60 seconds with Paul Hedley

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At what age did you start playing music?

About 10 or 11, then I stopped for a while but picked things up seriously around 18.

What was the first music you ever heard?

My sister had a lot of rock ‘n’ roll. Then there’s Bill Haley, Elvis of course. Mum liked a sing-song, mostly musicals and some wartime songs after a few beers. Dad played chromatic harmonica. My sisters played the piano.

What music did you first buy?
The first Stones album: ‘The Rolling Stones’.

How did you get to join Los Skeletone Blues?
We started as ‘The Skeletones’ in 2003, and officially ‘Los Skeletone Blues’ in 2007. I tried for a long time to find a bunch of guys like the ones we have right now - with such a positive outlook to their music.

What’s it like playing in Los Skeletone Blues?
When it’s in the pocket and you’re on stage, nothing else matters.

How do you write original material?
Most songs come from real life, with some fantasy added in to make the story work.

What drives you to keep playing?
I feel responsible for the band but it’s also the adrenaline rush you get before going on stage and the fear of the unknown. I guess no crowd is ever the same.

What instrument do you like most and why?
My Stratocaster. I just love the sound, feel, look and smell of it! I also use Neil Graham harmonicas.

What about sounds, Amps and tones?
I love lots of reverb and tremolo. At the moment, I’m using a really great Victoria amp from the USA: 40 watts ZX12 (retro tone).

Which musicians have most influenced your music?
I love lots of different musicians, but I am especially influenced by the old Blues masters. If I had to pick a few... Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, Link Ray, Hollywood Fats & the Blue Flames. The Fabulous Thunderbirds and The Paladins are fantastic bands.

What are your other pastimes?

Riding my Triumph motorbike, walking the dogs with my lady.
Or sharing good food and a few beers with friends.

Tell us something about yourself that very few people know?
I’m an open book…

Do you ever struggle for inspiration?
Yes, sometimes I don’t write a thing for months, then bingo two or three songs just surface from nowhere...

What are your ambitions for your music in 2016?
To keep playing gigs following the release of our new CD, and see the happy faces in the crowd.

Why should we come and see you play?
You just can’t beat the sound of a Strat played through a Victoria amp.

What’s your favourite Sydney venue?
Recently saw an excellent gig from Ray Beadle and the King Bros.

> 60 Seconds with Tom Glancey