with Jacques LaMore
Name: Jacques LaMore
Bands: The Projection
Websites: www.theprojectionband.com, www.facebook.com/theprojection
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Jacques – My first guitar was a Lotus strat. I was 10 or 11? I’m not sure what happened to it. I think I just gave it away. It was a cheap guitar. Nothing special.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Jacques – My standard Mexican made Fender Telecaster (with a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Pick-Up), a Boss stomp box tuner, & either an Orange, Marshall, or Mesa amplifier.
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?
Jacques – I would say my Fender Telecaster is the most important part. I prefer a good tube amp over anything; but, if someone gave me nothing but a solid-state amp, I could still make it sound decent.
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Jacques – Right now, I’m playing through an Orange Dual Terror head through a 1x12 cabinet with a Celestion Vintage 30 in it. My main amplifier is hands down always a tube amp. You cannot get decent, true, warm tones through a solid state. Solid state is way too compressed, thin, & tinny.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Jacques – My main guitar is a standard Mexican made Fender Telecaster. The feature that makes it my main axe is the Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pick-up I have installed. Seymour Duncan is by far my favorite humbucker & without having the Hot Rails in there, this guitar would be very limited. This pick-up gives you the versatility to play more than one genre if need be. The second feature I like about my Tele is that it stays in tune! I love the sound of a Gibson, but finding one & setting one up to stay in tune is a bitch!
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Jacques – Damn, this is a tough question. My favorite body types are Teles, Les Pauls, & hollowbodies. I have a huge heart for them all. I wouldn’t mind having a killer looking Les Paul with a beefy sound, but also has clarity & stays in tune. I’m always very fond of Dave Grohl’s (Foo Fighters) semi-hollow body that he usually plays with.
QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?
Jacques – I’m currently not much of a pedal person. I don’t use a lot of effects or have the money to invest in good pedals.
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Jacques – I currently own four. Three electrics & one acoustic.
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Jacques – I store them in our practice space in my basement.
QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?
Jacques – More storage & that the support straps to keep the guitar case open wouldn’t break so easily.
QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?
Jacques – Sharp look, awesome thick beefy tone, & tunes well.
QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?
Jacques – That’s something you can’t really put on price on. It’s more or less what you have done to modify the guitar to make it your own.
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?
Jacques – There have been very few guitars I’ve owned that I haven’t wanted to do something with it. Usually, it’s changing the pick-ups, tuning machines, or bridge.
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?
Jacques – Lately, I’ve learned from a good friend of mine that it’s extremely important to do lots of research on an item before you buy. Not just research, but also testing it out a few times & checking out all its features. This is very important. Especially if you’re dropping lots of money.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Jacques – I like to upgrade when it’s needed. I’ve had several different rigs in the past 6 or 7 years. I haven’t changed my rig that many times in the past few years.
QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?
Jacques – I’m usually after one particular tone. I don’t change my tone around that much. I’m always in the same area with the same idea in mind.
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?
Jacques – Gibson Les Paul Studio, Fender Blacktop Telecaster HH, Ibanez Artcore Hollow body, Taylor Grand Auditorium Acoustic-electric, Orange Rockerverb, -Sennheiser XS Wireless Instrument system.
QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?
Jacques – Tuning!
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?
Jacques – Best purchase I ever made was my Fender Telecaster. Worst purchase was probably a Line 6 Spider II 2x12 combo amp.
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?
Jacques – I pretty much dis-like any solid-state amps like I said before. My favorite amps are: Marshall, Orange, Mesa Boogie, Vox, Fender, & Peavey.
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Jacques – Usually “My Worst Enemy” by LIT.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Jacques – I started playing bass at 10/11 & guitar at 13/14.
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Jacques – I would say now.
QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?
Jacques – I think it fits me because I’m very tight with my strumming & rhythm playing.
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?
Jacques – No. I think it should be piano or another classical instrument. Or even classical guitar.
QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?
Jacques – Both.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?
Jacques – Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day, John Feldmann of Goldfinger, & Aaron Barrett of Reel Big Fish, & Ryan Key of Yellowcard are my main influences when it comes to playing. For sound though, I like more of the guitar tones of Goldfinger, MxPx, Yellowcard, or Sum 41. Those are just a few. I could go on!
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?
