Q – First of all thank you for your beautiful music and the amazing concert in Mechelen. We were the couple staring at you with our mouths open.
I hope you had your typical belgium beer afterwards, despite the lack of consensus on the brand. Unfortunately we had to drive back to Amsterdam but it would have been great to have had one with you!
Please help me out here. I was totally surprised to see you play all your songs with a plectrum, because on some cd’s in sounds like you’re fingerpicking. So my first question is, do you always play with a pick and secondly is Trigger Happy played with a pick on the original cd recording?
A – I think it was around 1994 that I saw some footage of James Taylor playing guitar unaccompanied and I decided to learn to fingerpick. It’s not easy if you didn’t learn that way in the first place, just as it isn’t easy for fingerpickers to strum with a plectrum… nevertheless I tried in earnest and I did write Trigger Happy using my fingers. However when it come to recording I realised that I wasn’t able to play in time very well with the new method, and the tone I was getting was inconsistent. So I taught myself what has now become my main playing technique – fake fingerpicking with a plectrum. It requires quite a lot of up and down and the right hand needs to be relaxed and flexible for it to work. From night to night, Trigger Happy especially can vary rather more than I’d like, performance wise. This playing style is pretty much the sound of Etc and Music in a Foreign Language.