This was really fun to be a part of. An interview for all of you gear nerds out there. Check out QRD here. They interviewed Mick Barr in the same batch (!!!!).
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Curran – My mom’s classical guitar. It’s sitting upstairs in my office.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Curran – Fender Telecaster Thinline - Ernie Ball volume pedal - Boss
tuner - Fulltone OCD - Ibanez Tube Screamer - Boss pitch shifter -
Electro Harmonix Freeze - Diamond Tremolo - Line 6 DL4 - Electro
Harmonix Holy Grail - Verellen Loucks - Sunn 4x12
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier,
Curran – Tough call, but I’m gonna go with my Loucks.
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Curran – Verellen Loucks. It’s simple, yet extremely touchy &
versatile. & it’s pretty loud too. It yields a big range of
tones. I discover something new almost every time I play it.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make
Curran – My main guitar for years was a Godin LG. I’ve been using my
Tele for a few years now. I like the humbuckers in it. Gives it a bit
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Curran – Five.
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Curran – Mostly in their cases. One stays on a stand for easy access.
Another is in a corner being neglected.
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick
with what you get?
Curran – I’m a total caveman. I stick with what I get, besides from the
obvious tune-ups to suit the gauge/tunings I use. If I need something
technical done, I take it to Darcy Bunio here in Winnipeg. He’s a
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment
before buying it?
Curran – Pretty thoroughly. I watch as many online videos as I can if I
can’t physically try something first.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Curran – Not really. Don’t have the funds to.
QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into
it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?
Curran – I’ve been pretty locked in for a while. I tend to stay away
from super high treble. I like smooth, diamond-clear clean tones
& loud, but distinct distortion.
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly
Curran – Sunn Model T. Gimme.
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases
Curran – Best: Sunn 4x12 used for $400. Vox AC-30.
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you
particularly like or dis-like & why?
Curran – Verellen Amps. Fulltone overdrives.
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Curran – Chromatic warm-ups.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Curran – 10?
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar
Curran – Early to mid-twenties, right when I started teaching.
QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?
Curran – I’m not sure that it does. I can go from feeling perfectly
“fitted” with guitar to feeling totally outclassed by it.
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often
as it is?
Curran – After years of teaching, I still think I can’t say one way or
the other. I can tell you I wish I had learned piano first.
QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?
Curran – Both, but mainly an adversary.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing
Curran – Off the top of my head: Jonny Greenwood, Steve Brodsky/Adam
McGrath, Andrew Elstner, King Buzzo, Jake Snyder/Dave Knudson, Andy
Summers... I dunno. Honestly at this point I’m more influenced
& inspired by my friends & bandmates.
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural
or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?
Curran – Silly.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar &
how did you do it?
Curran – Dented the finish on my Godin when the volume pot flew off
& landed on the body. It was so flukey.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours
would you like to?
Curran – Not nearly enough. Anything more at this point would be great.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Curran – I use these Traynor picks that are basically like the Jazz
III, but the texture is smoother.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Curran – D’Addarrio. Jazz gauge. They’re just so dang heavy.
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Curran – When they start sounding bad/feeling gross.
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Curran – Not often.
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or
fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Curran – Strumming. I’ve never been into intense fretboard acrobatics.
QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech
(or not set it up at all) & why?
Curran – If it’s a significant repair or something I will most
certainly screw up, Darcy Bunio is where my guitars go.
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Curran – Standard, 1/2 step down, drop D, & this drop C tuning
with a few twists of my own.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation
system for writing down your own ideas?
Curran – Nowadays, I just record anything I need to remember.
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Curran – Laziness.
QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you
Curran – Jazz. Death metal. I have no idea. Probably almost anything.
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t
think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Curran – I used to be one, so maybe I can’t answer this one.
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Curran – Delay. Jangly chords.
QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?
Curran – Only when I accidentally turn it off & start playing a
song & notice half way through that my guitar sounds terrible.
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the
band not being good?
Curran – Probably not.
QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?
Curran – My most technical/hectic work was done in my stint with Hide
Your Daughters, though that has yet to be recorded since the band is on
permanent hiatus. My newest band Warsaw should hopefully record
something sometime. Greenhouse is my solo ambient stuff. It’s guitar
work, but it’s not obviously guitar - or work.