La Serena, Chile is a beautiful coastal city in South America. It's also the home of prog metal guitarist, composer, instructor, and ESP All Access community member Red Frandany, who first caught our attention with her impressive performance videos we'd seen in various spots online. We decided to get her perspective on being a great female guitarist in today's world. While we had a few language barriers, we shared the universal language of the love of guitar playing.
What ESP model are you playing right now?
Right now I have a white LTD H-351FR, with an original German Floyd Rose.
What pickups are in it?
My LTD has two EMG active pickups. On the bridge it has an 81 and an 85 on the neck.
What do you like about the tone and response of the pickups?
I like them a lot because they give me a great response in the sound, and the preamp makes that characteristic sound from metal. In general, the bright sound they have is special for playing metal and another kind of music that I like.
How is the guitar’s balance and feel over all?
Honestly, I love my guitar. It feels comfortable to play, and it has a real good balance and weight. Specifically, the neck is very thin and makes it easier to play leads.
How old were you when you started playing?
I started playing when I was 15 years old, all on my own with my first acoustic guitar. After a few years, I bought my first electric guitar. Then I took classes for three years at Projazz in Santiago, Chile.
Do you remember when you first heard of ESP? Was it from an artist playing it?
I perfectly remember when I decided to be a guitar player and discovered ESP. I was in my room and I had this poster from Metallica, one of my favorite bands . I still remember looking at James Hetfield on it with his ESP model, like he was telling me, "You are going to play guitar, and you have to play ESP!" When I started playing, I usually bought magazines about guitars, and in time I learned about LTD.
Tell us more about what you are doing musically right now.
Currently, I'm working on my project "Red Frandany", making my first progressive metal record. At the same time, I'm founding Saykked, a female project based on a glam/heavy metal band with a little bit of progressive stuff that I put on it. Also, I'm playing in Rockfem as a session player. It's a band that plays the classics from the '80s and '90s for massive events.
On social media, I love to upload videos every week, because it helps me a lot to connect with more musicians and people around the world who like my music.
Do you continue to try and improve as a guitarist? What do you do to inspire yourself to be a better player?
Of course! You never stop learning when you talk about art. You have to try to improve every day, and to compete with yourself. It's really important to know that you can learn something new every single day. In my case, I like trying to play really difficult songs so when I do it, I can record them and upload on my social medias. For example, playing some songs of Animal as Leaders has been extremely hard, but worthy because you can see how much you learned in all this time.
On Instagram I usually follow a lot of guitar players, where every day I see new bands and songs that I may like.
Who are some of your main influences, early and later, as a guitarist?
As I said, one of my first influences was Metallica. I think it's because of their compositions and guitar sounds , but then I discovered Rush, and I can tell that it was real love at first sight, or listen in this case.
Rush made me get into progressive music. I started to listen to Dream Theater, Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, and Queen, and they helped me to discover bands from other styles like Sonata Arctica and Iron Maiden. Currently, I've been listening to djent bands as Disperse, Intervals, Periphery, Monuments, TesseracT, Textures, Animal as Leaders, Frost, Plini, Veil of Maya, Myrath, Meshuggah, and others. I can say that all of them help me to compose my own music.
If you could live your perfect dream as a musician, what would you be doing?
I would definitely love to be on a world tour with my solo project and Saykked. My dream is to play around the world and make my music known.
Keep up with Red Frandany on her Facebook page.