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 Robert Glendinning – guitarist of Marshall Records’ new signing, Bad Touch.
Robert Glendinning, lead guitarist with Marshall Records’s new signing, Bad Touch.
GT: Do you have a type of pick that you can’t live without?
RG: I’m not too fussy with picks. As long as it doesn’t flex I’m happy, so anything above 1.2mm I’m okay with. Jim Dunlop Tortex are probably my favourite.
GT: If you had to give up all your pedals but three, which ones would you keep?
RG: Probably a tuner. In fact definitely a tuner. I’m a Gibson guy so need a tuner. A delay and boost in the FX loop are the other two for solos.
GT: Do you play another musical instrument well enough to be in a band, and have you ever done it?
RG: Definitely not. But that’s the great thing about being in a band; I always envy those guys who can pick up any instrument. I just play guitar and I struggle at that.
GT: If a music chart were put in front of you, could you read it?
RG: Tab probably yes, but classical sheet music might take me a while. I studied classical music a while back but am probably a bit rusty now and things like sight reading need to be practised frequently.
GT: Do guitar cables really make a difference? What make are yours?
RG: I think as long as you get a reasonable quality cable, you’ll be fine. I think a real long cable can take some high end away but nothing an audience would pick up at a show.
GT: Is there anyone’s playing (either past or present) that you’re slightly jealous of?
RG: There are loads of players I’m jealous of. My all-time favourites are: Jimmy Page, Slash, then The Allman Brothers and Derek Trucks. Regarding slide, Joe Perry and Greg Martin, too. For me, discovering guitarists is part of the fun. Of the more recent guitarists, Chris Buck of Buck & Evans is right up there.
GT: Your studio is burning down: which guitar do you salvage?
RG: That’s easy - my R7 Goldtop. My dad bought me that guitar. I use it at every show and as long as it keeps going I’ll keep using it. It’s had a fair bit of work as we do a fair amount of shows, but it’s still going strong.
GT: What’s your favourite amp and how do you set it?
RG: My favourite amp is my original Marshall Silver Jubilee that I bought about five years ago. I use the reissue version on the road and record with the original. Those things just scream when you turn them up.
GT: What kind of action do you have on your guitars?
RG: To be honest, I don’t know. Darren our tech sets the guitars up and they always play good to me. I’m not great on the technical side; I just love playing them.
GT: What strings do you use?
RG: At the moment Rotosound Reds, 11-48. I like heavier gauge strings. I don’t really know why. I think it’s just what I’ve become accustomed to, and if it works then don’t change it.
GT: Who was your first influence to play the guitar?
RG: My first influence was Slash, watching the Paradise City video on MTV and going, “I wanna do that”. Appetite For Destruction was a pretty good introduction to taking guitar seriously.
GT: What was the first guitar you really lusted after?
RG: A Les Paul, always a Les Paul. I’ve had loads of guitars but for me nothing feels and sounds as good as a Les Paul. I started on a Fender Strat, then I got an Epiphone Les Paul, and since then haven’t looked back. More recently I’ve been wanting a 335 as they just look great. I’ll have to see how that goes.
GT: What do you think was the best gig you ever did?
RG: Some of the bigger festival slots we’ve done like Download, Ramblin’ Man Fair and Steelhouse Festival were brilliant. However, there’s something rather special about going on your first headline tour and having people singing your songs back to you. I guess all gigs have their own thing going on.
GT: And do you have a worst playing nightmare?
RG: I get most stressed when I can’t use my own gear. I hate that. You have like 20 minutes to get a sound from an amp you’ve never played, and that’s sometimes tough. If I couldn’t use any of my gear that would be pretty bad.
GT: What’s the most important musical lesson you ever learn?
RG: The most important thing would be not to overplay, because the players I like don’t. If you’re going to play something it needs to go somewhere and add to the song, rather than be there just for your own sake.
GT: Do you still practise?
RG: I try. I’ve tried recently to get into a habit of practising specific things rather than just playing random things. I recently bought a loop pedal to help; playing chords, looping them and trying specific ideas over really helps.
GT: Do you have a pre-gig warm-up routine?
RG: No, not really. I prefer to just get up and play than stew on things for too long.
GT: If you could put together a fantasy band with you in it, who would the other players be (either dead or alive?)
RG: My fantasy band would be Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham, and John Fred Young from Black Stone Cherry (I’m going for two drummers because I can’t decide). John Paul Jones on bass, Duane Allman on slide guitar and Chris Stapleton on vocals.
GT: Present company excepted, who’s the greatest guitarist that’s ever lived?
RG: I don’t really think you can choose the greatest guitarist of all time; you have technically great players, great ‘feel’ players and great songwriters. The guitarists who have influenced me the most are Jimmy Page and Slash.
GT: Is there a solo by someone else you really wish you had played?
RG: There are loads. Obviously, Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven is well up there, as is Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine. Solos that you can sing tend to get me, ones that have more of a vocal feel. Oh, and don’t forget Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Freebird.
GT: What’s the solo or song of your own that you’re most proud of?
RG: I like all our stuff. But I’m quite self-critical. When I record something I always think I could have done it better. I’m never really satisfied.
GT: What would you most like to be remembered for?
RG: For writing great songs. The main thing is to have great songs.
Bad Touch, featuring guitarists Daniel Seekings and Robert Glendinning, release their new album, Shake A Leg, on Marshall Records on October 5th. Bad Touch’s headline tour starts October 17th Further info: www. badtouchrocks.co.uk
i st udied classic al music but I’m a bit rusty no w. thin gs like si ght readin g need to be practised frequent ly
there’s so met hin g rather speci al about goin g on yo ur first headline to ur and havin g peo ple sin gin g yo ur son gs back to yo u Robert Glendinning