Matt Scannell of Vertical Horizon Shares His "Go-To" Guitars
Years ago I heard folk guitarist David Wilcox say that certain guitars had more songs in them than others. I think this is true, and I've tried to surround myself with guitars that have lots of songs to give.
My first quality acoustic was a late ‘80s Taylor K-22C, and over the years I've been inspired by both modern and vintage guitars. My current "go-to" list includes the guitars in this gallery.
Vertical Horizon was founded in the early 1990s, but it was seven years before lead singer Matt Scannell’s songs became the radio hits that brought the popular grass roots band to national attention. Vertical Horizon released three albums independently (There and Back Again, Running on Ice, and Live Stages) and toured extensively before signing with RCA Records in 1998. In 1999, they released their breakout album, Everything You Want, which went on to sell more than two million copies. The second single off the CD, the title track “Everything You Want,” captured the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 and Adult Top 40 charts, and became Billboard’s Most Played Single of 2000. Having carved out a page in the annals of music history the band garnered further radio attention with “You’re a God” (#4 on Billboard’s Adult Chart) and “Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning).” Vertical Horizon continues to tour extensively and this fall the band released Echoes from the Underground, the second album Vertical Horizon has released on their own label. The album is available on all major digital platforms and select Brick & Mortar retailers.
1978 Ibanez Iceman: Because EVERYONE needs an Iceman. One of the coolest guitars ever.
1964 Fender Jazzmaster: I'm late to the offset world, but these can be absolutely amazing guitars. I love the way this guitar records, and the tremolo may be the greatest ever designed.
PRS Hollowbody II: The piezo pickup system on this guitar is one of our not-so-secret weapons when we play live. I love the added texture it brings, and it makes two guitarists sound like four!
PRS Singlecut: This was built for me with a light mahogany body and extremely light lacquer finish, and it just rings. It's a fantastic guitar. I use it for a lot of the heavier Vertical sounds. It's another fantastic instrument for touring as it never, ever, gives me any problems.
1959 Gibson ES-345: There is something to these old PAF equipped Gibsons. The great ones have an ease of expression and nuance that must be played to be believed. They are also far more "chimey" and clear than many modern humbucking-equipped guitars.
1946 Gibson Southern Jumbo: I love old slope-shouldered Gibsons. This one is always inspiring to play. Instruments with this kind of heritage make me raise my game a bit somehow - they make me want to be "worthy" to be an owner on its journey.
Taylor 910CE: An incredibly solid workhorse for live performance and studio work. I asked Taylor to install the Fishman Prefix pickup system in it, as it seems to suit my playing style better than the Expression System.
Taylor 812C: I usually keep this guitar in Nashville tuning. It's perfect for adding 12 string-style shimmer to a track without having to bring up the low octave in the mix as well.