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Interview: Shane Theriot

Shane Theriot Green Hamer Strat
New Orleans based guitarist Shane Theriot was kind enough to give us an interview following a couple recent album reviews we featured, including Shane's most recent "DIRTY POWER" release.

Shane Theriot (pronounced "Terry-O") has an impressive resume' as a side man and session player, having toured and recorded with the likes of Neville Brothers, Boz Skaggs, Jewel, Leni Stern, Little Feat & Madeleine Peyroux-- as well a stint with SYN, a group featuring original Yes members Chris Squire & Alan White. And when there's time, Shane manages to release solo work.

An honors grad of Musician's Institute/GIT, Theriot was recommended for a teaching position by Scott Henderson, and is currently on faculty with MusicDojo.com

So basically, he's a badass musician & a killer guitar player. The following interview mostly focuses on the latest DIRTY POWER solo release. More links are included at the post bottom.

INTERVIEW:

Stratoblogster: I see a nod to Gerard Melancon in the liners. Are you using his Strat configs, or his other models too?

Shane Theriot: I have a tele style guitar that Gerard made for me a while back. You can get either a SSH (or with a different pickguard that he installed a humbucker in) I can get a HSH configuration. He recently picked up some wood that came out of my house in New Orleans that is close to 200 years old and he's working on a guitar out of that. He builds amazing guitars.

Stratoblogster: Is the vintage Epiphone pictured in your sleeve art the source of some of those fat tracks we're hearing? Do you go back a ways with that guitar?

Shane Theriot: Yes, I used that a lot on Dirty Power. I've had that guitar for a long time, maybe since 1994 or so. I go through periods where I love it and then sometimes I won't play it for months...I bought that from a great guitarist named Andy Reiss in Nashville who plays in a band called the Time Jumpers.

Stratoblogster: I almost forgot to ask you about your legendary green Hamer Strat (a Daytona?). Do you still have it & play it? And whose pickups are currently in it?

Shane Theriot: Yes I do still play it... a lot...I actually have 2-of the same color. Emerald green...I love those guitars, one is stock and one has some different pickups on it. It's got a JB single coil in the bridge and 2 Seymour Duncan vintage- something pickups in the neck and mid...

Stratoblogster: What are your choices in amps these days?

Shane Theriot: Well that depends on the situation... But on Dirty Power, most of that one was done with a Fender Champ. I don't know what year it is, I'm not real good with that stuff, it's a silver-face one. Those things have a surprising amount of low end if they are mic'ed up correctly. I like Fender type amps, but I also use a 71 Marshall superlead too.

Stratoblogster: The sound and production on Dirty Power is so consistent! Did you have a pretty good idea of what you wanted before assembling your musicians and recording?

Shane Theriot: Yes I did have an idea of what I wanted, but it's always hard to predict how it will actually turn out. Most of the drummers were on specific tunes for a reason, their particular personalities, grooves, whatever...I was so lucky to be able to get everyones schedule working at the same time. Not easy to do.

Stratoblogster: Some of it sounds very live, although still very cleaned up-- but very warm y'know. How much of it is playing together live?

Shane Theriot: Just about all the tracks were cut live and then some the horn parts were overdubbed. I may have went back and fixed a few spots here and there that I couldn't live with, but most of it is fairly raw. "Four on the Floor" was done in one take, solo and all, while songs like "Mr. Ed" and "Dirty Power" were done playing along with a click with a bass line that I had played. It worked surprisingly well i think and was a fun way to track-

Stratoblogster: The "Memphis" track seems to launch from Clapton & B.B.'s "Ridin' With the King" groove. Was it inspired by that tune-- and was the CB trucker stuff a spontaneous idea?

Shane Theriot: no it wasn't directly inspired by Clapton as much as something by Ry Cooder that may have filtered down somewhere out of the subconcious. the CB thing was Johnny Neel's idea. He played the harp solo while we were on a tour together riding in a van! I just had my pro tools rig hooked up to the laptop to do a harp solo, but then he grabbed the mic and started doing this "Convoy" thing... I thought it was great and funny and we kept it. Originally Johnny, Richie Hayward and myself spent a few days just recording grooves, having fun drinking beer and cutting up in the studio. We cut about 8 things and "Memphis" came out of those sessions as did "Pygmy Love Dance" (that was Richie's title) I haven't listened to that since Richie passed. I'll miss that guy.

Stratoblogster: Have you figured out Sonny Landreth's frettin' behind the slide thing? ;))

Shane Theriot: I play slide, mostly on sessions but I'm nowhere near what Sonny or Derek Trucks can do. I do know a hack version of that behind the slide technique though, if I'm around Sonny I'd probably hide the slide.

Stratoblogster: I know you've worked in plenty of vocal frameworks-- do you prefer keeping your solo stuff instrumental, or plan to add future vocal elements like Scott Henderson has done with Thelma Houston?

Shane Theriot: I haven't put any vocal material out on any of my solo records yet, but I do write a lot of lyrics. I've had a few songs recorded by other artists as well, and co-write fairly often with other songwriters. I just didn't think that they fit on any of my records thus far, but maybe in the future.

Stratoblogster: I currently don't see a tour schedule at your site. Did you already tour Dirty Power?

Shane Theriot: I've only done some regional gigs with my band as well as stuff in New Orleans for now. The new website will have some more dates and will be posted in the next few weeks. Besides that, up to now it's been hard to commit myself and just do my own things as opposed to the sideman and recording aspect of what I've been doing.

Stratoblogster: Do you tour more abroad than in the USA? Where was your best ever audience? Where have you been best received?

Shane Theriot: I like playing in Japan a lot. The audience is very attentive and it's fun to have all ears like that. On the other hand, it's hard to beat New Orleans for the energy that a small crowd can have. People live to go out and hear live music here and if it's got a funky beat to it, they are going to react to it.

END INTERVIEW

Links:

www.shanetheriot.com

Dirty Power Review

Grease Factor Review







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