Marcus King Band Interview
One of the world’s freshest talents with a guitar, Marcus King, talks Gibsons, recording multiple amps and wearing a giant fake beard on stage with Warren Haynes. 20 year-old Marcus King is a must-hear guitarist who’s latest album with The Marcus King Band features Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes, who also produced it. If you’re a fan of Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Allman Brothers Band, and any other fine blues/rock/soul bands then check out this interview and have a listen to the new Marcus King Band album.
We caught up with the band at their October show at London’s The Blues Kitchen – Shoreditch and lent Marcus a SlideRIG-CD compressor pedal for the set. The band are incredible and Marcus’s guitar playing is out of this world!Can you took me through the gear that you are using for this tour?
I’m using an early seventies Silver Face Fender Super Reverb, a Tubescreamer TS9 and a wah pedal.
And what guitar are you using?
I’m using my Gibson ES345 and also a Les Paul.
Is there a guitar or some piece of equipment you’d love to add to your collection in the future?
Yeah… quite a few, you know… I play a lot of pedal steel so I’d like to see us kind of incorporate that into the live show. As far as production’s concerned it’s kind of a pain, you know, bringing it in and also I can’t play it and sing at the same time, quite yet. It’s a little bit more tricky for me, playing that and singing, but I’d like to bring the pedal steel in and maybe do some more broken-down acoustic stuff as well.
Were you playing the pedal steel that’s on the latest album?
Yeah, I was!Your new album’s got a fantastic vibe to it; did you approach the album with a certain sound in mind?
Yeah, we did! We had a certain sound that we wanted. We really wanted, like, the Led Zeppelin I sound. We took inspiration from a lot of British bands for the recording. We used the Glyn Johns recording method on the drums – so you have just one over-head, a kick mic, and an ambiance mic for the snare that’s about equal distance that the over-head is away from the snare drum. So we use that method instead of miking each tom and getting it meticulously tuned – we wanted more of an ambient room sound for the drums.
And also another album that I took a lot of my guitar – the way we recorded the amps – was kind of taken away from ‘Blow by Blow’ the Jeff Beck record, as far as, we put baffles in between all of my amps and we would switch in and out of different amps for different sounds mid-song when we went back and edited the song on ProTools. We were running through the tape machine then into ProTools so it made it a little bit easier to do this. We would switch from the Marshall to the Supro to the Super just by taking the other ones out.You’ve played on stage with some great guitarists: What’s been your favorite memory from a live performance?
I think the first time that I sat in with Warren haynes was a good memory. We did the ZZ Top tune, ‘Jesus Just Left Chicago’. It was their encore so I went back out with them and we all wore these big fake beards and sunglasses and I was really nervous, you know? My beard got caught in my guitar strings.
And that was the first time playing with Warren on stage?
Yeah, it was really funny! The whole situation was real riot, you know?!
So lastly, what’s your best advice you can give to any aspiring guitarists?
Well, I think that it’s important to really get to know your instrument just like you would any human being, you know, get to know him very well. Get to know the neck to where it’s just an extension of your body and it’s really just an expression of what’s going on inside your head, you know? That’s where I started with it and then I believe if you care about something about you should study into it as far as possible. Theory is always really great to know but never study too much to where it takes away from natural vibe and just the spirituality and energy that you started playing for – the reason in the first place.
Never forget that spark! If you weighed down with too much, you know, busy work… But, it’s also really important to know the busy work as well!
Be sure to head out to a Marcus King Band concert near you and buy the album!