Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 100

Did you jam with friends?

Yes, but it was terrible.

After high school, you studied economics in college. How did that happen?

roll thing." I understood Jimi and Jimmy
and Townshend and all that, but people
had already done it. I was trying to find
something else. That said, I did learn the
opening chord to "Purple Haze" and used
it a lot in the Pixies, but you never wig
out on "Is She Weird" one note at a time.
And you weren't into the shredder

Feedback was
a pretty important part of your
sound.

Yea h, he was
two doors away.

What were
your first impressions of him?

Santiago and bassist Lenchantin
during the recording of Head Carrier.

Would people give you looks?

Was there chemistry right away?

Yeah, we were having fun. I think he
liked the weirdness in what I was playing.
Years before, I'd found these albums in
the public library. It's a funny story...
AC/DC was playing in town, and I rode
my bike to the hall and cruised around
back. When I spotted someone by their
bus, I said, "Hey, I want to meet Angus,"
and the guy said, "Beat it, kid!" So, I
went to the library instead, got a card,
and took home these albums by Joe Pass,
Wes Montgomery, Les Paul. I thought,
"That's what I should learn if I want to
play weird stuff in some kind of rock-and-

Yeah, I kinda ignored that (laughs). But
that was it - I had the Viper, that amp, and
a tuner. Nothing else.

When we started recording, and
then all I bought
w a s d i s tor t ion
pedals. Later, I
fo ole d a rou nd
with delay. To this
day, I have at least
eight delay pedals.

And you met
Charles because
he lived in your
dorm?

Yeah, and some would actually come
over to watch. I don't know that we worked
on any songs that became anything, but
we had some cool riffs... no lyrics.

And a clean channel that was unbelievably loud...

When did you start using more effects?

Well, I apparently had the brain
for it. After I aced
my m id-t e r m s
sophomore year,
a professor said,
"I see you're undeclared. Would
you be interested
in economics?" I
said, "Sure."

He was jolly. He
was drinking milk
from the little cartons you got at the
cafeteria, and had
his acoustic guitar. He was more
i nto blues a nd
stuf f. My Ovation Viper was
back home when
I met him - I was focused on keeping up
my GPA and didn't want to be distracted.
But I brought it from home and we started
jamming in the common area.

this awesome distortion I thought was
great - super gainy even with the Volume
turned really low.

scene at the time - high-gain tones on
superstrats?

Yeah, two things I wasn't into (laughs)
- the speed because everybody was doing it, you know? It sounded like "How
fast can you type?" I was more into the
Cars - Elliot Easton's lyrical playing. And
Queen. When I found out Roy Thomas
Baker produced both bands, I made the
connection. Back then, I would read about
producers and recording engineers, and
I noticed on a lot of jazz records how the
sound was open and simple - I figured
they probably used one microphone.
When Charles and I met, I started listening to Iggy Pop.

Which amp were you using when the
Pixies started gigging?

A Peavey Special. It was cheap and had
VINTAGE GUITAR

100

October 2017

Right. Playing
live, I'd get that
by turning up and
facing the amp.
The cool part was
finding that spot
where you could
get it to really sing.
It was like "Alright, where's the
feedback in this
room?" I remember the stage floor
at C B GB s h ad
this loose plank
I would jump on
to rattle the spring
reverb. It would make this sound people
thought was magical. I'd jump, and kaboom!
What was the next guitar to come
along?

I was always into Teles because of
the cover of Bruce Springsteen's Born
to Run, but of course Charles had one.
So, I bought a Fender Mustang when we
started touring. There ended up being a
lot of guitars around and Charles gave it
away one day because he thought it was
his (laughs)! That's when we knew we had
a lot of guitars - and s***ty memories!
That's when I got a Les Paul
What year was it?

It was Kim Deal's - a '70s, with soapbar
pickups. And when I started [using] the
vibrato, I'd get crazy and Kim quickly
said, "Can I have my guitar back?" So I
got my own, a goldtop Classic. I was the
cheapest one I could find with the thin
neck I loved. I still have it, but I broke it
playing in Paris; I put it on a stand while

Santiago and Lanchantin: Simon Foster.

like "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." But I
pretty much went straight to barre chords,
then I was like, "That's all I really need."
I learned other songs here and there - the
basics of rock and roll.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - IFC
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