Q – I’m a guitarist/musician. I had someone recently mention to me that my music reminded them of your playing. I was extremely humbled and surprised.
I’m a huge Matthew Sweet fan and was initially introduced to your playing through him. I never before made any connection between my playing and yours, but since the comment, I have started to realize that I have copped some of your stylistic nuances. (sorry)
My question to you is have you ever had a similar experience where someone hears an influence in your playing that you never realized existed before on a conscience level? If so, how did you react to it? Flattered, humbled, annoyed?
A – I have Consciously tried to play guitar like Steve Cropper and Lou Reed. I try to play piano like John Lennon or Neil Young and harmonica like Bruce Springsteen. Ok – it’s not that simple, but these are great players and I see no harm in following the lead of your heroes. And, yes, I find that I do pick up stylistic nuances from the guitarists I’ve played with, but I’m really not much of a musician, so the cool stuff I could never do, anyhow (not false modesty). I worry more that I’ll subconsciously re write songs that I like. Usually I catch myself and realise what’s happening, but not always – see Speedboat. However, I don’t think any song where I have lifted an idea from another song has turned out at all like the other song, see That Boy and Roxanne, so I know I shouldn’t worry… still I never listen to music when I’m making albums to at least try to rule this out.