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Interview with Lukasz Gottwald by Lincoln Sprague from fansite (that no longer exists) gottwald.1accesshost.com.
Where are you from? N.Y., N.J., Poland?
I'm from NY. Grew up in the Big Apple. Lukasz is a Polish name though.
When did you start playing guitar? Did you play anything before that?
I first started playing drums at 12 or 13 but my parents weren't having it. Also, it was hard to get girls to come all the way to where the drum sets were in camp. My sister started playing guitar (to play Ziggie Stardust) and I basically took it from her and didn't really put it down. First guitar solo I ever learned was "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AD/CD. Awesome solo!!!
Did you play classical, or just start playing blues and jazz right away?
I started learning rock / punk songs...... The Clash, Sex Pistols, Cars, Led Zep, Bowie and then Jimmy H, Eddie V, Steve Vai and SRV. I was already playing and doing sessions before I went to school. I decided to go to Manhattan School of Musak to learn jazz (something i couldn't already play). I still can't play classical, but I do like it.
Now that you're producing hip hop and dance music, are rock and blues still the styles you enjoy to play?
I still love that music. I also love hip hop!!! believe it or not the first record I ever bought was "Rappers Delight" - still a classic. Now I'm really focusing on my writing / producing. I'm currently working on a group called Nappy Roots (Atlantic). I also wrote a song on Kelly Osbourne's record, kinda' kool, no?
I know you do dance music, but when you were younger, what type of stuff did you like to play? who were your idols?
I really like lots of kinds of music but i'm really picky and opinionated about it. I like what I like - and I like different stuff for different reasons. When I was younger I really liked to shred - metal, rock, and blues. I was really into playing fast. I guess my idols were: Eddie V, Jimmy P, SRV, George B., Pat Martino......
Was Manhattan school of music cool?
I went to Manhattan because I didn't know how to play jazz. When I went there the teachers thought I sucked because I didn't play jazz. In actuality, I was better than most of the students/teachers; I just didn't play jazz. I hated them, but it made me learn to play jazz and I practiced a lot. Eventually I kicked all their asses. So I guess Manhattan School was good and bad..... good because I learned to play music I didn't know how to play, bad because they didn't respect any other kind of music and were super close-minded.
How old were you when you started playing professionally, and when you started doing studio work?
I had done some stuff earlier but really started doing session work when I was about 17 (no other student at Manhattan school was).
How did you get involved with yamaha, cause it seems to me that you'd go with the Gibson 335...I've always wondered...
I first tried Fender but they kept giving me shitty guitars. A friend of mine was with yamaha and showed me their custom guitars..... they were way better. Anyway, they made me some and were so cool that I just kept using them.