with Francesco Candura of Boomerangs
Name: Francesco Candura
Bands: Jennifer Gentle, Stop The Wheel, Rivulets, Boomerangs
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Francesco – It was a classical guitar. I gave it to my young cousin & felt really good to make it live again.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Francesco – I like flat EQ. That’s my secret. It has to sound good that way.
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?
Francesco – Hands.
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Francesco – I love Mark Bass. They’re italian.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Francesco – A quite modified Epiphone EL-00 named Jenny. I can’t get tired of looking at it & it’s been 5 years. It’s the only object, let alone instrument, I feel that way about.
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Francesco – It’d be just like Jenny, really. Except with a really good built-in amp system.
QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?
Francesco – I guess it’d be a huge fuzz with a lot of bass with a built-in DI.
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Francesco – Not many, less than 10, for sure.
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Francesco – All over the place.
QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?
Francesco – The ability to be used by people who ride on buses. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is.
QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?
Francesco – It has to fall into my lap & we have to fall in love instantly.
QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?
Francesco – I guess the 1000+ euro is a good margin.
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?
Francesco – I ALWAYS fiddle with them, or better said, I let experts modify them the way I want.
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?
Francesco – Not much. I’m impulsive.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Francesco – Yes, see above.
QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?
Francesco – I like having one big sound that’s recognizable.
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?
Francesco – They change all the time, but it’s mostly good distortion. Those don’t exist, it’s a myth.
QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person‚s first guitar that aren’t always there?
Francesco – Oh God, let the neck & fretboard not hurt your hands.
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?
Francesco – I’ve gotten better! No bad purchases. I got an excellent dobro (epiphone biscuit).
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?
Francesco – I don’t like anything trebly or stringy.
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Francesco – Ummm… no favorites.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Francesco – 9.
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Francesco – 16 I guess, then it got worse & worse.
QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?
Francesco – I went up to my dad & claimed I was made to play guitar.
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people‚s first instrument as often as it is?
Francesco – Well no, we’re missing on some amazing equipment. Oboe!
QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?
Francesco – She’s totally on my side.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?
Francesco – At one point I was really fond of what John Fahey was doing, but then it was obvious I was never going to play that well.
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?
Francesco – You mean like I do?
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?
Francesco – Well I gave it to my friend for like 4 minutes. Don’t do that, folks, they’ll break the neck.
QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?
Francesco – Um that’s it.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Francesco – Some days I barely glance at it. Others they can’t take us apart.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Francesco – I like .80 Dunlop.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Francesco – NEVER go below 12 on an acoustic, please. Also, always get flat wounds on electrical guitars & bass.
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Francesco – Whenever they break!
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Francesco – I’m getting better at that with age!
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Francesco – Well I’m left handed, but I play right handed; so I never have problems on the fretboard.
QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?
Francesco – I know this amazing & grumpy guitar tech who has the coolest solutions to my problems. He knows & loves wood. That’s a huge plus.
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Francesco – I love open D. That’s even more natural to me than standard.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
Francesco – Does memory count? Or tape recorder?
QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?
Francesco – Below my chest.
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Francesco – Being sloppy.
QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone‚s guitar playing?
Francesco – Bass! My God. Get some rhythm.
QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can‚t?
Francesco – I wish I could do the gypsy kings rhumba thing for fun. Only for fun, though.
QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?
Francesco – Playing a show with an acoustic jumbo without looking like a dwarf.
QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?
Francesco – Making people think I have technique.
QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?
Francesco – Couldn’t live without capo. I write a lot based on where that thing is.
QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?
Francesco – The proper ragtime fingerpicking sounds marvelous. I can only play that at about 40 bpm.
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Francesco – Never did.
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Francesco – To ALWAYS stay on time.
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Francesco – Not having a clue of what you do, not having a pick & wanting to sound like you do. Hurting the skin below your nails a lot & strengthening it.
QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?
Francesco – Dunno. I like tremolo, but couldn’t use it to save my life.
QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?
Francesco – I’d like it not to exist. Open all the way.
QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?
Francesco – There shouldn’t be one.
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Francesco – For about 40 seconds.
QRD – What famous musician‚s guitar would you like to own & why?
Francesco – I’m sure some old Gibsons that Les Paul played were pretty sweet.
QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?
Francesco – Wallis Bird is amazing. Mostly because she plays a right handed acoustic upside down. Her upstrokes sound different.
QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?
Francesco – I think I was caring a lot about guitar on Stop The Wheel’s “Morning” album.
QRD – Anything else?
Francesco – Get on the stage already.
Boomerangs on Bandcamp