Landon Siebens is a 15-year-old guitarist and PRS Guitars Artist who released the self-produced “Styles,” his first solo EP, in 2020. He first rose to prominence at the age of 10 when Guns N’ Roses shared his cover of Slash’s “Godfather” theme solo, earning more than a million views. When he was 12, Sevendust guitarist Clint Lowery invited Landon to perform a solo onstage during the band’s performance in front of thousands of fans at the Welcome to Rockville festival in Jacksonville, Florida. Videos of Landon winning The Music Experience’s “30 Seconds to Shred” contests also have drawn millions of views on YouTube.
PRS: Already at fifteen years old, you are quite an accomplished shredder. At what age did you begin playing seriously and was the guitar your first instrument?
LS: Eight years old was when I really began my guitar journey, but I’ve always been interested in it since I was a little kid. I wanted to start earlier, but when I met a guitar instructor, he suggested to start on piano first because my fingers were too small. So, I did a couple of years of piano lessons, but my main focus was always on playing guitar.
PRS: Have either of your bands, Skeleton Curse or The Space Invaders Method been active this year since the COVID lockdowns began?
LS: With Skeleton Curse, we actually had a couple of shows lined up to play right when the lockdown started, so those were canceled, and I think we’ve gotten together once or twice to practice since then. It’s been a little while since I’ve done anything on The Space Invaders Method project. I’ve been focusing mostly on my solo material and collaborating with other talented musicians I’ve met.
Earlier this spring, I collaborated with Brooke Colucci, a talented drummer who I met when I went to the NAMM show in January. We did a piece I wrote that we named “Collective Vision” and it’s gotten thousands of views on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
I also did a collab with Chris Cain from Bad Wolves where he contributed a killer solo. And I did a one-minute “shred-off” with Sophie Burrell from the UK that was a lot of fun. Those videos are on Instagram also. Both Chris and Sophie are PRS Artists too and have become friends of mine.
PRS: You recently added a maple board Silver Sky to your growing PRS collection which currently includes a Whale Blue CE24, an MT15 and a few SEs. What is the next item on your gear wish list?
LS: My list is forever growing, so it is hard to say what is next on my wish list for sure. But, one of my favorite models that I’ve been looking at is the Dustie Waring CE24 in Burnt Amber Smokeburst. I played one with a black top at NAMM and it felt fantastic, but that Burnt Amber finish is astonishing.
The SE Hollowbody II Piezo is near the top of that list too and I also like the semi-hollow Vela. I don’t currently have a hollow or semi-hollow in my arsenal, so either one of those would get good use. Then there’s the Archon, which is a high-gain beast of an amp. And if the rumors of an MT-100 amp are true, that would take my sound to the next level.
And then there was a McCarty 594 in “Leprechaun Tooth” that I played earlier this year when I visited Chicago Music Exchange. PRS makes so many amazing guitars and amps. As you can see, my wish list is always long.
PRS: Earlier this year, you released a debut solo EP, Styles, tell us a little about your experience making that record.
LS: It all kind of started when I was looking for something to post on Instagram, and I came up with the cool riff for an acoustic song that is now titled, “Sunday Morning.’ After some great response, I decided to turn it into a full track and release it. A few weeks later, I came up with another acoustic idea that I thought sounded pretty good that later became “Beehive.” That one was a tribute to a big supporter of mine who passed away this spring. Once I had those two songs, I decided that I should take a turn from my acoustic tracks and really explore some different genres of music I really hadn’t dabbled in.
It started relatively slow, but it got to the point where I was writing a song almost every day, all of them being completely different genres. From “Spaghetti Western” music – my song called “Tumbleweed” – to Jazz/R&B with my song titled, “Vesi,” to the pop-esque track called, “The City.” I closed it out with a Blues Rock jam called “Red Velvet.”
A fun fact is my little sister, Avery, helped me name the songs. I’d play them for her, and she’d tell me what she thought they sounded like to her. It was a very interesting experience to try my hand at these different genres and see what I could do. I’m a rocker at heart, but it was really cool to explore these different sounds.
I wrote, recorded, produced, mixed and engineered everything on the EP – and put those early piano skills to use on my MIDI keyboard! I really enjoy writing and recording, I do it pretty much every day, and I really look forward to the chance to write and record with other musicians someday.
PRS: Is there any advice you can offer to other young musicians that you wish someone had shared with you when you were first picking up the guitar?
LS: Don’t quit at all. It seems like an obvious one, but so many people quit playing before they even start because it’s too hard. When I first started, it took me at least a couple of months to play anything resembling music. But once I was able to put it all together and learn even little parts of songs, it motivated me to keep going and keep learning.
I’ve also noticed how much my playing continues to improve just through more practice. I’ll hit little plateaus from time to time and get frustrated, but I’ve found that if I keep fighting, I’m finally able to break through and start to master new or difficult techniques. There’s always more to learn and no matter what level you’re at, you can always get better. It just comes down to how bad you want it.
Check out some videos of Landon in action below!