Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 101

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Guitar and amp photos: Simon Foster.

1) Santiago makes frequent use of the Bigsby
on this '65 Gibson ES-345. Its Varitone control
rarely moves out of position 3. 2) This Les
Paul Custom is Santiago's primary stage
instrument. Completely stock including the
Bigsby, it's as heavy as it looks. 3) This Les
Paul '60 Classic is a longtime road companion
and was once his primary stage axe. 4)
An ES-Les Paul Goldtop. 5) Santiago rarely
moves his 50-watt Marshall JCM 800 from
the high-gain channel. For clean sounds, he
relies on a mid-'60s Fender Vibrolux Reverb.

doing a solo where I'd play with just the
pedals, doing this thing with delay where
I'd make it sound like the guitar would
keep playing. I thought, "Man, this is
f***ing cool!" But sometimes the guitar
came out of the stand and went flat on
its face.

Did it suffer that famous neck-angle
whiplash that has claimed so many
Les Pauls?

Yeah, and it was probably the third time
it had fallen like that. I picked it up and
the strings were all loose. Then, I got the
Les Paul Special.
As alt-rock became more popular,

followed by grunge, did you see Pixies
influence in other bands?

I did, and probably the first time was
when I heard the opening to "Smells
Like Teen Spirit," by Nirvana. I saw an
interview with Dave Grohl later, and he
was talking about recording and telling
his band, "This sounds like the Pixies,
I don't think we should be doing this."
What was your reaction when Charles
put the band on the backburner in '93?

After I hung up the phone, my girlfriend - now my ex-wife - said, "What
happened?" I said, "Um, the Pixies just
broke up." I didn't make a big deal out of
October 2017

101

VINTAGE GUITAR

it - went back to cutting vegetables. It was
a relief, really, because we were unhappy.
What was your plan from that point?

Well, after going into depression and
staying in my room for three months,
I discovered recording to a computer.
So I made a bunch of demo tapes and
thinking, "Why don't I compose music?"
Everyone always called the stuff I played
"atmospheric," anyway, so I got an agent
and became serious about it. I also went
back to college to finish my degree, but
then one day my agent called and said,
"This guy, Judd Apatow, wants to meet
you." He had heard my demos. So we


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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
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 3
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 4
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Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - Contents
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