A brief insight into my world as of January 2013:
Guitars- Ritchie Blackmore signature white Fender strat - my workhorse, Ibanez Prestige 2320 (for those times when my soloing goes beyond cruising speed, Burny Les Paul standard (for those sleazy moments) - played low slung. Ovation dreadnought and Tanglewood Sundancer acoustics.
Amps - Fender Hot Rod Deluxe played through Marshall 2 by 12" extension cab. Marshall JCM TSL 60W backup amp. I prefer the Fender as it has a clearer and sharper tone than the Marshall and, Crom, is it loud! I've never had it above half volume - even for outdoor gigs. I always use it with the clean channel - the drive channel s rubbish.
Effects - Boss GT-6 multi-effects unit and Jim Dunlop cry baby wah wah pedal.
Learned the guitar from age 8. Started out on a nylon strung classical. After a couple of years lessons I was self taught. I remember a breakthrough point was learning the diad riff to Rainbow's 'All Night Long'. It was then I realised I needed to go electric and soon got a strat copy for my birthday. Learned a lot by emulating Blackmore but then took in Jimmy Page, Alex Lifeson and Randy Rhoads. From there I branched out and formed bands at school and university. My first band had a female singer who got to sing everything from Olivia Newton John to Ozzy Osbourne - boy was she tolerant! Bands since then include 'High Risk', 'The Naked Chefs', 'Mn4' and 'Guns 4 Hire'. Taking on more singing in latter years I also operate as a solo acoustic performer, experimenting increasingly with alternate tunings. Hot Flow Anomaly however is the ultimate project and the music which I am deriving a lot of excitement out of. I am greatly privileged to be working with such outstanding musicians and songwriters as Mike Caits and Mike Wieland.
From a songwriting pov it's all about light and shade (as Jimmy Page always said). The music is progressive; in other words I don't intend to stand still. I like songs to have 'hooks' and often harmonies (I get that from ELO's Jeff Lynne). Songs range in length from 3 minute firebursts to over 10 minute long epics. As far as I'm concerned there's so many songs waiting to burst out but so little time. The 2 Mikes (or Mike squared as I call them) have added that extra dimension to the writing which I've always been looking for. That's why all our material is jointly credited. The ideas may start with a riff, a rhythm, a jam or a lyric. The process is very organic. It promises to be an exciting journey!