Lenny Kiano is a guitarist with local metal powerhouse, “Irony Destroyed”.
Lenny’s interest in music began in 2013 with a preference for metal and rock. He took a liking for the goth culture but it was only till his final year that he recognised a yearning to play the music he loves. “I met Tim Abuor( lead guitarist of bohemia) where I saw him play some Avenged Sevenfold songs on the acoustic guitar which was mind blowing for me and from there I knew I also wanted to play guitar as well.”
Influenced further by bands like “As I Lay Dying”, “Slipknot”, “As Blood Runs Black”, “August burns Red” and “Trivium”, Lenny’s immediate visions weren’t so grand.
“I envisioned myself being at first was being just a YouTube guitarist; doing popular covers to get views till I met Nelson our former vocalist who got me into Irony Destroyed” From there he knew he wanted to do covers with the band and also write music; music that would influence others to pick up the guitar and also form bands of their own.
Curiously Lenny began by playing the Piano. The primary school he attended had compulsory music classes. Later on he moved to guitar and started on the journey that has brought him this far.
“As a beginner at the time I started off with an acoustic guitar (just) to learn the basics. I am a self-taught so I straight away down tuned the guitar because I wanted to learn to play metal and not punk rock or any other kind of rock music that was being played in standard tuning. After a year and a half on the acoustic I decided to buy an Ibanez guitar starter pack from Audio Visual Engineering. The starter pack comes with everything you need namely the guitar (Ibanez grg 200), an Ibanez practice amp, guitar cable, strap, headphones, two sets of strings and lots of picks…so I didn’t have to go to any other shop because everything I needed was there.”
His current gear includes a Beringer um2 ultra meta distortion pedal, a guitar rig 5 which contains guitar amp models and presets that are very useful for practicing. You can also try out different guitar tones and it can be used as a VST plugin for recording guitar.
“Shops I frequently visit are credible sounds along Moi Avenue for picks there is also strings sometimes but generally there are losts of music shops along moi avenue that I don’t remember the names where I get picss straps and also strings.”
Aside from that he also has a few guitars in his arsenal
“I own a Yamaha classical acoustic guitar, bought from Credible Sounds, an Ibanez grg 200 electric guitar (Audio visual engineering) and a rental Epiphone les paul custom electric guitar from shepherd music studio. When I have both for a show the Ibanez is used for songs played in drop B tuning and Epiphone for drop c and the acoustic for practicing in standard tuning.”
His most prized possession is ofcourse the Epiphone which he prefers due to its nice shape and longer neck in with, “the space between strings are a little bit wider compared to your standard fender guitar which makes soloing and strumming easier and just feels good”
In his years of playing, Lenny notes that strings should be handled with a level of cautiousness. “One mistake I have made in terms of gear is buying the wrong set of string gauges for my guitar. String gauge refers to the thickness of the strings. Advice is to first know the type of string gauge your guitar is meant for by either googling your guitar make or when buying ask and I also think when you buy a genuine guitar from a professional shop it normally comes with a manual or guide book to the guitar with all the details concerning the guitar. So make sure you know your string gauge before buying just any set because if you buy either one that is too thick or too thin your guitar will always fall out of tuning and might even bend the guitar neck.”
Aside from this Lenny also has a home studio from where his band, Irony Destroyed’s debut record is being pieced together.
“Softwares I use for recording is guitar rig5 and FL studio 12. Guitar rig 5 I used as an amp simulator with certain resets and also helps me record riffs tat am writing and I can easily play those riffs back and play over it or solo…helps for rhythm and lead guitar compositions.”
“FL studio 12 works better for me because of how broad it is and you can do so many things in terms of live recording and plug-ins are concerned, has really nice looking interface, an information window in which it tells you the name and purpose of any control or witch that you are pointing at withy your mouse and also a nice playlist windows that helps arrange your records nicely, add different colours to them to eliminate confusion and label sections of playlist in order to follow the song structure.”
Correspondent: Otieno Daniel