Jacques – Ha-ha, I do find it a little silly sometimes, but it is very natural. I don’t have names for my guitars. It’s just not my thing. I do love it when people have cool names for their instruments though.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?
Jacques – When I was in 8th grade, I had a nice Martin acoustic. I was finishing up going out for Halloween & I had my guitar strapped on me while I was fixing my hair. The guitar slipped from my shoulder & crashed on the hardwood floor. It broke the bottom corner of the guitar as well as a dent in the back. I was pissed! I still own that guitar. I don’t use it for shows though. The hole I made is taped up with medical tape. It’s my ghetto looking guitar.
QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?
Jacques – I try my best to exercise & eat somewhat healthy. It does help when you want to bounce up & down at shows & not loose your breath.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Jacques – I would say 2 to 5 hours a week. I would like to play 7 to 10 hours a week.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Jacques – I like to use medium to heavy weight picks. It gives me the best attack. Right now, I use custom made picks with The Projection’s name on them.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Jacques – I use the 10 gauge strings. I used to use 9 gauge, but I would break strings quicker that way because I strum hard. I went up to 10 because I wanted something a little thicker so they wouldn’t break, but I didn’t want to have extremely thick strings to pluck on either.
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Jacques – It depends on how often we are playing shows or practicing. I’d say every few weeks.
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Jacques – I don’t break strings too often. Just once in a great while. I like to change the strings before they break.
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Jacques – Both are very important in the style I play but I think the strumming hand is the most proficient. The way I attack the notes is very important in our songs because most times, the snare drum follows my attacks exactly. If they don’t match up, it sounds sloppy.
QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?
Jacques – I don’t have the time or the patience to set up my guitar properly. I always take it to a professional.
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Jacques – Currently I use the E standard tuning & drop D. I occasionally use a capo.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
Jacques – I use tabs every once & awhile. Most of what I do is done by ear.
QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?
Jacques – My guitar is low compared to most people. Watch any pop-punk bands from the 90s & early 2000s & you’ll know exactly where I set my guitar height.
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Jacques – I wish I could play a guitar with a thicker neck. I struggle with that. Especially on a Les Paul.
QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?
Jacques – Piano & drums.
QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can’t?
Jacques – Any sort of lead guitar, country, finger picking….
QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?
Jacques – Learning how to play lead guitar or doing solos.
QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?
Jacques – Just a little bit of delay on your amp or through a pedal can add some sustain to your guitar.
QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc.)?
Jacques – Pick holder on a mic stand.
QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?
Jacques – Being able to shred a little.
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Jacques – I’ve never taken guitar lessons. I’ve only learned from teaching myself or other guitar players.
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Jacques – Different strumming/picking techniques. I’m not sure what guitar teachers teach, but that would be what I would do.
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Jacques – Listen & watch a lot of 90’s/early 00s pop punk.
QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?
Jacques – They are cool, but can be a pain. I would only suggest having one if you use it a lot on stage.
QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?
Jacques – I never adjust the tone knob on my guitar. On my amp however, I tweak it a little bit depending on where we are playing.
QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?
Jacques – I think it’s usually obvious. The rhythm guitar player is more of a songwriter who focuses on melody than a lead guitarist who tries to compliment that melody with leads or solos. One is foundation & one is the sugar ‘n’ spice. Not that ALL lead guitarist are like this because I know some who are very good songwriters as well.
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Jacques – Yes, sometimes I can, but not always. I can always admire the best musicians in the band if the band as a whole is not good together.
QRD – What famous musician’s guitar would you like to own & why?
Jacques – Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters & John Feldmann of Goldfinger are the two I can think of at the moment. Grohl just has a full tone while being sharp enough to be clear. Feldmann has a beefy wall of tone & punch that I have always loved & can’t seem to completely match it.
QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?
Jacques – I’m a big fan of my friend Kevin Wright from The Righteous Hillbillies. He may not be well known to everyone in the universe, but his never ending thirst for that perfect tone & creativity like a mad man makes him very innovative.
QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?
Jacques – I’d say my best guitar work could be heard on The Projection’s latest album While You Were Out.
QRD – Anything else?
Jacques – Tube amps are ALWAYS better than solid-state amp no matter what. Having a tuner on stage with you is very important! I think that’s it for now………