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QRD #43 - Guitarist Series Part III
about this issue
Guitarist Interviews with:
Jon DeRosa of Aarktica
Brian McKenzie
Invisible Elephant
Wim Lecluyse of Circle Bros
Nick Reinhart of Tera Melos
Matt Stevens
Dan Cohoon of Moral Crayfish
Clayton James Mick
John Trubee
Agata of Melt-Banana
Bones Denault of Shady Lady
Eric Hausmann
PD Wilder of Hotel Hotel
Ryan Wasterlain
Miguel Baptista Benedict
Jim Dennis of Random FX
Jon Attwood of Yellow6
Travis Kotler of Pineal Ventana
Brian Elyo of mobdividual
Joe Morgan
Bill Horist
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Guitarist Interview with Bones Denault of Shady Lady 
August 2010

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
Websites: myspace.com/shadyladyrocks
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.
Worst purchases - Music Man 210-HD amplifier

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

Bones – Like - guitars; Fender, Gibson, Martin, Gretsch
Like - amps; Fender, Mesa Boogie, Bogner, Vox
Like - effects; Digitech, Danelectro, Boss, Vox
Dislike - guitars; any brand that the guitar is poor workmanship
Dislike - amps; any brand that is solid state
Dislike - effects; any brand that is too noisy

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.

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

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!!!