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Halfway 2Halfway is an eight piece band from Brisbane. Yep, they still make an 8 piece! Formed in 2000, Halfway have released three albums; Farewell to the Fainthearted (2004) Remember the River (2006) & An Outpost of Promise (2010). The band’s new album Any Old Love is released on June 7. John Willsteed, former bass player with The Go Betweens is a guitarist in Halfway and is profiled here

What was your first guitar?
Burns SplitSonic – probably a ’66. I bought it in ’75 or so. Sold it a year or two later.

What’s your main guitar now?
In ’77 I bought a Japanese Strat copy, a Westone for $200. It has stayed central since then. Though a recently acquired Orville by Gibson Les Paul gets used a lot. I also have on stage a Fender Strat XII, and a Gretsch Jet Baritone.

Through what amp and why?
I’m using a VASE Trendsetter 60 with 2×12 cab. Because it’s locally made, very loud, has an incredible vibrato. Lovely amps made by lovely people.

Which pedals are your standards?
MXR Micro Amp, Crowther Hotcake, EH Pulsar, Strymon Lex (as the travelling version of a Hughes+Kettner Rotosphere which is a little bulky), Line 6 Delay, MXR Phase 90, EH Holy Grail

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
Halfway’s 4th album Any Old Love released in February, second single Dulcify out on June 7. Back in the studio with Ed Kuepper in mid-June.

What gigs have you been playing lately?
Not many. Little East Coast Australian shows. Who goes out anymore?

Most memorable gig?
Greece with The GoBetweens in the late 80s.

Worst stage nightmare?
As a bass player, playing with a drummer who had sprained her ankle so there was no kick drum.

Album that changed your life?
I keep returning to George Jones, Little Feat and early Tom Waits. Though it is probably Scott. By Scott Walker.

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
Lazybones in Sydney, Wesley Anne in Melbourne. Mid-June.

A guitar tip for the kids?
Learn how to at least string a guitar properly and do some soldering. And there are no rules.


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