with Scott Endres
Name: Scott Endres
Band: Make, The Pod
Website: https://thebandmake.bandcamp.com, https://thebandthepod.bandcamp.com, https://www.facebook.com/thebandmake, https://twitter.com/thebandMAKE, http://thebandmake.blogspot.com
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Scott – It was a crappy, purple, glittery Yamaha with a whammy bar. I actually have no idea what happened to it. I’m sure it was sold for a minimal amount of money in order to help purchase better equipment a few years later.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Scott – I’ve been playing the same SG standard that I’ve had since I was 18. These days I’ve pared down my effects to just a few. Those are the Boss PS-3 Delay/Pitchshifter, the Holier Grail, & Boss tremolo. Every now & then I’ll add a little Danelectro Hashbrowns flange or MXR 90 phase. But that’s pretty rare these days. & my current amp set-up is an Orange TH100 through an Orange 4x12 & Ampeg 4x12 if I’m full-stacking it.
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?
Scott – The combination of the SG & the PS-3, easily. That has, over many years, come to define not only my personal sound, but the way I write material.
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Scott – Right now it’s the Orange TH100. The why is because they no longer make the AD140 & they now tend to cost a helluva lot more than I paid for the one which I foolishly sold years ago. The TH100 is incredibly dynamic though & I’m honestly a little glad I was “forced” into buying it.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Scott – A Gibson SG Standard in heritage cherry fitted with custom Grover tuners. I’ve never been a twangy player & I’ve never been much into the Les Paul “crunch” either. At least not for my own style. I prefer the thickness & the almost liquid sound of an SG. Everybody knows what they sound like in overdrive, but those watery tones you can get on clean channels is one of my all time favorite sounds.
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Scott – Oh, I don’t know. I suppose I’d prefer something subtle. Maybe the exact guitar I play, but change the mother of pearl SG Standard crown with a mother of pearl MAKE logo.
QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?
Scott – You know what I’d love to do… is create a perfect dub style delay stompbox that forces the user to play the pedal instead of the pedal playing the user. The PS3 is a little like this, but it’s very very far from “perfect”. Maybe even a knob for live controlling & looping like a digital Echoplex, too. Yeah, that sounds nice.
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Scott – Just three. The SG, a cheap Epiphone SG as a back up (which I never really bring to shows as a back up anyway) & a crappy acoustic which was kindly donated to me after I sold my Martin many years back. I’ve never really been one to collect gear. My SG is to me what Willie Nelson’s acoustic is to him.
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Scott – In the practice room in my house, pretty much wherever.
QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?
Scott – A secret compartment for your drugs, duh!
QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?
Scott – Well, when I was younger all I wanted was “the guitar Angus Young plays” so that’s kind of where the SG came from. It was awhile before I really started paying attention to tone & it’s been a long time since I’ve bought a guitar!
QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?
Scott – Difficult to say. A guitar made well is sort of priceless, isn’t it? I think floating around the thousand dollar mark is a fair enough deal though.
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?
Scott – For years I flirted with putting a Bigsby on the SG & honestly I’m glad I never did. Anyway, other than the Grover tuners, no. I can’t see why anybody would want to keep the standard Gibson tuners since they’re so flimsy.
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?
Scott – Usually what I buy is something I’ve borrowed & played a few shows with myself, or something other musicians whose sounds I’m familiar with or a fan of is enough for me to go on.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Scott – In the course of my life as a guitarist? I suppose. Not anymore though, I’m pretty set with what I’ve currently got.
QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?
Scott – Yes, to the former.
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?
Scott – You know… I’ve really never been much of a gear geek. & I’ve just had the majority of what I’ve had for so long I’m kind of the old dog who’s not really interested in learning new tricks.
QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?
Scott – A talent button!
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?
Scott – My SG, obviously. & I don’t really have any bad stories. The Epiphone is hilariously pathetic, but I doubt I paid more than a hundred bucks for it so…
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?
Scott – All the Orange, Green, Matamp, Electric, Soldano, & Fender amps. I really can’t stand your typical modern Marshall amp. Vox make some pretty good nasty garage rock sounding stuff. Sunn certainly makes Spencer sound fucking huge. I dig Electroharmonix pedals, though I wish they were built sturdier. Boss probably (still) make the best simple stompboxes. I like the way the Vox wah feels more than others, for sure. Hmmm. I’ll stop there.
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Scott – Is there supposed to be a thing?! Heh. I don’t really do that. If I’m about to play on my own I usually just start improvising & if I’m with other people I spare them from hearing me play covers!
