60 Seconds with...
Before he jumped in his limo for the airport, we grabbed a quick minute and chucked a bunch of questions at Nige Mellor, of Brothers Groove
GT: Who was your first influence to play the guitar?
NM: My first real moments with guitar, where I imagined it was me playing, were David Gilmour and Eric Clapton songs and solos. I was definitely a guitar player at 8-10 years old, long before I picked one up at nearly 16.
GT: What was the first guitar you really lusted after?
NM: It was a sunburst Les Paul just like Jimmy Page’s. I ended up buying a black Kay catalogue Les Paul for my first guitar. It was another 7-8 years before I got the real deal – a 1969 Les Paul in sunburst.
GT: What was the best gig you ever did?
NM: I’d like to think it was the last one, you know, still progressing. There are quite a few gigs that are memorable but it is never because of who, or how many people are there, or how nuts the crowd is. They are memorable because of the interaction and feel between us and the split-second decisions we make live.
GT: And your worst playing nightmare?
NM: I think an amp going down is the biggest pain, even if it is one of the others guys’ amps as it can really disrupt the flow of a musical moment.
GT: What’s the most important musical lesson you ever learnt?
NM: Listen to everyone and find your own space.
GT: Do you still practise?
NM: Yeah, I tend to practise a lot unplugged around the home. Even when I’m watching a film sometimes, I’ll still have the chord changes going on in my head. I’ll walk to the kitchen to make a cup of tea with the guitar still round my neck. I switch on the kettle and play while I wait for it to boil. It boils and I quite often carry on playing and then
have to re-boil the thing.
GT: Do you have a pre-gig warm-up routine?
NM: No not really. We tend to spend no time at all on sound checks so we don’t play unnecessarily. But if I haven’t had a chance to play for a few days, I’ll loosen my fingers up with a few chromatic exercises in the green room beforehand.
GT: If you could put together a
There are quite a few gigs that are memorable, but it is never because of who, or how many people are there
fantasy band with you in it, who would the other players be (dead or alive)?
NM: I know it sounds cheesy but the guys I am with are a bit special and we all appreciate one another in that way. In my 30 years of playing I don’t think I have come across guys who can react to what one another do so well.
GT: Who’s the single greatest guitarist that’s ever lived?
NM: If I was forced to do a single it would have to be Jimi Hendrix because he had the blues thing down, the expression, he could groove and was an innovator. There are many innovators I would like to mention here though, and some are of our time.
GT: Is there a solo you really wish you had played?
Yeah, for its power and statement it would have to be Jimi Hendrix Star Spangled Banner (American Anthem) live at Woodstock. Take one guitar and say “up yours” to the warmongers.
GT: What’s the solo or song of your own of which you’re most proud?
NM: Will I See You There, off Play The Game. I left plenty of breathing room in that one.
GT: What would you most like to be remembered for?
NM: Being kind. Brothers Groove’s new album Play The Game is out now, and Nige and the band are currently on tour around the country. Catch this award nominated group if you can – go to www.brothersgroove.org for more details.
Nige Mellor: grooving with his Strat!