Interview with Bones Denault of Shady Lady
Name: Bones Denault
Bands: Shady Lady, L.D. & The Monkey Kings, Twenty Twenty, Hero, Drive, C.U.N.T.S.P.A.S.M. Band
Listen to “Save Me”
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Bones – It was a Stella. I gave it to my younger brother, but I don’t know what he did with it.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Bones – Gibson V or G&L Strat, DOD Digital Delay/Sampler, DigiTech RP150, 1968 Fender Super Reverb.
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig – guitar, amplifier, or effects?
Bones – Guitar!
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Bones – A Fender Super Reverb. Tone.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Bones – Currently a G&L Strat... its features that make it so are its tremolo & tone.
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Bones – Something like a custom made Outlaw Palomino guitar with its chambered body, Gibson style neck, locking tuners, & Bigsby tremolo because every inch of it is top of the line.
QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?
Bones – I don’t know. There are just so many good pedals available with a wide variety to choose from. I really can’t answer this without a lot of thought put into it.
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Bones – I have fifteen at the moment.
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Bones – Most are on String Swings on my walls.
QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?
Bones – More storage space.
QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?
Bones – Quality of workmanship & feel.
QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?
Bones – $500.00 to whatever you are willing & can afford to pay.
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?
Bones – Yes, I do upgrade & customize them.
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?
Bones – Thoroughly, I look for the quietest place in the store. Then go sit down & play it.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Bones – No.
QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?
Bones – I like to change the tone a lot.
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?
Bones – Nothing really. I have plenty that suit me just fine.
QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?
Bones – Ease of playing.
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?
Bones – Best purchases - a brand new 1967
Martin D-18 (which I let Jimi Hendrix play one night at our house), my
‘65 Guild Thunderbird, a 1929 Rickenbacker Hawaiian lap guitar with original
case & amplifier.
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?
Bones – Like - guitars; Fender, Gibson,
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Bones – An E chord to see if it’s in tune.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Bones – I was twelve.
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Bones – At about 23 or 24 years of age.
Bones – Well, it’s the instrument that I put the most time into.
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?
Bones – Sure why not?
QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?
Bones – Ally.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?
Bones – That’s a very complex question. Many guitarists have influenced me over the years, but none have totally influenced my sound.
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?
Bones – What’s wrong with that? I name mine, but I really think that is totally up to the individual.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?
Bones – My Guild Thunderbird’s neck got broken once when I left it out at a Shady Lady rehearsal studio & a guy named Velvert Turner broke it during a midnight jam.
QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?
Bones – Jam weekly with various musicians other than Shady Lady.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Bones – At least 4 or 5 hours a week.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Bones – A heavy thumb.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Bones – Elevens or heavier for attack.
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Bones – When they lose brilliance.
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Bones – Not very often. Once in a great while because of heavy strings & I do hammer hard!
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Bones – Both are important to me because they both PERFECT my style.
QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?
Bones – Myself because I learned how a long time ago & because I am a cheap bastard.
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Bones – Standard & open tunings for slide.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
Bones – None, I use recording devices.
QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?
Bones – Low enough so that it doesn’t rub my nipples!
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Bones – Falling on the floor in the middle of my solo.
QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?
Bones – Anything with strings.
QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can’t?
Bones – Hmm... You mean playing with my teeth like Hendrix perhaps???
QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?
Bones – Performing at Carnegie Hall.
QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?
Bones – Honestly, I don’t remember.
QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?
Bones – Slide.
QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?
Bones – I would like to master my improvisational skills.
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Bones – No.
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Bones – Well, today the teaching levels cover just about everything. So there is probably nothing that I could teach them that any other good guitar teacher wouldn’t teach them.
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Bones – Firstly be accomplished & think simple... sometimes less is more. & have fun.
QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?
Bones – Love them.
QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?
Bones – Every song & in some songs more than once.
QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?
Bones – I don’t believe there is a difference.
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Bones – Let’s just say I can appreciate individual good players in a not so good band.
QRD – What famous musician’s guitar would you like to own & why?
Bones – One of Les Paul’s used instruments. Why??? Because anything Les Paul used was a super fine instrument.
QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?
Bones – I don’t know if he is the most innovative guitar player, but Jeff Beck gets my vote.
QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?
Bones – On the Shady Lady - Raving Mad album.
QRD – Anything else?
Bones – Yes, I want to say thanks for the interview & to anybody out there thinking about picking up guitar, PRACTICE!!!