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QRD #61 - Guitarist Interview Series Part VIII
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about this issue
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 Andrea Vascellari of Lullabier & Firetail
April 2013
Andrea Vascellari
Name: Andrea Vascellari
Bands: Lullabier, Firetail
Websites: www.lullabier.com & firetailmusic.blogspot.com
Listen to Firetail "End = Beginning"

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

Andrea – An Eko Ranger acoustic. I still own it.

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

Andrea – Epiphone Dot, TC Electronic Flashback delay, Fender Super Champ XD. Sometimes I put a Korg Ax3g multi-effect before the Flashback delay.

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

Andrea – Without delay I feel like naked, so... effects I suppose.

QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?

Andrea – Fender Super Champ XD. It's a tube amp with a wonderful crystal clean tone, it has a 2nd channel which emulates Tweed Bassman or Blackface tones, and it's light enough to be carried around without breaking my back.

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

Andrea – Epiphone Dot Ebony, good mix between electric & acoustic sound & long sustain.

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

Andrea – A black semi-acoustic model by Gibson.

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

Andrea – A long digital delay, with analog simulation & a reverse mode.

QRD – How many guitars do you own?

Andrea – One semi-acoustic, one acoustic, one bass.

QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?

Andrea – In their bags or on stands around my apartment.

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

Andrea – No weight.

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

Andrea – Ability to stay in tune, long sustain, acoustic-like sound.

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

Andrea – My guitar costs about 300 € & I’m really happy with that.

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

Andrea – Previously I had a Squier strato that I’d customized with a lot of stickers... but my Epiphone is still immaculate.

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

Andrea – First of all, I count seconds of sustain.

QRD – Do you change your rig around often?

Andrea – No.

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

Andrea – During live shows, my tone is locked. When I record I change lots of VSTs.

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

Andrea – I’ve lusted a lot after the Epiphone & the TC electronic pedal before buying them.

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

Andrea – Ability to stay in tune.

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

Andrea – I’m satisfied with every guitar-related purchase I’ve made. My bass amp is fairly crap instead.

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

Andrea – I like Gibson-like stuff.

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

Andrea – “Waiting for You” by Rivulets.

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

Andrea – Seriously at about 20.

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

Andrea – Hope to level up in the next few years!

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

Andrea – Really don’t know. I started playing bass at 15, but I didn’t fall in love with that. Simply when I started playing guitar, I felt comfortable.

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

Andrea – Piano lessons are probably more useful.

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

Andrea – Ally, off course!

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

Andrea – Alan Sparhawk, Nathan Amundson, Mark Kozelek.

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

Andrea – It could be natural, even if I don’t do that.

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

Andrea – None.

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

Andrea – Practice for me is mainly messing around with delay effects.

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

Andrea – I’d like to play at least one hour a day, but I usually play about four hours a week.

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

Andrea – Medium, but I don’t really use pick a lot.

QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?

Andrea – Medium.

QRD – How often do you change strings?

Andrea – Very rarely.

QRD – How often do you break strings?

Andrea – Almost never.

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

Andrea – Both are really equally important.

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

Andrea – When I bought my last guitar, a tech had set it up.

QRD – What tunings do you use & why?

Andrea – Standard tuning & little bastardizations of it.

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

Andrea – I simply write down the name of the chords.

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

Andrea – Lately I’m sitting down while playing.

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

Andrea – Be a bad guitarist!

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

Andrea – Bass.

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

Andrea – Soloing.

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

Andrea – Quick arpeggios using 5 fingers.

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

Andrea – Drone.

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

Andrea – Capo - it’s indispensable.

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

Andrea – Feedback.

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

Andrea – Never.

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

Andrea – I’m a bad guitarist - couldn’t teach anything!

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

Andrea – Inaccurate arpeggios.

QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?

Andrea – I don’t use tremolo - too many problems with tuning.

QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?

Andrea – Never - always full up.

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

Andrea – It’s all about creativity I think. I’ve always admired guitarists soloing.

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

Andrea – Absolutely not.

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

Andrea – Wouldn’t like to own anyone’s.

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

Andrea – Jeff Martin of Idaho, with his 4 strings custom guitars.

QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?

Andrea – On my next albums I hope.

QRD – Anything else?

Andrea – Thanks. Hope the readers will like my stuff.