60 Sec­onds with... Be­fore he jumped in his limo, we grabbed a minute and chucked a dozen ques­tions at gui­tarist with Or­ange Juice, Ed­wyn Collins and In­ter­na­tional Res­cue...

Stephen Skin­ner,

Guitar Techniques - - Intro -

GT: Do you still prac­tise? GT: Who was your first in­flu­ence to take up the gui­tar?

SS: Mick Ron­son. I saw Bowie live at Bridling­ton Spa on 28th June 1973. The sound that came from Ron­son’s Les Paul was oth­er­worldly. Also, I felt I had an affin­ity with Mick be­cause we both worked as Coun­cil gar­den­ers.

GT: What was the first gui­tar you re­ally lusted af­ter?

SS: It’s a close run thing - Dave Hill’s Su­per Yob or a John­son Gumby (Luthier Rick John­son made Bowie’s gui­tarist Earl Slick a gui­tar shaped like Gumby, the in­fa­mous green clay ‘cartoon’ char­ac­ter).

GT: What was the best gig you ever did?

SS: The most mem­o­rable was Or­ange Juice’s fi­nal gig. It was at a ben­e­fit for the Min­ers at Brix­ton Academy. Ed­wyn de­cided he’d had enough and an­nounced this was the last ever Or­ange Juice show. The en­tire front row of Post­carders (fans of Or­ange Juice and their la­bel, Post­card Records) sobbed re­lent­lessly.

GT: And your worst play­ing nightmare?

SS: I loved play­ing all Ed­wyn’s songs live but I could never mas­ter the tim­ing in If You Could Love Me. I used to do a James Kirk and turn my vol­ume off for the riff.

GT: What’s the most im­por­tant mu­si­cal les­son you ever learnt?

SS: Never ar­gue with (Or­ange Juice pro­ducer) Den­nis Bovell. SS: I don’t prac­tice scales but I play ev­ery day as I still use my old Yamaha acous­tic to write.

GT: Do you have a pre-gig warm-up rou­tine?

SS: No. Den­nis Bovell once rep­ri­manded a drum­mer for us­ing prac­tice pads in the dress­ing room for about an hour be­fore we went on stage. He said, “It’s like mas­tur­bat­ing be­fore mak­ing love.”

GT: If you could put to­gether a fan­tasy band with you in it, who would the other play­ers be (dead or alive)?

SS: Keith Moon, Sid Vi­cious, Frank Zappa and Elvis Pres­ley.

I couldn’t mas­ter the tim­ing in If You Could Love Me, so I’d turn my vol­ume off.

GT: Who’s the sin­gle great­est gui­tarist that’s ever lived?

SS: Jeff Beck!

GT: Is there a solo you re­ally wish you had played?

SS: Width Of A Cir­cle from The Man Who Sold The World.

GT: What’s the solo/song of your own that you’re most proud of?

SS: I like all the songs and gui­tars on IRs new al­bum No Coun­try For Old Men

GT: What would you most like to be re­mem­bered for?

SS: Not be­ing able to mas­ter the riff in If You Could Love Me.

GT: What are you up to at the mo­ment (gigs, tours, al­bums, new gear)?

SS: In­ter­na­tional Res­cue are plan­ning some shows to pro­mote our al­bum No Coun­try For Old Men. Ideally, we would like to al­ter­nate our gigs by do­ing some acous­tic un­plugged shows mixed with no-holds-barred elec­tric shows with feed­back in abun­dance.

Stephen Skin­ner of In­ter­na­tional Res­cue and more

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