Interview: Brian Loyd

Dan McAvinchey: Brian, how did you develop your tastes in music and who influenced your guitar style?

Brian Loyd: Currently my tastes are very abstract. I prefer to view my music as another art form, that of sound. In my early development, I never viewed my playing as a potential money making machine, but rather fame and notoriety were the issues.

As far back as I can remember the desire to play guitar possessed me! So many great guitarists and composers have influenced my style, such as Frank Zappa, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Morse, Al Di Meola...on and on...

Dan McAvinchey: What guitars, amplification and effects do you favor to achieve your sound?

Brian Loyd: Ahh, the 'searching for the "holy grail" of sound' question! What do I mean? Well, every piece of equipment used is an integral part of a person's sound. The only part of your sound you can't change is what is in your hands. The goal is to find the equipment that enhances it and brings it to life! I know
this is a controversial topic but remember when Eddie Van Halen played Ted Nugent's guitar and rig and he said he still sounded like himself?

To enhance my playing I use Paul Reed Smith guitars, Marshall 900's, and Marshall cabs, Boss pedals, a Peavey Addverb II effects processor and a Digitech Whammy pedal. I'm looking to upgrade my amps to the VHT "Pittbull" 200 watt Ultra Leads soon.

Dan McAvinchey: What are you hoping to achieve musically?

Brian Loyd: I guess what I've always sought, to be heard and continue being heard.

Dan McAvinchey: What is your most recently completed project and do you plan to continue writing and recording instrumental music?

Brian Loyd: Unfortunately, "Gutted" is a few years old now. That release and my first EP, "Guitaronics", drained me financially as well as emotionally. I still have a long term goal of what I want to accomplish with recording and that's what still drives me--the creative process! I am currently working on a new instrumental CD that will hopefully be done by early 1999..

Dan McAvinchey: How do you compose your original music?

Brian Loyd: I write the rhythm tracks first. I try to wait until I am inspired, if I try too hard it comes across as sounding contrived and not holistic. All the lead parts and melody lines (hooks) are written after the rhythm tracks are on tape.

Dan McAvinchey: Do you usually record at a commercial facility or at a home studio?

Brian Loyd: I don't do any home recording, although I am looking into it. My first two releases were done at Morrisound in Tampa, Florida. I am currently looking into a new recording facility to perpetrate a new feel and sound (yes, where you record affects your sound also!)

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Dan McAvinchey: What went into the decision to form your own record label and release your records independently?

Brian Loyd: I knew what I wanted to do but there were no labels dedicated to the guitarist as the artist, but only to the guitarist as a shred meister. I read an interview with guitarist Glenn Phillips, who has released ten albums independently. I realized from his comments (about the music industry) that the only way to reach my goal was to follow his example. So, I formed Octopulse Records and off I went!

Dan McAvinchey: What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an independent musician?

Brian Loyd: Some disadvantages include: a budget (not having one) and the right connections (not having
important ones).

Advantages are not having to bow to a record label and take advice from a "wanna-be musician", label-appointed producer.

Dan McAvinchey: Do you have any marketing or promotion tips for musicians about to release their first independent record?

Brian Loyd: You have to advertise! But choose where you advertise carefully, especially if you have a tight budget like mine!

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An exercise in creative dissonance, "Gutted", by Florida-based guitarist Brian Loyd, contains examples of challenging and fresh playing throughout its nine instrumental tracks. Recorded as a follow up to his first independently released EP, entitled "Guitaronics", Loyd alternates heavy, rhythmically-charged pieces with introspective solo acoustic numbers, displaying his versatility and range. Loyd self-financed both projects and currently has a third instrumental album in the works.

Loyd related to Dan McAvinchey the reasons for his independent assault on the record industry and what drives him to move forward with his music.