Top 20: Anthony Grantham
The other day we sent over twenty questions to Anthony Grantham, guitarist and songwriter of the wonderfully noisy Manchester trio, The Mu-Tones. (Their debut single, ‘Slab City Records’, is available through Weird Angry Records.)
* What record changed your life?
Copper Blue by Sugar, here was a band doing everything I wanted to do, big droning guitars, tonnes of harmonies, massive drums and gorgeous chords.
* Have you ever suffered from writers block?
Of course, there’s two ways to beat it and both are equally valid : the first is to work through it, force yourself to finish an idea even if it’s crap then move on to the next and the next etc. The other is the northern “wait for the inspiration” approach, put down your pen and do something else until it returns to you.
* What do you consider your greatest musical achievement?
Perhaps playing Glastonbury main stage? That’s the one that other people would pick for me. But I’m not sure. Perhaps a more personal one would be the time my first ever band started and finished a cover of the cults “rain” at roughly the same time as each other. That was quite a sense of achievement.
* What word would adequately describe your 2019?
* It is now 2020, what do you hope to achieve this year, musically?
I’m going to finish an album and put it out.
* Do you use a Tremolo arm?
I do indeed, my Gretsch has a wonderfully tactile Bigsby on it.
* Please suggest a song to learn for a beginner on the guitar
Gloria by Them is always good, anything simple and repetitive will help you get strength in your fingers and support your timing.
* Do you own a plectrum holder?
Yes indeed I have one of those triangular spring loaded ones made by Ernie Ball.
* What is your current rig?
Either a Gretsch white falcon or a cheap electric 12 string into:
Earthquaker devices Acapulco gold fuzz,
Donner wave delay pedal,
Korg pitch black tuner,
Mr Black deluxe plus reverb + Tremolo pedal,
All into a 1982 fender champ 2, 18 Watts last of the hand wired fender valve amps, Its only got four knobs and it just sounds heavenly.
* What was your first guitar, and do you still own it?
It was a cheap acoustic from argos and it broke I’m afraid. My first electric was a cream Les Paul copy made by columbus, and for a young Randy Rhoads fan it was perfect. I don’t have that either as I went through a phase of butchering my old guitars for spares for newer ones. Very foolish.
* What was your first guitar pedal, and do you still own it?
It was a columbus tube driver, and it sounded terrible, I still miss the frontline chorus I used to have though, properly lush with a lovely soft pink light.
* Do you practice on electric or acoustic, or both?
Whatever’s to hand really, I use the same strings on all my guitars so they all play the same way. It’s not so much practicing as songwriting. I’ve not sat to “better myself” as a guitarist since I learned the cantina band theme from star wars ha ha!
* Which genre of music do you not own, and why?
I like all sorts, but if it sounds like you could’ve made it in ten minutes on your phone, I can’t get excited by it. I want my bands to work for their art!
* Should bands get back together?
I’m not sure they always should, it depends on the motives I suppose.
* Do you enjoy nostalgia?
Everybody does, but it’s a trap, it’s easy to get stuck in nostalgia to the exclusion of all else.
* Should artists release new music on cassette?
It’s a novelty kind of thing isn’t it, a bit of a club? If it gets you heard I say do it. But be wary.
* How would you like to be remembered?
As a decent enough sort of chap, perhaps pleasantly eccentric.
* What is your favourite word?
* Tell us a joke
How can you tell when your guitar player is out of tune? His hands start moving.