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QRD #55 - Guitarist Interview Series VI
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Guitarist Interviews with:
Mason Jones
Chris Wade
Corbie Hill
Davy Curci
Matt Northrup
Xavier Dubois
Tony Sagger
Rich Bennett
Jonas Munk
Matthew Eyles
Francesco “fuzz” Brasini
Shawn Lawson Freeman
Jacques LaMore
Curran Faris
Sean Fewell
Ryan Scally
Shawn Steven
Sophia Johnson
Mick Barr
Joshua Heinrich
Jim Walker
Jacob Peck
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Guitarist Interview with Curran Faris
June 2012

Name: Curran Faris
Bands: Greenhouse, Warsaw
Websites: greenhousedrone.bandcamp.comfacebook.com/pages/Warsaw/227340043970250,

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

Curran – My mom’s classical guitar. It’s sitting upstairs in my office.

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

Curran – Fender Telecaster Thinline - Ernie Ball volume pedal - Boss tuner - Fulltone OCD - Ibanez Tube Screamer - Boss pitch shifter - Electro Harmonix Freeze - Diamond Tremolo - Line 6 DL4 - Electro Harmonix Holy Grail - Verellen Loucks - Sunn 4x12

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

Curran – Tough call, but I’m gonna go with my Loucks.

QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?

Curran – Verellen Loucks. It’s simple, yet extremely touchy & versatile. & it’s pretty loud too. It yields a big range of tones. I discover something new almost every time I play it.

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

Curran – My main guitar for years was a Godin LG. I’ve been using my Tele for a few years now. I like the humbuckers in it. Gives it a bit more heft.

QRD – How many guitars do you own?

Curran – Five.

QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?

Curran – Mostly in their cases. One stays on a stand for easy access. Another is in a corner being neglected.

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

Curran – I’m a total caveman. I stick with what I get, besides from the obvious tune-ups to suit the gauge/tunings I use. If I need something technical done, I take it to Darcy Bunio here in Winnipeg. He’s a wizard.

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

Curran – Pretty thoroughly. I watch as many online videos as I can if I can’t physically try something first.

QRD – Do you change your rig around often?

Curran – Not really. Don’t have the funds to.

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

Curran – I’ve been pretty locked in for a while. I tend to stay away from super high treble. I like smooth, diamond-clear clean tones & loud, but distinct distortion.

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

Curran – Sunn Model T. Gimme.

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

Curran – Best: Sunn 4x12 used for $400. Vox AC-30.

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

Curran – Verellen Amps. Fulltone overdrives.

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

Curran – Chromatic warm-ups.

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

Curran – 10?

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

Curran – Early to mid-twenties, right when I started teaching.

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

Curran – I’m not sure that it does. I can go from feeling perfectly “fitted” with guitar to feeling totally outclassed by it.

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

Curran – After years of teaching, I still think I can’t say one way or the other. I can tell you I wish I had learned piano first.

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

Curran – Both, but mainly an adversary.

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

Curran – Off the top of my head: Jonny Greenwood, Steve Brodsky/Adam McGrath, Andrew Elstner, King Buzzo, Jake Snyder/Dave Knudson, Andy Summers... I dunno. Honestly at this point I’m more influenced & inspired by my friends & bandmates.

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

Curran – Silly.

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

Curran – Dented the finish on my Godin when the volume pot flew off & landed on the body. It was so flukey.

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

Curran – Not nearly enough. Anything more at this point would be great.

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

Curran – I use these Traynor picks that are basically like the Jazz III, but the texture is smoother.

QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?

Curran – D’Addarrio. Jazz gauge. They’re just so dang heavy.

QRD – How often do you change strings?

Curran – When they start sounding bad/feeling gross.

QRD – How often do you break strings?

Curran – Not often.

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

Curran – Strumming. I’ve never been into intense fretboard acrobatics.

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

Curran – If it’s a significant repair or something I will most certainly screw up, Darcy Bunio is where my guitars go.

QRD – What tunings do you use & why?

Curran – Standard, 1/2 step down, drop D, & this drop C tuning with a few twists of my own.

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

Curran – Nowadays, I just record anything I need to remember.

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

Curran – Laziness.

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

Curran – Jazz. Death metal. I have no idea. Probably almost anything.

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

Curran – I used to be one, so maybe I can’t answer this one.

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

Curran – Delay. Jangly chords.

QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?

Curran – Only when I accidentally turn it off & start playing a song & notice half way through that my guitar sounds terrible.

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

Curran – Probably not.

QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?

Curran – My most technical/hectic work was done in my stint with Hide Your Daughters, though that has yet to be recorded since the band is on permanent hiatus. My newest band Warsaw should hopefully record something sometime. Greenhouse is my solo ambient stuff. It’s guitar work, but it’s not obviously guitar - or work.