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QRD #42 - Guitarist Series
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Guitarist Interviews with:
Ashkelon Sain
Zac Keiller
Eric Muhs
Patrick Vega
Russ Stedman
Bret Hart
Rick Ray
John William Gordon
Evan Peta
Evgeny Zheyda
Dave Halverson
Charles Rice Goff III
Calvin Johnson
Kim Chee
John G Sosnowski
Michael Walton
Annelies Monseré
Eric Quach
Robert Poss
Sarah June
Ted Johnson
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Guitarist Interview with Annelies Monseré 
July 2010
photo by Jessica Bailiff
Name: Annelies Monseré
Websites: www.annelies-monsere.net
Listen to "Will You Be Found"
Listen to "September"

QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?

Annelies – Basically, I never owned a guitar. My brother had a kid’s guitar & that must be the first guitar I played on. It was destroyed (by accident or not - I can’t remember) when my brother was in a sort of high school rock band called “Opposite  Generation.”

QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?

Annelies – Guitar - Feedback - Tremolo - Delay - the “Vintage Time Machine” - amp. But, I usually don’t use all these effects, if any.

QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig – guitar, amplifier, or effects?

Annelies – Guitar.

QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?

Annelies – Park. It’s small & easy to handle. Plus it’s the only one we have that actually works decently.

QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?

Annelies – Gretsch hollow body (of the Historic Series). I didn’t choose this guitar (Wim did), but I like playing it so much that I got into playing guitar more.

QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would  some of its features be?

Annelies – I have no idea.

QRD – How many guitars do you own?

Annelies – Wim & I have two guitars: the electric guitar he bought when he was younger (a Gibson type of guitar - quite nice actually) & the Gretsch.

QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?

Annelies – In the music room in their cases or on a stand. We only have one stand, though, so, one is always in a case.

QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?

Annelies – Straps to put the guitar on your back.

QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?

Annelies – Never bought one, but it should be significantly different from the ones we already have, good sound, ... ?

QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?

Annelies – No idea.

QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?

Annelies – Stick with what I have.

QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?

Annelies – Not much.

QRD – Do you change your rig around often?

Annelies – Never.

QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?

Annelies – I change around, with no good reason.

QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?

Annelies – Maybe a good acoustic guitar would be nice. I like to play a Martin. But “lust after” is too strong. A bass guitar might be nice, too.

QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?

Annelies – Decent sound ...?

QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?

Annelies – Best: Gretsch. Worst: nothing.

QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?

Annelies – I like the Fender Twin amp that was once used on a tour I did. Well, because it sounds good. Multi Effects Processor pedals are most likely the worst idea: guaranteed high school rock band sound.

QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?

Annelies – The song I am working on at the moment or songs that I need to rehearse.

QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?

Annelies – 15?

QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?

Annelies – There is no such thing is my best guitar playing.

QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?

Annelies – Guitar basically does not fit me more than other instruments. Piano 
stays my main & most favorite instrument.

QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?

Annelies – Not sure. Nothing “should” really.

QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?

Annelies – Neither.

QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?

Annelies – Wim (Lecluyse/Circle Bros.) as he leaves the pedals the way he used them, & it makes it easier for me to experiment with them. My guitar playing is so limited than I cannot offend anyone, by claiming I am influenced by them.

QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?

Annelies – Silly.

QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?

Annelies – None.

QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?

Annelies – Nothing.

QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?

Annelies – I play maybe a half hour a week - sometimes more, sometimes less. That’s fine.

QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?

Annelies – No pick.

QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?

Annelies – 0.11. I got a few packages as a present from my boyfriend.

QRD – How often do you change strings?

Annelies – Not much - when they break or when I leave for tour or they seem to be pretty bad.

QRD – How often do you break strings?

Annelies – Not often.

QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?

Annelies – Strumming hand - but, then, I do not strum. I pick. The fact that my fretting hand is not too good has an effect, as a consequence many bad notes are played.

QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?

Annelies – Not set it up at all.

QRD – What tunings do you use & why?

Annelies – The usual one. No particular reason.

QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?

Annelies – Sheet music.

QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?

Annelies – Not very high. Somewhere between Talk Talk & Nirvana (ha-ha).

QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?

Annelies – Making mistakes?

QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?

Annelies – I like drums &/or strings.

QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing do you wish you could do that you can’t?

Annelies – Kim Deal’s? PJ Harvey’s? Basically, I can’t write songs like them.

QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?

Annelies – Playing in a really great rock band...?

QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?

Annelies – Playing a bass line & a high part at the same time.

QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?

Annelies – Capo.

QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?

Annelies – Any.

QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?

Annelies – No.

QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?

Annelies – Learn to listen to the sound & adjust it. Learn not to show off guitar skills, but focus on the songs.

QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?

Annelies – There is no reason at all to try to do that.

QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?

Annelies – Could be good, could be bad.

QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?

Annelies – Not often.

QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?

Annelies – I think that’s a pretty silly difference in my world.

QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?

Annelies – Absolutely not.

QRD – What famous musician’s guitar would you like to own & why?

Annelies – Someone really famous like Eric Clapton or maybe better Kurt Cobain. I could sell it for a lot of money. (again – ha-ha-ha) I really don’t care to own a guitar by some famous musician.

QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?

Annelies – Ha-ha! Well, Marit has a few guitar songs. There will be more guitar on later works, though.

QRD – Anything else?

Annelies – I’m sure it is obvious I am not a guitar player at all. I just use it when I think a songs fits better on guitar.