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QRD #76
QRD - Thanks for your interest & support
about this issue
Artistic Dad Interviews:
Jason Handelsman
JB Sapienza
Jon Madof
Josh Doughty
Loïc Josinski
Tanner Garza
Guitarist Interviews:
Casey Harvey
Gabriel Douglas
Cartoonist Interviews:
Jeff McClelland
Peter Kuper
Josh Howard
Touring Musician Interviews:
Aaron Snow
Nathan Amundson
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Casey Harvey
Casey Harvey
Casey Harvey
Casey Harvey
Casey Harvey
Guitarist Interview with Casey Harvey of Thrushes
June 2016

Name: Casey Harvey
Bands: Thrushes
Websites: thrushesrule.com

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

Casey – A terrible pink Taiwanese metal guitar with a Floyd Rose bridge setup & a bowed neck with like 2 inch action. Hope it’s at the bottom of a river.

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

Casey – Jaguar or Rick 330 deluxe to echo to delay to fuzz to chorus to flanger to another longer delay to reverb to a splitter where one signal goes to Rickenbacker B212 Amp, other signal to reverse reverb to reverse delay to Fender Super Reverb Amp.

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

Casey – All are important, but probably effects to most for our sound.

QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?

Casey – I play in stereo with 2 amps. 1973 Rickenbacker B212 which is very warm & Ric sounding tube amp, I have never seen another one or know of anyone else that plays one. I bought it cheap at Atomic Music outside DC about 20 years ago because I wanted a real tube amp. It was $200. The other amp is a 1970 Fender Super Reverb, classic Fender brightness. The 2 amps work well together because they cover such different tones & make for a full sound, especially as one is playing through mostly reverse delay & reverse reverb.

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

Casey – American Reissue 1962 Jaguar. Great cutting tone & feels really nice to play.

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

Casey – My current Jag, but in white not the sunburst that I have now.

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

Casey – Definitely some sort of reverb or echo. I love all kinds of reverb, but specifically that slap back sound you hear on 1950s rock & roll records.

QRD – How many guitars do you own?

Casey – 5.

QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?

Casey – At home we built a very posh soundproofed rehearsal room, they hang on the wall there.

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

Casey – Pick storage.

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

Casey – $500.

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

Casey – Yes, I have a Mastery Bridge on all my guitars.

QRD – Do you change your rig around often?

Casey – Yes, always trying new stuff, chasing the sounds.

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

Casey – I currently really like the Johnny Marr model Jaguar.

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

Casey – Good tuners.

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

Casey – Big muffs, have tried lots of them. The op-amp stuff seems better for me. All the others do not sit well in the band mix.

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

Casey – G to D chords.

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

Casey – 15.

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

Casey – Mid to late 20s.

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

Casey – Both. I’m not a very good guitarist, but playing within my limitations helps me.

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

Casey – Johnny Marr, Kevin Shields, Scotty Moore, Johnny Ramone.

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

Casey – Just playing around writing melodies & songs. I do not practice scales or typical things like that.

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

Casey – Orange Dunlop

QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?

Casey – Was DR 10s, nice bright sounds, but they are inconsistent. I recently switched to Guadalupe Custom Strings, 10 gauge, I like these a lot.

QRD – How often do you change strings?

Casey – Fairly often

QRD – How often do you break strings?

Casey – Not at all anymore. The Mastery Bridges really help

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

Casey – Send to Big Crunch in Baltimore. They know what they are doing & know what I play.

QRD – What tunings do you use & why?

Casey – Drop D for drones.

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

Casey – Recording little ideas.

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

Casey – Probably too low, but came of age watching Kurt Cobain. :)

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

Casey – I cannot play solos.

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

Casey – Did not take any lessons.

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

Casey – Playing a guitar for sounds

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

Casey – The trem on the jag works very well.

QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?

Casey – Never, dimed to highest treble.

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

Casey – No.

QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?

Casey – I like the sounds on “Two Ships” from our Exposing Seas record & “Juggernaut” from Night Falls.