Robin Guthrie: “I’m not playing a guitar – I'm playing the sound, I'm playing the pedals, I'm playing the reverb”

Robin Guthrie
(Image credit: Jeanne Aimon)

Robin Guthrie’s tonal wizardry has had a revolutionary impact on guitar music, but it’s his ears – not the gear – that have always led his approach to playing.

For over 40 years – from his days as the guitarist, songwriter and sonic architect behind UK indie icons Cocteau Twins to his collaborations with composer Harold Budd and myriad solo albums – Guthrie has consistently chased the sound in his head. 

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Matt Parker
Features Editor,

Matt is Features Editor for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.