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Scott – 14.
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Scott – Somewhere around 22 or 23? I was definitely trying to do the most difficult stuff I could come up with then, like really busy mathy Fahey noodling type stuff. & I’ve probably just gotten worse & worse as the years have gone by since I’ve been mostly concerned with minimalism & repetition. I think it was just years of cutting off the fat & now what I do is really quintessentially me. I, at the very least, always feel like I’ve written something that I would write & not somebody else.
QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?
Scott – I’d image piano would be the best place to start in regards to understanding theory. But if you’ve enough innate talent, you might as well grab the thing which sounds the best to you.
QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?
Scott – Every now & again you find yourself slipping into comfortable modes & repeating the same ideas you’ve long been comfortable with. Luckily the instrument has no end in how it can be manipulated through any combination of tuning, processing, or deconstructing your own physical style of playing.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?
Scott – Over the longest stretch of time I’d have to say Nick McCabe (The Verve), Asa Osborne (Lungfish), Tony Iommi, & Hans Reichel. McCabe taught me a great deal about fluidity, Osborne is my direct link to minimalism & repetition, Iommi was instrumental in teaching me about The Riff & Reichel made me question how, when, & where to move around.
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming guitars)?
Scott – I’ve always thought that sort of thing is a little strange, but to each their own.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?
Scott – I once had this Epiphone, which I bought off a friend in high school whose father happened to be in Drivin’ & Cryin’. Story was that this was some weird hot-rodded piece of his. Anyway, it had a locking tuning bridge & I dropped the thing face first onto a concrete basement floor & the thing just popped out at a 45 degree angle. Ha-ha. Never did get it back to perfectly normal after that.
QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?
Scott – I listen back to our practices or other recordings constantly. Many of my ideas… whether it’s notes, or general structure, come from walking & listening with headphones.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Scott – I wish I played more, but those days haven’t existed for a long time now. Between learning new instruments for my side project & playing guitar in two different bands, when the days of the week come where I’m not already doing that I honestly don’t spend much time in the practice room. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I get tired of playing, rather I operate on a much higher level during practice if I haven’t used up my limited creative resources outside of practice.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Scott – Tortex .73mm. The yellow ones. They have a nice texture which helps if you have sweaty fingers like I do. & that’s just the thickness that I’ve come to appreciate the most, I guess. It’s not flimsy but it still gives a little.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Scott – Ernie Ball ‘Not Even Slinky’. That’s 56-12. The why is because we play in dropped C & you gotta keep ‘em tight!
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Scott – Either when I break ‘em or one practice before a show.
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Scott – Depends on how old the strings are, what time of year, etc. Not often, really. They usually just get filthy & tone dead first.
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Scott – I… really have no idea! I do have arthritis in my right wrist from breaking it as a child & fracturing it as a teenager, so that’s definitely a factor.
QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?
Scott – I maintain usual upkeep, but every year or so I’ll take it to get cleaned & intonated.
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Scott – Dropped C. Just ‘cause.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
Scott – The answer to this question is: No. All in our heads. We do record our practices, which informs the writing process a great deal, but other than that…nope.
QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?
Scott – Used to be a lowrider, but I’m pretty average these days. Shit started fucking with my wrists. Maybe slung a little lower than average.
QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (Ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?
Scott – Love the ebow. One of my favorite things to do is lay the guitar down, place the ebow, & then dial my pedals into wonderfully & subtly morphing loops.
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Scott – For a very short period of time when I was 14, yes. I obviously learned the rudimentary techniques, but mostly I just learned how to play other peoples’ songs. & once I started getting better at it than my teacher, he told my Dad, “He’s learned everything I can teach him” & that was that!
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Scott – That lessons are pretty fucking overrated.
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Scott – Listen to a lot of Lungfish, Verve, & dub.
QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?
Scott – Only after loading in to make sure everything’s where it should be. Otherwise my settings are my settings once I’ve found my sweet spot.
QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?
Scott – Well, 9 times out of 10 I’d rather pay attention to what Keith Richards is doing over Mick Taylor. & when it comes to leads, I’d much rather hear Lou Reed totally fucking mangle something than knobs like Vai wank themselves off for eternity.
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Scott – What? No. Christ has anybody said yes to this? That’s horrible.
QRD – What famous musician’s guitar would you like to own & why?
Scott – Angus Young’s first SG. Not because I care a whole lot about AC/DC, but because I’d love to see the looks on people’s faces after telling them that.