Stones downtime, we all pursue our own thing.
Whether Mick does a film or Keith’s doing his
pirate or making an album. Charlie’s got his jazz
outfits or quintet or quartet or whatever—an
orchestra. He has to keep his chops together.
He loves to play. That’s what I love to do, I
just love to keep playing. Y’know, keeping my
fingers hard at the end—otherwise, you give it
a few months and they start to go soft. It’s no
good. You’ve got to keep working. Keep painting and keep playing.
Other than getting to call all the shots and
make the decisions yourself . . .
Yeah, that’s a good exercise, you know?
Mick Jagger struts his stuff and Wood plies his trade on a Gibson Les Paul Special during the Stones’ August 10, 1994,
Voodoo Lounge tour date at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Ken Settle
But stylistically or as far as how you approach
writing your parts, is it any different from
how you might do it with the Stones?
Not really. I always give my best and I’m always
very natural with it. It’s kind of easier [because]
it’s laid on the plate by the Stones more. Mick
or Keith will have this riff and I interpret it
immediately. “Oh, I know what you need.” And
they know that. With my albums, I often know
what the basis is, and I know where I want to
take it—and that’s why I can have guests on it.
Because if they don’t play it, I’ll play it anyway.
So it’s just a matter of party time—it’s like,
“Okay, let’s party. Let’s have some fun making a
record.” That’s what I love to do.
How do you approach getting the actual
[U2 guitarist] Edge said to me, “How do you
get that tone?” And I said, “Just turning it up
to 10 and hitting the full volume.” [Laughs.] I
don’t use effects . . . very rarely. And he’s Mr.
Effects, and he can’t understand how to do it.
Did you use the same guitars and amps
you would normally use with the Stones
in the studio?
Yeah. My man Dave Rouse, my guitar roadie,
he said, “Do you want the Champ, Ronnie? Do
you want the Deluxe or the Twin?” I usually go
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