By Andrew Catania
Hong-Kong based fusion guitarist/composer Jason Kui – who combines modern metal, hard rock, funk and ballad influences while integrating rock lead techniques and compelling melodies – released his diverse debut album, Absence of Words, for the first time outside of Hong Kong on Friday, October 13, 2017, via Prosthetic Records. Absence of Words is available for order here: http://smarturl.it/JasonKui
At what age did you start playing the guitar?
JK: I started playing guitar at the age of 12.
What kind of guitar was your first?
JK: It was a Yamaha Pacifica, a beginner model, Taiwanese made. It was not bad for the price. Definitely not a fancy one, haha.
Have you always been in a band or have you been solo?
JK: I have been in a few bands, but it didn’t work out. So I thought going solo will be a way out, so I did it.
Who are your main influences, and explain?
JK: Definitely John Petrucci, I learned a lot of guitar techniques and songwriting from him and Dream Theater. He is one of the guitar legends, and he’s got his signature sound and playing style. So my main influence got to be him!
What does your normal rig setup consist of?
JK: I use Tom Anderson Guitars and Aristides Guitars, then an EP booster by Xotic Effects, then going straight to a Mesa Boogie Mark V 35 amp head/ Mesa Boogie JP2C head or sometimes Lone Star head. In the Fx loop, I usually have a delay pedal (like Eventide Timefactor or TC Electronic Flashback), and sometimes I will use Eventide H9 and Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II for other effects. Finally, I have 2 Mesa Boogie Rectifier 212 cabs. Shure SM57 and Royer 121 mics as well.
Do you have any endorsements and if so, with who?
JK: Yes, I am endorsed by Tom Anderson Guitars, Aristides Guitars, and Mesa Boogie Amps.
Describe your songwriting process. Does a melody come to you? Do you start just jamming until something clicks?
JK: When the inspiration hits me, usually the melody comes first. Then I will work on the chord progression. I find this way is more natural and productive. So that is the usual case.
But sometimes, there is an exception, it’s the other way around, which means I have the chord progression first, then work on the melody and arrangement later on.
Describe your tone and how you achieve it.
JK: My tone is very natural. What I mean by natural is, I always get the drive sound from the tube amps, so it is tight and solid. For rhythm sound, I like to go for a hi-mid gain British style crunch sound. And for lead, US lead for sure, i.e., Mesa Boogie’s signature Mark series tone, very bold single note, and with a bit of delay.
Do you have plans of touring the US?
JK: It has always been on my plan. My manager is working hard on it, very possibly. It’s going to be sometime next year.
You can follow Jason @