Interview with Annelies Monseré
Name: Annelies Monseré
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
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