Andy Timmons is quite literally one of the most well respected guitar players in the world right now. He has carved out a successful solo career from the ashes of the rock band Danger Danger and is by definition very much a guitarist’s guitarist. As well as stunning compositional work on records like ‘That was Then, This is Now’ and ‘Resolution’, Andy has carved out a guitar tone that is rich, full bodied and expressive. In fact the guitar sound he has managed to achieve on his latest record could be some of the best guitar tone ever recorded.
You can listen to the audio recording of this interview below.
I managed to catch Andy at the end of a busy day rehearsing with his band ahead of his Italian tour. I got to talk to him about touring with KISS, his early influences and the mighty Jeff Beck.
We quickly got talking about his recent guitar clinic with World Class Music in Plymouth and the fact that the last time I actually saw Andy play was when Danger Danger supported KISS on the Revenge tour. I asked him what it was like playing with one of the world’s greatest bands.
“It was amazing, both Gene and Paul really took us under their wing so to speak. Each had their own very strong personality but they couldn’t have been nicer to us. There was kind of a comradery between us due to the fact that both KISS and most of Danger Danger were from New York.”
“Gene and Paul were great and we learned so much from them. There was no drugs or alcohol ever involved with those guys and thats why they are still in this business today. But I guess I wasn’t so concerned with what the rock n’ roll lifestyle, I just always loved the music and the energy of the rock n roll, and that’s what drew me to it in the first place.”
Andy like many guitarists of his generation was inspired by KISS.
“KISS on the destroyer tour was the first concert I saw when I was in the 8th grade. So seeing that band on that particular tour was like “this is what I want to do”. It was like that epiphany, I had learned to play guitar listening to Ace Frehley and KISS records but seeing them cemented that.”
Mike Baugh from World Class Music had told me that some of Andy’s biggest influences were Jeff Beck and Steve Lukather. So I asked Andy if he had to pick the single biggest influence, which one would it have been?
“Well it’s impossible to pick but as far as my foundation and what I based so much on, I’d have to say Steve Lukather. I had older brother that were big fans of the Yardbirds and the early Jeff Beck group stuff. I liked those records when I was exposed to them but they didn’t really connect with me as heavily as they would later. Steve Lukather that took influence from Jeff Beck and Larry Carlton and it was Steve’s energy and passionate way of playing, his very specific note selection, the placement of the notes in the groove that was really inspiring and influential to me. I think to this I day I have stolen more from him than anyone.
But when I saw Jeff Beck for the first time in 1999 when he started coming back and doing shows with Jennifer Batten was incredible I don’t think I had ever been so moved by a guitar performance in all my life.
Still to this day, and I’ve seen him several times, he keeps getting better. I think that the Emotion and Commotion album is his best record and he keep raising the bar in terms of emotional expression that the guitar is capable of. What he’s doing and how he keeps raising the bar is really inspiring.”
Part Two of this interview is coming soon. In the meantime check out www.andytimmons.com.