Listen live to Radio Arrow Classic Rock

Modus Operandi: Rogga Johansson

By: Ramon

The Swedish guitarist Rogga Johansson must be record holder with the most new releases reviewed at Lords of Metal. With Ribspreader, The 11th Hour, Paganizer, a great number of other bands and soon his project with that other old-school death metal greatness Paul Speckmann, he proves himself as a unique giant with a very strong own identity. All his bandssound differently, but everytime you can tell it is him behind it. He has a very distinct signature sound. Since last year he has a deal with Henri Sattler’s Dutch guitar brand Serpent King Guitars and I had been very curious about what gear Rogga uses for his sound. Through Henri the interview was therefore a matter of only hours to arrange. And it turns out he indeed is the minimalist I expected him to be.

band image

Modus Operandi

Guitars: SKG Stratus6, I got one matte black and one matte white. So far… I also have a few Monson models and still one of my fist guitars, a Vantage Avenger.

Bass Guitars: Yamaha RBX734.

Pickups: Railhammers are the ones I have on my SKG guitars and I’m very happy with them, usually though I’ve always used Seymour Duncan Invaders.

Amps & Cabinets:.I’m that sorta guy that uses what’s around, haha. But usually I play a Randall head through a Randall cab.

Effects: Not much here… If needed for the sound I might use an HM-2 pedal sometimes.

Strings: I use the 0.13-056 gauge, usually D’addario and with the fourth sting spun.
Picks: Dunlop .73 and the max grip version, I love those.


When did you start playing guitar/bass?
I think I stopped just being a growler and also started playing guitar, to write songs, maybe when I was like 19 years old. Before that I just hummed the riffs to the guitar player in the band, haha.

On which piece of gear do you keep your most beautiful memories and why?
It’s on my Vantage Avenger, I think it was my second or third guitar and I still own it today, many years later. Most of my albums have been partly written or recorded on it.

Do you have an endorsement deal or a signature model? If so, could you tell us a little bit more about it?
SKG (Serpent King Guitars), Henri Sattler builds my stuff these days, and I couldn’t be happier. I love the Stratus6 model and so far I have two of them, soon three. Everything about them is just perfect, but yeah... I hope that one day he feels he would like to build me a special Rogga model ofcorpse... That would be a dream come true.

What was your worst purchase ever and why?
Oh… I’ve owned so many guitars through the years, haha. Mostly cheap ones, as that’s all I can afford, haha. But I think maybe when I bought a cheap Gibson model new, that was the worst purchase. It was faded/worn SG model and it was cheap for a new Gibson, and when I got it I could understand why, haha, it felt like playing a tree log. So I changed it rather quickly.

Who are your influences (musicians)?
Vocally there are many, like Kam Lee and Jörgen Sandström and Dan Swanö. On guitar though I don’t think I really have any. I just started to play guitar to be able to write the music myself. But I think Rick from Massacre or Ola from Grave are guitar masters to me.

What was your first guitar/bass/keys/drums?
I think my first guitar was an Aria Pro II Les Paul model, and it was great, heavy and solid and sounded awesome, and it had the Invader mic on it already from the get go, didn’t tune great though, as I down tuned. But all in all it was a great guitar.

What is on your wish list?
As I mentioned above I wish that Henri would create a Rogga model together with me some day. That would be the ultimate guitar for me to use, it wouldn’t be over the top at all, but it would be my own model and I would try to buy a new one each year from him for as long as I play guitar.

Ultimate goal as a musician?
I think I have achieved most my goals really, recording albums and playing cool shows. But it’s not like a real goal, the journey itself is the goal as they say, haha. I wanna keep doing it for as long as I can, really.

Rogga Johansson facebook
Serpent King Guitars

Previously in Modus Operandi:
Peter van Elderen (Peter Pan Speedrock, Four Headed Dog)
Timo Somers (Delain, Vengeance)
Merel Bechtold (MaYan, Purest Of Pain)
Paul Allender (White Empress, Cradle Of Filth, The Blood Divine) & Will Graney (Damnation Angels, Cradle Of Filth session)
Paul Baayens (Hail Of Bullets, Asphyx, Thanatos)
Ed Warby (Gorefest, 11th Hour, Hail Of Bullets, Ayreon)
René Rutten (The Gathering)
Martijn Peters (Stream Of Passion)
George Kollias (Nile)
Michael Angelo Batio
Courtney Cox (The Iron Maidens, Phantom Blue)
Mark Jansen (Epica, MaYan, ex-After Forever)
Pablo van de Poel (DeWolff)
Danny Tunker (Aborted, Alkaloid, ex-God Dethroned, ex-Prostitute Disfigurement)
Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom)
John 5 (Rob Zombie, David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson, solo)
Paul Bostaph (Slayer, ex-Forbidden, ex-Testament)
Johan van Stratum (The Gentle Storm, Stream Of Passion)

<< previous next >>