- No Moore Blues
by Paul Guy
© Paul Guy 1996
Interview for FUZZ # 6/97
The first track on the new album - "One Good Reason" - is going to be the first single
release here. My first reaction when I put it on first time was that they'd sent
me a duff copy! But when the first chorus came in I realised it was a deliberate
filter effect. What was the thinking behind this?
- Well the way I wrote that song is, it has two distinct feels to it, you know, light
and heavy, and we wanted to change the voice sound slightly for the bits that sounded
sortf of small. We went for an almost telephonic sort of sound, really. What it is,
the vocal has been put through a distortion pedal, a thing called a "Love Tone" (laughs),
which are made in Henley-on-Thames, believe it or not, just near where I live. They'd
been making these pedals here all the time and I didn't realise it. And this guy, he's from the Eastern block I think, he's got this weird name - he makes these
pedals called "Love Tone", and the guy who mixed the album, Andy Bradfield, he has
his own rack of effects, and he'll often put things through it, like he'll put snare
drums through these pedals and shit, just to create weird effects. And we just tried it
on that vocal, and I like it, I think it works pretty well for the song.
It certainly surprises you when you hear it for the first time.
- Oh yeah, it does, but I think that's a good thing really, because that sets the
tone for what's to come, cause it's such a different record. And once you get past
that, then you're probably all right, you know.
"Cold Wind Blows" has an interesting vocal sound in the first couple of verses. Did
you use any particular effect to get this, or was it just mike technique?
- That's like doubly compressed, so you're going through a compressor, and then another
compressor which compresses the first one, so you get that very up in your face,
very personal feel, like you're right there in the room with the vocal, which I really
like, because the song's telling a bit of a story anyway, and it's a good way of
getting that kind of thing across, it makes it very intimate, and you can really
feel the low notes. When you play that track quite loud you can really feel the sound
of the voice, which is nice. And also on that track, it's a very unusual combination - that's
probably the closest thing to a blues that there is on the album, in the sense that
it is a 12-bar! (Laughs) But there the resemblance ends, because it's a blues, but
it's got a didgeridoo voice loop and a sitar behind it, and then a North American Indian
drumbeat as well, but apart from that, it's a blues...
Yeah, that's what I wrote in my notes - "Apache" drums...
- Yeah! You know, it's got all those things, and that's only in the first verse! But
I liked the idea of just putting all those things together. The whole album was very
experimental for me, and I just felt completely free to do what I wanted to try on
this record, I wanted to make a record of songs, and if they were all very different
from each other, that was fine, as long as they stood up as songs. I wasn't trying
to make a blues record, or a rock record, or anything, I just wanted to make an album
of songs, and as long as they were melodically strong, and there was something that you
could hear and say, yeah, that's got a good melody or whatever, then I was happy
to do that.
"I Have Found My Love In You" and a couple of the other songs ("Like Angels") have
a very soul feel to them. Given that soul and blues are intimately related, is this
a new direction for Gary Moore?
- Well I've always had ballads before in the past, but again, for instance - "I Have
Found My Love In You" represents a different kind of a thing for me, because it kind
of points at the kind of music I've been listening to over the past three years,
which is quite different from the stuff I was listening to before, there's a lot of hip-hop
influences in there with the drum loops and everything. The first thing you hear
on the record, apart from my voice, is a hip-hop drum loop, and that's so different
for me (chuckling) to use all that, and there's that thread all the way through the record.
And that, yeah, it's more of an R & B song, and the lyric is a bluesy sort of lyric,
it's quite a sad song in many ways. But I think what makes it different is the rhythms and everything, and the drums being very up front, and it's very much from now,
it's an R & B song, but very much from a 90's perspective. And the synthesizer things
in the back, you know, the little whistling synths, you can hear that on a lot of
swing kind of records these days, or R & B, or hip-hop, or whatever you want to call
it. So there's a lot of those modern elements in there. But then the thing that sort
of makes the whole album have a common theme is the voice and the guitar.
In "Like Angels" you get such a vocal sound on the guitar at one point that I thought
it was a girl singer first time.
- Just before the guitar solo? That was done by playing the guitar with a screwdriver!
