The latest “15 questions” feature is with guitarist Daryl Greaves.
Daryl Greaves is the quintessential “man on the street” guitarist; a good taste in music, great looking and sounding guitar, and gigs regularly at a variety of venues in the UK with his much-loved covers band “King Loud“.
Guitar Jar catches up with Daryl to quiz him on his current equipment, influences and his party-trick of performing guitar solos… outside of the gig venue.
…Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden; I think he’s one of the most under-rated players around…
- Hi Daryl, can you give Guitar Jar readers an insight to why you first picked up the guitar and how long you’ve been playing?
I’ve owned a guitar (of various makes) for about 15 years – but to be honest, due to various things (mostly girlfriends!) I’ve only been playing ‘seriously’ for the past 2.5 years.
I first picked up the guitar after my brother played AC/DC’s ‘Heatseeker’ to me – that’s the song that really gave me the desire to rock out!
- In the first few years in learning the instrument, which guitarist(s) were you influenced by the most and why?
The first guitarist who captured my attention – and influenced my play style – was Angus Young. I’m a complete sucker for the blues-rock style, and after having seen him play live, his showmanship (and wondering if he was p*ssed all the time) really made a mark on me.
Besides Angus, the main guitarist who’s influenced me is Slash; in my eyes, the guy is a god! I just love everything about his playing style, including the fact it can be a bit rough.
Other influences are Joe Perry, Billy Gibbons, and Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden; I think he’s one of the most under-rated players around. The guy can wail!I personally am not keen on shredders and people who play fast without any ‘feeling’, although I completely get why people would admire them.
- Can you tell our readers of your current live rig setup?
Sure thing – I own a Gibson Les Paul 2008 Studio model, which is run through a Marshall JVM410Hamp and 1960A cab.
I use a Pedaltrain as well, with a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2 Plus, BOSS TU-3 tuner, Dunlop Cry Baby wah, MXR Analog Chorus, BOSS DD-7 delay and – most crucially! – an ISP G-String Decimator.
The delay and chorus are sent via the FX loop on the amp (and through the decimator pedal), with everything else going through the front of the amp.The decimator is an amazing piece of kit – completely eliminates the hum and hiss from the amp and guitar, and any noise from the loop.The other piece of kit I’ve just started using is the Line 6 G50 Wireless Relay. It’s chuffing awesome!!!
It’s given me complete freedom to go wandering around the gig venue – even outside – and still carry on playing, and there is no signal degradation at all.
The only other thing I use is the Alpine attenuating ear plugs. If you don’t have a pair – get them! They work amazingly well.
- How was “King Loud” formed?
I’d been in previous bands before – both covers and originals – but got tired of playing the same stuff as all the other bands you’d see on a night out with the covers band (there’s only so many times I can hear Sweet Child O’ Mine and Summer of ’69 before I want to kill someone, and I didn’t have the time available to commit to the originals band.
King Loud came about with the idea of playing hits from the past that people hadn’t heard for a long time, and to ensure that the band and the crowd fully enjoyed playing them.We realise that part of the fun of seeing a band is the performance as well as the music, so we try and ensure we all have fun when playing; we truly believe that if we have fun, this translates to the crowd, and they enjoy it that much more.
We play songs from people such as Poison, Status Quo, Judas Priest, Tom Jones, Eddie Cochran, Kim Wilde, The Stranglers, Backstreet Boys (rocked up, of course…!), Alice Cooper and lots more.
It’s quite an eclectic set, and the crowd seem to love it – especially the older stuff!
- Rumour has it you perform solos outside of the gigging venue. Is it true and what inspired you to adopt this into your performance?
Ha! Yep, guilty as charged? It happened as an off-the-cuff moment during one of my gigs.
I’d always gone walkabouts during a few songs around the venue (the look on people’s faces is priceless when they see you playing next to them at the back of the venue), and suddenly decided to see if I could go outside to play. It’s all part of the performance and making sure the crowd enjoy their time with us!
- Is Hendrix Overrated?
Erm… I’ll probably get shot for this, but I would have to say ‘yes’. I completely respect the guy and his legacy, but personally – for me – his playing never struck a chord with me. I realise my idols based a lot of their playing on his, but for some reason, I just never ‘got’ Hendrix.
That’s one of the great things with music though – it’s all about personal taste!I’d also have to say the Beatles are hugely over-rated 😉
- What do you recommend to players to help them progress if they’re “stuck in a rut”?
The first thing would be a metronome – they can be a godsend! Secondly, keep practising and don’t give up; if it’s a phrase you’re trying, slow it right down, and break it into parts.
Don’t rush it or you’ll get annoyed. Make sure it’s perfect slowly before you speed it up!
Thirdly, I’ve found that trying something else and coming back to the part I was stuck on can really help as well. A rest can sometimes do you good!
…My Les Paul is my baby – no other guitar plays like it to me!…
- Guitar/Amp modelling: Love it or hate it?
I’ve only ever tried it once, and was pretty impressed – I wouldn’t personally use it for a gig, but I think for home recording it’s a good thing!
- Your house is burning down. What’s the one guitar item you would save?
It’d have to be the Les Paul – I can buy the same amp and pedals, but the guitar is unique to me. I’ve customised it, and it’s my baby – no other guitar plays like it to me!
- A DeLorean time machine has just burst onto your front lawn. With your hover-board in hand, you’re ready climb in and hit 88mph. Will you go to the past or the future and why?
I’d have to say the future would beckon me – if only to see what it holds! However, if I get there and we’ve been enslaved by Justin Bieber, I won’t be happy. Being enslaved by Girls Aloud wouldn’t be so bad though, as long as I can turn the volume down.
- Have you had any nightmare experiences whilst gigging?
I had a couple recently actually; one of them involved a drunk patron landing – literally – in the drumkit and destroying it. To the drummer’s credit, he quickly re-built it, and carried on from where we left off.
The other nightmare was suddenly worrying about something that had happened at work as I burst into a solo. I’ve no idea what I was playing – all I remember was worrying about a problem that had arisen at work in the day. Losing focus isn’t a good thing!
- What’s your opinion on music downloading? Are free/donation based downloads the way forward?
It’s a real tricky area; my personal belief is that bands should be given more of a cut of the money. I know bands that have stated on the record they don’t mind people downloading their stuff for free, as long as people buy gig tickets and merchandise as they earn more money from that.
I always make a point of going to see bands I like and buying the t-shirt, even if I don’t have the album.
I think the Pledge concept is a brilliant way for bands to make an album and actually get a larger cut – I know The Union and Ginger Wildheart have used it and people have donated more than enough to them to allow them to make new albums.
- If you could form a super group using famous musicians past or present, who would you have on drums and why?
Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden! The guy is a MONSTER on the drums, and he’s a smashing guy as well. Plus, he’s got a sense of humour which I think is crucial in any band.
- What’s the plan for you musically for the next 12 months?
More songs, more gigs, more learning! I’m always trying to learn new things on the guitar, and while I realise there are a load of people better than me on it, my main goal is to ensure I enjoy playing. I think once the enjoyment is gone from playing, you’re doing something wrong.
- And finally, Lager or Cider?
Cider – if only because you can do the “‘in cider” joke 😉
For more information about Daryl and “King Loud” visit the following websites: