Adieu Adyu is an emerging fretless guitar artist, he has a great musical talent and, I believe, is destined for fame and fortune. His accomplishments in the last year (2015) can only point to a bright, musical future.
Adieu Adyu born Adil Rahim, March 14th, 1987 is from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. He has performed as an opening act for Kiko Louriero, Tosin Abasi, and Korean artists CNBLUE. He was awarded 2nd place for the Indi.com Bumblefoot Guitar Challenge playing Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu and in 2014 was lucky enough to share the stage with Ron Thal as well. He is currently working on a solo album. In 2011 he received the Bentley Music Academy Top Teacher Award and a certificate in Music Pedagogy from Rock School.
Interview with Adieu Adyu, January 2016
Jahloon: You started playing guitar at age 13, what made you pick the guitar?
Adieu: I actually played trumpet for a few years and found that I didn’t like it so I quit, and then someone told me you should try out guitar. There was a small guitar program at school but the songs were so boring that I left after a few classes. I actually quit guitar! Ha ha, but then a friend showed me a Deftones album and after that I was hooked.
Jahloon: Did you take any formal lessons?
Adieu: I think my parents were a bit worried that it would effect me at school because I was such an ADHD kid to begin with, so it would be like one or two classes here and there but nothing really serious so I was mostly self taught actually (with guitar instructional videos).
But in the last two years I’ve taken some skype lessons. Mostly jazz stuff with Tom Monda from Thank you Scientist, but I also had some classes with David Fiuczynski, Bumblefoot (Ron Thal), Alex Machaceck, Josh Martin and so many others.
Jahloon: Who were your musical influences during that time?
Adieu: Deftones, Tool, Korn, A Perfect Circle. The whole Nu Metal scene back when baggy pants was still a thing. For 3 years I didn’t even know you could solo on guitar , I thought that’s what the old guys did! Then I met someone who showed me Black Star by Yngwie Malmsteen and I was like; “Is this even guitar? What is this?” So that’s when I started to practice a little bit more than usual which led to discovering Bumblefoot, Mattias Eklundh, Frank Zappa, Guthrie Govan etc..
Jahloon: Now the key question, what drew you to the Fretless Guitar?
Adieu: See this is a weird one and a lot of people don’t know this… I first heard this Japanese band called Luna Sea, and had almost all their albums but wasn’t playing guitar yet so dismissed it as pop rock. Only years later when I started getting into guitar I tried to figure out their stuff by ear and was hearing this sound that I really couldn’t put my finger on. I really wanted to be able to play it.
I got frustrated so I Googled the guitarist Sugizo and upon further inspection, found that he had fretless guitar variations of all sorts that were used in almost all their recordings. triple necks, double necks and had a signature model for every one of those… until now I keep finding songs off their albums that have short subtle moments of fretlessness (even found one last week)
I get so excited when I find these sort of things because it keeps it in perspective for me and reminds me that it always has to be about good song writing first.
So… that was the first thing that made me aware of the Fretless Guitar
(which is when I looked up your website Unfretted.com and coerced my luthier friend to help convert my guitar into a fretless one!)
Then only later on I discovered Ron Thal (Bumblefoot) from his work on the 9.11 CD which really blew my mind, and more recently the “Thank You Scientist” record. Tom’s playing on that is so creative and unique I cant wait for their next album.
Jahloon: A big set back to your career was in 2011 when you broke a finger, how did that happen?
Adieu: Skateboarding. I remember being rushed to the emergency room to sign forms since they had to operate on it because it was such a weird angle. The physiotherapy after that was extremely painful. I hope no musician has to experience that ever in their life. That was the first time I thought. “I’ll never play guitar again.” It was a really horrible and depressing time for me. I really treasure everyday now that I get to play guitar. I am very lucky.
Jahloon: Have you given up Skateboarding?
Adieu: Not really but it has kind of taken a back seat for obvious reasons and really put things into perspective.
Jahloon: You formed Popsical (2013?) and opened for CNBLUE with an audience of 7000 how do you find playing in front of so many people?
Adieu: That was a dream come true. It’s everyones dream to play a big stage like that, but you know when you’re young a lot of people tell you “Oh you’ll never do that”, “It’s just gonna be lame cover bands and shitty bars for you young man.” (can I swear.?) “Why dont you just play it safe get a desk job? and a nice haircut to go with it.”
I was so lucky to get to experience that. I remember being so silly and posting on the axefx forum: hello everyone. “How do you prepare for a big show” LoL The crowd was so amazing they were so supportive and made so much noise… I even got youtube messages from some of their (CNBLUE) fans of how much they really liked it later. 🙂 I really hope that I’ll be able to experience that again, but playing my own music. Now that would be sweet 🙂
Jahloon: In 2013 you came second in the indi.com guitar contest, tell us a little about that.
Adieu: Well it was right after I got my regular Vigier that I saw Ron Thal post a video about a Chopin Fantasie Impromptu contest. I decided to give it a try and ended up getting second place. Made some friends during that contest including Brian Larkin (a Vigier artist / fretless player as well and we still talk!.) it was really fun. the first guitar contest I ever won! Couldn’t believe it.
Jahloon: Which effects pedals do you use?
Adieu: Axe-FX II and MFC 101. I like the multi delay, whammy, wah and some of the textural effects. Recently the volume pedal too, pretty basic.
Jahloon: Any preferred amplifiers?
Adieu: Because I live in a small place, i don’t have the luxury of trying out amps or having them at home. I just use the axefx for most of the sounds that I get. The last “real” amp I tried was a Diezel VH4 or Bogner but that was such a long time ago.
Jahloon: You currently earn your living teaching guitar, and that is always a great way to improve your playing. How would you like to see your career progress?
Adieu: Like most people, I got into playing guitar because i wanted to play my own music and perform it live. not because I wanted to teach. the freedom of self expression was what really drew me to music. I am currently working towards that, so that I can have more time to focus more on my own material and make that the main thing.
Jahloon: If music was not your career, what would you like to be doing?
Adieu: I would be a methamphetamine entrepreneur. Ha ha who knows ??
There were a few times where I stopped playing guitar and tried to convince myself that it wasn’t for me but there would be something that always showed up in my life and point me back in that direction, so I cant really answer that question properly!
Jahloon: That’s your Guardian Angel looking after you! Indeed 2015 certainly seems to have been a great year for you with some real landmark events, tell us how you met RonThal.
Adieu: Ron was here with Guns N Roses in 2013 and in the same year did his first few clinics in Malaysia which was the first time I met him.
Ron Thal and Adieu Adyu
In 2015 some of the organisers from the Embassy mentioned that he was having another tour and it would be possible for me to join him on stage for a song but I didn’t find that out until the day of the performance.
Even though he was so exhausted on the last day of his Malaysia tour, he still had the patience to help get me on stage and play a few songs together.
I saw him almost collapse from being so tired as well. but right after that pick his guitar up, sign autographs smiles and everything. Truly an amazing human being on and off the guitar. I remember I was so moved seeing how hard he pushes himself and still being so down to earth after all he’s accomplished. He was, and still is, such a big inspiration for me to keep playing and to be a better person.
Jahloon: In July 2015 you opened Tosin’s guitar clinic, tell us a little about that.
Adieu: I was shocked really, because it was 4 years ago when I broke my finger that I was listening to “Animals as Leaders” in the car. I would think… oh I can do this and would try and try but wasn’t able to physically. I was really honoured to have life give me a second chance at guitar.
It was such an emotional experience for me and would have never expected it to happen because of the accident. I also got to perform my song “Bear God” for the first time in front of an audience.
Jahloon: August 2015 saw you going to Sweden to Mattias la Eklund’s clinic, did that trip influence your work?
