Musicians BandHacks

Published on December 29th, 2013 | by Dylan Lott


Interview: Andrew Mikhail – Guitarist for Serpents, Defiler, and Producer At Large

Andrew Mikhail is the kind of guy who’s put in his time. He’s played in for Thick As Blood, Oceano, Legend, and Straight Line Stitch. Currently, he’s playing with Serpents and Defiler. Hailing from Chicago, he’s been touring since he was 17.

First off Andrew, great to have you with us.

I’ve seen that you’re in Defiler & Serpents on top of operating your own label and production studio Trve Media, are you still playing for these bands? What are your plans with them?

-A: Yes, as busy as it has been the past year, i am currently the touring guitarist of Defiler (Razor & Tie) and basically the “everything” of Serpents (Trve Media Music) haha.  As far as plans go, 2014 is looking pretty busy for me in terms of touring. Defiler will be starting the year off by releasing some new music and touring our asses off starting in Australia playing Soundwave Festival then onward to Asia, America, UK, Europe, Russia, etc. till summer (at least that is the plan). As far as Serpents, I am putting the final touches on the 3rd release entitled “Pestilence” and will continue to work on the 4th album. Besides playing in bands, I am booking production time for next year as well; finishing the latest projects from this year as I go into the next. Busy busy busy.


When did you start producing and recording bands?

-A: I started producing all of my own bands since 2002, as far as recording goes I started about 4 years ago.


What projects have you done in the past? (Give us a few links to add in for our followers!)

-A: Too many to name! haha. My favorites of the year would have to be Serpents (obviously), The Obelisk, and Thieves. You can check out last year’s demo reel here though:


We’ve got a lot of people who are just getting into production, recording, etc… What’s your biggest tip to them?

-A: Three things. First? Respect the studios around you. There is so much I can say on the subject but I’ll save it for another day. If anything, offer your services to them in hopes of collaboration! The more GOOD music pumping out of the area, the better your scene/business will be! Second? Do your own thing. Presets are cool and all, but why would you be comfortable calling something your own when all you did was use other people’s presets? This is the business of creation and in this business you must be CREATIVE. Something I have learned is that no bands are the same and neither should be their mixes. Third? Never stop learning!

We know every producer has their go-to toolset. What are your favorite plugins lately? Of all time?

-A: First off, I LOOOOVE drum tones and as an endorser of Toontrack and Steven Slate Products, I would have to say both companies have provided me with hours of satisfaction. haha. As far as plugins lately? I would have to say the ones I am most excited on at the moment are Native Instruments and Joey Sturgis’ new plugins. As a friend and colleague my respect for what he’s done is huge and these are about to be the next thing, from what I’ve heard…I am already a fan.

And a favorite piece of gear?

-A: Honestly? A nice amp gives me a boner 60% of the time, every time.

What’s your favorite amp to use?

-A: I like to use my Pod HD Pro X for clients’ projects mixed with cab impulses, and for my own I am a “Krank Addict” so either I use one or get my pod to emulate one.

What are your plans for 2014?

-A: Touring, making music, and getting hammered in many different countries with many different friends.


Thanks for doing this with us, we look forward to checking back in with you in the future!

You can grab the latest effort from DEFILER, Nematocera, via iTunes. Born of Ishtar the debut effort from SERPENTS, was written, performed, produced, and tracked by Mikhail (in between tours with Straight Line Stitch) at his home studio in Chicago, IL – it is also available via iTunes. The new SERPENTS EP is expected in the near future, titled Pestilence, featuring 6 new songs of some of the most intricate, dark, and beautiful pieces Andrew has ever wrote.

“Pestilence” is available for Pre-Order now at

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Computers, Coffee, Drums.

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