It's got a very Eastern sound to it, I call that the angel, although it doesn't sound
like an angel really, the guitar, but it's got this very high, kind of sweet slide
thing. But it's more agile than normal slide guitar, because you're using a very narrow
area to contact the string. And I was playing with the guitar in my lap, practically,
just playing it from above, so I could really see. You only play on one string or
two strings at the most really, to get that sound, you don't play on the lower strings.
It was very different for me. And then I used that sound again on "What Are We Here
For", all the way through it, you can hear it, and there's a solo with that at the
end, when it opens out into that big heavy thing . So that was something new. I think
it's good to do new things all the time, otherwise you're going over old ground.
That's why I ended up doing the blues, because the rock thing in the 80's got very
stale for me, and I just felt it was time to make a change again, and do what you want to
do. Otherwise you're just going through the motions, and I could never do that.
I also thought I detected a strong Beatles influence in some of the arrangements -
and even a touch of George Harrison in some of the guitar parts, was that conscious?
- Well, it wasn't conscious, but I could understand why that would happen, because
George was a big influence on me in the beginning. I was completely into the Beatles
when I was a kid - I went to see the Beatles when I was 11, by myself, I used to
go to gigs on my own when I was a kid - the Beatles were it for me at that point. And I got
to know George quite well in recent years, because we live close together, so we've
actually played together on occasions, and he played on "Still Got The Blues", he
gave me a song for it. And I played on his gig at the Albert Hall - I played on "While
My Guitar Gently Weeps" - and he played on my concerts at the Albert Hall as well,
so we've had a relationship for quite a few years now, so obviously that influence
is going to come through.
I wouldn't swear to it, but I think this record is the first one I've heard you play
slide guitar on - am I mistaken?
- Well I played a little bit on "Still Got The Blues", on the opening track, "Moving
On", there's a bit on there. I've kind of dabbled in it, but it's not the sort of
thing you should dabble in, really. You've got to really do it properly, and the
thing is sometimes people just go, "Oh, let's put a bit of slide on this" and you just pick
it up, but you can't just pick it up, you've really got to work on it a bit. And
with this album I did actually work on it a bit more, you know, I took a lot longer
over the whole album anyway. It took a year and a half to make this album, which for me
is just the longest by far. And I really got into it and played around with the sounds,
and did a lot of silly things with sounds, and tried out all different kinds of
rhythms and drum loops and synthesizer sounds, and tried some new sounds with the guitar,
and I did a bit more acoustic stuff than I had before, you know, even the sitar -
I haven't played sitar on record before!
You seem to be placing as much - if not more - emphasis on the vocals as on the guitar
these days. Is that because this is a song album?
- Well, yeah, that's the way this album is, really. I mean you could go either way.
If I wanted to make a complete guitar album, that would be a whole different kind
of project, but with this it was very much a song-led album, so obviously the vocals
are going to be much more to the forefront. And it's just the way the songs are arranged
and the way they took shape.
The record company sent me a pre-release cassette, so I haven't got any sleeve notes
- Well they're all still being done at the moment, I still haven't seen them! I'm
still correcting the lyrics, it's unbelievable, just trying to get the bloody lyrics
right. They came back with twenty errors the other day, and two whole verses missing.
Artwork hell, as they call it.
Who was the producer?
- I produced it with two other people - but it's like, who do you want to call a producer
these days, I mean, I had final say on the mixes, I contributed obviously a lot of
the ideas for the kinds of sounds and stuff. But it was still a team effort in terms of the programmers, and the person who was recording it at the time. Chris Tangredi
actually started the album with me, we'd worked together before, he did "Parisienne
Walkways", for fuck's sake, and "Back On The Streets", and he did some stuff with
Lizzy, too, not when I was in the band - we hadn't really done an album together since
the seventies, so I thought it would be really nice to work with Chris, and he did
over half the album. And then Andy Bradfield, who worked on the Everything But The
Girl album, the jungly one which I really enjoyed, so I called him, and he came in and did
the last bit of recording, and then he mixed the whole album. So it was a good way
to do it, because at one point I was a bit concerned that the album might go a little
bit - not retro, but just a bit 80's for my tastes. I wanted to bring in a fresh pair
of ears, as they say, to just put that final touch, give it a very 90's kind of thing,
and that's what happened.
Who wrote the string arrangements?
