We Interviewed the 12-Year Old Who Jammed With Sevendust
This week’s Gear Factor features 12-year-old future rock star Landon Siebens. Landon defeated a few older guitar players in a "30 Seconds to Shred" contest held by Gear Factor host Squiggy's Music Experience at the Welcome to Rockville music festival a few weeks back; the contest was judged by Michael Paget of Bullet for My Valentine. After winning, Siebens met the guys from Sevendust, and they decided to take his win to the next level: they invited him to perform with them during their set at the festival.
It's fair to say that Landon saw fifteen thousand faces from the Rockville stage... and he rocked them all. He's another example of young kids loving to listen to, and play rock music. Watch his performance below.
We spoke to Landon about his current gear, and we asked him what was on his wishlist. He currently plays a blue Ibanez Gio Mikro. "That's my first real guitar," he says. "This is where it all began for me way back in 2013 when I was eight years old!" He also has a cherry sunburst Epiphone Les Paul 1960 Standard VI. "I got this guitar because Slash was my first guitar hero and it looks like one he plays." Then, there's his LX1E Little Martin Acoustic Electric. "Currently, this is my only acoustic guitar. I love this little fella. I probably played more shows with it than any other guitar I have." There's his chestnut PRS SE Custom 24. "I call this one 'Her,' and she’s my baby! This is my go-to guitar."
He also has a black PRS SE Custom 24 7-String. "I call this one 'Djentifer' (it's pronounced like 'Jennifer' but with 'Djent' on the front end). I love the tasty low-end on this badass axe. And it’s a PRS SE. Noticing a trend here?" Speaking of the PRS trend, he also has a silver PRS SE 245. "This one was my prize for winning the '30 Seconds to Shred' contest at The Music Experience at the Welcome to Rockville Festival last year, in 2017. I call it the 'Silver Surfer.' It's an awesome guitar. And it’s yet another PRS SE." The one he won this year is the red Dean John Connolly Z - Trans Red. "If I hadn’t won this guitar, I wouldn’t have gotten to meet John Connolly and Clint Lowery from Sevendust. That’s where John and Clint invited me to shred on stage during their set. The rest, as they say, is history…"
Another prize guitar that he won at Rockville this year is his black ESP LTD MP200 Michael Paget Signature. "I won this right before the Foo Fighters' set on Sunday. I got this one from 'Padge' himself!" Watch his contest-winning performance below.
As for his amps, he has the Bad Cat Mini Cat Tube Amp. "It's a neat 'vintage' type amp. Really nice clean tones." He also has a Blackstar ID: Core 10 "I love this practice amp that my grandma got for me. Fun fact: I did a lesson with Bill Kelliher from Mastodon last year and Bill’s got the same amp! Twinning!" And then there's the Fender Stage Lead II "That's another 'vintage' amp I got recently. It sounds good and looks totally awesome. Powerful enough for bigger rooms and heavier riffs!"
Here are the effects that he uses: the Boss DS-1 Distortion, the MXR Full-Bore Metal Pedal, the TC Electronics Hall of Fame Mini Reverb, the MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay,
the MXR Micro Flanger, the Morley Wah and the Power: MXR DC Brick.
As for his wish list, he hopes to get a PRS 509 10 Top Faded Whale Blue guitar. "Ever since I got to play Clint Lowery’s Private Stock PRS onstage at Rockville — and long before that — I’ve dreamed of having an American PRS guitar. I just love the way these guitars feel and play. Plus, Mark Tremonti is my number one guitar hero and he’s a PRS guy. This one caught my eye immediately. It’s beautiful."
He also likes the Ibanez Fredrik Thordendal FTM33 Weathered Black guitar. "I got to play this one at The Music Experience this year at Welcome to Rockville. A) This guitar looks phenomenal. B) It’s frickin’ Fredrik from Meshuggah’s signature model, and he’s a Djent God! C) And most importantly, it plays great!"
You can never have enough PRS SE guitars and Landon's hoping to add another one to his collection: the PRS SE Angelus A40 E Acoustic Electric Guitar. He says, "I need a full-size acoustic guitar and I’m a PRS geek, so there ya go. The perfect acoustic guitar for me. I also saw Myles Kennedy, my favorite singer, use a similar one."
Myles Kennedy isn't the only member of Alter Bridge that he admires: He also wants the PRS MT 15 Mark Tremonti Signature Guitar Amp Head and the PRS MT112 Tremonti Speaker Cabinet. "I got to play through this at Welcome to Rockville and loved the way this amp sounded."
He also likes the Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 36 Guitar Amplifier Head and EVH Eddie Van Halen 5150 III 4x12 Guitar Speaker Cabinet. "I got to play through a friend’s Hughes & Kettner amp head one time and it was awesome. Plus, it looks totally sick! Put it together with an EVH cabinet and I think it would be an unstoppable combination. Go big or go home, right?"
As far as effects go, there's the Gator G-TOUR PEDALBOARD-XL with wheels. "Let’s start with a pedalboard. I’ve got quite a few pedals already and need a bigger, better board to handle it all. I think this one would do a good job." Then there's the Dunlop FFM3 Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face Mini Distortion Pedal. "I'm feelin’ the need for some fuzz in my life."
Next is the Boss RC3 Loop Station Pedal With USB. "My band, Skeleton Curse, includes me on guitar, a really sick drummer and my 'brother from another mother,' Liam, who won The Music Experience’s Tama Fastest Feet Contest at Welcome to Rockville [and he's in the above video being interviewed with Landon], and a talented young vocalist named Emily. What we don’t have, unfortunately, is a bass player (hit us up if you know one!), and we also don’t have a rhythm guitarist. So, maybe this can at least take the place of that for now!"
He also wants the MXR M133 Micro Amp Boost Pedal. "When I’m playing leads, I need that little extra push over the cliff. This one goes to 11!" And finally, the DigiTech Whammy DT Pitch Shifter Pedal with Drop Tuning. "For those Tom Morello vibes and when you’re in standard and too lazy to pick up the 7-string."
Want to see a bit more of Landon? Check out his YouTube channel; we see bright things in this guy's future.