12 QUESTIONS WITH SEBASTIEN GRAINGER

Can you give us a brief history of your playing career?
I began my professional career as the drummer/singer in rock duo Death From Above 1979. What began as a punk band playing living room shows and church basements quickly grew into a full time gig. Within four years we had travelled around the world several times, played the Conan O’Brien show and supported Queens of The Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails on a major North American tour. After the band “officially” broke up in 2006, i slowly began to write new songs and re-explore songs and riffs that i had been working on while on the road. By December i had started performing again as Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains.

What inspired you to start playing guitar?
That’s an interesting question because i recently tried to remember why i started playing. There was always a guitar around the house and my parents were constantly listening to music…but i can’t remember specificaly what it was that inspired me to pick it up. I do remember building fake guitars out of old wood scraps, or cereal boxes and a sticks…That would certainly indicate my proclivity to performance, haha…As for the playing, it must have been that first time i was able to form a clear chord and heard those strings ring out in harmony. That’s a kind of magic that’s not easy to forget.

What was your first electric guitar?
My first electric guitar was a black Fender Squire Stratocaster with a bridge position Humbucker. I had a birthday party when i was in 8th Grade and asked all my friends and classmates to give me money instead of presents. I made just over $400! I built a little strong box out of Lego parts and kept all the money in there for a week. The next weekend my dad brought me downtown and i stood in front of a wall of guitars…I don’t know why i picked that one, but it must’ve spoken to me somehow.

What are your top 5 favorite records?
– Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
– Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
– Danel Lanois – Acadie
– The Kinks – Part One Lola Vs Powerman and The Moneygoround
– The Strokes – Room On Fire

What was the proudest moment and/or performance of your playing career?
Albert Hammond Jr. told me i had the best legs in rock and roll.

How did you hear about Reverend?
I was playing a Tele with a Bigsby and wanted a back up guitar with a trem Bridge…I found the Warhawk at my local guitar shop and bought it as a secondary guitar…it very quickly became my main guitar.

What Reverend guitar(s) are you using?
I use the Warhawk, Volcano, and Manta Ray.

What do you like about your Reverend guitar(s)?
I love how solid they feel and play. They are real playing machines…My guitars always sound great played loud and they look badass.

What amps and pedals do you currently use?
I am currently using a two amp set up with a Morley A/B box. The main channel goes from my guitar to a boutique fuzz/octave pedal into the A/B. From there one channel goes straight to either a Fender Hot Rod Deville, or more recently a 1995 Vox AC30…The second channel comes out of the A/B and goes into a ElectroHarmonix POG octave pedal, then into the ElectroHarmonix Memory Man into a Vox Berkeley 2 solid state amp. I use the two channels together for certain parts, usually to beef up chorus’ and guitar solos.

Do you have any unusual hobbies, skills, or pastimes you’d like to share with us?
I don’t know how unusual cooking and walking my dog is…aside from that what can I tell you…haha.

Do you have any advice for up and coming players?
Don’t worry about your gear…focus on playing and writing. Having a big expensive rig and a fancy guitar won’t write you a hit song! Unless you’re a hobbyist/collector, then go crazy.

Please tell us about any of your current projects, tours, cds, etc. we should know about:
Well, my record debut solo record “Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains” was release on vinyl/CD by Saddle Creek Records in Omaha, Nebraska on October 21st. My band and I will be touring through the US and Canada in November and December and well in to the new year. This is going to be a big year for me, very busy! I can’t wait to get all over the map and meet new friends!