- Well again, that was a thing - I mean I usually come up with the lines, but I can't
actually write string arrangements, because I don't read music very well, so I always
have to get someone in. But normally I give them a lot of the ideas and the lines
and then they just write them out and give them to the string person, and it goes from
I think that's the thing that reminds me most of the Beatles, the string arrangements.
- Yeah, definitely. Even on "One Good Reason" there's that thing, and maybe some of
the more Eastern things. We've got some Egyptian violinists on one of the tracks,
on a song called "Afraid Of Tomorrow", which is really interesting, because they've
got a totally different vibe about them, and it was really amazing to work with these guys,
cause their whole sense of rhythm and everything is so different.
Yeah, very Eastern - kind of like a "Tomorrow Never Knows" kind of feel to it.
- Yeah, but again, it goes back to - music goes in cycles, you know, and I think there
is a lot of that feeling around at the moment, there's a real Eastern influence on
music at the moment in a lot of ways, and I think that's just one of the things that
came out on this record - just the way it happened really, it wasn't like let's write
a song that sounds a bit like the Beatles. And I would say if I did that, because
sometimes you are conscious of those sort of things, but it was just more of a case
of, this is kind of quite - what's the word... blissed-out, it's a hippie sort of song,
let's have some of that Eastern thing, or whatever. Or it might be done for a completely
different reason, cause "Afraid Of Tomorrow", is actually about a journey, it goes
from Spain to Morocco to Cairo, it was inspired by a book that I read, so that's where
the Egyptian thing came into that, and there are Moroccan sounds on there as well,
there's a whole thing on there, if you listen in the back there's a sample of a guy
doing the throat singing, there's a very high sort of harmonic thing. And there's a chanter
from Morocco, a reed chanter, which you can hear in the second verse, and there's
all kinds of stuff on there. But it's there for a reason.
Did you write all the songs yourself?
How do you go about writing songs?
- (Laughs) Oh, come on! Oh, man... who knows the answer to that question? Nobody...
sometimes you sit down and you get so far and you get stuck and then sometimes -
I think you'll probably hear a lot of people say this - the best ones are usually
the ones that just write themselves really, in five minutes. They just come out, it's just
pure inspiration. And there are quite a lot of those on this record, I'm pleased
to say - like "Business As Usual" - each line in the song is a memory, from my very
first memories as a child, when I was three up to when I wrote the song, about a year ago.
But it was an attempt to put your whole life in four verses, and not even think about...
(Laughs) the first thing that came to mind, each memory that stuck out - I just went
into sort of a semi-conscious state almost, just to let it come out. And I stuck with
the original lines, I didn't change anything, I just left it as it was. Cause I thought
that was very honest, you know, that was the way it was meant to be, I thought, don't mess with it, just leave it. And I had the melody, kind of. So it took as long
as that to write really, as long as it took to go through the verses. And then the
same with "What Are We Here For", that wrote itself in five minutes, the lyrics,
everything, it just came out. I don't know where that came from...
The only good song I ever wrote took me five minutes.
- Yeah, I think what happens is - there was a tip that someone gave me once, and I
still think about this - if you just go with your instincts - it's that moment when
you block up by thinking about it consciously, that's when you fuck up. You know
when you get a verse sometimes, the minute you say, what shall I do next, you're fucked,
it's gonna be a laborious kind of thing after that. But if you just go, it'll take
you where it wants to go. Because songs aren't these little things, not these little
objects that we control, they have a life of their own. People don't realise that - songs
won't go where they don't want to go. You know what I mean? And if you've ever tried
to do a different version of a song, and you record a certain way, and you try to
get into - "Oh, I want this to sound more like this" - if it doesn't want to go there,
it's not going to go there. They have their own - they are actually organic things,
songs, without trying to sound pretentious about it, but they really are. Another
thing that's interesting, if you put a song on tape, and you leave it, and you go away, if
you don't finish it then, if you come back six months later, it'll seem completely
different to you. Because you've changed, so in other words the song's changed too.
They don't sit around waiting for you, you know.
Are you still using Greeny's old Les Paul?
