Jake Bugg on resisting the urge for a guitar adventure – and why his number one acoustic is made from a kitchen table

Jake Bugg
(Image credit: Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

Jake Bugg’s new, fifth album Saturday Night, Sunday Morning is filled with his signature blend of anthemic pop and introspective folk rock. For guitars, he favoured vintage models – and one made from a table…

You say you’ve had more fun making this record than ever before – what made it so?  

“I think I allowed myself to enjoy it, just by being a lot more open-minded this time around and more willing to try new things.“  

What does the new record say about you as a guitarist?  

“To be honest, I think the new record probably doesn’t reflect my playing as much as previous records, but I think that’s because I just tried to play to the songs a bit more this time around. Sometimes, as musicians, you probably stick an extra guitar solo in there that doesn’t need to be there and things like that. I don’t have too many guitar adventures on my albums – we kind of save those for the live shows.“  

Which of your guitars will we hear on the album? 

“On Kiss Like The Sun we used a 000-18 Martin – an old vintage one – which was great. I’ve got a 1940s D-28 which I think I used on a couple of songs, and I have my 1966 Fender Stratocaster, which I just love and that’s my main live guitar. I bought it in Texas many years ago. Also, I have a 1950s Les Paul double cutaway, which I bought in Nashville. That got used on Lonely Hours.“

Do you always buy vintage? 

“I kind of went through a phase of just buying vintage guitars, but I haven’t bought many for a while. I have so many that I still need to use and I’ve got some very special items. I’ve got a 1953 J-185 Gibson acoustic. 

“Apparently – I got told – they only made 860 of them or something ridiculous. I got that in Japan and it’s a bit of a dilemma because you’ve got these beautiful guitars and you don’t want them to get ruined, but they’re also supposed to be played.“

And there’s a guitar made out of a table?

“That’s true! It’s a Patrick Eggle parlour guitar that he made for me. I believe the story was that he had a friend who was getting rid of an old mahogany kitchen table, and I think he paid him thirty quid, and just made me this absolutely stunning guitar. That’s the main acoustic I use live.“

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Ellie Rogers

Since graduating university with a degree in English, Ellie has spent the last decade working in a variety of media, marketing and live events roles. As well as being a regular contributor to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and GuitarWorld.com, she currently heads up the marketing team of a mid-scale venue in the south-west of England. She started dabbling with guitars around the age of seven and has been borderline obsessed ever since. She has a particular fascination with alternate tunings, is forever hunting for the perfect slide for the smaller-handed guitarist, and derives a sadistic pleasure from bothering her drummer mates with a preference for “f**king wonky” time signatures.