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GWYN ASHTON – Guitar

These days ex-pat Aussie guitarist Gwyn Ashton resides in the UK but rips up stages worldwide. Pic by www.pixievision.com/

gwynashtonWhat was your first guitar?
My very first guitar was a $10 Belmont acoustic bought in a second-hand shop in Whyalla back in 1972. My first electric guitar was a Tempo Les Paul copy that I got at 15 years old. I had to save up pocket-money and get a part-time job to come up with that $160.

What’s your main guitar now?
I have a bunch, about 70. It depends on what the gig is. I have so many for different things. My main one, I guess, would be my 1931 National Duolian, but I use a Weissenborn and a Taylor 12-string for acoustic performances and a whole bunch of Strats, Teles, Firebirds, Les Pauls, James Trussarts and so-on. It just depends on the gig.

Through what amp and why?
Again, I have a supply of amps – mainly vintage tweeds, depending on the gig size. I like small amps and the louder I can play, the more I bring in. I start off with one or two Fender Pro Juniors, add a 1957 Fender Deluxe, a 1956 Fender Twin Amp 40w or either one, or BOTH, of my high-power Tweed Twins from 1957 and 1959. I have an AC30, too.

Which pedals are your standards?
Either a Flynn Amps Hawk or a Lovepedal Amp50 for drive. A Catalinbread Belle Epoch (which replaced either of my four Echoplexes) and Boss DM3 for delay. Zvex SHO, Foxrox Octron, Mooer Trelicopter. They’re my main sounds. I have several box loads of weird and whacky vintage fuzzes and so-on. It depends on how I’m feeling on the day and how much the baggage allowance on the flight is.

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
‘Radiogram’ is my last album and I’m really proud of it. Don Airey, Kim Wilson, Robbie Blunt and Mark Stanway all made guest appearances. I like to record myself in good sounding rooms, so I’ve been collecting microphones and outboard gear. I plan to make a very stripped-down acoustic album this year.

What gigs have you been playing lately?
I’ve been touring Germany, Netherlands, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland and the UK.

Most memorable gig?
Wembley Arena with Status Quo.

Worst stage nightmare?
Had a migraine onstage, lost my sight and couldn’t see the neck of my guitar. It was awful. Flashing lights in my head. Thought I was going to die.

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
dates in the UK, Poland, Corsica, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Brasil and Russia. Got some UK festival dates.

A guitar tip for the kids?
Listen to as much music as possible. Pay attention to what the musicians are doing onstage. Go to as many gigs as you can. Totally absorb yourself in the music. Always watch the bands. I can’t stress that enough.

www.gwynashton.com