Gary Moore Discusses His Latest Album, Gear and Phil Lynott in 1987 Guitar World Interview
In this interview from the September 1987 issue of Guitar World, Gary Moore opens up about about his gear, the late Phil Lynott and his latest album, Wild Frontier.
But there was a solo album, Back On The Streets, with a rhythm section of Simon Phillips (drums) and Lynott (bass and vocals) as well as Colloseum II players Don Airey and John Mole. Then came a few groups and projects back-to-back. GForce followed, and a lengthy stay in the US, which produced collaborations with Cozy Powell, a solo project with Jimmy Bain, Tommy Aldridge and Charlie Hahn and his work with the Greg Lake Band.
These were more-or-less failures for the angry young Irishman, as he sees them now: "Unfortunately, the things didn't work out the way I would have liked them to." The man is clearly a perfectionist.
1983 put an end to the chaos and laid a foundation for continuity, though the cast of characters continued to change. The Gary Moore Band started with Ian Paice (drums), Neil Murray (bass) and Tommy Eyre (keyboards). After a short while, singer John Sloaman and keyboardist Don Airey joined, when they finished their Japanese tour. Then came two albums, Corridors Of Power and Victims Of The Future. With the latter, Neil Carter (Ex-UFO, keyboards, bass, vocals) joined the band.
Gary Moore and his band played everything from the smallest gigs in London to never-ending tours of huge concert arenas of Europe. The live double-album We Want Moore is the acoustic document of this phase. The beautiful ballad, "Empty Rooms," became a smash hit.
With the LP Run For Cover, Gary Moore, with the influence of Neil Carter, became more open to stylistic variations, and in commercial hindsight, began to leave the typical Gary Moore style behind. Carter continues to push Moore in the current direction as the band's co-leader. This brings us to the current tour and the new album, Wild Frontier, which is a watershed, indeed.
Mixology: The Beat of a Different Drum
The obvious Irish influences behind Wild Frontier and the tribute to Phil Lynott ("Johnny Boy") illustrate how Moore has switched over to combine the most modern studio techniques with what for him is an unusual way of producing.
The basic tracks were not, as earlier, laid down with the goal of getting a good drum track first and then building up the song. Because of drummer problems – Ian Paice went back to Deep Purple and Gary Ferguson left the band -- Moore was forced to remember that there is such a thing as a drum computer.
After he put down a few demos with digital drums, the greater part of the drum tracks was set down in the Marcus Studio in London with a Linn 9000. As soon as most of the tracks were finished , Roland Carridge ("Reflex") came and did some overdubs.
This kind of work is completely normal these days, because the final drum parts and fills can be altered to fit the arrangements, which, during a Gary Moore production, are constantly changing. Billy Idol and Steve Stevens use the same method.
A change is also clearly perceptible in Gary's guitar playing. Until about two-and-a-half years ago, Gary never took to the stage without his red Stratocaster and his beautiful old Les Paul Standard. "The Strat is from 1960. It belonged to Tommy Steele, a well-known rock 'n' roll singer in England in the sixties. It's still in mint condition, exactly as Hank Marvin once played it. The Les Paul Standard, I bought it one day from [Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green. It's the same guitar Peter used when he wrote "Albatross," "Oh Well" and all those other songs."
In the meantime, Gary Moore has become more and more interested in new guitars, although he started off the G-Force project playing a Charvel. Since he found a reliable guitar tech in Keith Page, the Floyd Rose System has become a stronger component of his show.
"I always used the old Fender for a particular sound. As I brought my equipment up to date, I thought I should give the Floyd Rose System another chance. When I first tried it out, it didn't have a very fine sound, and I didn't think you could do much with it live. Now I see the whole thing differently, and I must say I've gotten used to it.
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