- Not on this album, no. There's no Les Paul on this album. I used about three different
guitars - I used an old Gibson 355, 1962, which I got before my Journey album - it
was wired up as a stereo one, but it's been disconnected, so really it's a 335, essentially. It's cherry red - it did have a Bigsby at one time, but somebody took it
off. So it's a bit beaten up, but it's a really great guitar. It's not something
I'm used to, but it was like everything else on this record, it was like "let's try
this guitar for a while". Do everything in as new a way as possible. But if I hadn't liked
the sound of it it would have been straight back to the Les Paul, believe me. There
might be just a bit of Les Paul on "One Good Reason", in the rhythm track for the
power chords, but I think there were three guitars on there anyway. But all the lead stuff
was done either on a 355, a Telecaster, and my old salmon pink Strat. Mainly those
three, and then a bit of acoustic, and a bit of sitar and what have you. The solo
on "Like Angels", the wah-wah solo, that's the 355, and it starts off with the wah-wah pedal
half off, so you get that smooth kind of sound, and then I bring it in gradually.
And then the solo on "Where Did We Go Wrong" is the Telecaster, it's got a sort of
mournful, almost country quality to it. I really enjoy Telecasters actually - the first
decent guitar I had was a Tele. I hadn't played one on record for a long time, and
this one wasn't even an old one, it was just a Custom Shop one that I picked up recently.
I just dug it out, and it worked really good for a lot of the stuff on this record.
And then the Strat - there's a solo at the end of "Business As Usual", that's the
Strat - it's quite a clean sound, it's just got a bit of delay, it plays over that
Celtic section at the end. And there's the slide solo on "One Good Reason" - that's Telecaster.
It's got a lot of edge, which I like. It's got a good bite, it's got a real character
to it. It's not too distorted, but just on the edge, I think it's a really good sound. And then a lot of the rhythm things again, a lot were with the 355, and the Strat
- the Strat definitely on "Like Angels". In fact the middle solo on "Like Angels"
is the 355, and then the end solo is the Strat.
What string gauge do you use?
10 - 52. I don't like them too low, I have them on the hard side if anything. I don't
know what height it is, but I know it's not a low action. I've never used a really
low action, or light strings. And you want to know about amps, I suppose - well,
that's easy - I've got an old 100W bass Marshall, which is probably my favourite out of
all the ones I've got. It's one of those old purple ones from the 70's, you remember
them? Somebody painted it black with this horrendous black paint, so it looks like
a piece of shit, but it sounds really good. You can just plug straight into it and get a
Beck always used to use a bass Marshall...
- Yeah! I don't know how different they are, but that one has a good sound, it's got
its own kind of sustain as well, it's just nice. And then when I wanted a bit more
sustain I would use an Ibanez Tube Screamer, which is something I've used for years.
Like with the Telecaster, I would use a bit of that, just to make it sing a bit more
- but not like turned up too much, just enough to give it that kind of singing quality.
And then I used a Trace Elliott amp - a little Velocette, it's named after a scooter,
all their amps are named after various British motor bikes, Bonneville and all that.
But it's a great amp, actually, I think it's 15 watts, it has a single speaker, a
10 inch I think. We put it in a big red flightcase and stuck a mike up the other
end of the flightcase. I used that for the rhythm part on "One Fine Day". And I did a few
quirky things - like the guitar sound on "I Have Found My Love In You", that plays
that high line, it sounds very smooth because of the way it's mixed. And actually
it's so over the top distorted, a really vicious guitar sound, I think it was a Boss Hyper
Metal or Heavy Metal pedal. And if you took your hands of the guitar it would go
into complete feedback. And because we put quite a sweet reverb on it, and put it
back in the mix a bit, it sounds really smooth. It just shows what you can do with the guitar.
If you brought that up front and dried it out like we had it originally, it would
just take your head off. But we sort of tamed it, as it were, and because it's so
distorted it had this amazing sustain on it, every note lasts forever - so it just worked
out that way. I like to play around with things like that - we had this little plastic
Marshall practise amp, I've done things in the studio with that. Just put a mike
on it and use it for like a funky rhythm guitar - gives this tiny little telephonic guitar
It's amazing what you can do in the studio with little amps.
