Interview with Tam
Bands: Tam / The Vampires
Websites: www.myspace.com/tamofvampires, www.ecstaticpeace.com, www.youtube.com/user/tamisabel, www.cdbaby.com/artist/tam1, www.sonicbids.com/tamok
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Tam – Classical Aria. I sold it cuz it was cracked.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Tam – Electric guitar “Tracer” to overdrive or delay to Fender amp.
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig – guitar, amplifier, or effects?
Tam – Guitar & drum trax.
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Tam – Fender. A friend gave it to me. Sounds dirty.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Tam – Tracer. It's a copy of a Les Paul cuz I never could afford a real Les Paul.
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Tam – Red hollow bodied f-hole guitar (Gretcsch I think it is).
QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?
Tam – 200 effects in one box.
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Tam – 2.
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Tam – In their cases. At a friends place.
QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?
Tam – Cost. Haha.
QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?
Tam – Nothing. Given by a worshipping admirer.
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?
Tam – No.
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?
Tam – About a half hour. Plug it in, see if it works.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Tam – No.
QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?
Tam – One. Only vary if the song requires it.
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?
Tam – No idea. Red hollow bodied f hole electric guitar. Vox amp. 200 effect pedal box.
QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?
Tam – A picture of a loved one.
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?
Tam – Strings. I hate changin’ ‘em. Bad straps that fall off.
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?
Tam – Gibson, cuz everybody has one & everybody wants one. I hate those oval shaped acoustics too. Ovation I think they’re called, sounds like menstrual problems.… I hate 2 guitars on one... heavy metal nightmares.…
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Tam – What a stupid question... that depends what mood I’m in on that day?!
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Tam – 16 or so.
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Tam – 25.
QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?
Tam – No.
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?
Tam – No. Piano is best. Easier to learn notes.
QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?
Tam – Both when I can’t play what I wish I could.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?
Tam – Django Reinhardt/Mike King, John Reissner, Harry Howard, William Reid, Dave Wenger, Andy Flesh, the guy from Love & Rockets, Nick Cave’s guitarists.
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly?
Tam – Depends on what chemicals have been ingested.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?
Tam – I don’t hurt my guitars.
QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?
Tam – I listen to guitar parts from songs I like.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Tam – Varies if I have a show or not, 10-20 hours... more I guess, but I cant make noise where I live.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Tam – Purple Dunlop, cuz they’re hard & solid & Mike King showed me they were the best & he was right.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Tam – Medium... not too light, but doesn’t hurt your fingers.
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Tam – Never. Only if one breaks.
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Tam – Not a good question. Never jinx never.
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Tam – My hand doesn’t fret, my mind does & that’s what affects my style... the amount of fretting!
QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?
Tam – Myself.
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Tam – Regular. Sounds good. Though I should experiment more I suppose.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
Tam – Tablature.
QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?
Tam – Down by my hips.
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Tam – I wish I didn’t play such complicated songs so that I could dance around while I play, plus my guitar is so heavy, I need a light one but don’t wanna get rid of my heavy one.
QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?
Tam – Piano or bass.
QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing do you wish you could do that you can’t?
Tam – Feedback noise style.
QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?
Tam – Really fast solos.
QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?
Tam – Bass lines as guitar lines.
QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?
Tam – Feedback.
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Tam – Yes, from Mike King. I learned about a billion swing jazz chords in diminished & augmented etc., etc.
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Tam – Dim & aug chords.
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Tam – Take a lot of drugs.
QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?
Tam – Too clichéd.
QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?
Tam – Stupid question.
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Tam – No.
QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?
Tam – Black blues busker I see playing the metro cuz his guitar is so out of tune, yet he makes it shine.
QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?
Tam – www.sonicbids.com/tamok
QRD – Anything else?
Tam – Book me
on tour please ASAP! Europe
& UK I need to go! Need a tour manager, thanks.