GT: Do you have a type of pick that you can’t live without? DP: I like to play with the dark purple Dunlop gator grip .96mm because I really like the rougher slip-free texture. I also prefer to play with the rounder edge of the pick as opposed to the pointy bit. I find the tone is a bit thicker and I don’t get caught up in the strings when playing fast stuff. GT: If you had to give up all your pedals but three, what would they be? DP: The first pedal I would keep is the Xotic EP Boost because it does something very special to my overall sound that I can’t really explain. The best all-round tone shaper I have ever used. Pedal two would be MI Audio Blues Pro V3 overdrive; it’s one of the most open sounding drive pedals I have ever played with. Third pedal is from a boutique pedal builder in South Africa called GraigAmps. The pedal is called a Shoe Soul which is a boost/buffer type of thing that opens my tone up amazingly. GT: If a music chart were put in front of you, could you read it? DP: If it was in its most basic form – eg a chord chart - but if there’s dots I’m afraid I wouldn’t even know where to begin. When I see a page full of black dots the blood normally drains from my head and a cold sweat follows swiftly. GT: Do guitar cables really make a difference? What make are yours? DP: I believe guitar cables make a massive difference in preserving tonal qualities. I never believed this until I switched to a higher quality cable and heard the difference for myself. I immediately found that the better cable seemed to let through a whole bunch of frequencies that I wasn’t hearing before. Monster Cables do the trick for me. GT: Is there anyone’s playing (past or present) that you’re slightly jealous of? DP: Yes almost too many to mention, but the first guy that comes to mind is Philip Sayce. Everything about Philip’s playing pushes my buttons. In my opinion he has the coolest Strat tone I think I have ever heard and his style is exactly what I want to hear when I listen to a guitarist do his thing. GT: Your house/studio is burning down: which guitar do you salvage? DP: That’s an easy one. It would without a doubt be my 1962 Strat not because of its value money-wise, but because it’s one of those guitars that’s been with me for the last 14 years of touring. The guitar feels more like a family member to me than just another instrument. I’ve got a deep connection with that old gal. GT: What’s your favourite amp and how do you set it? DP: My all-time favourite is my Dr Z EZG-50 head which is basically a tweaked Super Reverb. My starting default settings are: Pre, 1 o’clock; Post, 10 o’clock; Treble, 1 o’clock; Mids, 1 o’clock; Bass, 10 o’clock. Depending on the room those settings will get tweaked slightly. GT: What strings do you use? DP: I use Ernie Ball but put together a custom set for myself: 12-15-18-2838-52. Because I tune down a semi-tone it makes the set feel like 11s. All my favourite guitar players to listen to for the most part used heavier gauged strings and that’s always the tone I’m after. GT: Who was your first influence to play the guitar? DP: The first guy that really made me want to get behind the guitar was Stevie Ray Vaughan. I was given Live At The El Mocambo album at age of 15 to watch, and that pretty much changed everything for me.
Dan Patlansky: contemporary blues man