- Oh yeah. I mean it's wide open. If you can't get a good sound in the studio now
there's something wrong with you, you've got the technology, it's all caught up now
to where I wanted it to be when I started, which is great. I used to hate going into
the studio. Well it was too much of a compromise, wasn't it? "Turn it down..." - and you
can't get the fucking sound, you can't play like you do on stage, you can't do this,
and you can't do that... And I just found it all very scientific and very clinical,
and now you can go in, and you can do it however you want - you can play completely
live, as loud as you want - you can play whisper quiet, and get a great big sound
out of that. There's just so much you can do, and it's great. And the mixing end
of it's fantastic now, because if you fuck something up, it's all computerised, and you don't
all have to grab the faders again and go through the whole thing again, with all
that tension. It's a lot more relaxed.
Well, when it all comes down to it music is all about getting emotions on a record.
- Yeah, you know, and if you have to go through it a million times you lose the whole
point of it, and just to get a perfect performance, sonically. You sacrifice all
the feel of it and start all over again, and I hate that. Some the best things I've
ever done have been in one take.
I've always admired people like Larry Carlton or Jeff Beck, when if they get a really
good take, but even if there's a mistake, they'll leave it there.
- Yeah, of course - I mean, I'll do that too, because I think you spoil it. If you
drop it in on the tape you're going to lose the flow anyway. I remember when we did
Stilll Got The Blues, we were actually trying the studio out, and that song, that
was the first time we ever played it, and the only time we ever recorded it! The solo and
everything, it was all live, start to finish. We were just trying the room out. and
because we went in with that attitude, there was no pressure. We didn't think, we're
making a record today", it was just like, "let's go in and have some fun". And I was
in such a good frame of mind to play, I thought "I'm really going to fucking go for
it today, cause it doesn't fucking matter, nobody's ever going to hear this anyway".
And I was so free, and I remember thinking I got a really good sound in the headphones.
I was using this little 50-watt Marshall and this Les Paul, not Greeny's one but
this other one I'd just got the year before, and I'd never played it. And I just
got it out and decided to use it for the album, and boy that was a good move, you know, it was
all there, you know, all the sound and everything. And I just went for it, and yeah,
you know, there's a couple of fucking rough bits in there, but so what? And one take,
and we kept it. And that was essentially the demo. "Oh Pretty Woman", from the same
album, that was done the same day, we did that in two takes, same as the other one,
live - re-did the vocal later, and a bit of strings, and that was it.
Is it true that you were first inspired by Hank Marvin?
- Yeah - well I mean if you played guitar, if you started when I started, which is
when I was ten years old, you know, that was what was going down, it was Hank, there
weren't any other guitar heroes around. And of course we all grew up listening to
Hank. The first tune I ever learnt was "Wonderful Land". I remember the day I got the guitar,
my dad came home and he said, "would you like to learn to play guitar" And this guy
was selling a big Framus cello-body guitar, and you can imagine how big that was
- and I wasn't a big kid by any means, so I remember being at the bus stop with this
thing on my way back from my first and only guitar lesson, with this thing sitting
beside me like a cello, I'll never forget it and having to take it on the bus everywhere,
it was hilarious. And the strings were so high off the neck that you could hardly -
I mean like guys of 25 couldn't fucking play that guitar, it was so awful. But it
was probably a good thing, because it really toughens you up, and when you do get
something good you just take off like a bird. But anyway, this guy showed me the chord of A,
you know, with the three fingers, down the bottom. But all I wanted to be able to
do, I wanted to play a tune, so I took the guitar home, and I was trying to play
"Wonderful Land", on the top two strings, but I was in the wrong key, so I was trying to tune
the guitar to put the notes how I wanted to play them. And I could hear all this
giggling going on behind the hedge down at the bottom of the garden, and it was my
friends, pissing themselves - and I went, "what the fuck!" and they all just sort of howled
with laughter and they all ran off. So that was my first week with the guitar. And
of course when I brought the guitar back for my next lesson it was totally out of
tune, cause I didn't know how to tune it. It was just like, "practise that chord all week",
and I was like "all right". And then my Dad sent me to learn to read music from this
guy called Sam Mitchell, you ever heard of him, a slide guitarist? He played with
Long John Baldry and blues people like that, he was a really good slide player. He's
from Belfast, and his father was also Sam Mitchell, or Sammy Mitchell, and he was
reckoned to be the guy around town, he was playing with the band down at the local
Palais, and he was supposed to teach me to read music. And I had no fucking interest whatever,
I went to this guy, and he would say, here's your lesson for the week, and he'd give
me the paper, but he made the mistake, he always told me what it was, and what key
it was in, like "this is the can-can, and it's in the key of C" and I would go home
and just work it out, you know - "da, da-da, da-da da-da da-da", I'd fucking learn
it in five minutes. And I'd come back the next week, and he'd put the music in front
of me, and he'd go, "that's very good, you're doing really well with that". And then the
next week I wouldn't show up, cause I didn't feel like it, so I'd go to the guitar
shop instead, I was actually bunking off from my guitar lessons, can you believe
this... and then he wouldn't fucking show up. So we never sort of met up again after that.
