Interview with Matt Gut of Fullness Off Lack
Name: Matt Gut
Bands: Fullness Off Lack
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Matt – My first guitar ever was a no-name classic guitar, which I traded for a box of sweets.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Matt – Not complicated. Just guitar + effects + amplifier or headphones.
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?
Matt – I think that all are, but I think that the most important could be amp; if you have a good one you can sound good even with a shitty guitar.
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Matt – I love VOX. But other amps are also cool.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Matt – I play on Squier Jaguar & I just love the tone of this guitar, you can play probably everything on this one.
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Matt – My dream is to have a Jaguar with a mirror pickguard to dazzle the audience.
QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?
Matt – I wish one day I will have the chorus from my dreams (kinda the most subtle chorus on Earth).
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Matt – Right now I have 3 guitars, in the whole history of my life I have owned 5.
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Matt – They are just lying on a floor basically.
QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?
Matt – They should have bigger pockets to take more things with you while going jamming.
QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?
Matt – Mostly I’m focused on a tone, but I also like when a guitar is pretty to me & suits my style.
QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?
Matt – I think that nowadays guitars are so overpriced. A really good guitar should cost about $500 in my opinion. I’m so glad that there is the Squier brand that makes relatively cheap guitars, but not far worse than the original Fenders.
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?
Matt – I always have many ideas of how to customize my guitar, but after all I just like it as it is.
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?
Matt – I don’t spend so much time on testing equipment, I know after few minutes if it suits to me or not, but I like watching tests on YouTube & compare it to my own thoughts.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Matt – Nope (wish I had more cash).
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?
Matt – My only desire is an old vintage Roland Space Echo, this little monster has a unique library of tones.
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?
Matt – All purchases I’ve done were good, because I spent many hours before trying to find the best stuff for me.
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?
Matt – Particularly I love everything about Fenders & Squiers, but there are less known brands that are also worth attention. In my opinion it’s much cooler to make great music on cheap stuff than paying thousands for “professional” equipment.
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Matt – Something of mine or just improvisation.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Matt – 15 years old.
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Matt – Still haven’t.
QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?
Matt – Well guitar was my first love instrument, because I loved solid riffs. But I’m also open for other instruments. I wish that in the close future I would learn to play keyboard, because it’s a magical instrument for me. I like saxophones too.
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?
Matt – Depends on personality, but for most people guitar is the first love if they want a band. Listen to your heart, my adventure with music started with a flute (really).
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?
Matt – In terms of a sound I’m under a big influence of bands like Nothing & Whirr. These bands just kick ass... but I don’t want to copy their sound, I would like to make my own characteristic one. I’m also under the influence of jazz guitarists such like Mike Stern, Terje Rypdal, Ben Monder for their spectacular soundscapes, on the other side there are guitarists that play simply but really soulful like Brandon Setta.
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming guitars)?
Matt – It’s so cute.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?
Matt – I sticked a sticker.
QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?
Matt – Watch some vids on YouTube where guys show some cool chord progressions or just playing while listening to the music or backing tracks.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Matt – I think it’s about 20 hours per week & I think that’s good, but if I had more time I would be pleased to play more
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Matt – Dunlop Tortex 88mm. For me an absolutely favourite.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Matt – I prefer 10’s by Dunlop. These are badass strings that never break
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Matt – Quite rarely I must say, sometimes only when the old ones break
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Matt – If they are shitty, quite often.
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Matt – Both are important I think, when I was starting out I was focused once on the strumming hand, another time on the fretting hand, but now I just let my hands do what they want.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
Matt – I don’t use any of these practices so nobody could play them.
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Matt – While playing on the power chords I always hold my middle finger, so everyone think that I’m showing “fuck you”.
QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?
Matt – I don’t even know its name.
QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (Ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?
Matt – Pick holder, because I always lost them.
QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?
Matt – It’s more about feeling in my case, I would like to play like a bird sings.
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Matt – Never took any lessons & I did not ever play other people’s songs.
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Matt – I think that everyone is born with some musical predispositions & the most important thing is to express them.
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Matt – Existential suffering is the key.
QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?
Matt – Basically never.
QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?
Matt – Lead guitarists do silly faces more often, while rhythm guitarists just look more like anti-social guys. But to be honest I don’t know real difference.
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Matt – Everyone in a band is just as important. Even if someone isn’t as good as the rest of the band, but has good intensions to play better & he’s a cool dude, in my opinion there’s no problem.
QRD – What famous musician’s guitar would you like to own & why?
Matt – Sherwood green Jazzmaster of Oliver Ackermann of A Place To Bury Strangers, because this guitar looks unbelievably sexy (ok, it’s just the matter of taste).
QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?
Matt – For me it’s Mike Stern, the guy has an incredible technique. Especially I love the way he plays solos.
QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?
Matt – I hope they will hear it one day in a distant future when everything will sound as I planned. But for now they can listen to my tracks at Soundcloud or Bandcamp.
QRD – Anything else?
Matt – Music & literature is a killer combination.