Interview with french guitarist Sloen

Sometimes things come unexpected to us and you just need to grab the chance for something new.
In our newest interview, JRO expanded their horizon past the Japanese music scene and took the chance to have a talk with French guitarist and music composer Sloen, about his instrumental project, his latest release and any advice he has for future musicians.

JRO users will be mainly new to you or your project, could you please introduce yourself and your project.

My name is Sloen, I play the guitar, the bass and the piano. I compose instrumental music, revolving around progressive genres like prog rock, math rock, post rock and prog metal. I also like to add an orchestral touch to some songs.

My first goal is to release a full album, and to make a music video for each of the songs. I’m currently working my way up to it by releasing individual singles.

What were the difficulties of starting a music project? And is there anything you are still struggling with?

I started this project with little to no prior knowledge about mixing and video making. I teach myself online, it’s a fun process. I try to improve the arrangement and mix with every song, and develop my skills as a video maker.

But the biggest difficulty for me is promotion. These days it’s all about social media. For the first time in history, everyone can have a platform with unlimited potential reach. But I’ve never used social media before, so I’m learning things as I go, and it’s a bit of a struggle. When you’re unknown and your content is centered around original music, it is very difficult to get someone to click on your video or check out your song. People like familiarity, and low numbers make some people assume the quality is not good. These things take time.

Where do you take your inspiration and motivation to keep your project going from? Was there ever a moment you wanted to give up?

Inspiration comes from the music I listen to, and letting my fingers roam around the neck and play patterns that come naturally and feel satisfying.

I have many sources of motivation. There’s the simple satisfaction of listening to a finished song or watching a video. Each one is a personal achievement that helps me grow as an artist. I’m also excited to have people listen to my songs and tell me what they make them feel.

Having a YouTube channel and social media presence is a motivator in itself, pressuring me to actually finish my songs and ship them. I can’t tell you how many unfinished songs I’ve made over the last 15 years. Now, I plan to dig up the best of them and see them through.
I’m in it for the long haul!

You recently released your third song “Crossroads”, in collaboration with Nevrness/ Bitoku. Can you tell us something about the song? What does the song and the collab mean to you?

If you dig through my older shorts/reels, you’ll find that I’ve had most of the riffs nailed down for months. But I wasn’t sure how they could come together, and that’s where Nevrness comes in. I shared a demo with him, and he came up with all the bass parts. His lines inspired me to make new riffs and solos, and helped me structure everything into a complete, coherent song.

He’s been helpful and patient with me throughout the process. It means a lot to get the chance to work with a recognized professional musician, endorsed by one of the biggest guitar brands in the world. In a more general sense, collabs are a great way to broaden one’s musical horizons and experiment new things. I’m grateful to Nevrness for this opportunity.

Our next step is to release the video. We’re working on it, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Do you have any preferred settings or gear to work with?

I love playing on my 8 string Strandberg. It’s incredibly light, comfortable, and well suited to two hand tapping.

As for my sound, I have two setups. When I first started my YouTube channel, I made live recordings using a physical amp and pedals. I used a Boss Katana Mk2 amp, with an RC-500 looper, and a Specular Tempus reverb pedal.

For my current recordings, I do all the processing within my DAW, Ableton Live. For tapping, I use the neck pickups in single coil configuration, and apply a lot of compression. I’ve been experimenting with splitting my guitar signal to apply a different processing to each frequency range. This is typically done on the bass, but I’m not aware of that technique being used with guitars. You can hear the result in Crossroads.

Is there any advice you would give other aspiring musicians? Is there anything they should learn or take care of that could help them in the future?

From my modest experience in publishing music, what I can say is that you just need to get your stuff out in the world. If you keep working on the same song forever because you feel it’s not “perfect” yet, you’ll never actually improve because you won’t have any past experience to compare yourself against.

If you could make another collaboration with any artist of your choice, who would that be?

I have several in mind that I’m not ready to talk about yet. But my dream would be to one day make a song with Yvette Young from the band Covet. She inspired me to get into guitar tapping which led to me launching my YouTube channel. She is a fantastic musician, and from what I can tell, a wonderful human being.

As we are a Forum specializing in Japanese Rock, do you have any Japanese Bands or artists you like or look up to?

It might be cheesy to say, but I really do love Bitoku’s solo project Nevrness. He shows the bass is not only the foundation of a song, but can also carry it with melodies in the higher parts of the neck. His tapping riffs are insanely cool. I found him out on YouTube a couple years ago, through the official promo video for the Ibanez BTB808MS 6 string bass. I was blown away both by his playing, and the instrument itself… Which I ended up purchasing recently.

I love Japanese video game and film composers, in particular, Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda and Kenji Kawai. My second single was actually a cover of a Final Fantasy song!

In a completely different genre, I discovered the band Wednesday Campanella after Utaha became the lead vocalist. Her voice has a unique timbre, the tunes are catchy, and with every new release I’m blown away by the creativity and quality of their music videos.

Please leave a message for the readers and your fans.

Thank you for your support and for being among the first to listen to my music. If you’re discovering me through this interview, I hope you enjoy my songs and will follow me on this journey. I do my best to reply to everyone, so feel free to get in touch!

Follow Sloen on:
Twitter/ X

Interview: @Rena


This man’s music slaps every one should listen

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