April 1998 Swervedriver Guitar Player Interview

Guestbook April 1998 Swervedriver Guitar Player Interview

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      I have a Guitar Player with a short interview so I will type it up for all of you nuts.

      Page 50-52
      “Swervedriver-According to Swervedriver guitarist Jimmy Hartridge, 99th Dream [Zero Hour], the English band’s first release since 1995’s Ejector Seat Reservation, was slated to be a stripped down affair. It didn’t happen.
      ‘We wanted to reduce the amount of layering because we got fed up with people talking about “Swervedriver’s layered guitars” all of the time,’ says Hartridge. ‘So we tried to trim down the guitars, but it turned out that we really enjoy laryering them.’
      However, the band did manage to pare down the length of their songs. On 99th Dream, the band’s extended epics of yore are replaced by three-minute doses of dynamic psychedelia, with Hartridge and fellow guitarist Adam Franklin unleashing a wide array of swirling arpeggios, fuzzy drones, and bursts of pure noise.
      ‘There are no lead or rhythm distinctions in Swervedriver,’ explains Hartridge. ‘One of us will record a noise or rhythm track, and if anyone has an idea for something to lay on top, we’ll do it. On “She Weaves a Tender Trap,” for example, one guitar is holding a sustained note, while the other is playing a wah-wah figure.’
      In addition to Vox wahs, Hartridge and Franklin plug into Boss RV-2 and RV-3 reverb pedals and various Boss distortion boxes. ‘And I always bring a DigiTech Whammy pedal to the studio-just in case I want to make some ridiculous squealing noises,’says Hartridge.
      Although the guitarists used a variety of Marshall and Vox amps for 99th Dream, Hartridge is pretty juiced about his new 100-watt Group half-stack. ‘It’s a hybrid between and older, cleaner Marshall and a Hiwatt,’ he says. ‘It looks like a washing machine, but it gets a real Pete Townshend sort of sound.’
      Aside from the tonal differences between Hartridge’s ’78 Les Paul Custom and Franklin’s ’62 and ’63 Jazzmasters, Swervedriver’s sonic palette owes much to the guitarists’ love of alternate tunings.
      ‘G,C,D,G,C,D is one that’s a bit of a Swervy favorite,’ reveals Hartridge. ‘I just find it so much easier to write exciting riffs in open tunings. A lot of them are very discordant, but we always try to develop riffs that sound different and yet are really rocking.’ -Dan Epstein”

      -Zach Omega

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