Ever meet a true rock star? Best known as the lead guitar player for heavy metal band Cradle of Filth, Paul Allender’s been a professional touring musician for over 20 years. First picking up a guitar at age 14, he’s been shredding out metal riffs ever since. Oddly, it seems that one way or another, metal was destined to be a part of his future.
“[Becoming a professional musician] just fell into my lap – I was actually originally trained as a welder. The next thing I know, I’m in a really bad live cover band,” he said.
“I wound up joining Cradle, just by chance,” Allender recalls. “[The band] didn’t even send our demo off to studios – a friend of the band just did it without telling us.” The rest of the story, as they say, is history.
Remembering his own humble beginnings, Allender has started helping his fans learn how to rock: he’s started teaching personal 1-on-1 guitar lessons via Skype video calls. So far, he’s been doing about 4 lessons a day with students spanning across the U.S. and Europe from Germany, France, the UK and Spain.
“The fan reactions have been really good. I’ve used Skype to teach guitar, help people arrange their own songs, do group jam sessions,” he said. “They’ll file share their songs, then I’ll help them rearrange them, break them down by each piece. It gives their songs a real injection of life – if they don’t know what direction to take them, I’ll help.”
While the Skype lessons have been going well so far, the internet and technology as a whole have created trouble for the music industry. “For an established band trying to sell physical albums, it’s tough,” Allender said. “But it’s also good. You have to change with the times…there’s no way I’d be ever able to give guitar lessons like this when I first started. It helps keep the fans really involved, and breaks down that previously ‘untouchable’ barrier between bands and their fans.”
As Allender prepares to rock the world touring to support Cradle of Filth’s tenth studio album, The Manticore and Other Horrors, he’ll be bringing Skype along for the ride. “I use Skype with my wife all the time. It gets used on the road for contacting band members, song writing collaboration – [Cradle of Filth drummer] Martin Škaroupka and I do this via Skype as well.”
But it’s not all business for Allender, as using Skype while on tour has sometimes lead hilarious moments. “When you talk to people on Skype on a video call… its funny what you see sometimes when people forget you can see their background.”
Interested in testing your metal mettle with a guitar lesson from a master? Whether you’re a complete newbie or aspiring rocker, Allender has you covered – you can arrange a lesson by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting his official Facebook page by clicking here.