Adieu: Mattias Eklundh always had a big influence on me and it was just a matter of time (and money) before I could get out to Sweden. It was mostly his earlier work that really drew me to instrumental guitar, but recently he’s had a lot of Indian inspired ideas. I actually wrote him an email last week to say thank you for getting me into Indian music!! Such a great person with so much experience to share as well.
Mattias IA Eklund and Adieu Adyu
Jahloon: Returning home you found you had won a guitar competition to hang out with Guthrie Govan for two days, how did that go?
Adieu: I actually found out that was a closed event and I had no idea that I would get a ticket to go see that show. I saw you could submit a video of your playing for a chance to hang out with Guthrie and was somehow selected. I really don’t know how these things happen. We ended up across the street from where I teach, hanging out ’till 4 or 5 am just talking about so many things, it was surreal. Guthrie to me was my mentor on the guitar techniques CD as a teenager, So, meeting him like that was something I would never imagine could happen living here in Malaysia.
Adieu Adyu and Guthrie Govan share a couple of beers.
Jahloon: Finally towards the end of the year, you won another guitar competition to meet Thai guitar idol Jack Thammarat how was that?
Adieu: Again I was so surprised to win. He was such an amazing person, before I could say anything he already told me he’d seen my videos. He was jamming with everyone at the clinic and even when he came back for the dinner he was still down to play. Great attitude and great player!
Jahloon: Any events coming up in 2016?
Adieu: Heading to NAMM this year for the first time.
Jahloon: How are you getting to NAMM? It’s usually dealers only, or supporting musicians, or did you win the golden ticket? You do seem to live a charmed life 😉
Adieu: Well… believe it or not it’s from the events in 2015 that I met someone who helped get a NAMM pass for me at the last minute. I only found out in November. It’s amazing.. that last year I look back and think “Was it really me who experienced all this?”
Jahloon: Yes, we would say you have to keep pinching yourself to wake up, in case you are dreaming! What about new music and recording?
Adieu: When I get back from NAMM I’m going to work hard on my own material and will try to release some singles this year 🙂
Jahloon: Let’s do some fun questions….What makes you laugh?
Adieu: This question
Jahloon: Ha ha, I can see Ron Thal’s sense of humour is rubbing off on you! Any hobbies outside of music?
Adieu: Not much. Started reading more recently and I like to watch birds if they are outside my window.
Jahloon: Four all time favourite tracks?
Adieu: This is a hard question because it changes all the time! I’ll just say whatever comes to my mind.
Zazen Boys – Potato Salad
Deftones – Rosemary
Frank Zappa- Catholic Girls
Luna Sea – Loveless (found out much later that the main lead part I fell in love with was actually a fretless sound)
Jahloon: Favourite cold drink?
Jahloon: I’ll second that, favourite hot drink?
Adieu: Hot Chocolate
Jahloon: Favourite food?
Adieu: Waffles with ice cream
Jahloon: Favourite Super Hero?
Adieu: Sandman (the Neil Gaiman one)
Jahloon: Best film you ever saw?
Adieu: Ghost in the Shell.
Jahloon: Good Choice, just suppose your house is burning down, you can rescue the cat (of course) but take only one book and one guitar, which would they be?
Adieu: Guitar would be the Vigier Excalibur, and the book “The Giver” by Lois Lowry it’s the lightest book in the house 🙂
Jahloon: You can buy any one item in the World, (not a guitar) what would it be?
Adieu: A dragon
Jahloon: OK, you get fed up with the Dragon (he’s drinking too much petrol) and can swap him for a guitar, which would you choose?
Adieu: I use quite a few guitars for recording and they all play such an important part in my life hmm…
I would probably say the Vigier Excalibur. I hate adjusting truss rods I just wanna play!
Jahloon: Cannot argue with that, Vigier’s are superb guitars, many thanks for the interview.
Adieu: It was great fun, thank you!
Adieu on stage with his Fretless Vigier
Adieu Adyu playing Ron Thal’s Doubleneck Vigier