Got me on my knees, Lola…
“Don’t Pacify Me” from a guitarist’s perspective…
I heard the bare bones and the beat and I was really liking the style. Immediately I knew that a complex riff or overbearing guitar was only going to complicate things and distract from the prominent melody and rhythm; I had to go simple. For the intro and recurring high notes I based this solely in the high end of a minor pentatonic scale, repetitive and recognisable throughout the song. When it came to the chorus, it’s a simple bend and a slide being once again, repetitive and recognisable.
Writing and recording this song reminded me of a valuable lesson as a guitarist; you don’t always need to play at 100% of your ability, don’t be afraid to go back to basics.
The intro was recorded on a reverse headstock Fender Strat that I owned for all of 2 months as it wasn’t suiting me… the tone however was great for bringing out warmer high notes. For the chorus I wanted something more full and maybe a little gritty for the bend and slide which meant going back to my main guitar that you will 99% of the time see me playing live…. She’s called Lola.
She’s an all original 1965 matching headstock Fender Jaguar in Olympic white; a divisive guitar but I love the bones of it. Flicking into the jazz circuit gave the warmth and classic tone we were looking for.
When playing this song live, it’s all on Lola. She’s pretty beaten up but it’s all genuine, not like new relics but hey… I’d look worse after 53 years of playing. From there we go to the controversial multi effects board instead of my pedaltrain full of goodies because far too many times that has failed in sound check and shook me up. The Boss GT100 is accused of robbing tone but when playing live, it does the job perfectly and preserves that genuine 60’s tone.
P.S. The guitar bores will now complain because Lola doesn’t have her original bridge and mute fitted. I have them and will return them one day but practicality has to win out sometimes and I can’t have strings popping out the bridge when I’m playing live! Hence the buzz top too.
By Miles Williams (Guitarist & Fender Jaguar Enthusiast)
Don’t Pacify Me
Available March 26th via Blackout Recordings
Pre-order on iTunes