here - Dave Sharp

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here - Dave Sharp
I Cottr Guitar I
The Bansheesdrew heavilyfrom
HammerHorrorfilms.with SiouxieSioux
reinventingherselfas a haughtypin-up.
WhileJohn McKaydeliveredsomeangular
chops on Hong Kong Garden,their finest
momentswere with John McGeoch,who
alsoservedtime with Magazineand PiL,
and died in March2004.'l lovedthe fact
"l
that I could say, want this to soundlike
a horsefallingoff a cliff", and he would
know exactlywhat I meant,'Siouxiesaid.
an MXR
Armedwith a YamahaSG'1000,
flangerand a YamahaE1005Analog
Delay,John McGeochset the tone for
goth soundscaping.
Barrellingin from anotherdimension
altogetherwere Melbourneanchaos
merchantsThe BirthdayParty.Their
guitarist,RowlandHoward,was pliant in
the midstof the onstagehurricane,coolly
flickingout icy licksas frontman Nick
Tracy
Caveand derangedcowboy-basslst
Pewattackedthe audienceand each
other in a drug-fuelledfrenzy.
'When we moved to Londonwe had
two recordsthat we playedall the time,'
saysRowland,safelyentrenchedin
Melbourneagain.'Onewas PiLsMetal
Box and the other was by The
Contortions.I alwaysloathedbandslike
KillingJokethat were regardedas our
peers,but I loved RichardLloydfrom
Television,
and RobertQuine.They
weren't obsessedwith techniques- they
were far more interestedin the sounds
they were producing.'
Rowlandwas producingsome
otherworldlysoundshimself,even
though the only guitar he everusedwas
a'63 FenderJaguar.
'My basicset-upwas my FenderTwin
with full reverb,an MXR DistortionPlus
and an MXRBlueBox,which is likean
octavedividerthat doesn't track properly
so you get all these reallystrange
That'show I kept my sustain
harmonics.
going for so long; if you've got a lot of
treble it's got a reallystronglygated
effect that adds deep sustainto a note,
beforeendingdead.NeilYoungusedit
for the sofo in On Broadway.'
Insteadof usinghis bootslike his
bandmates,Howardwould punishthe
audiencefor its blankethostilityby
combiningsquallingfeedbackwith
whammy-barabuse- something
drummer(and surrogatedad) Mick
Harveywas none too pleasedabout.
'Mick was appalledwhen I got a guitar
with a whammy bar,' Howard chuckles.
'He was alwaystryingto lay down the
law but in thosedayshe didn't havethe
creativeauthorityto backit up, so Nick
and Tracyand I were likethe naughty
boysand Mickwould try and keepus in
line. He went absolutelysparewhen Tracy
got a FenderBassVl, and told him it was
to be gotten rid of immediately - he just
'The beauty of electric gUitars is you
Gandefeat their original putpose to
a hugpextent'- RourlandHoward
couldn't cope with the idea of Tracy
playinga baritoneguitar at all, which is a
shame.becausethe resultswould have
beenquite interesting.'
Despitethis friction,the band were
united in their missionto let all hell break
loosein the studio.
'lt seemedthat everynew song we
"l
learned,Nickwould sayto me want
play
you to
a reallyhorriblesound here,
but it has to be completelydifferent to all
the other horriblesoundsyou'vedone",'
'Junkyardwas a
Howard remembers.
flawed experimentin that we were
looking for extremesof sound, but it just
turned into this white noise.Justas on
Re/easeThe Bats,we surroundedmy amp
with a tunnel of corrugatediron and then
attachedcontactmicsto it. I was running
the guitarthrough a 24-bandgraphicEQ
to distort it without everythingturning to
mush,and you just couldn'tbe in the
room, it was so unbelievablyoffensive.
'l think the beautyof electric
Auitarsis
you can defeattheir originalpurposeto a
'They'revery
huge extent,' he reflects.
so you can get all thesekind
mechanical,
of soundsby doing thingsthat were
neverintendedto be done on them whereasyou can'tjust puncha pedalon
the sideand makea weird noise.
Particularlywith FenderJaguars;they've
got bits of metal everywhere,so you can
get a lot of soundsout of hitting them on
the strings,abovethe neck,belowthe
bridge, all that sort of stuff.'
The resultingcacophonycertainlymade
an impacton the Britishgoth scene.Nick
'peers'in
Cavewrote an appraisalof their
'paper
tigersall'.
the NME,labellingthem
'On a collegecampusin Leedsthere
'Pete Burns put all the gilitars
through a sequencer,$oI became
redundant' - I[/a5meHussey
The SistersOf Mercywere particularly
crushedafter gettinga dismissive
receptionfrom The BirthdayPartywhen
they supportedthem.
