12 QUESTIONS WITH MICHAEL SHEPARD

Can you give us a brief history of your playing career?
I started playing guitar when I was 13. I was one of those quiet kids without any friends, so it was a pretty easy match, me and the guitar. I practiced every day for hours. When most kids were doing their homework I was attempting to write my own songs, even though I couldn’t play any chords yet. I started my first band when I was 16 and just never looked back. I was inspired by alot of the bands that impacted me then in the 90’s. It was such a great time for music. It took a few attempted musical endeavors and working with several different people, some good hearted, some not, for me to come around and really start writing. It was difficult to go through, but it was worth it, and ultimately it made me a better songwriter.

What inspired you to start playing guitar?
I went with my mom to visit a family friend when I was young. Her son had a Gibson Explorer. I went up to his room and peeked in the door. He was rocking out on this thing, playing along with his Antrax tape. The distortion was crazy and I’m sure sounded awful, but I was instantly hooked. I wanted to rock.

What was your first electric guitar?
My first guitar was a Hundyai. It was purple. It sounded horrible. It was perfect.

What are your top 5 favorite records?
Siamese Dream – the Smashing Pumpkins
Rumors – Fleetwood Mac
Superunknown – Soundgarden
Little EarthQuakes – Tori Amos
Nevermind – Nirvana

What was the proudest moment and/or performance of your playing career?
Recording an album with Michael Beinhorn is pretty much a pinnacle thus far for me. He’s produced so many fabulous records, including one of my favorite rock albums of all time, SuperUnknown. He’s brilliant and he brings out a new level of art in me that is very exciting. The fact that he’s produced my music now too is just a huge accomplishment in my book.

How did you hear about Reverend?
The first two records I recorded were at a studio called the Loft in Saline Michigan. The producer Tim Patalan had a Reverend hanging on his wall. I picked it up one day and just started jamming on it through a 70’s AC30. It sounded great and felt very comfortable. I’ve been a fan ever since. I was surprised by its versatility.

What Reverend guitar(s) are you using?
I now have the Jetstream HB-FM. I use it for all the heavier stuff. It sounds fantastic through my Orange AD30 TC, very fat. Jeremy uses the Warhawk II HB and it sounds really clean with lots of punch. Looking into getting the Double Agent very soon. Excited about the P90 in that one.

What do you like about your Reverend guitar?
Reverends show a great deal of versatility, solid craftsmanship and great general tones that work for alot of different styles of music.

What amps and pedals do you currently use?
Mostly Maxon and T.C. Electronic effects pedals. We Play through Orange AD30 TC amps, Vox AC30 Top Boosts from the late sixties, a Fender Vibroverb also from the late sixties/early seventies.

Do you have any unusual hobbies, skills, or pastimes you’d like to share with us?
I’m quite privy to literature relating to mythology and philosophy. Also forensic literature. I like collecting business cards too… Or at least I used to. Writing for film and directing is also a passion of mine.

Do you have any advice for up and coming players?
As traditional and mundane as it sounds. Practice… A LOT. The more confident you are as a player the easier it will be to find originality in writing music.

Please tell us about any of your current projects, tours, cds, etc. we should know about:
We our currently recording our new album in Los Angeles with renowned producer Michael Beinhorn. It is being released on the Militia Group (a Sony recording label). For continued updated details visit our website or Facebook:
www.lovedrugmusic.com
www.facebook.com/lovedrug