What Strings Do You Use?

Andrew Watt

Guitar Techniques - - Intro -

We ask a great gui­tarist all those lit­tle ques­tions you re­ally want the an­swers to…This month: Andrew Watt of Cal­i­for­nia Breed GT: Do you have a type of pick that you can’t live with­out? (Make/gauge and why)

AW: Nope… give me any­thing medium to hard and I’ll play you a song!

GT: If you had to give up all your ped­als but three, what would they be? (And why)

AW: Num­ber 1 would be my 72 Univox Su­per Fuzz be­cause it’s the gnarli­est fuzz of all time. One side you’ve got Town­shend Live At Leeds and with a flip of a switch you’ve got Cor­gan on Gish. Best of both worlds for me. Num­ber two would be my 86 Ibanez TS -10, that they say is the last ver­sion of the Tube Screamer to be on SR V’s board be­fore he left this world. It’s the smoothest I’ve played thus far. They re­ally paid at­ten­tion to low end with that ver­sion. For what­ever rea­son there is a re­ally cool dry sig­nal that comes across with the one I got on my board. It adds a layer of clar­ity I don’t get with any other over­drive pedal. Num­ber three would have to be The Andy Watt Cumshot… cus­tom pedal… don’t ask ques­tions!

GT: Do you play an­other in­stru­ment well enough to do so in a band?

AW: Bass was ac­tu­ally my first in­stru­ment. I played it in bands grow­ing up. Now I just use it mostly for my own record­ings and ses­sions around town, but from time to time a bass will come out when the gig calls for it.

GT: If a mu­sic chart were put in front of you, could you read it?

AW: Slowly but surely…

GT: Do gui­tar ca­bles re­ally make a dif­fer­ence? What make are yours?

AW: Of course they do. It’s mostly about the re­li­a­bil­ity for me. Hav­ing a ca­ble crap out on you on­stage is pretty much the worst feel­ing imag­in­able. Panic sets in and you’re a goner. At that point you have two choices - play like noth­ing’s hap­pened or smash the shit out of your gui­tar! I use Mogami ca­bles. They are the most re­li­able in the game.

GT: Is there any­one’s play­ing (past or present) that you’re slightly jeal­ous of?

AW: Paul Kos­soff - per­fect phras­ing, and vi­brato for days!

GT: Your house/stu­dio is burn­ing down: which gui­tar do you sal­vage?

You say one, but I say I have two hands. My 1962 SG Spe­cial and my 1946 Martin 0-18 - all I need in this life of sin.

GT: What’s your favourite amp and how do you set it?

AW: I have a small old 50s Valco made Supro I am ob­sessed with. I picked it up in San Fran. It has two knobs (tone and vol­ume). Less is more for me amp wise al­ways. Tone at 1 o’clock and Vol­ume all the way up!

GT: What kind of ac­tion do you have on your gui­tars? (Any par­tic­u­lar quirks etc?)

AW: Rel­a­tively low but there’s gotta be room to re­ally dig in.

GT: What strings do you use?

AW: I have been us­ing D’ad­dario 10-46 sets for­ever but in the last year I started tak­ing the first and sec­ond strings from a pack of 11-49 to get a lit­tle more fight out of my leads. I use that set-up on all my elec­tric gui­tars – a hy­brid set. For Acous­tic I use D’Ad­dario 12-53 Phos­phor Bronze – again, it’s all about re­li­a­bil­ity. Andrew Watt is the 23-year-old lead gui­tarist of Cal­i­for­nia Breed, the ex­cit­ing new power trio fea­tur­ing Glenn Hughes on bass and vo­cals and Ja­son Bon­ham on drums. Their de­but self-ti­tled al­bum, pro­duced by Dave Cobb (Ri­val Sons), is re­leased by Fron­tiers Records in the UK on May 19th. More info: www.cal­i­for­niabreed.com

Andrew Watt with his 1962 Gibson SG Spe­cial

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