60 sec­onds with...

A minute’s all it takes to find out what makes a great gui­tarist tick. Be­fore he jumped into his limo for the air­port we grabbed a quick chat with Mar­il­lion’s gui­tarist and cre­ative pow­er­house, Steve Roth­ery

Guitar Techniques - - INTRO -

jeff beck has a mas­tery of the strat that is un­equalled in the his­tory of gui­tar play­ing

GT: Do you have a type of pick that you can’t live with­out?

SR: Mostly I use a stan­dard 0.73mm medium plas­tic pick, but dur­ing the record­ing of my solo al­bum I used a Reefer Pick­boy 0.75mm car­bon/ny­lon pick.

GT: You have to give up all your ped­als but three...

SR: Kingsley Jester valve over­drive/boost, the best over­driven chord and riff sound I’ve ever heard. Analog­man mod­ded Boss DS-1, the solo sound I used through the 80s and 90s; and the Analog­man mi­cro cho­rus, the only cho­rus pedal that ap­proaches my rack-mounted Boss CE-300.

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

SR: I play bass rea­son­ably well. I play it on Don’t Hurt Your­self from the Mar­il­lion al­bum Mar­bles and on the sec­ond al­bum by my project, The Wish­ing Tree.

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

SR: If you gave me a few hours!

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

SR: Yes, they af­fect the amount of high fre­quen­cies that pass through to the am­pli­fier. I’ve found you usu­ally have to bring down the tre­ble and pres­ence on the amp af­ter up­grad­ing. I use mainly Ev­i­dence Au­dio ca­bles.

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

SR: Jeff Beck be­cause he has a unique ap­proach and a mas­tery of the Strat that is un­equalled in the his­tory of gui­tar play­ing. Also he still plays with pas­sion and fire af­ter all th­ese years.

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

SR: My Jack Dent SR Raven that I used on my solo al­bum. It’s about as per­fect as a gui­tar can get!

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

SR: I use ei­ther a Groove Tubes Trio/Dual 75 combo or a Pitcher Shadow SE. I run a Lex­i­con MPX G2 and TC 2290 in be­tween the Groove Tubes and Stry­mon de­lay and re­verb ped­als in the loop of the Pitcher.

GT: What kind of ac­tion do you have on your gui­tars?

SR: Not ex­tremely low as I pre­fer con­trol dur­ing bends to a fast ac­tion. I think gui­tars ring more with a bit more height in the ac­tion.

GT: What strings do you use?

SR: Ernie Ball Cobalt Su­per Slinky 9-42. They han­dle the amount of bend­ing and vi­brato I do bet­ter than any other string I’ve tried.

GT: Who was your first in­flu­ence to play the gui­tar?

SR: Dave Gil­mour, Steve Hack­ett (Gen­e­sis), Andy La­timer (Camel), Ge­orge Har­ri­son.

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

SR: A Yamaha SG2000.

GT: What was the sin­gle best gig you ever did?

SR: Hol­ly­wood Rock fes­ti­val in Sao Paulo in 1990. 80,000 peo­ple go­ing crazy and the first ever con­cert in Brazil.

GT: …and your worst play­ing night­mare?

SR: Fall­ing off stage in pitch black­ness at the end of a gig in Ger­many, around 1987, wearing a dou­ble-neck gui­tar!

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

SR: To steal from as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble!

GT: Do you still prac­tise?

SR: Some­times, but I pre­fer to write when I’m play­ing.

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

SR: Put the book that I’m read­ing down and empty the blad­der be­fore go­ing on!

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

SR: Paul Mc­Cart­ney, bass; Steve Gadd, drums; Rick Wright (Pink Floyd), keys; Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile) vo­cals.

GT: Present com­pany ex­cepted (and not­with­stand­ing the stu­pid­ity of the ques­tion!), who’s the great­est gui­tarist that’s ever lived?

SR: Jimi Hen­drix.

GT: Is there a solo by any­one else that you re­ally wish you had played in­stead?

SR: David Gil­mour, Pink Floyd – Com­fort­ably Numb.

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

SR: The sec­ond solo in This Strange En­gine (ti­tle track of Mar­il­lion’s ninth al­bum).

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

SR: For play­ing what the song needed and no more!

GT: What are you and the band up to at the mo­ment: tours, al­bums, new gear, etc?

SR: We’re about to play a fes­ti­val in Poland, and are cur­rently tour­ing to pro­mote the new Mar­il­lion al­bum F.E.A.R. which is re­leased on Septem­ber 23rd.

Mar­il­lion’s Steve Roth­ery with his Jack Dent gui­tar

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