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I’m thinking about learning a few new things – like taking classical guitar lessons – and I’d like to bring what I learn into hard rock.

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So, once I get writing I really try and put five to eight hours a day in my room with a guitar to really try and come up with stuff that feels interesting enough to me to keep it.

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Oh yeah, I mean, it wasn’t a very good guitar, most good guitars have got thrust rods in the necks that you can adjust or that’ll keep them in shape, you know keep them straight. This one just, well it turned into a bow and arrow after a couple of months.

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I mean, the sound of an amplified guitar in a room full of people was so hypnotic and addictive to me, that I could cross any kind of border to get on there.

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I just managed to convince my grandmother that it was a worth while that was something to do, you know, and when I did finally get the guitar, it didn’t seem that difficult to me, to be able to make a good noise out of it.

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I tried when I was 13, when my grandparents gave me an acoustic guitar, and I tried for a year. It hurt so much to play. I mean, the fingertips hurt so much, I gave up.

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My original interests and intentions in guitar playing were primarily created on quality of tone, for instance, the way the instrument could be made to echo or simulate the human voice.

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The first guitar I ever had was a gut-string Spanish guitar, and I couldn’t really get the hang of it. I was only 13, and I talked my grandparents into buying it for me. I tried and tried and tried, but got nowhere with it.

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I remember when I thought of singing as the bit that went between the guitar playing – something I couldn’t wait to get out of the way. Singing was originally like a chore that I didn’t really enjoy.

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I was pillaging a lot of music that had nothing to do with guitar playing, using a lot of strange tunings and voicings and chord structures that aren’t really that natural to the guitar; I ended up developing a harmonic palette that’s not particularly natural to the guitar because I was always trying to make my guitar sound like something else.

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I got a lot more interested in songs that could hold up completely on their own, with just a guitar and voice. For some people that’s easy to do, but I find it’s really difficult.

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I grew up not really listening to guitar players. Especially when I was studying music, I was just interested in piano players and arrangers and composers; I came to playing in a band from the perspective of someone who never expected to play guitar in a band.

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It’s a cocktail-party circuit in D.C., That guy who couldn’t master the guitar and get in a band and get laid, he ends up there. Gary Condit make sense to me. He’s away from his family, he’s in D.C. – if he was a car dealer in the [San Fernando] Valley somewhere out there, he’d be the guy who was trying to get laid by offering you the free undercoating package.

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I guess I thought I was Elvis Presley but I’ll tell ya something. All Elvis did was stand on a stage and play a guitar. He never fell off on that pavement at no 80 mph.

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I guess I thought I was Elvis Presley but I’ll tell ya something. All Elvis did was stand on a stage and play a guitar. He never fell off on that pavement at no 80 mph.

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You can’t go on stage and live – it’s false all the way. I can’t stand the premise of going out in jeans and a guitar and looking as real as you can in front of 18,000 people. I mean, it’s not normal!

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To be a great band it’s like you have that telepathy. You know when the bass player’s in back of you without even looking. You know when your guitar player’s coming up to you to lean up to you and sing into your microphone. You just know these things. You feel it. You feel the energy of it.