I got really excited when this song was first written. I guess for me it was a perfect step in the direction I saw for our first album, and I think it turned out to be exactly what I wanted. This song really grasped what we were trying to do at the time in becoming better songwriters with using dynamics and structure.
In the category of "bands far more influential than their back-catalog sales suggest," right next to Joy Division, Wire, The Smiths, Pixies and Gang of Four, sit My Bloody Valentine, the band that ushered in the shoegaze movement with their distorted, reverb-laden brand of experimental alternative rock.
This is a line you have to toe delicately, and unfortunately, there is no exact science or patented formula that will work every time and like a charm. You can't predict when the line is crossed simply because editors and journalists have different levels of tolerance for being pitched. Different strokes, different folks.
As songwriters, we settle into our own individual writing processes. Sitting at that piano late at night. Strumming that guitar, TV on mute and so on -- every process as unique and personal as the musical results they yield. Yet the one thing these exercises hold in common is they all usually center around the use of an instrument. What if, just to change things up, we took that instrument out of the equation?
"There's a whole thing in the book about the different places I've been with Jeff and his mental state. With Truth, it was before any of them [the Jeff Beck Group] were really known. It was just a bunch of great guys, and we had a blast recording it. When we were gonna start the next album, they came in after their first American tour and they had egos out the door. It was obvious very quickly we weren't gonna work well together."
I got a taste of what playing through a really amazing tube amp felt like when I visited my friend Rich and plugged into his vintage Fender Super Reverb. Wowza! My eyes and ears just popped open. Now that’s what rock and roll feels like! So here’s the thing. If I was gonna jam on electric guitar with the band, I needed a killer, ballsy tube amp.
It seems fitting that my first review to be featured in my Oil Slick blog -- a blog about garage rock -- addresses a solo album by one of the genre's most prolific artists, Jack White -- even though he has already removed himself from the landscape his guitar helped carve.
Last time I discussed what I look for in a guitar to achieve my tone. Of course, finding an instrument you like is important, but every piece of gear you use shapes your tone in some way. In this column we'll look at vibrato systems, amps, and effects.
In my video example for this week, I play some bluesy/Indian runs on a fretless, glass-necked guitar I custom-modified for John Frusciante. This interesting job, which I completed in September 2006, was arranged by Frusciante's guitar tech, Dave Lee. I took a Warmouth vintage replacement neck ... click to read more!
A video featuring a mashup of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" and Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" has been making the rounds on the Internet lately, and unlike a vast majority of mashup videos on YouTube, it's actually pretty good. Watch below.