12 QUESTIONS WITH ALEX STERN

Can you give us a brief history of your playing career?
Sure.  I got into ska and reggae in High School, so, I played in typically bad teenage bands.  My brother started one called “Mass.Hysteria” which initially was as bad as its name, but, gradually got better.  We got to tour a bunch and along the way I briefly joined Westbound Train ( a band that went on to be a lot better without me!).  After that, I played in a lot of bands around Boston, and toured the country with The Sterns (who almost made it!) and The New Collisions (who also kinda almost made it!), before joining Void Union with some of my old Westbound friends, and eventually joining Big D and the Kids Table.  Now I split time between touring, producing, session playing and helping to manage my family’s bookshop.

What inspired you to start playing guitar?
I went to a camp when I was about 9, and everybody thought that the one kid who played guitar was the coolest.  Nobody thought that my piano playing was cool, so I badgered my parents to let me switch.

What was your first electric guitar?
A late 80’s Yamaha with one bridge pickup and a floating bridge.  My dad employed a few people from local bands, so, the guitar player from Gigolo Aunts ended up picking it out

What are your top 5 favorite records?
No order:

1. The Stone Roses- The Stone Roses
2. The Misfits- Static Age
3.The Upsetters- Return of Django
4. Weezer- Pinkerton
5. Morrissey- Your Arsenal
6. Obligatory Jazz Record

What was the proudest moment and/or performance of your playing career?
I don’t think I have a “proudest” moment. Most musicians struggle to get even local gigs,so, I’m lucky to have seen the world!
I definitely have a few “least proud” moments!

How did you hear about Reverend?
Initially, Peter Lubin ( A&R guru), told me about Reverend several years ago, but, it was Buck from the Toasters that convinced me to try it out.

What Reverend guitar(s) are you using?
Jetstream 290, Double Agent, Dub King Bass.  Used a loaner Kingbolt for Warped in Detroit.!

What do you like about your Reverend guitar?
The locking tuners!  Also, the dedication to a body design that is unconventional, but, not bizarre.

What amps and pedals do you currently use?
Traynor YBA-1, Vox Night Train 50, Vox AC30, Peavey Classic 30.  For Pedals I’m using the Fulltone OCD and a Boss Giga-Delay.

Do you have any unusual hobbies, skills, or pastimes you’d like to share with us?
I ride my bike 10-15 miles a day. You should too!   I also make the best omelettes.

Do you have any advice for up and coming players?
Devote your entire self to being good at playing with other people.  Don’t drink too much.   Choose your battles (cliché or not, this is paramount!).  Understand that there is no way to avoid disappointing yourself and (probably) your family.

Please tell us about any of your current projects, tours, cds, etc. we should know about:
I co-produced and played organ/piano on “Jr. Thomas meets the Venditions”, a killer early reggae album. My buddy Thaddeus Merritt plays a Reverend Justice on the entirety of the record.

I continue to play my guitars for Big D, Void Union, The Pomps and Obi Fernandez (from Westbound Train), and my bass for Ruby Rose Fox and The Sterns. I’m open (schedule permitting) to all musical takers at AlexGStern (at) gmail.com.