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QRD #61 - Guitarist Interview Series Part VIII
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Guitarist Interviews:
Alan Bishop
Grégory Duby
Nathan Joyner
Nick Jonah Davies
Claudia Gregory
Matthew Filler
Julien Ottavi
Chris Brokaw
Andrea Vascellari
Jeff Barsky
Chas McKeown
Jean D.L.
Adam Cooper
Chris Summerlin
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Guitarist Interview with Adam Cooper of Alison's Halo & Lochheed
April 2013

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.