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Guitar Tech Andy Gillan

Review Zoo catch up with "Palm Reader" Guitarist and Guitar Technician Andy Gillan!

Guitar Tech Andy Gillan

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What got you into Guitar Teching?

I’ve been playing guitar forever and whilst on tour was always the guy who fixed everyones guitars. A good friend of mine who’s now a big cheese in the tech game said “why don’t you become a guitar tech and actually make money from this? Years later, I’m sat on a train to Glasgow doing an interview about becoming a guitar tech.

What does your average day look like as a Guitar Tech?

Get up, load in, set up, soundcheck, maintenance, line check, show time, pack down, load out. Rinse and repeat.

Which bands/Artists have you teched for?

Diana Ross, Skunk Anansi, Lianne La Havas among many others

What do you enjoy most about being a Guitar Tech?

I love giving a guitar to the artist and within a few seconds of them playing their face lights up. It’s a great feeling knowing that I’ve made their experience that much better.

What does accommodation look like when you’re on tour? Is a tour bus your home for the tour or do you stay in hotels, and how is tour life?

Generally busses peppered with hotels on off days.

Do you get to see much of the countries you visit while touring?

Actually yes. Between soundcheck and line check there is a finite window for exploring. If you make plans to go and see the sight you can, but you have to plan ahead.

Where do you look forward to visiting for the cuisine?

Italy baby! The absolute kings of European cuisine.

What do meal times look like when you’re out on tour? Do you have catering?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It’s great when there is but if there isn’t then the worlds your oyster. Kind of. Deliveroo is your oyster.

Favourite Guitar you’ve played?

Steve from Ocean Colour Scene has a ’68 SG which is the most incredible machine I’ve ever played. An absolute unicorn of a guitar.

Favourite amp you’ve played through?

My Sunn Model T Reissue. Absolute power house of an amp.

As a Guitar Tech, do you have input on equipment the artist might use in the future?

Usually it’s a utility to make their stage experience better. My forte is pedals and one thing I love is trying out new pedals with an artist to really drill down into the sound in their head.

What do you look forward to most when you get back from tour?

My dog. Silence. No lobby call.

What are you currently listening to?

Right now I’m on a real a real Tom Waits trip. The mans catalogue goes so deep it’s unreal.

What’s your favourite album of all time?

Björk - Vespertine

What hobbies do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I actually spend my spare time hiking and growing fruit & veg in my garden. I spend so much time in the maelstrom of live music, I want to be as far away from it and people as possible when I’m not working.

Do you play any instruments in your own time?

I’ve taken up learning Bossa nova on guitar. It’s a completely different approach to playing guitar so it keeps my hands busy and out of trouble. I also hammiest the piano quite a bit.

Do you have any of your own bands/projects you’d like to mention?

I play in Palm Reader.

Please can you tell us about the Guitars and Amps etc you own personally?

My baby is a ‘78 Gibson RD Artist. It’s the love of my life and I’ve never played anything like it. Aside from that I have a Les Paul Studio from like ‘99, a Fender Supersonic and a PRS Mark Holcombe SVN.

Amp wise, I’ve been rocking a Sunn Model T for almost a decade. However I’m on the hunt for a decent small combo for home.

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