Up-and-coming Paris, France modern progressive metal quintet, Novelists, are set to release their forthcoming full-length recording, Souvenirs, on November 6th, 2015 via Arising Empire/Metalville Records (pre-order here). The album was mixed and mastered by Novelists’ bass player, Nicolas Delestrade (Betraying The Martyrs), at NDSE Recordings and features guest appearances by Pierre Danel (Kadinja), Lotti Holz and Plini Roessler-Holgate (Plini). We recently caught up with Delestrade via email to understand some of the key gear he and the band used when recording the new music!

What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Delestrade: We use a lot of lead/clean guitar tones from the Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II.

What about it makes it so important to you?
Delestrade: The insane quality of its reverb/delays and basically every effect in it! It is also extremely convenient live, the Axe-Fx II is controlled by our laptop and it changes presets automatically which allows us to stay focused on the performance.

How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Delestrade: As I said on the answer of the first question, we’ve been using it a lot on every lead and clean guitar sound on the record. We also use it a lot to create atmosphere/ambient sounds close to synth sounds.

How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Delestrade: Well we use the exact same gear and presets live so it actually recreates it pretty easily, as for the vocals, just a bit of compression, delay and a small reverb.

What are the major pros and cons?
Delestrade: Pros: Convenience when doing live shows, quality of the effects, and it’s cheap considering the amount of different sounds it offers. Cons: 1. You need a lot of time and practice to get good results with it. 2. It’s still a very expensive piece of gear compared to a Peavey 5150 for example. 3. Even though the rhythm sounds are getting better and better every time there is a new firmware update, you can still tell the difference with an actual tube head.

Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Delestrade: We have a spare Axe-Fx in case we have issues with the main one, which never happened yet!

How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Delestrade: We’ve had the Axe-Fx II for 4 years, we use it all the time and would not change it if the company keeps doing that good of a job! We really want to try a Kemper though.

Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
Delestrade: We’ve never been through any trouble for now, hopefully it can go on!

Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Delestrade: Can’t wait for the Axe-Fx 3!

Check out the song “Voyager” here.


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