Scarypoolparty performs his original songs “10 Years,” “Poison,” and “The Darkness,” for Rolling Stone on his Gibson Generation Collection G-200 acoustic guitar.
Every so often an artist comes along who emerges into the mainstream seemingly fully formed, with a style that is at once relatable, but also entirely unique. Alejandro Aranda, who records under the name Scarypoolparty, is one such artist. His approach is rooted in the confessional acoustic singer-songwriter mold, but encompasses everything from pop and rock to folk, prog, classical, experimental sounds and more. And it’s all shot through with an idiosyncratic guitar style that blends knotty and highly melodic single-note lines with non-standard tunings, unusual chord voicings and even percussive “thwaks” on the instrument, which propel the music forward with dizzying exhilaration.
This style is on full display in the three original songs Scarypoolparty recorded for Rolling Stone – “Darkness,” “Poison,” and “10 Years.” As for why he chose these three in particular, Scarypoolparty says, “I feel like musically, these are the songs that helped me develop my style of playing the guitar.”
And while Aranda also points out that two of these compositions – “Poison” and “10 Years” – were among the first he ever wrote on guitar, these new performances were helped along by a new addition to his artistry: the Gibson Generation G-200 acoustic guitar. In addition to premium artist features like all-solid construction, a thinner-than-usual body and an easy-playing neck, the guitar boasts a truly limit-pushing design concept: the all-new Gibson Player Port. This innovative feature, an original Gibson concept from the early ‘60s, projects sound out toward the player via a side-mounted sound hole on the body’s upper curve. Meaning that unlike with a standard acoustic guitar, musicians can now hear their instrument the exact same way the audience hears it.
Watch Scarypoolparty perform his original song “10 Years”: Here
Watch Scarypoolparty perform his original song “Poison”: Here.
“I play on the harder side, and some guitars can get a little muddy when you’re doing intricate lines,” he says. “But the Gibson Generation G-200 guitar just sounds so precise and loud. And with the Player Port, I can hear everything clearly – the same way the audience does. I don’t think I’ve ever had that experience before.”
For Aranda, it’s not just about the sound, but also the ease of playability. “The fretboard feels really nice and the neck is easy to move around on. I remember the first time I picked up the G-200 it already felt like I’d been playing it for a while. Which is something I’m always looking for in a guitar, but not something I usually find.” What’s more, due to the Generation G-200’s “Super Jumbo” acoustic body size, “it’s just loud,” Aranda says with a laugh. “Which is dope.”
Aranda also points to the G-200’s impressive low end, which came in particularly handy on his song “The Darkness.” “That one has a kind of repetitive bass note happening that drives the whole song,” he says. “So the guitar really lends itself to that.”
“The Darkness” was also a song that Aranda opted to perform for Rolling Stone alongside a video Gibson created using a groundbreaking sonic paintbrush technique. Scarypoolparty described his flow state and Gibson used robotics to sketch out icons, graphics, memes, and illustrations that described what was happening visually in his mind while he played. The result is an animated video for “The Darkness” that brings to life Scarypoolparty’s creative state when playing his Gibson Generation G-200 acoustic.
“In my mind, when I visualize ‘The Darkness’ I see someone at the beach… but it’s at, like, the end of the world,” he explains. “Kind of a post-apocalyptic thing. So there’s a duality that I tried to capture in the imagery, where there’s a certain sadness in the lyric but it is contrasted with an energetic happiness within the music.”
Watch Scarypoolparty perform his original song “The Darkness”: Here.
That vibe extends to Scarypoolparty’s music in general. “If I had to describe my sound, it’s almost like being in a state of peace, but also with a noticeable anxiety creeping up,” he says. “Like a beach on a cloudy day – maybe the sun will come out, and maybe it won’t.”
Aranda is currently out on tour supporting his most recent album release, The Act of Forgiveness, a 21-song double album that frames his acoustic guitar within orchestral flourishes and, he says, “tells a story, sonically.” But even after issuing so much new music, he’s already working on more. “I definitely have a lot of musical outputs that I’m trying to feed into,” he says. These include, at the moment, classical styles, break beats and drum ‘n’ bass sounds. “So I think the next album is going to be entirely different from the last, soundscape-wise.”
Regardless of where he ventures stylistically, the Gibson Generation G-200 guitar will no doubt help him along on his journey. “Oh, one-hundred percent,” he says. “This guitar definitely adds more of a character to the songs, just in terms of the tone, and how I hear that tone.”
And that doesn’t just go for new compositions, but older ones, too. “With ‘The Darkness,’ for instance, the G-200 is so great for the low-end,” Scarypoolparty explains. “I hear everything I’m doing with such clarity, especially when I’m doing those fast pull offs. So, it makes me focus in and do it even better, and now, I also do it more. I always look forward to playing these songs for people, but now I also look forward to playing them on a guitar like the Gibson Generation G-00. It makes the whole experience that much better.”
Watch Scarypoolparty perform “The Darkness” in the Gibson Generation Collection animated clip: Here.