MIDKIN: You used a special guitar for this particular performance?
DT: I had a special guitar that was made for me. What it does is it amplifies behind the bridge, so it has strings that are woven on the other side the bridge. It was a technique that was invented by Hans Reichel It amplifies the harmonics that you wouldn’t hear otherwise.
MIDKIN: What is the guitar called?
DT: It’s called a harmonic isolator. It also has a different harmonic scale.
MIDKIN: So the blog is about particular pieces of music and how they’ve inspired you or are somehow tied to a particular event in your life. I remember you telling a story at the launch about listening to a Rush cassette tape and realizing, with a little tweaking, that you could slow down or speed up the music. Are there any other things about Rush which have inspired you?
DT: Well what’s inspirational to me is if there’s something that I can’t explain in the music. Then I’m a lot more interested in it. Like with Rush, when I was growing up, the sound was inspirational to me because I didn’t really know how they were doing what they were doing. I was just so floored by the musicality that was presented. Also through the years, just how grateful and grounded they are as people. They don’t take anything for granted. For them it’s just about the music, and that’s always been what it’s been for me.
MIDKIN: Following the music?
DT: Music for music’s sake. Going where the music goes. Whatever pathway I want to go on, it sort of presents itself to me and I don’t really try to understand it past that point.
MIDKIN: So when you talk about that sense of mystery, is that something you’re trying to convey in your music?
DT: I don’t really think about it. It’s not something that I purposefully going after. For me, I’m just chasing a particular sound in my head and catching one piece at a time. If I’m doing a solo thing, I just go where it goes. There’s no walls, it’s all just me following where the music’s going. As far as working with other musicians, it’s more about watching and it’s more about unlocking doors. I walk into these situations and I don’t really know what I’m going to get. People ask me to try new things and I like to do them because you can learn a lot from new situations.
MIDKIN: So when you choose something like a guitar or a new effect, do you have a general idea of what it’s going to sound like before you start?
DT: It takes a lot of years of working on a new instrument and a lot of technical hurdles to overcome for me to consider it a success. If I get a guitar, I might be in the beginning “Oh, this is gonna be great,” but I have to get the right strings, or the chords don’t sound correct on this, or I think I need a guitar effect and I buy it and then realize it doesn’t work. And then over the years you try these different kinds of things: add, subtract. It’s all a process of learning.
Doug Theriault at Bandcamp