Thank you it’s my pleasure. Ok so a brief background. I am a 48 year old Scottish guitarist and composer. I am originally self taught, learning to play by ear. However, from 1988-90 I spent 2 years at Perth music college Scotland where i advanced my music theory, reading , live band performance, recording, production and sound engineering. I started work as a professional guitarist when I moved to Dublin, Eire. I served my time in theatre pit bands for the shows Godspell, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Jesus Christ Superstar plus many more. I also performed live for many different bands and solo artists in the studio, on TV and radio . A more recent highlight was being asked to play with Dweezil Zappa when he performed at The Royal Festival hall London and working with Atma Anur and Tony Franklin on my latest e.p. Well of Heads and before that on my e.p. The Grand Design. I have toured extensively through Germany, France, Italy, Finland, Ireland, UK and Spain, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and some of the USA. Maybe I should come to Hungary next? I am also interested in performing in India and further east. After the first 25 years spent playing many genres and touring I decided to spend the next 20 years focusing on my own music and development as an artist.
As I hear your playing, the change of intonation, tone and the speed are combined wonderfully! Can this be learnt or is it exclusively down to feeling?
I strive to make the dynamics and tone of my playing as natural as possible. The clean sound I favour allows that to happen in a similar way to how it sounds using an acoustic guitar.
I play both acoustic and electric, all my guitars do very different jobs, they all add a specific timbre. Currently I enjoy the Byrd Avianti and the gypsy jazz guitars I own. At the moment I use DiMarzio pickups and I am experimenting with the Eventide reverb as part of my effect pedal chain. I am finding some amazing sounds for my new tracks which will complete the Well of Heads e.p later this year.
Roy, finally, how about your plans for the future?
To keep doing what I do for as long as I can. I must work other jobs to subsidize what i love to do, a situation most self funded musicians find themselves in. Realistically the kind of music i play will never be popular on a massive scale. How do you define it? Jazz fusion, Prog Rock, World Music? It generally refuses to be categorised. Whatever it is, it is not main stream. To date I have worked as a Mechanic, Archaeologist, Builder, Tiler, Electrician and Carer, often alongside being a session guitarist, although I prefer not being someone else’s musical mule! i do on occasion teach advanced guitarists or do the odd session, however its rare i really enjoy such gigs unless i am able to contribute in some meaningful musical way. The Well of Heads video is to be released next month and features some great photography from Scottish photographer Les Johnston. We are developing ideas for a collaboration using his images and my music, perhaps through a tour. I am working on my Truefire series which will introduce the use of my “Phat Bhoy” pick along with instruction on angle picking and other insights into my technique. I am enjoying life, I have never had anything to prove to anyone other than myself, I just concentrate on creating my music and hopefully that is evident in what you hear in the finished product. For me that is being successful in music, that is the real reward. Music is a spiritual journey for me, to compromise myself or dilute it for the masses is out of the question. The music industry faces many challenges, some of which it has imposed upon itself. It is good that there is still a strong demand for well crafted, original music.
Roy, thank you for talking, and best wishes for you in the future,
Thank you very much.