Formedin Leedsby the dark lord of
don't-call-me-goth,
Andrew Eldritch,The
Sistersdrew from the theatricsof The
Damned,addinga dirty,distortedbass.
GuitaristWayneHusseycameonboardin
1984.and endowedthe band with more
textures,includinghis trademark12stringacoustic.Thoroughlyneglected
duringthe punk years,acoustics
were
makinga dramaticcomeback,with Gene
LovesJezebel,All About Eve,Psychedelic
Fursand TheAlarmall introducinqthem
into the mix.
Priorto the Sisters,Husseyhad drifted
from band to band beforehookingup
with PeteBurns'rather'flamboyant'
project,DeadOr Alive.'When ljoined
them they were a goth band into The
Doors,'Husseyassuresus. 'Thenthey
startedlisteningto a lot of gay disco
musicand it evolvedthat way.The
catalystwas I had a little SH-101synth I
usedto playaroundwith, and I
55
discovered
that if you ran a guitar
through it you get a gated "duh-duhduh" effect. Peteloved it. but insteadof
usingit sparinglyhe went the whole hog
and from then on all the guitar parts
so I
endedup being put in a sequencer,
becameredundant.'
The Sistersoffered Wayne Husseya
and for
chanceto experimentguitar-wise,
a while they could do no wrong - to
most people,at least.
'We toured with the Sistersand I
rememberWayneand Craigas beinga
coupleof basicnorthernlads,'FleshFor
Lulu'sNickMarshwheezes.'They'dsit
thereand takethe mickeyfor half an
hour: "Giveus a go on your lipstick,then!
Lookat you - you look likea right girlie!"
Thenthat tour finishedand Wayne
startedadoptingthe full look.
'Our guitaristRoccoBarkerwas a
championfencerat school,'he continues,
on a roll. 'He found out that Andrew
Eldritchalsofenced,so he walked
with a
onstageduringtheir soundcheck
leatherglove,slappedit aroundAndrew's
face and threw it down,
was a big duel arrangedby the students.
Theyhad adjudicators
and propergear,
and it was held in a big courtyardon the
Sisters'home turf. Roccoended up
whippingAndrew'sarse- we didn't get
any soundchecksafter that because
Andrew'ssucha bad loser...'
Husseyobviouslythought so, too, as
after an acrimonioussplitwith Eldritchhe
startedThe Mission,a nameallegedly
pinchedfrom Andrew'sforthcoming
album.Their1986debut,God'sOwn
Medicine,was recordedwith the help of
a hefty dose of amphetamines.
'There'smore guitarorchestration
on
that recordthan on any of the others;
lots and lots of guitaroverdubs,'Hussey
'l
sayswryly. also usedto slow the tape
down to half soeeda lot so that when I
put it backat the normalspeedit was an
octavehigher.You can't get the same
effect with any modern box or computer.'
Wayneand leadguitaristSimonHinkler
were using the staplegoth effectsphaser,chorusand distortion- for a
grand,doomy effect.Around that time I
got a RolandGP8rack,which was
basically
eight Bosspedalsthat you could
program.l've tried manythingsoverthe
years,but I alwaysgo back to that for live
music,'declares
Wayne.
The band adopted a spaghettiwestern
imageand addeda touch of Ennio
Morriconeto the windsweptguitars,
quicklyaped by The Bolshoiand FieldsOf
The Nephilim.Theyhit the stadiumtrail
with U2, and The Edge'sinnovativestyle
rubbed off'on Wayne.
'l was listeningIo Joshualree a lot at
the time, and I thought I wouldn't mind a
bit of that myself. I love With Or Without
You, and Butterfly Wheel was my
'We
emulationof that song,'he admits.
were makinga bit more moneyby then,
so Simonwas usinga custom-built
Zemaitisand I was usingGretsches,
Starcasters,
LesPauls,12-stringacoustics,
I cottr Guitar I
and of coursemy old Vox Teardropand
GretschWhite Falcon...
'l had a guitarfrom FleshForLulu
once,'he addsdarkly.'Theytouredwith
us and I borrowedthis reallybeat-up,
cheapthing, and they borroweda
Telecaster
from me. Duringthe courseof
the tour I trashedtheir guitarso I ended
up havingto let them keepthe Telecaster
in returnfor this olankof wood.'
Anotherband pioneeringacoustics
were TheAlarm.GuitaristDaveSharowas
heavilyinto Woodstockfolk and British
rock music.but it was his combinationof
electricand acousticguitarsthat gaveThe
Alarmtheir organic,yet anthemicsound.
