Anders Osborne’s American Patchwork
LS: What’s your preference with respect to amps and guitars?
AO: Lately, I like Marshall 100-watt, but I’ve been endorsed by Category 5, which I’ve just started to use. They custom-made an amp according to a combo of a ’64 Fender Concert that I have, but with more wattage, and a Super with the reverb. Then the Marshall 100-watt head with 4X12. The guitar is a Stratocaster with a ’68 body, with Seymour Duncan hot rails in the center and two original pickups. Birds-eye maple custom neck with an ebony fretboard.
LS: When you are producing, are you allowing the artist the same freedom of choice for gear?
AO: Yes. I work more on keys, tempos, making sure the atmosphere stays on track the whole time. I try to pull stuff out of them. Maybe suggest certain things, certain arrangement ideas. More guiding the whole process, but I let them play. They need to be comfortable. If they get stuck on a sound, I may suggest something, but the more the artists, the players, get to do it themselves, the better the record is going to be.
LS: In your live performances, you seem, from an audience perspective, to be tapped into an energy and you are channeling.
AO: I try to stay really focused on being believable with the lyrics, to think about what it is I’m saying. And then, to also tap into the musical aspect of singing so that I have that raw, strong power of music just flowing through me, letting it take over. I have to focus on being in that moment because it is easy to slip. The only time I step out of that is if I feel emotionally drained and I need to recharge.
LS: Do you listen to your own live recordings?
AO: Live recordings are one thing I don’t listen to. Not at all. I really can’t go there. I’ve tried but it really doesn’t work. It almost spoils the moment of what just happened.
LS: Beyond this tour, have you thought about what’s on the horizon?
AO: I’d like to push this to a level of vague finish line. I want to push this record to a place to where I say, ‘We’re done. Let’s do the next one.’ I’m staying very focused on tonight, but not beyond tonight. Outside of being in gig-mode, I’m trying to exhaust the life of this record- make sure I don’t quit too soon or go on too long. I want to feel that the excitement is constantly there for the record; for me, for the band, the crew, managers, radio, fans, everybody. Then, I’ll take a little breather, regroup, and see what comes next.