So I never learned to read music - thank goodness. (Laughs) No, I do regret it in
some ways, you know, but not enough to actually do anything about it. When it comes
to writing string arrangements, you know what it's like. But it's not what I'm about, I
do what I do, you know, and it's actually good to collaborate with other people,
and you can sit back and really listen to what's going on. Whereas if you're getting
involved in all these different areas, something's got to suffer. And also, you get too close
to it. Whereas if you're working with somebody who's really good at that kind of
thing, you can rely on them to do a good job - and I don't know, it's just easier,
it's better. It like with programming, you know - yeah, I could learn to program, but when
you work with somebody really good, you can see a song taking shape before your eyes,
in ten minutes you've got a really good thing down on the computer. And you can stand back and watch them do it,and you're not playing it over and over again. There's
one song on the album - "Afraid Of Tomorrow" - was actually recorded in the computer,
the guitar part, I played it one take, so we had the freshness of the first take,
the whole rhythm guitar part. And at the end, I just did some variations on the rhythm part,
like arpeggios and little riffs, and then we just took those and moved them back
up the song, and put the arpeggios over the rhythm part, which was something I'd
never done in my life. So I was able to see this arrangement taking place, right before my
eyes, it was like fucking great, you know, there it was, and I'd only played it once!
So you've got all the inspiration you wanted, and you've got the perfection from
the computer, so it was a good way to do it.
Were you asked to contribute to "Twang" (tribute to Hank B. & the Shads)?
- I was, actually, but I was doing something else and couldn't do it. Peter Green
played on it, didn't he, and Brian May - I've heard some things from it - the Brian
May track was good actually, and I thought Peter's track was good, "Midnight", wasn't
I thought that Peter Green was the only one who got anywhere near Hank, actually.
- Yeah, well he would do, cause you know again he was very influenced by him, and
he always liked that little bit of echo, Peter did, and the reverb, that kind of
haunting sound. It was just nice to hear him out doing something again.
Do you meet him at all nowadays?
- When we did the Blues for Greeny album I went down to his house , because we did
some photos for the sleeve with just our hands - so I spent the afternoon with him.
and then we did that little gig at the Shepherd's Bush Empire, he came to that, and
he came out on stage at the end, just came out and took a bow - and then the next thing
I heard he was playing again, and I thought, "Great! Yeah!" We did an interview together
for VH1 as well, we did a big thing for about an hour - he did most of the talking,
which was really nice - I just sat back and listened to him, really. I wasn't sure
whether he was going to - sometimes he'll feel like it, sometimes he won't, but he
was really in full flight that day. And they said - "When you saw Gary play, did
that inspire you to play again?" And he said, "No, it was nothing to do with that," (Laughs)
"Gary's past's got nothing to do with it", but that's really cool, that's like he
would have said in the old days, he's still got a bit of that arrogance there. And
I thought that was good, you know, same old Peter, he's still got a bit of an edge there,
he'd just come out and say it. Cause he's very honest, Peter, he would say - he's
not one of these people who'll be like diplomatic just so everyone will like what
he says, he'll just say it. Everyone had said to me, the day after the gig, he was out and
looking for a guitar, and yet he'll turn round and say, "Nah, it was nothing to do
with him." And I'd say fine, you know, I don't care, you're playing again, and that's
all that matters. But I thought it was so funny, you know, he's back to treating the young
players with the contempt they deserve! He's definitely a bluesman.
What guitar players do you like to listen to nowadays?
