with Patrick Ogle of Thanatos
Name: Patrick Ogle
Websites: www.mapanare.us & www.patrickogle.com
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Pat – It was a late 60s SG & I sold it for fuck all nothing & I still have nightmares about it.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Pat – I have two effects pedals - an old DOD chorus & an MXR phase. I rarely even use them because I forget to turn them on & off during a show. I like those Ibanez distortion pedals. The one everyone has, they rock. Also wouldn’t mind one of those blue boxes from MXR. But I would still forget to turn them on & off at the right times.
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?
Pat – My hands.
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Pat – The last time I played live I played through a cabinet one of the guys in the band, Tim Larson, found in an alley. It sounded great. Not sure where it is. Neither of the amps I have even work.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Pat – I have a Gibson The Paul from 1980. I like how it sounds. I also use a Takamine Santa Fe. The pick up in it sucks though. The guitar sounds great not plugged in.
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Pat – I never would.
QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?
Pat – It would do the three things I need all in one - chorus, distortion, & phase & it would have tubes.
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Pat – Four.
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Pat – In cases, in my living room... with humidifiers in winter.
QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?
Pat – Never thought of it really.
QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?
Pat – Sound.
QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?
Pat – Depends on a shitload of factors.
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?
Pat – I have had the Gibson since 1984 & the Takamine since the mid 90s. I am not someone who changes a lot. William Tucker, who played with me, had ONE guitar, an early 60s telecaster.
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?
Pat – I almost never buy new gear.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Pat – Not much to change. I primarily play rhythm.
QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?
Pat – Not much changing.
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?
Pat – I’d love to have a Fargen amp. I would also love to have any number of older Martin acoustics. There are lots of acoustic guitars I would love to have...hell, an 80s Guild D-55. I mentioned I’d like a blue box, but that isn’t a crazy wild dream.
QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?
Pat – That the action is good? That the neck is comfortable? That it is playable. A lot of cheap guitars are not playable & they suck. BUT the good news is that companies like Washburn & Arts & Lutherie make really good starter guitars.
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?
Pat – I bought a jumbo Harmony that sucked & I gave it away. (I also bought a Harmony H-165 that is great.)
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?
Pat – None I really dislike... different stuff for different styles.
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Pat – A blues box.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Pat – Seven or eight?
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Pat – Before I took a hot sauce bottle through my right hand in 2000... I sometimes do not play for a long time & sometimes I play a lot. SO there is no single time where I was at my best.
QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?
Pat – I am not entirely sure it does.
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?
Pat – Not really. Piano probably is a better place to start - or drums. If you want to learn about how music works? Drums.
QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?
Pat – A little of both.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?
Pat – Honestly I have no idea.
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?
Pat – Don’t care either way.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?
Pat – I stuck a guitar up into a ceiling fan once… no major damage.
QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?
Pat – I just play… play scales… etc.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Pat – Depends on the week.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Pat – Don’t care.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Pat – Heavy because they sound better.
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Pat – Depends.
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Pat – Rarely.
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Pat – Used to be strumming, but then the hot sauce bottle got me through the hand. I play mostly rhythm so the right hand is more important to me. I mean, I can form chords.
QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?
Pat – I have someone do it.
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Pat – Standard, but I have used some others… DADGAD... & EEEEBE on one song.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
Pat – I rarely notate anything.
QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?
Pat – Depends on the guitar.
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Pat – Not sure.
QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?
Pat – Probably piano.
QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can’t?
Pat – Bluegrass. If you can play that you can play anything.
QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?
Pat – Never had any.
QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?
Pat – Don’t know any tricks!
QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?
Pat – Don’t have one (I am really boring).
QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?
Pat – I wish I could finger pick again... never was great, but now... with half the nerves in my right hand severed? A bit rough to do.
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Pat – I learned how to read music & how to play from a woman named Mrs. Fitzgibbons who knew Mel Bay & played every single stringed instrument. She was awesome.
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Pat – I’d probably teach them by the Alfred method, because I think it works to teach how to read & gets you used to playing.
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Pat – Suck?
QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?
Pat – Like a bar? I hate them cause they put the guitar out of tune.
QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?
Pat – Never.
QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?
Pat – One plays notes & the other chords?
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Pat – No.
QRD – What famous musician’s guitar would you like to own & why?
Pat – I interviewed Guy Clark & he had a guitar he made. He made three of them. He has one, Lyle Lovett has another, & not sure who has the third one. I’d love to have that.
QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?
Pat – There are so so many.
QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?
Pat – I am mostly a singer songwriter... I usually have guys who play better than me do the leads.
QRD – Anything else?
Pat – Nope!!!
Other QRD interviews with Patrick Ogle:
Musician Dad interview with Patrick Ogle (May 2007)
Thanatos interview (December 1996)