coolest things I have on there is an actual
siren built into a pedal.
Premier Guitar’s motto is “the relentless
pursuit of tone.” How would you define
Good tone is what works for the song. Your tone
forms the basis of each song. Basically, there is
no bad tone, just bad uses of tone. What’s good
for one song can be bad for others. I use lots of
different tones depending on the material.
The tracks I’ve heard from your latest CD
have a very raw, dense quality, as if the band
recorded together in the same room, the
way it was done in the late sixties. Was that
the vibe you were going for this time? You
recorded this disc in your home studio, right?
That’s exactly what we were going for. We
isolated the guitars just enough and everybody
played at the same time going for keepers.
With this record, we went for good takes every
time. If someone screwed up, we did another
take or pieced things together. The whole vibe
was about getting good takes. The musicians I
have now allowed me to operate that way, and
it worked out real well. Aerosmith recorded
Honkin’ On Bobo in my studio the same way.
I’ve always had a home studio. In the beginning, it was just basic four-track stuff, but now, I
have a great studio at my disposal all the time.
I frequently hear older musicians complain
that there are no young guitar heroes. Are
there any young guitarists you like?
I really like Jack White. He plays stuff that
sounds like an exercise, but you can tell he’s
listened to blues guys like John Lee Hooker. I
Performing at the Filmore at Irving Plaza, NYC, Nov. 10, 2009. Photo by Frank White
hear the same thing when I listen to things my
sons play—simple riffs, but you know they can
develop what they’re doing if they work on it.
Jack White will have longetivity. There are a
lot of good young technical players out there.
Do you have any final words of wisdom and
advice for guitarists?
Practice with a metronome. They’re cheap,
you can buy one that attaches to your guitar
strap, and they’re great for developing your
time and feel. Every guitarist, every musician,
should work with a metronome or a click
track to develop a good sense of time.