Exclusive Interview : Jay Gore

Neal Walter caught up with Jay Gore at this week’s Luck Strike Live session in Hollywood. Jay, just back from a tour in South Korea, talked with Neal about his his career and showed off his Rockready gig bag and his custom Pickboy picks.

What’s your musical background?

I’m an LA native. When I was 13 I had a band and we’d play the songs we wrote at the Sunset Strip clubs. I went to G.I.T. for a year when I was 17 and I’ve been a working session and touring player ever since.

What are you working on now?

I just finished recording all the guitars on the new Warren Hill CD, Under the Influence. It’s an amazing collection of classic 70s and 80s rock songs done instrumentally, but true to their original forms and styles. Also, I’m getting ready for a small tour of Asia and writing for my second CD, a follow-up to my first CD, Identity, which is available on CDBaby and iTunes and JayGore.com.

What is the role of education in music?

I think it’s extremely important. It goes beyond learning musical theory, it teaches discipline and patience, which is so important when you have four days to learn a 90 minute show for that big pop star you’re going to tour the world with. It teaches how to speak to the other musicians that you’re working with. When you have an idea you’ll know how to explain it. Most importantly, it trains you how to be able to step into any musical situation and adapt to it, instantly.

How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?

I feel that the music industry is near death…and by that I mean on monetary level for artists. There will always be music and musicians and gigs. Monetizing it all is becoming far more difficult. For some reason creating art for “exposure” became more important than paying your bills. Lots of people are making a lot of money in music. Most musicians are not.

jayGoreCustomPickboyWhy do use Pickboy Picks?

Very simply, Pickboy picks are the very best for me. I’ve used them over 20 years. I love the great tip, it makes articulation so much easier. The material helps the pick to glide off the strings with far less friction between the string and pick. And, I just love the size of the picks that I use (PB14P100 Classic), they’re just a hair smaller than other picks. Bottom line…I play better with a Pickboy!!!

 

Click here to read more about Jay Gore.

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Dr J Arsenal Distortion – Van Halen Guitar Lesson

Neal Walter shows off some of Eddie’s slick tapping licks while using the Dr J Arsenal Distortion pedal. Learn some tricks on how to master Hot for Teacher, a 12th fret A minor riff, and a bonus riff at the end with some cool string bending. Neal also talks about how to unlock the secret of getting not only the notes right but also getting the elusive Eddie “swing” feel.

D51 - Dr J Arsenal DistortionThe Dr J Arsenal Distortion gets a great Marshall tone and works well with many guitars and amps. You can get all kinds of distortion from classic British crunch to modern high-gain tones. There are 5 controls to give you total control over your tone and distortion. Click here to learn more about the Dr J Arsenal Distortion pedal or check out our Dr J Factory Tour and see where the pedals are made.

Dr J Factory Tour

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Our quick, virtual tour of the busy Dr J factory.

If you’re at all like us, you’re probably a bit curious how Dr J makes original design boutique quality pedals for so little. At the factory we got a look at how it’s all done.

From the start, the culture wall sets the tone. This is where Dr J sets the tone for the company. The wall is lined with images of the team and its accomplishments. Next stop the conference room for some high level discussions, then on the meeting room for a traditional ceremonial tea while discussing the products. Then comes materials, production, and testing. Then on to the extensive R&D department where there are many new products being developed.  And finally to Dee Leung, the principal designer for Dr J.

We’re really impressed with the factory and product. One thing many players forget is that all the Dr J pedals are original design. Dee has really done a great job of creating original interpretations of some classic pedals and adding his own twist.

Says, Tone Report, “Dr. J has taken the build quality, ingenuity and tweakability several steps further, while similarly offering the pedal board-friendly size and extreme value-to-tone ratio.” Click here to read the Tone Report review on the Shadow Echo.

We’re partial to the Shadow Echo for it’s spacey vibe, the Sparrow Driver & DI as a no nonsense bass pre-amp and driver, and the Green Crystal for it’s not so straight interpretation of a classic overdrive pedal. But all the pedals are really usable. The Planes Walker Fuzz has both germanium and silicon transistors and does a good job emulating the Supro Sound. And the Aerolite Comp and Armor Buffer and good additions to any pedal board.

But don’t take our word for it, check one out now at your local music store and discovery for yourself what Dr J is all about.

Whole Lotta Blues Crab – Neal Walter

Let Neal Walter share a secret with you that he learned from Steve Stevens about Led Zeppelin’s classic guitar riff in “Whole Lotta Love.” Seems Jimmy Page played an open D string in the riff to give it that little bit of mojo. Watch Neal demonstrate the difference with and without the open string.

The Mooer Blues Crab is the perfect pedal choice to get the heavy, bluesy sound out of a small amp like a Princeton Fender.

Exclusive Interview : Sid Griffin

1) Tell us about your musical background?

I was the ringleader of 1980s indie heroes The Long Ryders. We were second only to the Replacements in the USA as Hip Indie Band of the time and second only to the Smiths in Europe for the same time, same thing. We were part of a movement in the USA called the Paisley Underground which was a major deal in L.A. thirty years ago. It was quite a scene, equal to Liverpool in 1963 or NYC in 1977.

2) What are you working on now?

I play bluegrass with a British band here in London called the Coal Porters and I play solo singer-songwriter gigs. The Coal Porters have five albums out and all of my music, solo or band, is on Spotify and iTunes should someone want to check me out. The Coal Porters play mainly in the UK and North America but we play a few festivals in Europe every summer.

I also do solo gigs all around the world. I have played everywhere from Hollywood to Hong Kong, San Francisco to Syracuse to Sydney to Stoke-On-Trent as a solo act and am doing that most of this month.

3) What is the role of education in music?

Without music there would not be enough Art to separate us from the beasts! I am heartsick our schools, both in my native USA and in my adopted English hometown of London, do not have nearly enough emphasis (or budget!) to give music a greater role in the classroom and in the upbringing of our children, who are after all not only the next generation of musicians but the next generation of leaders.

Listening to music is part of daily life for almost everyone on Earth but I feel playing music, any music at all, classical or folk or whatever, is crucial to learning how to work and adapt to others. And how to work with and adapt to your own strengths and weaknesses. It is not only how a person learns who they are and what they can do it is how a person learns who others are and how important they are to him or her through the music they make together as part of an ensemble.

4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?

Right now the music industry is coming to grips with the digital age. We are still seeing the transition from a generation, like previous generations, who expected a hard copy such as an LP or a CD and a generation which will hardly own any hard copies at all. My daughter is fifteen and plays guitar, piano and violin. She has about fifteen CDs, no vinyl and tons of things on her MP3 player. My son is five and he will own no hard copies of music unless I leave him my hefty collection of vinyl and CDs in my will!

And yes, I think musicians deserve to be paid for their music! It breaks my heart people think because something is digitally available it is free. My bands and I deserve to be paid for our labours and so does your band!

5) Why do use Pickboy guitar picks?

I used the Pickboy 1.00 hard pick. It never leaves your hand due to perspiration, it is balanced perfectly and the THWACK it makes against the string itself never dominates the sound. The pick is part of the sound and the music and helping you control it by the way you hold the pick, by the tightness of your grip and so forth, and the Pickboys I use stay in my hand every time. Like a loyal St. Bernard these picks do exactly as they are told! They are the best by far in my mind’s eye and I can hear this.

Learn more about Sid Giffin on Sid’s artist page.