Faust and his guitars. Read the story
Photo: Olga Bushueva/IHTLNY
“My interest in instruments started as a child. I had relatives who played traditional instruments, and I was exposed to a lot of different music through my parents. I myself started playing drums as a 10-year-old, and guitar when I was 13 years old. I had my first public appearance as a 14-year-old on guitar, while I stopped playing percussion in my 20s. The guitar is still with me, and I have expanded my horizons within the guitar world by trying to teach me pedal steel, dobro, bouzouki, mandolin, banjo and other interesting instruments. I play both dobro and pedal steel in bands here in Trondheim, and take on assignments where such instruments are needed. After 4-5 years with dobro now, I have written so many snippets and fragments of the ideas that dobro gives me that it is possible to make songs from it, so now I have plans to take a trip to the studio. Quite clear that acoustic music is close to my heart, but in terms of listening it is mostly rock and harder, a bit of jazz, ambient and stuff. I have never been interested in electric guitar, but it struck me a few years ago how few instrument makers dare to go their own way and create something unique.
So I made a guitar, shared some photos on Facebook in 2017. I got an immediate response, and since then Faust has grown quite steadily. I have nevertheless chosen to keep this at a low threshold level, I enjoy what I do and do not want to get too tight limits around what I do. A couple of years ago, I joined Gepettos Guild, which has proven to be an interesting and fruitful collaboration. Gepettos Guild is a team of guitar builders from just about everywhere, the majority are located in the US, so there are people like me and a couple in England outside. We collaborate on guitar technical solutions, share tips and build some guitars together. These are sent around by mail around the world, and are sold for charity purposes in the United States. We also work together to promote small guitar builders around the world.
As mentioned, the craft is also an important part of my guitar world. I have worked with wood and metal in a professional context, and taken courses in leather work and other crafts. This has given me an overall competence in terms of craftsmanship, which together with a fascination for mechanics and music has given me a good starting point for creating these instruments. Several of the instruments I have spent as much as over 400 hours on, and many of these have become precious belongings that I have sold when I have been satisfied with them. I remember particularly well the pure steampunk models, where I have spent days on some small details. Completely uninteresting in the music world perhaps, but as part of a unique instrument, every extra hour can be defended. I once built a guitar with an integrated bluetooth midicontroller, it was a bit stressful to dress all the electronics in 0.8 copper plates, and everything should look authentic without there being a model to compare with!
I also use parts that have no direct function, but that act as an object in the stories I make around the instruments, for example. The oldest part I have used so far is the top of a family seal from the 18th century. It sits on top of the vib arm on the last guitar I made. Otherwise, I have used some clockwork from the 1800s and early 1900s, brass grilles from a military truck from 1944, a pin from the official Motorhead club in the UK, the instrument panel from a Russian combat helicopter, a taxi license from Illinois from the 20s .. And much more.
For me, the guitar building is a result of free imagination, interest in craftsmanship and the fact that it is reasonably stupid to pay 40,000 for a factory-produced foil where the wood is completely encapsulated in all the world’s plastic varnish. In addition, it’s cool to be able to say that I strike a blow for reuse and use it as a trademark. Everyone who has bought a guitar from me knows that they get parts that are at least 50 years old:)
I’m often asked for references, so then I often pull the story that I built the guitar for Billy Gibbons in ZZ Top. It was a hefty experience that gave a lot of credit to Faust in the construction of the project, but for me personally gave it very little. I may thrive better when I get to use free imagination on my creations, or when a young guitarist has saved up a few kroner to have his dream guitar built and we together find out a fantastic bold guitar that really matters to both of us. The highlight of my career, however, is that Snah from Motorpsycho chose to use a Faust guitar on stage, for several hours straight. To hear the coolest songs you know, played by the favorite band. On a guitar I myself have nailed. It gives me a feeling of happiness, and of that I have in a way closed the circle.
I hope to be able to continue with this for as long as possible, and as long as I have inspiration. The basis for all this creativity is of course inspiration, without input no output. As mentioned, craft techniques are in themselves a source of inspiration, but it is the love of music, as well as the love of those who follow me, that lies at the bottom. I get daily feedback through the various media I use that what I do engages and affects many. Feedback that this is unique, quality and especially is a driving force that makes it possible to come up with something even rawer, both visually and in terms of quality. As long as people have their thumbs up, more guitars will come from the bench here;)”