QRD - Current Issue   About QRD   QRD Archives
QRD #55 - Guitarist Interview Series VI
QRD - Thanks for your interest & support
about this issue
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
QRD - Advertise
Silber Records
Silber Button Factory
Silber Kickstarter
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Tony Sagger
Guitarist Interview with Tony Sagger
June 2012
Tony Sagger
Listen to “Dead Mouths”
Listen to “Icicle”

Name: Tony Sagger
Bands: DrugsDragons, currently. previous, Sagger, Night Terrors, Tony Sagger one bad man, Night Terrorists.

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

Tony – Harmony electric from Sears & I think I gave it to someone as I do with most of my toys.…

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

Tony – Epiphone Les Paul Junior, analog 2 second delay, Fender tube 1x12, Crate 1x10 (the old wood box one).

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

Tony – Amp, guitar, effects - if playing live. Guitar for any other times.

QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?

Tony – The Fender 1x12. Those newer Fender tube amps really hold up & have a great distortion & natural sound.

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

Tony – An Epiphone Les Paul Junior with one p-90 pickup. I just like its sound & simplicity.

QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?

Tony – Probably keep it simple with 1 pickup & a classic body type.

QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?

Tony – I have really been getting into analog delay pedals since I started DrugDragons, so probably something like that; but if you keep the awesome sound & still do things like having multiple loops or settings going at the same time.

QRD – How many guitars do you own?

Tony – It varies, but as of now, 5.

QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?

Tony – Wherever & however I feel like.... I do try to take a little better care of them nowadays.

QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?

Tony – Time machines.

QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?

Tony – Price, style, sound.

QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?

Tony – 100 bucks.

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

Tony – Stick with what I get usually, until I mess it up & then customize it randomly.

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

Tony – Somewhat. Not too much really, I just go with the impulse/feeling.

QRD – Do you change your rig around often?

Tony – Only really when starting a new band or breaking something.

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

Tony – I pretty much lock in for whatever band I am in, but I love experimenting at home.

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

Tony – Other then what I have already, a double cut away Les Paul Junior.

QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?

Tony – Set up to have a close action on the fret board. It really helps to not have to put in as much effort to make chords when learning.

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

Tony – Best - My current guitar & amp, as mentioned above.
Worst - I’ve had probably 200 guitars in my life. So, most of them. Just cheap pieces of shit that break easy, or look cool & sound like crap.

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

Tony – I mentioned most above, except for effects. I like Digitech for the delay, & Boss stage tuners are essential. Gibson guitars are beautiful, but too expensive.…

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

Tony – Whatever I’m feeling. Mostly just noodling, but possibly a new song I’m working on.

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

Tony – 17, more habitually.

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

Tony – Not really sure I have yet, if I did, I don’t really think it would be as interesting to me.

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

Tony – Mostly because I have put the most work into it & it was my first musical love.

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

Tony – I think people in general just identify with guitar first more than anything else. As long as it opens you up to playing music, it doesn’t really matter.

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

Tony – Most definitely my ally. It can articulate what is in my head better than words & in most cases, any other instruments.

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

Tony – So many really, but if I have to narrow it down, I would say Johnny Thunders, Timmy Vulgar, & Ryan Killawatt.

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

Tony – I don’t really care. I know many who have, many who haven’t. Currently I don’t, but do have puffy pig stickers on a bunch of mine..…

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

Tony – I’ve smashed at least 5 guitars at shows in the last 10 years, but at the last DrugsDragons show, I did at least 50 bucks damage, hitting it on the floor & surfing on it.

QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?

Tony – I just think about music constantly. Whether it be humming a song to myself or thinking about ways I can elaborate on things I am currently working on.

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

Tony – Probably 10 & I would like to at least 40.

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

Tony – Jim Dunlop. Just feels good in my fingers.

QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?

Tony – Custom Ernie Balls, 11s thru 48s. Good bass & lead playing strings.

QRD – How often do you change strings?

Tony – Once a month, ideally, but see below...

QRD – How often do you break strings?

Tony – Somewhat often, rarely at shows anymore.… That’s why I randomly replace strings somewhat often, some just aren’t as lucky!

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

Tony – It should probably always be your fretting hand. As I’ve always said if you had to lose one hand, it should probably be your strumming hand, because you can always just get a dummy hand with a pick glued in.

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

Tony – I have, not too much anymore. I have an awesome set of dudes at a guitar shop in Milwaukee that always do me right. Rockhaus in Milwaukee, WI.

QRD – What tunings do you use & why?

Tony – Mostly standard, but as mentioned above, I like to mess around at home with whatever.

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

Tony – My own system of notes & scribbles.

QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?

Tony – Over my belly generally, sometimes over my head.

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

Tony – Not playing enough.

QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?

Tony – Drums, definitely. It helps to have some sense of what your playing with & writing songs.

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

Tony – Finger picking.

QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?

Tony – Goals...

QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?

Tony – Tricks...

QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?

Tony – String winder! Also, string cutter.

QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?

Tony – Huh?

QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?

Tony – Nope.…

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

Tony – Not sure, I teach what I know that can help someone.

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

Tony – Be retarded & fucked up in the head.…

QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?

Tony – I’ve used them before, they’re overrated.

QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?

Tony – Tone knob?

QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?

Tony – Someone who can’t balance the note & chord parts of a song.

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

Tony – Yeah, definitely.

QRD – What famous musician’s guitar would you like to own & why?

Tony – Johnny Thunders Gibson Les Paul Junior double cut away in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?

Tony – Timmy Vulgar, has continued to reinvent the instrument as we know it.

QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?

Tony – DrugsDragons, the Milogranight EP, on Dusty Medical records, or Sagger, the Goodbye Boozy 7”s.

QRD – Anything else?

Tony – Nope, Thanks!