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Spinal Tap: The Unpublished Nigel Tufnel Interview!

Spinal Tap: The Unpublished Nigel Tufnel Interview!
Spinal Tap: Smalls, Tufnel and St. Hubbins

It’s been a long, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time since Guitar World last spoke with Nigel Tufnel, lead guitarist of the legendary British hard rock band Spinal Tap.

Now that the band has emerged from prolonged hibernation to promote Back from the Dead, their first new album since 1992’s Break Like the Wind, it seemed like a good opportunity to catch up with Tufnel.

It wasn’t, but we got a long interview with him anyway — too long, in fact, to fit into the magazine, so we’re sharing the leftovers here to provide an amuse-bouche in advance of the main course that is Nigel Tunfel’s long-awaited return to Guitar World [September 2009 issue].

GUITAR WORLD A lot of metal artists have converted to Christianity recently. It’s quite a big trend. Does Back from the Dead mean that you’re born again?
NIGEL TUFNEL Oh no. No, no, no, no. Born again is a different thing. Isn’t that about religion or something? No, that’s rubbish. We’re talking about the metaphor of someone being either physically dead or their career is in jeopardy in some way and they’re re-emerging. It’s not some religious thing. We were in limbo, shall we say, for a bit and now we’re not anymore. Now we’re back again. “Back from the Dead” is so that people will maybe understand that. We weren’t religiously changed in any way.

GW I think that will be a relief to many of your fans.
TUFNEL And me as well.

GW The album features new recordings of 11 old Spinal Tap songs. Guitar players should be excited to hear how you revised your old solos on the new album. Tell me how you rethought them.
TUFNEL Soloing, as you know . . . you probably play the guitar, to a point. I don’t know you and I don’t know your recordings, but I assume you play a bit. I don’t follow your solo career to be honest. But my soloing is really otherworldly in a sense that there’s no thinking process at all. It’s not as intellectualized as yours might be, again, not knowing your actual work. So I’m in a bit of a dream state when that happens. After I do it I listen, then know what’s happening but not during. It’s mostly you’re in the moment, right? Yeah.


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