Artist Profile

Interview: Learning The Kaminski Code

It’s not easy to go from excited Dream Theater fan, all the way to build a huge online presence and turn “bedroom shredding” into success. UK-based artist Connor Kaminski should know, because that exactly what he’s done. We sat down with the influential creator to discuss creativity, inspiration and modern tech.
– I love having ideas that I don’t quite understand, he says.

Connor Kaminski’s journey through music is a study of discipline and innovation. Known for his intricate compositions and technical prowess, the 27-year-old has developed a method for crafting music filled with both precision and emotion.

“Most people might write down a journal or a diary for their thoughts for the day. Many musicians will write down a journal in the form of a song”, he says.

This approach has allowed him to transform everyday life into music. Kaminski’s creative process often begins with what he describes as “little musical seeds” – small ideas that grow into something larger.

But starting can be daunting. “In a Logic session, if there’s literally nothing in there, it can be really scary, like writing the first words of a book” says Connor Kaminski.

However, he emphasizes the importance of beginning somewhere. Anywhere.

“If your first 17 ideas aren’t great, then that’s a really good thing because it means that you’re 17 ideas closer to where you want to be”.

He also credits scheduled walks and isolation from digital distractions as crucial to his workflow, which helps reset his mental state and sparking creativity.

“When you go for a walk with no external distraction, you will get bored, but you need to get through that boredom to unravel things that already exist in your mind. Ideas that can be squashed by the constant use of, say, a phone”, he explains.

Idols, inspiration and identity

Growing up, Connor Kaminski fell in love with the sounds of progressive metal and rock, genres known for their complexity and technical demands.

And he fell hard for one band in particular.

“Yeah, it was Dream Theater. They, together with Metallica and Devin Townsend, lit the fire. But mostly Dream Theater. They’ve had such a monumental influence on who I am as a musician, and especially John Petrucci as a guitarist. He’s influenced me massively”.

One large chunk of the initial inspiration came from the song The Dance of Eternity, a track known for its complexity and intricate rhythms.

“It took a lot more listens to kind of understand that piece of music. It was a nice challenge; it pushed me out of my comfort zone of just cool riffs, and it kind of broke the relationship between rhythm and lead playing. Like, earlier it was one or the other. And this melded the two.”

Today, Connor Kaminski turns to a wide range of music to find inspiration. There’s room for both cinematic music and, quite surprisingly, country.

“It’s just so guitar-driven and it’s full of solos; so much good playing in that music. I’m fully on board with fusing country and riffs, and rock and metal and prog. I’m fully gonna explore country for sure. That’s something I’ve been more and more interested in over the past two years”.

Building presence through social media

While Connor Kaminski is praised for his talent and songwriting, he’s also brought on attention thanks to his effective use of social media, which is more than just a platform for promotion.

“It’s an incredibly powerful tool. It’s helped me out massively in terms of my career as a musician,” he acknowledges.

Through platforms like Instagram and YouTube, Connor Kaminski has not only expanded his reach but also connected deeply with fans and fellow musicians.

His strategy for building a following is straightforward but disciplined. An approach that has taken him from a mere handful of followers to a significant online presence.

“The first thing you have to do is to start. The second thing is to be consistent”, he shares.

Connor Kaminski also credits his authentic interactions and community engagement as the backbone of his social media success.

But even though these channels have helped build his community, he keeps one critical eye open.

“People are quite aware that if you excessively drink alcohol, that is usually a net bad thing for your body. But it’s so much more difficult to define if 45 minutes of social media is bad or if 30 minutes is okay. It’s basically impossible because it’s like everyone is getting unique content, what they get given is unique to them. A bottle of beer is a bottle of beer to everyone.”

Choosing innovation before tradition

Since 2019, Connor Kaminski has been a .strandberg* artist. His interest for the headless design and the brand started when he watched another hailed guitar player.

“It was in 2015 that I remember watching Plini’s music video for his song ‘Ko Ki,’ and it was when he first received his .strandberg* USA production model or custom shop. It had a lovely koa top with this brushed bronze hardware, ebony fretboard and I just thought it was the most gorgeous guitar I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”

Later, it turned out to be more than just looks that created interest in these unconventional instruments.

“The design is so complete and well thought out. I love the fact that Ola decided to choose proprietary hardware, and it was the first production guitar to have a multi-scale trem. I love playing with tremolos and I love the idea of the multi-scale and the fanned fret system.”

Kaminski’s relationship with his .strandberg* guitars is not merely functional; it is almost personal. The energy during the interview increases as Connor continues to share his passion about the instruments.

“They are incredibly light but more than that, they’re incredibly balanced. It’s all well and good having a light body, but if the neck is still heavy, the instrument will still dive. But the .strandberg* guitars are literally perfectly balanced and they’ve always been amazing to play.”

Recently, .strandberg* released the Boden Essential, and Connor Kaminski is excited. This represents an opportunity for a wider audience to experience what he once felt.

“That it lowers the barrier of entry for people to get into .strandbergs, which is an amazing feat that they’ve achieved,” he says.

8 fast picks with Connor

East Britain or West Britain: East
Burger or Hotdog: Burger
Tour in Japan or the United States: Japan
Beer or Coffee: Coffee
Video Games or Board Games: Board Games
Cozy Pub or Trendy Club: Cozy Pub
A Day at the Beach or a Day in the Woods: Day in the Woods
The Beatles or The Stones: The Stones

Favorite band from the UK

“Probably Haken. They’ve been an absolutely massive influence on my guitar journey. My favorite album by Haken is ‘The Mountain.’ I’ve always loved Charlie and Rich’s guitar work.”

Top 3 album picks of last year

Luke Combs – Gettin’ Old
Dizzy – Dizzy (self-titled)
Post Malone – AUSTIN

Top album pick all time

Dream Theater – Metropolis Pt. II: Scenes From A Memory

Connor Kaminskis gear




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