12 QUESTIONS WITH ANDREW MCKEAG

Can you give us a brief history of your playing career?
Spent the last 5 years playing 3 string guitar for The Presidents of the United States of America – prior to that I was in a variety of Seattle bands, including Shuggie, The Black Panties and Uncle Joe’s Big Ol’ Driver… among many other strange, fun and silly cover bands and other weird projects.

What inspired you to start playing guitar?
Mostly Jimi Hendrix initially… I remember burning a guitar Monterey-style before I could even play Purple Haze all the way through!

What was your first electric guitar?
A 60’s Sears/Teisco with one pick-up and a zero fret- played it through my Mom’s console hi-fi- hey… at least it was a TUBE amp!

What are your top 5 favorite records?
Today?

Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On- Funkadelic
Electric Ladyland- Jimi Hendrix
Then Play On- Fleetwood Mac
Mona Bone Jakon- Cat Stevens
Powerage- AC/DC
Smokin’- Humble Pie
Down By The Jetty- Dr. Feelgood
Climbing- Mountain
Beware Of The Dog- Hound Dog Taylor

Oops… was that 9? See me tomorrow for 9 more!

What was the proudest moment and/or performance of your playing career?
There have been lots of good times thus far, but playing the Paramount Theater in Seattle last year to celebrate the Presidents’ most recent album was pretty darn amazing. My son Henry even joined us on stage- epic!

How did you hear about Reverend?
My buddy Ron Heathman from the Supersuckers and Audley Freed both play ‘em… Ron hooked me up with Ken Haas and the rest is history!

What Reverend guitar(s) are you using?
I have a Flatroc in orange.

What do you like about your Reverend guitar?
It looks great, it was perfectly intonated, as shipped… and it sounds killer.

What amps and pedals do you currently use?
Depends on the gig! I use Orange OR50’s, AD30s and Satellite Atom head with 2×12 cab. MXR, Creepy and Analog Man pedals, with a smattering of vintage stuff thrown in here and there- usually a db boost, fuzzy distortion, phase shifter, analog delay and a wah if I’m feeling randy.

Do you have any unusual hobbies, skills, or pastimes you’d like to share with us?
I’m afflicted with a serious BSA motorcycle addiction… and I race vintage motocross bikes.

Do you have any advice for up and coming players?
Just play, play, play with anyone and everyone as often as possible… and keep your expectations of yourself high, but your expectations of the music business as low as possible. That way, you’re playing your best at ALL times for the right reasons and you can be pleasantly surprised when something cool happens with your career… although I never use that word… way too serious of a word for something as fun as playing guitar!

Please tell us about any of your current projects, tours, cds, etc. we should know about:
The Presidents have mostly wrapped-up touring on our most recent album These Are The Good Times People, which came out in 2008, so I’m doing all sorts of stuff ’til we get rolling again. I’m playing a few acoustic dates around the Northwest with Greg Humphreys from Hobex/Dillon Fence, I have a Humble Pie cover band called The Fixers that plays a few shows ever couple months, and I also have an all 70’s hard rock cover band called 70 Proof full of various dudes from Seattle bands- wigs, mustaches and Marshalls… yee ha!