60 Sec­ondswith... Vir­gilMcMa­hon

Aminute’sal­lit­takestofind­outwhat­make­sagreat­play­ertick.Be­fore­he­jum­ped­in­his­limo fortheair­port,we­grabbe­dachatwith­Vir­gil&TheAc­cel­er­a­tors’gui­tarist,

Guitar Techniques - - Intro -

GT:Doy­ouhaveatype­of­pick thaty­ou­can’tlive­with­out?

Is­tart­e­dus­ingJimDun­lopTor­tex picks1/1.5mmwhenI­firstlearnt toplay,butIwent­toseeRon­nie Peter­son­whenIwas­sixwithmy dadand­go­to­ne­ofhispicks which­was­sim­i­lar­in­size­and shapetoaJaz­zIIIpick,soI­tookit home­an­dit­feltverycomfort­able forme.SoIused­i­tun­tilI­wor­eit down­toanub!Ihaveal­ways foundas­mall­er­pick­easierto han­dle­and­more­artic­u­lateto play­with.SoIon­lyuseJDJaz­zIIIs or,ifI’mfeel­ing­likeIwant­totry some­thin­gelse­for­what­ever rea­son,I’llusetheJaz­zIIIXL.

GT:Ify­ouhad­to­give­u­pal­ly­our ped­als­but­three,what­would theybe?

IfIhad­to­choosetheDesert Is­landThree­it­would­have­tobe myRoy­alOverDrive­byVan Weelden,myLine6DL4andmy wah.TheVanWeeldenROD­does itall,works­greatwith­anyGib­son gui­taran­danyFen­der.Ithasa mid-boost­switchandthe­gain boost­switchre­allyaddsathick­lift in­de­liv­ery.It’smy­favouriteOD pedal,itout-gun­smyKlon!My Line6DL4has­beena­partofmy set-up­forthe­last­sev­enyears.It doesjustaboutev­erykindof de­lay,sweep,swellan­de­cho.The wahisalate‘70sJimDun­lop Cry­Baby–can’tgowith­outa wah-wah;just­don’tgo­liv­ing ev­erysolothroughit!

GT:Ifa­mu­s­ic­cha­rtwereputin fronto­fyou,couldy­ourea­dit?

No.Ican’teven­readtab.It’slikea for­eign­lan­guage­tome.Ispent three­monthsi­nanorches­trapit play­ing­gui­tar­fora­mu­si­cal­stage pro­duc­tion.TheMDandther­est ofthe­band­lookedupon­meas theAn­tichrist­fornot­beingable tore­ad­sheet­mu­sic.Ihada­copy ofthe­mu­si­conCD,learn­tit­from there­an­dal­so­madean­otesheet ofthed­if­fer­entsongsand­keys and­whereIshould­play­on­them.

GT:Is­there­any­one’splay­ing (pas­tor­p­re­sent)thatyou’re slight­ly­jeal­ousof?

I’mnotre­al­ly­jeal­ousa­tall. Every­body­is­d­if­fer­entin­howthey play.Icer­tainlyad­mire­alotof dif­fer­ent­play­ers,but­notjust gui­tarists.Ilove­bass­play­er­sand sax­play­er­sandItry­tousethose kind­oflicksin­my­play­ing.There’s al­waysroom­forim­prove­ment,soI taked­if­fer­entlick­sandtricks­from lot­sofd­if­fer­ent­peo­ple­an­droll themupin­to­my­own­ball.

GT:Your­house­orstu­diois burn­ing­down:whichofy­our gui­tars­doy­ousal­vage?

It’sim­por­tantto prac­ti­seinorderto con­tin­uestretch­ing your­self,evenifit meansacock-up here­andthere!

It­would­have­tobe­my1994Black LesPaulknow­nas‘ThePreacher’.It be­longed­to­my­dad;hegaveitto me­whenI­turned14andI’veused itev­ersince.Icouldn’tlive­with­out that­gui­tar.

GT:What’syour­favouriteamp and­how­doy­ousetit?

Eithermy1971Mar­shal­lJMP-50or my1961Fen­derBass­man.Idon’t tour­theBass­man­butI­do­tour­the Mar­shall.Isettheamp­tothe­sound ofthe­roomwearein.Gen­er­al­rule ofthumb,though,is75per­cent mid­sand25per­cent­bass.

GT:Whatkind­o­fac­tion­doyou haveony­our­gui­tars?

Amedi­u­mac­tion.Ican’tdothe shred­der­lowac­tionortheSRV drive-a-bus-un­der-the-strings height,ei­ther.Some­where­inthe mid­dleis­man­age­able­and com­fort­able­forme.AllmyLPs havethestringswrappe­dover­the stop­tailalaBil­lyGib­bons.

GT:What­strings­doy­ou­use?

IuseErnieBall10-52on­allmy guitars.MyJohnAl­li­son0­model acous­ti­cus­esaslight­ly­heav­ier gauge(12-54).IloveErnieBall stringsande­v­ery­thingth­ey­make. Af­ter­all,“Ball­sarebest”.Haha!

GT:Whowasy­our­firstin­flu­ence toplaythe­gui­tar?

My­dad,Hendry.Iwant­ed­tobe like­him­be­cause­he­made­gui­tar look­soeasyand­so­cool.He taught­meaboutall­gui­tarsand ampsso­he­wasth­e­cat­a­lyst.

GT:What­wasthe­first­gui­taryou re­al­ly­lustedafter?

A‘68Black­S­tra­to­cast­er­likeJimi Hen­drix­played.My­first­se­ri­ous onewasalim­it­ededi­tion‘96Lake PlacidBlueS­tratwithamatch­ing head­stock.Isol­dit­to­my­cousin whos­till­h­a­sitand­won’tsel­lit back­tome!

GT:Doy­oustill­prac­tise?

Every­day,usu­ally.Some­times fourhours,some­timesone­hour. It­de­pend­son­howI’mfeel­ing phys­i­callyand­men­tally.It’s im­por­tant­to­prac­ti­seinorderto con­tin­uestretch­ingy­our­self –evenifit­means­theod­d­cock-up here­andthere.

GT:Who’sthe­great­est­gui­tarist that’sev­er­lived?

There­have­been­many­greats, es­pe­cial­lythosethathave pi­o­neered­cer­tain­styles,bu­tit’s ei­therJim­iHen­drix,EricJohn­son orShawnLane­forme.

GT:Is­there­a­soloy­oure­ally wishy­ouhad­played?

Lar­ryCarl­ton’sonPoin­tItUp.

GT:What’sthesolo/songo­fy­our own­thatyou’re­most­proudof?

I’mproud­o­fal­lour­songs.Whenit comesto­my­own­solosIam al­ways­crit­i­cal,butI­think­thesolo onTakeMeHigherisokay.

Whatarey­ou­up­tocur­rently?

The­newal­bum,ArmyOfThreeis out­6Oc­to­beronMys­ticRecords. TheUK­tour­runsfromSep­t29to 16Nov.For­mor­e­in­foonit,goto: www.vata­band.com.

Vir­gilwith­theLes Paul­his­dadgave himwhen­hewas14

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