Spotlight: David Potter of Stand Atlantic

PLAYS IN: Stand Atlantic
SOUNDS LIKE: Punchy pop-punk for energy drink ads
LATEST DROP: Pink Elephant (LP out now via Hopeless)

What’s your current go-to guitar?
I’m playing a Fender Jazzmaster that I picked up from a pawn shop that I used to work at in Burwood. When it first came in it was incredibly cheap and was all I could afford at the time – it wasn’t in great condition and took a lot of love to get into good playing order, but now with a few mods it’s in top shape, and it sounds and plays amazingly.

How did you initially fall in love with the instrument?
My first axe was actually a really terrible Ashton bass guitar that I saved up for months for when I was in high school. I was absolutely terrible at playing it, but it was such a huge outlet for me when I was a teenager and such a great way to de-stress. A little while later, my older brother bought a cheap Ibanez electric guitar, and that was when I first started to actually practise and play more seriously, and I haven’t been able to put down the guitar since.

What inspires you as a player?
Tim Henson from Polyphia is an absolutely amazing guitarist – I would love to be able to play half as good as him some day. I was really inspired by the way his guitar playing interacts with and mimics the production elements and other textures in the songs – it’s almost like an EDM or hip-hop producer’s approach to guitar playing. Not only that, but I’ve been working a lot more on my hybrid picking and use of expressive techniques since I got really heavily into his music and playing.

Are you much of a gear nerd?
Like most guitarists, I used to spend many hours watching rig rundowns and gear demos on YouTube, and trying to plan the biggest, most elaborate rigs that I could, constantly searching second-hand marketplaces to pick up whatever gear I could. But more recently, with the realities of touring full-time, I’ve gotten much more into the idea of making the most streamlined and tidy rig that I can. For that reason I absolutely love my Kemper profiling amp. It takes up three rack units, I can model every amp and effect that we use in the studio, and all the patch changes are controlled by MIDI from our playback rig. The only piece of gear that I need to keep onstage is my Shure GLXD16, which doubles as a tuner.

Do you have any ‘white whales’?
Ever since I first played a guitar with an EverTune bridge installed, I’ve wanted one for myself. The idea of a guitar that almost never goes out of tune sounds perfect to me, considering how much I just throw and trash around my guitar when we play live. Tuning stability has always been a major problem, and an EverTune bridge would be a lifesaver.

What would your signature model look like?
I’d start with a Fender offset body shape, because I find them really comfortable to play and I just think they look really cool. 22-fret neck with a maple fretboard, Bare Knuckle P-90 in the bridge and a humbucker in the neck, but with a switch for a coil split because it’s always great to have that single-coil tone. Finish it up with an EverTune bridge and some locking machine heads, and then paint it black with a neon pink pickguard.

If you could jam with any guitarist, dead or alive...
I have an absolutely huge respect for Tosin Abasi and his playing, and would absolutely love to jam “The Woven Web” or any Animals As Leaders songs – just so I could step back and watch him play some of those massive thump parts.

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…