Blesok no. 45, November-December, 2005
Interview with Matt O'Ree
– Something about your musical beginnings, what got you into music?
It was a few influences, my older brother, my dad, friends at school. Ever since I was real little, I can remember hearing the sounds coming from my brothers record player and just being in awe. I knew then that music was something I wanted to pursue. I guess I was around 9 years old. I didn't start really playing until I was 13.
– Your early influences were…
Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, ZZ Top, SRV, Eric Clapton, Howlin Wolf, Freddie King, Albert King, BB King…
– Who would you regard as your biggest influence so far?
After all these years, it still has to be Jimi. He has just forever changed the guitar and the way it needs to be played, until the end of time.
– Is there anyone you would like to work with?
I would love to have the chance to work with Warren Haynes on a project. I just love his style of playing and writing. He has to be the hardest working musician that I've ever met.
– What unfulfilled ambition do you have?
I would really like to tour more. I'm so anxious to come to Europe and meet some of the fans that have bought my music over the years. It just makes me so happy that my music is all over the world.
– What was the first record you bought?
I remember the first one I ever got was from my older brother which was “Are You Experienced?” from Jimi Hendrix. That record changed the course of my life.
– What was the last record you bought?
Gov't Mule's latest release, Deja Voodoo, great record!
– Five desert island albums of your choice would be…
Tough one, ok:
1. Blind Faith
2. Hendrix – Band of Gypsies
3. Rory Gallagher – Irish Tour '74
4. ZZ Top – Deguello
5. SRV – Live at the Elmocambo
– Beside your own material, which covers you usually do on stage?
It ranges from different styles. I love to play these songs my own way: Can't Find my way home(blind faith), Them Changes(Hendrix), Bridge of sighs(Trower), I Put a Spell on You(CCR), Not Fade away(Stones).
– What do you think about contemporary blues scene?
Its getting better all the time, new places to play and fans to meet. The internet is a huge help for the independent artist like myself. It still comes down to doing a great show and getting the word out.
It can be tough. Its hard to travel and have new place give you a chance to prove yourself especially when you are from 3 states away and nobody knows who you are.
– You have shared the stage with some big names, any particular experience
I just opened for Buddy Guy, that was really great. Robin Trower was really cool too. I also opened for Kansas about a month ago. That was a blast! Over 5000 people in a big arena.
– Something about your future plans?
I'm planning on going back to the studio real soon a making an all live CD, no overdubs. This will include the song “Theresa” from my first CD with a whole new slant on the tune. Stay tuned…
– What is your current stage equipment (amp, etc)?
Guitars: 61 Strat or 58 Les Paul
Amps: Komet head with a vintage basketweave Marshall Cabinet, 1959 Leslie Cabinet
Pedals: 1967 Vox wha, 1969 Univibe, 1970 Fuzzface, 70's Octavia, Demeter Tremulator, and a Keeley tubescreamer.
– Fender Stratocaster used to be your guitar which I know you from previous releases and now it's Gibson Les Paul, what happened?
Ahh, I still play my Strat quite a bit but I have been rockin, out with this custom shop 58' historic Les Paul that just sounds so huge, its hard to put it down. When I started writing the songs which made it onto the new CD, it just kinda felt right using it to record with being that this record is a bit more rock than my last two. I also prefer playing slide guitar with it because the fretboard radius is flatter making it more comfortable to play chords without hitting the frets.
You can check more info about me on www.mattoree.com