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QRD #69 - a little bit of everything
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Feature Interviews:
Nick Marino

Guitarist Interviews:
Trey McManus
Ryan Potter
Jonathon Trevillien

Comic Creator Interviews:
Sarah Roark

Comic Shop Interviews:
Legends Comics & Books
Modern Myths
Third Eye

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Guitarist Interview with Trey McManus of Treyverb
October 2014
Name: Trey McManus
Bands: Treyverb
Websites: https://treyverb.bandcamp.com

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

Trey – Vintage Japanese Sekova Telecaster copy eventually traded for another unknown guitar.

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

Trey – Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster, Fuzz Factory, Strymon El Capistan, Hontone Tremolo, Ditto X2 Looper into either 69 Fender Vibro Champ or Fender Excelsior for more beef.

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

Trey – Strymon El Capistan

QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?

Trey – Main amp live currently is a Fender Excelsior. It has that classic 6v6 amp sound with a little more oomph since it’s running at 12w & 15” speaker. I <3 6v6.

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

Trey – Squier J. Mascis Jazzmaster with mint green pickguard & Stay Trem Jag/Jazz upgraded tremolo arm from StayTrem in the UK.

QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be? It would likely be the Upgraded Jazzmaster I currently play see above or below:)

Trey – Squier J. Mascis Jazzmaster with mint green pickguard & Stay Trem Jag/Jazz upgraded tremolo arm from StayTrem in the UK.

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

Trey – It would be a classic Alesis Quadraverb in pedal form like the Yamaha Magicstomp!

QRD – How many guitars do you own?

Trey – Six guitars.

QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?

Trey – My closet & under my bed.

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

Trey – The portability of a gig bag.

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

Trey – Pure vibe & connection. My hand has to want the neck of the instrument.

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

Trey – I normally don’t pay over $400 for an instrument.

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

Trey – Upgrade & customize to my liking. :)

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

Trey – I read/watch way too many reviews before buying anything to the point of obsession & then I pull the trigger.

QRD – Do you change your rig around often?

Trey – Every few years a piece of gear will come out that will rock my world. Otherwise I’m fairly consistent with my set up.

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

Trey – I think at this point I’m locked into my tone/sound or at least that’s what all my friends tell me.  :-)  After 20 years I guess that what happens.

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

Trey – Vintage Jazzmasters, Tape Echoes, & all things vintage FUZZ.

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

Trey – Playability… low action, properly intonated with good tuners to hold tuning.

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

Trey – This year best purchase: Pedaltrain VOLTO Lithium power supply. Worst purchase: Zvex Fuzzolo.

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

Trey – Like - Strymon, Zvex, Squier.  Squier guitars have come a long way… honestly it’s funny to say but they are some of my favorite instruments. This includes their line of Jaguars, Jazz Masters, Duo Sonic, Telecaster, Strats... etc. I’ve owned / played them all within the last few years. I’m a believer. Strymon & Zvex simply because they are innovative companies that make high quality stellar sounding FX.

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

Trey – Usually a D chord with a 500ms delay with the repeats cranked 75% of the way up & super wet!

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

Trey – Twelve.

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

Trey – Depends. Sometimes I think I was better when I was 19 when I didn’t know what I was doing & sometimes I feel like I’m happy with my current playing.

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

Trey – It feels like it’s a part of me. As soon as I put it on, it becomes my voice really. I don’t have to talk anymore.

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

Trey – I’m not sure.

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

Trey – Ally.

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

Trey – Peter Buck, Mitch Easter, Neil Young, J Mascis, Kevin Shields, Brian McKenzie.

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

Trey – I like the idea!

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

Trey – I once threw a Mexi Telecaster out in a drunk crowd at a show in the 90s & got it back & the electronics were ripped out. That’s about it.

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

Trey – That’s it.  :)

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

Trey – I play 12 hours a week. I think I’m satisfied with that amount.

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

Trey – Orange or Red Dunlop Tortex. I forget the mm size of them.…

QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?

Trey – D’addario .11’s ... I don’t know why, over the years I just seem to have broken less of those, so I’ve stuck with that brand since 96 or so.…

QRD – How often do you change strings?

Trey – Not often enough... Usually when one breaks or they just feel at too gross to play.

QRD – How often do you break strings?

Trey – Not very often these days.

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

Trey – Strumming hand. I’ve worked on that one the most.... It has something to do with an article I read on Neil Young once.…

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

Trey – My guitars usually go to techs. Although I have been known to set up a guitar or two.

QRD – What tunings do you use & why?

Trey – Standard tuning & occasionally a 1/2 step down. I dig open G & D as well.

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

Trey – I actually never write anything down. Is that bad? When I’m playing other folks material I prefer tabs.

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

Trey – Usually it sits right above my waist.

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

Trey – Checking tuning too much.

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

Trey – Ukulele!

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

Trey – Classical.

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

Trey – Playing any Led Zeppelin song start to finish.

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

Trey – My mind is blank.

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

Trey – At this time it would be a capo as I use one for few songs.

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

Trey – I took lessons for 6 months when I was 14. I learned that I knew enough in that amount of time to write my own songs & that’s what I wanted to do. The teacher was wonderful BTW, I was really just interested in writing & when you have influences like REM or the Velvets, it is easy to move along once you knew a handful of chords & get really inspired.

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

Trey – Their favorite song.

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

Trey – Use a ton of verb & study fuzz factory settings. Oh & using vibrato expression at the correct time.  :)

QRD – What’s your take on tremolo/vibrato systems?

Trey – Love the Fender floating trems & Bigsbys.

QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?

Trey – Over the years more than I used to. Specifically when using gain &/or fuzz pedals.

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

Trey – Lines are more blurred these days I would say.

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

Trey – Not really.

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

Trey – Although I’m not fan of Les Pauls, I think owning Neil Young’s Les Paul would be grand.

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

Trey – Brian McKenzie. His use of texture & noise is brilliant.  Kind of awesome sometimes to be so close to a guy that blows your mind time & time again.…

QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?

Trey – https://treyverb.bandcamp.com

QRD – Anything else?

Trey – Play what you feel. Be happy with what you have & make it work!