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Marcel Coenen is a Metal guitarist from the Netherlands. He has had a career of over 20 years as a teacher, songwriter and performer. He has collaborated with people like Bob Katsionis (Firewind/Outloud) Mistheria (Artension/Emir Hot/Mistheria) and many others. He also has under his belt nearly 10 studio albums with different bands, instructional DVD’s and signature guitar models.  He is currently signed to Lion Music. We caught up with him to tell us some more information about his career.







What got you into playing the guitar and what are you influences?

I started playing when I was eleven years old. Everything started when I heard the song “Burning heart” from Vandenberg. Adrian Vandenberg (ex- Whitesnake) played a solo on this song that it was just amazing. I really loved that sound. That was the starting point for me that I really got into the guitar. When I heard AC DC I was so hooked on how they were playing. After that came Iron Maiden and Metallica. When I heard Yngwie Malmsteen for the first time I was blown away. I locked myself in my room for 8 hours everyday for 2 years practising all these Yngwie based neo-classical type of licks. Later on I discovered Satriani and I started listening to a lot of fusion as well.  Players like Scott Henderson and Allan Holdsworth are players that I really like. I believe all these guys are my main influences.


Tell us some things about your career.

I started playing in 1988 in a band doing covers and some originals. That felt great because I started gaining some stage experience and got to interact with other musicians. After a bit I was asked to join a band called Speedica. Members of Speedica joined forces with me and we created a band called “Form”. We were playing Melodic Thrash/Power Metal and we released the first album called “I Choose My Own” in 1994. At the same time I got more into the progressive metal stuff (Queensryche, Dream Theatre, Rush, Fates Warning) and I did a band called  “Aura” which after a bit we changed the name into “Lemur Voice”. We released two albums with Lemur Voice. We got the attention of Magna Carta (US record label) and got signed to them. Our first album, “Insights”, was recorded and released in 1996. We did some touring and got some serious attention from different countries. We released our second album named “Divided” in 1999 but the band disbanded in 2000 due to musical differences. At this time I formed another band called “Sun Caged”. Sun Caged is my main band now and we have released a couple of albums and toured Europe and America and our 3rd album will be released somewhere in April 2011.  In the meantime I have recorded two instrumental albums and one live DVD. Reason why is because I started doing some clinics and I needed to have some instrumental material.



You have released some instructional DVD’s. Tell us some more information about it.

In 2006 I was invited to go to Thailand with the guitar company that I endorse called Bo-El guitars. I did some clinics there and after that I was invited to fly to Taiwan. In Taiwan I got the attention of a company called “Vision Quest Company” and they asked me to do an instructional DVD. So I went down to the studio and I recorded some of my licks and techniques and so on. The DVD is entitled “Speed - up” and it can be bought online. I also recently finished an instructional video for one of my songs called “Moyra”. In that DVD I explain in detail and completely breakdown every single lick that I’ve played. I’m very tempted to do more instructional videos like that where I explain my songs and licks. There are a lot of videos out there showing only licks and stuff but nobody explains how to interpret the song and make the licks coherent.


Marcel Coenen Explaining his song "Moyra"


You have your own signature Bo-El guitars. How did that happen?

Bo-El is a company based in the Netherlands. I ran into them in an Exhibition when I was playing on a kiosk for a Ibanez. The owner of Bo-El guitars approached me and invited me to try out his guitars. I was so blown away by the quality and the tone of these instruments. After that we started discussing about building a guitar for me with 24 frets and Floyd Rose to meet my requirements. We started working on it and now we have 2 models out, the mc6 and mc7. The sound is so different from any other brand that I came across because they are handmade and the quality of the work is amazing. Bo-El also builds all sorts of different guitars and I really recommend that everyone have a look at them. Check out the website


Marcel Coenen Demonstrating his Bo-El MC6 Signature Model


You are signed to Lion Music (Finland). How do you feel about it?

Well its been awesome since the beginning really. Lars Mattson (owner of Lion Music) is a guitarist himself. The great thing about it is that he started this label because he felt that instrumental music in general was not exposed to as big market as it should be. Lion music is not a very big label that can support a tour and all this stuff, but it is a great label for distributing and marketing. That is a really important thing. They always make sure that the albums are reviewed in the magazines.


Marcel Coenen jam - Guitar Nation 2010 - London


What is your opinion for the guitar instrumental music in 2011?

I think that guitar instrumental music was always a genre for musicians. By saying that there is the other side of it. I know a lot of people, especially in the Netherlands, that they listen to instrumental guitar music because they think it’s relaxing. Especially the ballads. They love Satriani. I believe that these type of songs are more accepted from any type of audience. Strong melodies and nice harmony can really work for everyone’s ears. I remember in the 80s there was Shrapnel Records and they brought all these Shred guys out Like Vinie Moore, Tony McApline and others but I feel that was the real time for Shred. I felt it was really cool but that kinda died when Grunge came on the scene. I still feel that there are a lot of people who like this music, but I think it all comes down to composition and how somebody approaches their songs. If you start shredding over backing tracks it won’t make an impact to a wider audience anymore. I feel that nowadays it helps that there are players like Guthrie Govan that they still do it and in a sense they are making this type of music come back slowly with strong personality and songwriting.


Will you be joining the L4G community?

Yes sure, now that I know about it and I know what you guys are doing I’ll definitely check it out. It seems like a great idea.


Anything else you would like to add?

Check out my website I’m also on facebook and myspace where people can listen to my music and contact me directly. Thanks for your interview and keep on rocking.

G.g.t.S. & Marcel Coenen

Thanks for reading, see you next time