- That's a good question - cause most of the music I've been listening to the last
three years is not sort of really based much on guitar, as you can tell - I mean
a lot of it's just much more rhythmically based. But if I want to listen to guitarists
I'll listen to a lot of the people I used to listen to, like Jeff Beck, obviously, and
Jimi Hendrix - it's just the greats of that era really, who still have a lot to say,
and they still have a lot to teach people. I'm not a big fan of that whole 80's kind
of guitar thing, myself included, but I think that was something I went through - but
it doesn't really amount to much, it's like I wouldn't listen to my music from that
time either. I really wouldn't, I have no interest in it whatsoever. I remember one
time I heard a thing from Sweden, funnily enough, a live thing, and I put it on and I went,
"It's not me", you know, it was so alien to what I play like now. If you ever wanted
to hear yourself like somebody else heard you, that was the case with that. I thought I'd never be able to do that, but it was actually like listening to another guitar
player. It was so alien, I thought what the fuck, you know, it was so strange - and
like with the tremolo arm and all the technique that went along with that, and all
the fast shit, and the divebombing - things that I normally wouldn't do at all now. Like
when we did "Still Got The Blues", I dropped using the tremolo arm, for obvious reasons,
cause I just wanted to just get back into my own thing, and just do it in a much
more personal way, and obviously with the finger vibrato you get that. Although there's
a bit of bar on the new album, but that's the first time for ages. But all that sort
of 80's thing, everyone just divebombing and all the effects, I don't have time for
that any more, it doesn't do a thing for me, I've done it, and if you ask any guitarist
about something they did years ago, they're not interested in going back. Like Eric
Clapton, he's not going to go out and play Hideaway through a 50 watt Marshall with
a Les Paul. He might for a laugh, but why would he? He's done it, you know. We all
dream that he will, but it's not going to happen! (laughs). I just think you have
to move forward. And that whole kind of L.A. school of playing doesn't attract me
much. And it's not just the reason - "oh yeah, well, you're from a different generation of players,
so you wouldn't get that" - I don't want to get that, nobody wants to get that, it's
like people are not interested in that shit, it's so self-indulgent, it's like playing for other guitarists really, it's not really connected to music, it's like a
sport almost, you know. It's like practising your scales in public - you've heard
all this a million times, it's all the old clichés are going to come out. But I just
think that people, when they hear music, a lot of those players are not melodic players,
so when you hear something that they do, it doesn't stick with you, it doesn't touch
you. It's just a bunch of notes, and it doesn't go anywhere - you know, a lot of
the solos, they have a middle, but they don't have don't have a beginning, a middle, and
an end. They just start in the middle, and they don't go anywhere. I mean I don't
listen to a lot of that Yngwie Malmsteen type stuff, I know the guy's got an incredible
technique, and all that, but it's what you do with it. At the end of the day, it's what
music do you want to play, and what do you want to do?
In retrospect, how do you feel about the work you did with Bruce, Baker and Moore?
- I was really pleased that we did that album together, and more to the point, some
of the gigs were really good. And I learnt a lot, man, I think my playing got better
after playing with those guys, my feel, my timing and everything - they really helped
me in a lot of ways. And working with Jack, he's always going to be one of my idols,
and I know every fucking album that Jack's done, I've bought every one, and I know
so many of his songs, I used to sit and learn all his songs from the solo albums,
because they were so interesting. And there's a bit of his influence on this album, man,
I mean you can hear it on the more acousticy ones. There's always going to be that
influence there, cause I've always looked up to Jack so much. And he freed me a lot,
you know, when we worked together, he freed me to be a musician again and not to worry
about what everyone's thinking, because he's very much from that school of - he's
almost like a jazz musician in his mentality. He's a very melodic musician. And he
got me back into writing melodic songs again, like "Where In The World" and all that, they
wouldn't have existed without Jack, he was such an influence to me at the time. He
really encouraged me to be free with my music again, and to be more experimental,
and I think a lot of that led to this album. I have to say that, because if I hadn't done
the BBM thing this album would not exist, I might still be doing another blues album,
or whatever. One thing leads to another, and that definitely led me to this.
Do you think you'll play with Jack and Ginger again?
- I don't know... I mean I always up for playing with Jack, and we always want to
play together, but I doubt if we'll be in a band together again, but if he ever wanted
me to play on his things, I would always do. And I think he would as well.
© Paul Guy 1996
Interview for FUZZ # 6/97