with Adam Cooper of Alison's Halo & Lochheed
Name: Adam Cooper
Bands: Alison’s Halo - Lochheed
Websites: www.alisonshalo.com - www.lochheed.com
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Adam – Peavey T-60. Borrowed & never returned.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Adam – Alison’s Halo: ES335 or Jazzmaster > Wah > Overdrives > Modulations > Delays > Reverbs > Loopers > Tube Amps
Lochheed: Jazzmaster > Multi-fx Units > Alesis Reverbs > Yamaha Reverbs > Boomerang Loopers > Roland Keyboard Amps / Tech 21 Power Engines
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?
Adam – Reverb
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Adam – Silvertone Twin Twelve - warm & punchy.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Adam – Jazzmaster - the neck fits my hand
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Adam – Scenario does not compute.
QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?
Adam – It would look & sound just like a tube screamer.
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Adam – 6 or 7.
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Adam – Cases - wherever there is room.
QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?
Adam – A pullout bed feature.
QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?
Adam – Loud & punchy.
QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?
Adam – 500.
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?
Adam – Upgrade most guitars. Pots are all 1MEG.
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?
Adam – A little - mostly buy & play it - sell it if it stinks.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Adam – All the time - little tweaks - mostly for ease of switching (less work).
QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?
Adam – Changes every day.…
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?
Adam – Pedals - Klon.
QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?
Adam – Worst? DOD American Metal.
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?
Adam – PRS Guitars - too slick looking. Also, any guitar that looks like it can impale you is pretty ridiculous.
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Adam – An old Billy Idol bass riff - don’t know why.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Adam – 16.
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Adam – 16.
QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?
Adam – Guitars are very forgiving.
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?
Adam – Nah, piano.
QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?
Adam – A lover.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?
Adam – William Reid - JAMC. Lou Reed - VU.
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?
Adam – Never named a guitar.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?
Adam – Ruined a Greco 12 string by putting paint stripper on it.
QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?
Adam – Never practice unless I’m learning a tune.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Adam – 1 hour tops for both questions.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Adam – Anything over 1mm - thinner than that feels flimsy.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Adam – 13s - sounds better.
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Adam – When they break.
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Adam – Every couple years
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Adam – Neither is close to proficient.
QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?
Adam – A tech.
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Adam – Standard - easy to remember - Eddie Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddie.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
Adam – None.
QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?
Adam – Low.
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Adam – Bad habits are the sum total of my playing style.
QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?
Adam – I don’t play any other instruments so I’m not sure.
QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can’t?
Adam – A Moog guitar - they look crazy.
QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?
Adam – Quitting.
QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?
Adam – Hammer on/hammer off at 16.
QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?
Adam – Ebow.
QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?
Adam – Play like Dave Davies of The Kinks.
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Adam – One lesson - he tried to teach me a folk song (“Greensleeves”?).
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Adam – To walk away, never come back, & just make up something on your own.
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Adam – Not think.
QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?
Adam – I like those things.
QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?
Adam – Never - full on.
QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?
Adam – None.
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Adam – Bad songs = bad band.
QRD – What famous musician’s guitar would you like to own & why?
Adam – John Squire’s Gretsch.
QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?
Adam – Christopher Willits / Scott Cortez / Sight Below / Simon Scott.
QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?
Adam – New Lochheed coming soon.
QRD – Anything else?
Adam – Nope.