Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 18

FIRST FRET

ERIC JOHNSON

New Music and a Signature-Strat Twist

Your new album, Collage, sounds honest
and organic. What brought you to this place?

It's interesting you say that, because that's
really what I was trying to do - cut stuff
live and cut overdubs from start to finish.
While considering some of my past records,
I thought, "How can I make better music?"

Which pedals do we hear?

And it was real apparent that the most important thing was to relinquish my obsession
with getting everything spot-on, because if
you're microscopically obsessed you're pretty
much going to be sucked into a tunnel of "I've
got to punch this one note," and you'll Pro
Tools the thing to oblivion. I'm basically a
performing artist; that's how I grew up and
where my strength is. I need to retrieve my
power center.
So, the record was a starting point for me to
commit to this journey. I sometimes listen to
my heroes and think, "These Wes Montgomery
records were cut in two sessions, solos and
all." Yet, I go in wanting to spend two years.
There was a disconnect. I had to be honest
about what I was gaining and what I was losing, and I realized that what I was losing was
really important - too valuable.
Did you have a go-to rig?

VINTAGE GUITAR

18

September 2018

An 808 Tube Screamer, B.K. Butler Tube
Driver, and a TC Electronic Stereo Chorus. Reverb and delay were mostly done in mixdown,
but I might have used a bit of the Catalinbread
Belle Epoch.
The solo acoustic piece "One Rainy Wish"
sounds like a single take from top to bottom. Was it?

Yes and no. I cut it several times to click
track, then edited the best sections.
Which guitar provided that extraordinary
tone?

My 1980 Martin D-45.

There's also a cover of "Pipeline" on the
record. Were you a fan of the Ventures or
the surf-guitar sound, in general?

Yeah, it was my introduction to the electric
guitar; the first record that I sat down and
studied lick-for-lick was The Ventures In Space.
Nokie Edwards was just a beautiful player.

Eric Johnson photo courtesy of Fender.

T

hough we're only halfway through it,
2018 has already been a huge year for
Eric Johnson. In the works are a new album
(cut decidedly old-school), a tour featuring
his pivotal 1990 album, Ah Via Musicom,
in its entirety, and a new signature model
thinline Stratocaster (see "Gear Reviews"
in this issue).
We recently sat with Johnson while he was in
Nashville, and despite the tornado of activity,
he was his usual self - soft-spoken, gracious,
kind, and inspiring.

An old Marshall and cabs, an old Twin
Reverb, a Deluxe Reverb. I used a Two Rock
Classic Reverb some. The guitar was mostly
my '54 Strat; I had just gotten the new f-hole
Strat, so I used that on "Uptight," the first tune.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 3
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 4
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 5
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 6
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 7
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 8
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 9
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 11
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 12
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 13
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 14
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 15
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 16
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 17
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 18
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 19
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 20
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 21
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 22
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 23
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 24
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 25
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Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 33
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 34
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 35
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Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 37
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Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 78
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Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 90
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 91
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Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - IBC
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