallica, Pantera and Megadeth are palpable, and the whole album is a trip through the early beginnings of thrash metal. Helping Charlie to fulfil his vision is a slew of guest appearances: Darby Todd (Martin Barre, Frost, Devin Townsend) on drums, Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) on keyboards, and Rob Townsend (Steve Hackett band) on saxophone add their musicianship to the mix.

Splitting the vocal duties, we have Tommy Rogers (Between the Buried And Me), Danïel De Jongh (Textures), Vladimir Lalić (Organized Chaos) and Neil Purdy (Luna’s Call) and Charlie himself. The 9 tracks of the album draw inspiration from themes of geological time, fossilization, transformation and humanity’s connections with each other and the planet we inhabit.  The Griffiths-penned lyrics tell the story of beings that inhabited the Earth millions of years before the dinosaurs, and the concept is completed via the exquisite cover, created by Dan Goldsworthy.The album was mixed by Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood, who famously worked on Haken’s recent efforts, and while being heavy, maintains musical roots still firmly in the progressive realm.

As well as handling guitar duties, Charlie also takes care of bass, keyboards and on one track, makes his debut lead vocal performance. Of the creative process Charlie explains, “I picked up the 6 string guitar again, which ironically has become the more unusual option for me, after 10 or so years writing with an 8-string guitar for Haken. It definitely sent me into a different creative headspace, with riff after riff seemingly falling out of the guitar. I naturally began forming those riffs into song structures, while simultaneously writing vocal melodies and building the lyrical concept. It was a great form of escapism from my usual environment and I had a lot of fun doing it”.

While on the recently finalized tour with Symphony X and Trope, Charlie took some time to discuss all things “Tiktaalika” with Sonic Perspectives collaborator Rodrigo Altaf. Listen to their chat below and remember that for more interviews and other daily content, make sure to follow Sonic Perspectives on Facebook, Flipboard and Twitter and  subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified about new interviews and contents we publish on a daily basis.

 

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