Sharprippedthe componentsout of a
LesPauland installedthem into his
Epiphoneacousticfor a gnarliersound,
and soupedup frontman Mike Peters'
instrumentin a similarway
Live,they'd usea hot-roddedMarshall,
getting insidethe chassisand messing
with the components'ln the earlystages
we useda lot of outboardequalisers,
but
eventuallyI found that reallygetting
insidethe chassis
was the way to go,' he
says.'l was workingwith a greatamp
doctor calledPeterHartley,who'd been
modifyingampssincethe earlydaysof
Marshall.More or lessall throughThe
Alarm I was usingmaster-volume
Marshallsconvertedbackto the same
specsof the model 1959amp. lt
exploitedthe rhythmicstyleI playedwith,
and gaveme a measureof fluiditywhen
movingoverto playingleadguitar.'
Overthe years,Sharpalsouseda Tele,
a Stratand a Zemaitis.'and I had a flutter
with an E-Bowon Howling Wind, just as
a texturalthing.'
Despitelegionsof loyalfans and
faultlessproductionon all their albums,
TheAlarmwere winning no fansat the
musicinkiesduringthe '80s.TheCult's
BillyDuffyonceadmittedat a time of
criticalunacclaimthat if it wasn't for The
Alarm.he would havecommittedsuicide.
GOTII'S
NOTDEAD
No, it's just morphed into new genres.
For doomy metal, check out'darkwave'
bands like Die So Fluid, Lacuna Coil and
Switchblade Symphony. Industrial
music is perhaps the strongest
descendant of guitar-based goth, with
Ministry Murderdolls, Marilyn Manson
and Nine Inch Nails all taking the music
and imagery to extremes. Eighties
Matchbox B-Line Disaster do a grand
job of channelling The Damned and The
Cramps, while bands like Interpol,
Queen Adreena and The Rasmus
uphold the poppier end.
It's not at all surprisingthat he was
relieved- you can distinctlyhearshades
gf Cult's classicShe Se//sSanctua4uin The
Aarm's earliertrack.The Stand.
'l wasn't too awareof them,' says
Sharp,'but we were rehearsing
at a
studioat one point and I happenedto
heara soundcomingfrom next door.I
poppedmy headaroundto havea look
and there'sUncleBilly.lt was interesting
becausehe was doing thingsthat l'd just
begunto do, like runningmultipleamps
within the samerig.
'The majority of peopleseemedto be
listeningcarefullyto eachother at that
time. l'd heardwhat The Edgewas doing,
and after that beganto understandhow
to usethe delayin a dynamicsense,to
createdifferent depths of perspective.A
lot of bandsstartedto usethat heavily
chorussoundas well, but I was thinking
backto HankMarvinand Pete
Townshend,
and the purityof their tone.'
At the oppositeend of the sonic
spectrumwerethe raucous,atom bombhairedFleshForLulu,influencedby Marc
Bolanand The New YorkDolls,corrupted
by The Damnedand TheCramps.
'Bandslike us and AlienSexFiendand
Specimenand SouthernDeathCultwere
alwaysrubbingshouldersat the Batcave,'
saysNickMarsh,who virtuallylivedat the
infamousLondonclub. 'l neverfelt there
was comoetitionat all. Therewas more of
a competitionto seewho could do the
longestprojectilevomitingor wear the
m o r e r i d i c u l o uhsa i r c u t . '
FleshFor Luluwere signedto Polydor
on the strengthof a demo ('that would
neverhappennow!') and wound up
releasingsixalbumson variouslabels
Marshfreelyadmitsto owning the
obligatoryBossdelay,flangerand chorus,
as well as somemore curiousbeasts.
'Roccousedto havea Melostaoe echo
with a littletape insideit that kept
breaking,so he'd get a secondhand
cassettefrom Oxfam and take the taoe
from that. so there'd be ZorbaTheGreek
comingthrough like an old ghost.He'd
churnout loadsof caterwaulingfeedback
with a lot of echoon a doublecutaway
White Falconthat he bought from
Matthew Ashmanfrom Bow Wow Wow.
but it got stolenby a roadie,so then Billy
Duffy sold him a singlecutawayversion.
We usedto call it 'the wardrobe'because
it's so enormouslt's like strappinga piece
of lkeafurnitureto your stomach.'
Nickhasowned his '62 Fender
'Hank'(onceowned by Elvis
Jazzmaster,
Costello),
for 25 years.'lt's the only guitar
with a whammy bar that you can useto
slackenthe stringsright off or bendthem
almostto breakingpoint upwards,and it
will alwaysspringstraightbackinto
tune,' he purrs.'l'll neverforget Brian
from The Damnedgetting up on stage
with us onceand borrowingit. We played
a coverof 1970by The Stoogesand he
took my guitaroff at the end, swirledit
aroundby its strapand sent it sailing
acrossthe stage.lt flew throughthe air
about 60 feet and this heroicroadiejust
madea divefor it and caughtit when it
was about to land - this was my beloved
Hank- what a wanker.I wouldn't have
d o n et h a t t o h i sS G . '
FleshForLulu hit the big time in
Americawhen cult teen moviedirector
John Hughesusedtheir track I Go Crazy
in the film SomeKind Of Wonderful
57
Mammothtourswith PiLand GeneLove
Jezebelfollowed,beforethe band
implodedafter recordinga new album in
Australia."We went overthereto havea
fabulousadventurebut Roccostolethe
bassplayer'sgirlfrrendand it all went tits
'Doesn't
up,' recallsNrck.
