Weesp Black Sails Review

Weesp Interview And Black Sails Album Review

Weesp released their latest album, Black Sails, earlier this year. I caught up with Mike Zalutski and Dmitry ‘Mi’ Budko, the guitarist and bass players from the band to talk about the new album and the gear they use.

Weesp Interview

Mike Zalutski (guitar): Hey this is Mike of Weesp, I play guitar.

Dmitry ‘Mi’ Budko (bass): And here’s Mi, I play bass guitar and some bass synth.

What equipment did you use during the recording of Black Sails?

Mike (guitar): I used two of my multiscale (25.5 “-27”) guitars which were custom built for me by Upgreader guitars. It was my own LZ-1 and LZ-2 models, 7 and 8 strings respectively.

I’ve used a Diezel VH4 head for the distorted parts and EVH 5150 as an additional one. The clean sound was recorded using a Marshall JCM 800. I’ve used tape delay, chorus, and reverb from a vintage Roland RE-501.

Mi (bass): I was using my custom built Stas Pokotilo bass. It’s fan fretted bass with 34- to 36.5-inch scale – alder with a walnut top. The neck is a set one maple-walnut 5-piece, pickups are Villex passive soap bars. I’m incredibly happy with it. I run this bass through my pedalboard (consisting of EBS, EHX and Darkglass effects mainly – I use fuzz, distortion, delay, compressor, chorus and phaser) into my Darkglass Microtubes 900 and then to Marshall 8×10 cab. Additionally, on several tracks such as “Who We Are”, “Monsters”, “Not Over”, “The Stream”, “Illumination” and “Black Sails” I am using analogue bass synth Moog Sub-Phatty which I run also through my pedalboard into the amp.

What is your creative process in the studio?

Mike: Before recording, I always listen to a lot of different equipment, microphones, amplifiers, cabinets and look at what will work better for the sound I want to achieve. This process can take from one day to several weeks.

Mi: During recording I always try to be as energetic as if I’m on a stage, pushing everything I have in every note. I also experiment a lot with backing tracks, doubles and different ambient effect to add to my bass.

Who inspired you to start playing and what was the first song you learned to play?

Mike: My elder brother’s school friend inspired me, at that moment he already had his own band and it hooked me very much. A couple of days after I first saw it, I found an old acoustic guitar in my basement and began to try playing it. The first song I ever played was Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

Mi: My first inspiration was Flea of Red Hot Chili peppers. The first song I ever played on bass was Otherside by RHCP.

What is your favourite album of the year so far?

Mike: I really dig “You Are We” by While She Sleeps

Mi: And my favourite is a new Behemoth’s “I Loved You at Your Darkest”.

Which piece of equipment couldn’t you live without on tour?

Mike: It’s my Kemper profiling amp. Very compact and versatile.

Mi: Definitely my Darkglass Microtubes 900. I’m addicted to it’s powerful voice and sweet overdrive I can blend with my clean signal.

Do you have a practice routine you run through before you go on stage?

Mike: I always check the performance of all my equipment, do a warm-up, give high five to all the guys and run to the stage.

Mi:  We try not to drink alcohol or use anything else before the shows. Also, we always do a small stretching and warming up before going on stage as if we don’t, everything hurts the next day and we can’t be good on stage the next day. It looks funny.

And yeah, I think we are good on stage, so you definitely should check us out if we’ll play in your city.

Which song from your latest album is your favourite to perform live?

Mike: I love Red Neon Glow, we often start our gigs with it.

Mi: Mine is Black Sails and Who We Are. These are the most powerful and thoughtful songs from the latest album imo and they’re also fun to play.

Is there any new equipment you’d like to try out?

Mike: Fractal Audio Axe-Fx 3

Mi: I’d like to try Dingwall basses and compressors by Darkglass.

We are Mi and Mike of Weesp. Thank you for your attention!

Stay true to yourself and to what you believe in!

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Black Sails – Album Review

Weesp just might be the best band you’ve never heard of, but judging by Black Sails, that could be about to change.

Kicking off the album is Who We Are. From the atmospheric intro to the insanely catchy chorus, I can’t think of a better way to start the album.

Black Sails really shows how tight the band are. Filled with huge riffs throughout, it’s dark and heavy but also full of great songwriting. Few bands can combine electronic sounds with crushing riffs and thundering drums the way Weesp have done on this album. Alexei (Lex) Falco’s vocals are a real highlight throughout the album. Full of raw emotion, Lex makes you believe every single word is coming from deep within his soul.

Mike and Mi’s guitar and bass parts meld perfectly and they both have tones to die for.

The production on the album has achieved the perfect balance between polished and rawness. Everything sounds huge and epic but still has the raw edge of a finely tuned band, ready to take over the world. After listening to Black Sails, I think it’s only a matter of time until they do.

Rating 9/10