Sacha Laskow is a true hard working artist that takes his craft seriously, and above all else, he does not compromise operating at the highest professional level at all times. As the creative mind behind the powerful juggernaut of sound that is Every Hour Kills, as well as the founder of Perfect Filth Studios, we appreciate Sacha taking time out from his busy schedule to share some of his thoughts with Ryan Donnelly of Empire Music Promotions, Soundscape Magazine and our extended friends.
I see that Perfect Fifth Studios has become Perfect Filth Studios. Care to tell us a bit about the name change and what Perfect Filth is currently offering musicians?
Yeah sure, the Perfect Fifth thing was originally a collective space with myself and two other engineers. That fizzled out just due to logistics and various other non-personal factors; we’re all still friends but just not doing the studio thing together anymore. I decided to re-brand it as something that represented the heavier music styles I work with primarily. I’m only taking on limited projects as I don’t have much time these days, but if the fit is right I’ll do some production, co-writing, tracking, mixing and mastering at my home and various other spaces that I work in.
As a longtime fan of Every Hour Kills I am excited to hear that there has been some forward momentum recently in regards to this project. Does this mean the hiatus is officially over? And what can we expect in 2017 from EHK?
The hiatus is…morphing haha. I can’t say anything too definitive at the moment. Currently we are not a live band, nonetheless, we (the remaining members) are working on writing new songs and putting together some cool collaborations. What form or timeline a release might take I’m not sure yet; I just know I still love writing and recording this style of music so that’s what I’ll continue to do!
It would be a great disservice to your talents if I didn’t mention that you compose all the music you create. How do you find creating songs on your own as opposed to working with other musicians?
I’ve really always done it that way. It started out being born from necessity, as I didn’t really know any other musicians doing the style of progressive metal that I was writing back then, so I grabbed a drum machine and a four-track cassette recorder and got to work. Hearing back my ideas fully realized like that was so exciting, and I have kept along that same trajectory ever since. I envision songs, including the drum parts, synths, etc, all in my head, so it’s just natural for me to create this way. I’m not averse to collaborating with other people though, I’ve always welcomed contributions, ideas, and help when I was in a collective band situation.
Where do you gather your musical inspiration from?
All over the place really, that’s one of the things I appreciate about metal is how you can seamlessly integrate so many varied influences. Lately I’ve been really into epic soundtracks and scores, blending that style in with more riffy-progressive metal.
Let’s talk gear for a moment. Your guitars are the stuff of legend, can you tell us a bit about your guitars and which one is your current favorite?
Haha I don’t know about legend but I am definitely known as a bit of a gear slut. These days my main guitars are Mayones although I’m also big into Strandberg. My main Mayones is a multi-scale eight-string Regius with a really rare and beautiful burl maple top. With that I’m using Bare Knuckle pickups into a Fractal Audio Axe-FX II for my tones.
Your video for the song Almost Human is a collaborative effort between the award-winning Director Doug Cook and the band. How did that pairing happen to come about?
I’ve actually known Doug for ages and we’ve done three other music videos together before EHK. We originally hooked up for the Divinity Plasma music video and have been collaborating ever since. Doug is a mad genius video scientist and I’m lucky to know him; he really brings a whole new dimension to the music with his visual lunacy.
You have worked with many artists over the years, would you care to shed some light on what you would consider to be some of the best music you have worked on with other musicians?
Haha I don’t want to pick favorites and hurt anybody’s precious feelings, but yeah, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing artists and some of the best musicians on earth. My favorite thing is always the next thing I’m working on. 🙂
Can you take us through your song writing process a bit?
It fluctuates, but basically it’s just a building process, like building a house or a pork sammich. I’ll start with something, like a riff or a beat or a synth line, and just keep layering things up until I run out of ideas. During that time I’ll usually constantly vacillate between loving it and wanting to kill myself, but that’s art, I guess? Eventually I’ll draw the line and put that sammich out to the world.
At this point in your musical career what are some of your personal musical highlights?
I’ve done some fun stuff, been on tour with amazing musicians from all over the world, been on a label next to my favorite bands etc. Those things stand out, but so do the friendships and comradery, along with the blowouts and ensuing drama / hatred. It’s all for the music in the end.
With 2016 coming to a close, are there any musicians that you discovered this year that you would like to mention?
Hmmm I discovered a really amazing artist called Sleep Token that I would DEFINITELY recommend checking out. Besides that some of my favorites from the year are:
Issues – Headspace
I See Stars – Treehouse
Jason Richardson – I
Textures – Phenotype
Ihsahn – Arktis
Gorguts – Pleiadis’ Dust
Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts
Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
Korn – The Serenity of Suffering
Watchtower – Concepts of Math
Lastly, and thank you for your time. Do you have any projects in mind coming into 2017?
Thanks for hitting me up! I’m actually working with a super talented NON-METAL artist, Laura Hickli, which is definitely outside my comfort zone but she is awesome. Other than that, I have a few irons in the fire and will continue working on various thingies. Keep an ear peeled!
Find Sacha Laskow on Facebook at Perfect Filth Studios.