Sixty 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 top Bri­tish blues gui­tarist,

Guitar Techniques - - INTRO - Innes Si­bun Innes Si­bun plays gui­tar on Sari Schorr’s de­but al­bum A Force Of Na­ture, which was re­leased by Man­haton Records on Septem­ber 2nd. Innes is cur­rently on tour with Sari Schorr & The En­gine Room. For more info visit: www.­bum

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

IS: I use the Gib­son big tri­an­gle heavy gauge picks be­cause I hit the gui­tar pretty hard and any thin­ner and I snap them. I’ve tried us­ing the smaller ones but I just drop them.

GT: You have to give up all your ped­als but three, what will they be?

IS: My most im­por­tant pedal is my Boss tuner; be­cause I hit the gui­tar pretty hard and bend strings a lot I have to watch my tun­ing. The Thorpy Peace Keeper drive pedal is great be­cause the knobs are pro­tected so I don’t kick them. Lastly, my Mool­lon tremolo pedal.

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

IS: I play man­dolin and have played it live and on sev­eral tracks on var­i­ous al­bums. I also love bass.

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

IS: No, I wish I could but I’m com­pletely self-taught. I can get by read­ing chord charts okay but the dots are a mys­tery to me.

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

IS: I guess the more ex­pen­sive ones will prob­a­bly make a dif­fer­ence. I don’t know what make mine are; I’m more in­ter­ested in them be­ing re­li­able as there is noth­ing worse than plug­ging in for a line check at a fes­ti­val and get­ting no sound, so you have to check ev­ery ca­ble, which can be a blind panic mo­ment.

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

IS: Django Rein­hardt was the mas­ter; Jimi, Roy Buchanan, Fred­die King, Peter Green, Rory Gal­lagher, the list is end­less.

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

IS: My ’61 ES-335 be­cause she’s so com­fort­able and sounds so sweet.

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

IS: I use a Fender Su­per­sonic 22-watt combo on the vin­tage chan­nel; vol­ume, tre­ble and bass all at 12 o’clock, and I con­trol vol­ume on the gui­tar. I panic if I’m given an amp with more than three knobs!

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

IS: I like a medium ac­tion and big frets, but not too low as I like to bend strings up un­der the oth­ers. For slide I’m us­ing an MPL cus­tom gui­tar with a very high ac­tion.

GT: What strings do you use?

IS: Ernie Ball be­cause I seem to break fewer. I use 9-46 on Fender type gui­tars, 10-46 on the Gib­son and 12-54 for slide.

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

IS: I heard BB King when I was about 12, which changed my life.

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

IS: A white Strat. I re­mem­ber draw­ing pic­tures of white Strats on my school books and fan­ta­sis­ing about play­ing one, which ex­plains why I did so badly at school.

GT: The best gig you ever did?

IS: The shows with Sari Schorr & The En­gine Room have been so inspiring. We played the Lead­belly Fes­ti­val at the Carnegie Hall a few months ago, which was fun.

GT: And what about your worst play­ing night­mare?

IS: When I played in Robert Plant’s


band we played the Hol­ly­wood Rocks fes­ti­val in Rio at this big sta­dium and MTV filmed the show. I had food poi­son­ing and darted to the side of the stage to throw up, only to see when I looked up that I had just missed barf­ing over Steven Tyler and Joe Perry’s shoes.

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

IS: Be true to your­self, play from the heart and re­mem­ber that 99% of the au­di­ence aren’t in­ter­ested in gym­nas­tics; they want to hear gui­tar that com­ple­ments the song.

GT: If you could put to­gether a fan­tasy band with you in it, who would the other play­ers be?

IS: Donny Hath­away on pi­ano and vo­cals, Wil­lie Weeks on bass, BB King on gui­tar and vo­cals, Roger Hawkins from the Mus­cle Shoals band on drums, with Cor­nel Dupree and my­self on gui­tar.

GT: Who’s the greatest gui­tarist that’s ever lived?

IS: Prob­a­bly Django Rein­hardt, imag­ine him on a Strat? I have some later record­ings of him play­ing be­bop on elec­tric gui­tar, which are so ex­cit­ing. He was one of a kind.

GT: Is there a solo you re­ally wish you had played?

IS: The solo on Good­bye To Love by the Carpenters, also the solo in Easy, by The Com­modores; ev­ery note is an in­te­gral part of the song. All of David Gil­mour’s so­los on Dark Side Of The Moon, too.

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

IS: I’m pretty proud of our ver­sion of Black Betty on the new Sari Schorr al­bum, the solo was the sec­ond take us­ing a 335 into a dimed AC30. Mind you hav­ing Mike Ver­non pro­duc­ing you helps quite a lot!

Innes Si­bun: cur­rently on the road with Sari Schorr

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