Hey Shredder

7 questions for guitarists

Chuck Prophet

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Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express by Jason Baldwin

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express by Jason Baldwin

Chuck and his faithful Mission Express kick off the Panic In The Temple Spring 2013 Tour in Berlin, Germany on April 12 and rock it international until returning to the States on May 9 in Milwaukee, WI. Check out the full itinerary here.

The Impound once saw San Francisco treat Chuck Prophet play two sets in a single day at the High Sierra Music Festival. Although a muggy summer day, Prophet didn’t seem to break a sweat as music – great song after great song, all played really freakin’ well – poured out of him. While we’d long been impressed with his six-string prowess going back to his raw-yet-innovative days in Green On Red, something nigh-sorcerous occurred that day where it became clear that Prophet has stealthily evolved into an American counterpart to Richard Thompson, the two men sharing a startling emotional density and seemingly endless range as guitarists.

Prophet’s guitar stings and swings as well as any shredder when he’s of a mind to let loose in that fashion, but more frequently he rides in the meat of the music, his guitar another voice “singing” the heart and soul of the lyrics, a melodic partner that instilling added oomph into each piece. Like kindred under-sung American champ (and Impound fave) Jerry Joseph, it may be that Prophet’s guitar skills are too sharp and too subtle to rate appropriate general praise, but really listen intently to what he’s up to and you’ll hear a true servant of the song whose punctuation, interjections, and intuitive bite are everywhere they need to be all the time. More simply, if what you seek is righteous feel and not showy solos, Prophet’s got you covered.

Chuck was kind enough to dabble with DI’s ongoing survey of guitarists.

Favorite effects pedal? Why?
I like a little slapback. That’s all I had for years. I used to just put a Boss Delay pedal on the amp and leave it on. But then, I got a Rat pedal. And a tuner…Pedal board at my feet soon followed.
Tastiest guitarist — i.e. not just soloing but also overall playing — currently working six-strings?
Reggie Young? I like the invisible guys with the most presence. And the singers like Waylon and WIllie. And the players that sound great in the track (Reggie Young). There are others too like James DePrato. I love to listen to him play. He’s amazing. And the playful guys like Rick Nielson (Cheap Trick) who are boundlessly cool. It’s not the rhythm or lead or chores…I don’t know… guys that just play I guess.
A guitar solo I never get tired of listening to is…
I like a great song and a cool record, and the solo is just an added bonus. Mick Ronson comes to mind.
Preferred brand of axe? Why?
I like Fenders. I play too heavy for the power steering of a Gibson.
AC/DC, The Beatles, Radiohead or The Byrds – which one gives you the biggest guitar boner? What makes them SO sweet?
I don’t like Radiohead. It’s atmospheric doo-doo, and what’s worse are the bands that came after Radiohead. But, I dig really like that song “Creep.”
One lesser known guitarist folks should check out is…
Rick Holmstrom
What aspect of being a guitarist always makes you happy?
More and more I like to play rhythm guitar. When I lock in with the drums and stuff it always make me happy. Guitar. I could play that.