Spotlight: Matt Preen of Great Gable

Great Gable
(Image credit: Charlie Hardy)

MATT PREEN

HAILS FROM: Koombana/Bunbury, WA
PLAYS IN: Great Gable
SOUNDS LIKE: Summery, groove-flecked indie-rock
LATEST DROP: On The Wall In The Morning Light (out now via Rainbow Valley / Warner)

What’s your current go-to guitar?
My current guitar has been my go-to for a long time – it’s an American Deluxe Telecaster in aged cherry burst finish. I got it around 2013 during a family trip to America. I wanted that particular guitar in butterscotch, because I was obsessed with Jeff Buckley at the time, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. It’s so versatile and sturdy, I’ve never had any problems with it and it sounds great through practically anything.

How did you initially fall in love with the instrument?
I originally started on acoustic guitar because I loved Jack Johnson, so all I wanted to play was his stuff. The first guitar I got from my parents was this Yamaha acoustic thing, I still have it to this day and it’s usually missing a string at all times. 

What inspires you as a player?
I’ll treat the guitar like its own voice as much as I can without taking away from the songs, because it’s important for it all to compliment each other. I also make sure to treat the guitar as not just a lead instrument – I’m also thinking about rhythm stuff all the time. 

Are you much of a gear nerd?
I wouldn’t consider myself much of a gear nerd, but I do love some music gear. I like the idea of building a little studio filled with vintage gear. For the time being, I’m very happy with my Tele and Vox amp combo, you can’t go wrong with that. 

Do you have any ‘white whales’?
Maybe something like a 12-string Rickenbacker, or George Harrison’s guitar. Otherwise it would probably have to be some nice vintage recording stuff. 

What would your signature model look like?
It would have the body of a Tele but a bit bigger, and a maple fretboard. Vintage Tele bridge, hand-wound soapbar P-90 pickups. A single-ply parchment pickguard, nickel hardware. One volume and tone knob and a toggle switch… Something like that. 

If you could jam with any guitarist, dead or alive...
George Harrison, and I’d be happy just to have a silly blues jam or something.

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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. Their bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (on which they also serve as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Their go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, they only picked up after they’d joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped them see the light…