Five Min­utes Alone: Clint Low­ery

The Seven­dust man talks Vai, a PRS called Bruce Lee and the real key to sur­vival in a band

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS -

Got my first real six string

“I was orig­i­nally a drum­mer, but I be­came a gui­tarist because I strug­gled to find mu­si­cians who wrote songs. My first in­stru­ment was this Aria Pro II, I don’t even know if peo­ple will have heard of it, but it was a metal-look­ing gui­tar with a thun­der­bolt across it in candy ap­ple red. I don’t have it but I know the guy that does and I re­cently con­tacted him to see if I could get it back. I’m not sure if he wants to give it up…”

Showmethe­way

“My number one is prob­a­bly Steve Vai. He opened up a lot of bar­ri­ers for me, just at­tempt­ing to learn his ma­te­rial when I was young opened my mind. It broad­ened my per­spec­tive on what could be done with the gui­tar. He was more of an ex­trem­ist, very vast in what he did stylis­ti­cally. I’ve had the chance to meet him a cou­ple of times, but I’d love to sit down and learn more…”

Just a cast­away, an is­land lost at sea

“I have this PRS Cus­tom 22 that I got about 15 years ago… I af­fec­tion­ately named it Bruce Lee, and it even has an old Bruce Lee sticker on the back. It’s been my go-to for ev­ery record… since get­ting it, it’s been on ev­ery record­ing I’ve done. There’s noth­ing spe­cial about it other than the wood and the way it feels and plays. I just have an in­cred­i­ble con­nec­tion to it!”

Wait for the black­out

“There’s been a few ha ha! I once had a to­tal shut down in Europe… I think it was Down­load. We were only a few min­utes into the set and my tech at the time didn’t un­der­stand the power con­ver­sion. Ev­ery­thing blew up and I never got the amp go­ing again… we went past our time slot. We’d been dy­ing to get out to this fes­ti­val for such a long time. It was our most gutwrench­ing ex­pe­ri­ence: we had the mo­men­tum, the crowd were there, and all we got was just a lit­tle taste of what it could have been.”

The last hero

“I only ever had one real gui­tar teacher, this guy called Rob­bie Green who him­self had been taught by Jimmy Her­ring, a pretty well-known player. Just watch­ing Rob­bie’s phras­ing and note choices as he made these four-track record­ings by him­self helped me un­der­stand a lot more about mu­sic. Even­tu­ally, we would write so­los to­gether – he saw I had a knack for it and wanted me to de­velop that. He also got me into speed play­ing, more al­ter­nate pick­ing-based stuff. He used to tell me ev­ery note needed to have its own area code and def­i­ni­tion. That’s when it all opened up to me and I started to get faster and faster. He was the gate­keeper that showed me the way!”

It’s al­ways bet­ter when we’re to­gether

“Tour­ing is an art­form in it­self and you need to learn how to sur­vive. When you’re putting a band to­gether, it’s very im­por­tant to find peo­ple you gel with per­son­al­ity-wise. There are a lot of great mu­si­cians out there, but I would rather have some­one that’s on the same page and we can grow to­gether than have some­one in­cred­i­bly tal­ented that goes left when you’re try­ing to go right. Discover what it is that you do best to­gether.”

A change would do you good

“There are so many ha ha! There’s a gui­tar in­tro for the song Waf­fle that I had more ex­pec­ta­tions for… what we ended up us­ing was the scratch track. It’s this lit­tle spooky riff that was once part of an long elab­o­rate in­tro – in the end, it be­came just a lit­tle place­holder and now it re­ally frus­trates me ev­ery time I hear it!”

Seven­dust’s new al­bum Al­liseeiswar is re­leased on 11 May via Rise Records

“Just at­tempt­ing to learn [steve vai’s] ma­te­rial when i was young opened my mind”

Clint Low­ery: solo mae­stro and speed picker

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