the Dylan lyrics applied to it. It was about
writing and developing the music and tone
that was original and reflected our band,
but still enabling the lyrics of the original
artist to shine through—that’s the tough
part of doing cover songs.
What attracted you to the Marshall JMC
800 head and Peavey cabinet combo?
The reason behind that was I had to record
a demo for my band on the weekend and
all my gear got stolen out of my van. I only
tone and I was banging my head against
the wall trying to get all this horrible rack
gear—which I thought made my sound
worse—and cab/head combinations, but
nothing really worked. Finally, I went back
to the Marshall head and Peavey cabinet.
I was at rehearsal and I spent at least four
hours tweaking knobs just a hair this way
and a hair that way to a point where I felt
the sound was reasonable, and I marked
those settings. This happened in ’ 88 or
‘ 89 and those markings are the same ones
I’ve used to this day. They are the same
quite a variety of sonic flavors, I’d probably
choose an echo-style pedal because I think
that would sound best since I’d be mournful out there all alone on the desert isle.
I know that one of your other passions, dating back to your Harvard days, is politics.
Obviously, this can be polarizing in music;
how do you react to people who might say
you should just be a guitar player?
Well, I mean I’m a guitar player who lives
in the United States. In the United States,
Photo: Chad Simcox
had a couple days to replace the gear and I
went to the local music store in Hollywood.
I went in there and they only had one
Peavey cabinet, so I bought that. They had
two heads, a Marshall and something else.
I was suspicious of the something else so
I bought the Marshall and that was it. It
worked on that demo and I’ve loved the
sound from that combo to this day—no
magical rhyme or reason, but it has worked
out for me quite well.
markings/settings I used at every show and
every record I’ve ever made.
If you were sent to a desert island—that
happened to have electricity—with one guitar and one effect, which would they be?
Wow, that’s a very good question. If I had
to choose just one guitar and it had to be
an electric, I’d have to say the “Arm the
Homeless” Frankenstein-guitar because
we’ve been friends for a long time. And if I
could only pick one effect pedal… there is
we have what we call the Bill of Rights,
which includes the freedom of speech. So,
first of all, I’d remind them that we have
that freedom and if they prefer a totalitarian society where musicians aren’t allowed
to speak on political matters, they need to
find to another country because it’s not this
one. And don’t get me wrong, these types
of criticisms only come from people who
have dissenting opinions and thoughts.
The argument that musicians need to be
just musicians not fully express themselves
usually stops once they find someone who