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Spotlight: Will Wright of Choosing Sides

Choosing Sides
(Image credit: Deadend Visuals)

WILL WRIGHT

HAILS FROM: Adelaide, SA
PLAYS IN: Choosing Sides
SOUNDS LIKE: Screaming, sun-kissed rock 'n' roll
LATEST DROP: All I Need (EP out now independently)

What’s your current go-to guitar?
As a band we are massive lovers of Fender Telecasters, originally both playing them in our early days, they really shaped our sound. In the past year or so I decided to take on a Jazzmaster project guitar which was sculpted to compliment Michael’s lead guitar tones. It was super tricky to source guitar parts throughout the pandemic, but I think I ended up making something really unique. I decided to swap out the humbucker setup that came with the body to put in a really smooth Lollar JM style pickup in the neck position and a P90 style pickup in the bridge. We love Tele’s because of how versatile they are and how their purely simple design compliments our way of making music. 

How did you initially fall in love with the instrument?
My parents actually tried to get my brother to play guitar, but he didn’t really align with the world of stringed instruments (he’s now the band’s drummer). I took his acoustic guitar and started playing along to my favourite songs at the time and have never looked back. I now own about 10 guitars and have an addiction that will never go away. 

What inspires you as a player?
I really love the riffy rhythm tones that Alex Turner uses throughout the different stages of the Arctic Monkeys discography. I tend to base my tone off of a bunch of UK indie rock bands including the likes of Catfish And The Bottlemen and Foals.

Are you much of a gear nerd?
We both revolve our tones around Vox AC30 and AC15 amps. The chimey and bright tones are super ideal for our style of music and allow riffs and lead lines to really cut through a mix. My personal favourite pedal is the ProCo Rat because it’s the gnarliest, but must malleable distortion pedal I’ve ever used. It is perfect for our heavier sounds, but also works amazingly after an overdrive to add a bit more crunch. 

Do you have any ‘white whales’?
I would love to get my hands on a Sunn Model T amplifier because they have such a thick sustain sound and they are nearly impossible to find. 

What would your signature model look like?
I’d go with a white thinline Fender Jazzmaster with a white pearl pickguard, black knobs and hardware. With a ’58-style JM pickup in the neck position and a P-90 in the bridge position. I love being able to have the balance between the smooth and mellow tones of the JM neck sounds whilst having the raunchy aggression of a P-90.

If you could jam with any guitarist, dead or alive...
If I could jam with any guitarist, I would definitely choose Jimmy Page. He’s an absolute legend of the instrument and has had such a massive effect on modern rock music. It would be incredible to hear the secrets behind his tones and his way of writing riffs and licks.

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Matt Doria 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), 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, Matt was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped them see the light…