it saythat in
the historybooks?Well,that's what
a c t u a l l yh a p p e n e!d'
Anotherbandthat got the John
Hughestreatmentwas The Psychedelic
Furs,whose earlytrack Prettyln Pink was
reworkedfor the hit film of the same
name.GuitaristJohnAshtonhad beenon
the fringesof the goth scenesinceits
i n c e p t i o na, n d h a d p l a y e do n a n e a r l y
Sisterssingle,Alice.He broughta LesPaul
and a John Birchguitarto The Psychedelic
Furs,the latterprocuredfrom The
B a n s h e e s ' J o hMnc K a y .
'l went to the LondonSynthesiser
Centreand got an ARPAvatar,which
lookedlikea Moog and had a setting
calledHexFuzzthat I liked,'he
'lt camewith a oickuothat
remembers.
go
would
into my guitar,and I ran it
through a littletelephoneextension
speakeror my FenderTwin I got a lot of
the ambient soundsfor lndia off that.
and the solofor Fal/.I learnedhow to do
t h e s a m et h i n g w i t h g a i na n d d i s t o r t i o n
i n t h e e n d - i t ' s a l o t l e s sh a s s l e ! '
Ashtonwas alsoa big fan of traditional
valveampsand interestingdistortion
boxes.'l spenta lot of time doing
overdubson our second album TalkTalk
Talk,and I alwayshad four guitar parts
for quite sometime after that. ln Dumb
WaitersI did someelephantinefeedbTf
o n s o m eo f t h e s o l o s a, n d s o m e
atmosphericslideon the outro We got
b i g g e rm
, o r ea m b i e n ts o u n d i n ga n d
reverby,but it was stillvery in your face.
'l playedacousticfor the first time - a
J-200on the intro and outro of All Of
ThisAnd Nothing- but my main guitar
was a MusicMan Sabrell. I out a LesPaul
oickuoin the neckand a BillLawrencein
t h e b r i d g ea
, n d c r a n k e di t u p t h r o u g ha
'f was always into effectedsounds,
with textures and volumeswells
and harmonics'- JohnAshton
I was
babyVox and a PignosePedalwise,
u s i n ga n M X Rf l a n g e ra, R a t ,a R o l a n d
SpaceEcho,delaysand wah I was always
much more into effected-sounding
lines
than straightones,and I alsouseda lot
of texturesand volumepedalswells,as
w e l la s s o m eh a r m o n i c's
The Psychedelic
Fursrecentlyreformed
and are recordinga new album,as are
F l e s hF o rL u l u ,w h o p l a nt o r e l e a s teh e i r
future recordsoverthe internet Lookout
for Roccoin the forthcomingrealityTV
seriesA Placeln Spain:RoccoAnd Dawn.
' l t h i n k a l l t h e s eT V b i g w i g sw e r es i t t i n g
a r o u n da n d s o m e o n es a i d ," W o u l d n ' ti t
be great if we had a crossbetweenA
Placeln TheSun and fhe Osbournes?"'
o f f e r sa l a u g h i n gN i c kM a r s h
, eanwhile,
O v e ri n M e l b o u r n em
RowlandHowardis working on a new
s o l oa l b u mw i t h l o c a lb a n dT h e
Dave
and up in Manchester,
Devastations,
Sharpcontinuesto playwith his new
b a n dS o u lC o W a y n eH u s s e iys l i v i n gt h e
life of a glamorousexpatin Brazil,but
will be touring extensively
onceThe
Mission'snew album is releasednext
year,and plansto collaborateonce more
with on-off MissionguitaristSimon
Hinkler,as well as Echo& The
F1
Bunnymen's
Will Sergeant.
\l/
GOTHBI':TNOT
FORGOTTEN
Lack of space means we can't properly
TberAlaJ:m,
wltbDavo
Stba,r9,left, arrd
MltroPot6rs,
farrfdlt
doffa cap to all the greats, However, we
recommend that you also check out...
Daniel Ash Bauhaus. Love And Rockets
Billy Duffy The Cult
Blaxa Bargeld
Bad Seeds,
Einstiirzende Neubauten
Brian lames The Damned, Lords Of
The New Church
lames Stevenson Generation X,
Gene Loves fezebel
Tim Bricheno
All About Eve.
Sisters Of Mercy
Kirk
Brandon
Theatre Of Hate.
Spear Of Destiny
Walker Killing toke
Steve Stevens Billy ldol
Geordie
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