Echo & The Bunnymen guitarist Will Sergeant – a player who manages to be at the same time legendarily influential and criminally underrated – has been keeping himself busy through the pandemic promoting his memoirs Bunnyman: Post-War Kid to Post-Punk Guitarist of Echo and the Bunnymen, which was released in the UK last July and got a North American release this week.
One of the outlets on his press tour was online gear marketplace Reverb, who just posted a lengthy interview with Sergeant about his childhood in Liverpool and the early days of the Bunnymen – the main topic of the book – but with particular attention paid to his choice in equipment when learning to play and founding the Bunnymen.
And as was typical of guitarists of his generation, his choices – such as they were, considering there weren’t a lot of options to youngsters short on cash – were charmingly random and uneducated. On his choice of guitars:
“I liked Teles, so I eventually got one. Telecasters are generally light, mine is like concrete or something. With guitars, I was concerned about the look first, sound second. You can always get something out of any guitar. If it sounds a bit shitty, rough, thin or whatever, that’s the way it is. You’ll use that to your advantage. I didn’t know the difference between a Jaguar and a Jazzmaster, I just liked the shape because I loved Television, so I got a Jaguar.”Echo & The Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant Talks Tone, Color & Craft @ Reverb
And regarding his amplification:
“One night at Eric’s, I asked what sort of amp I should get. He said ‘Oh, something like an AC30—you need at least 30 watts.’ So I got a decent 30-watt transistor amp from a catalog.”Echo & The Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant Talks Tone, Color & Craft @ Reverb
He also discusses his path on adding effects to his arsenal:
“From the beginning, I was aware that there were these things called ‘pedals,’ probably because The Teardrop Explodes had some. The first delay I got was a Yamaha [E1010] with loads of big knobs on it. It was cheap, but it felt like moving to the next phase… I bought a Roland Space Echo and learned about changing the delay time and feedback as I was playing to make it trip out.”Echo & The Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant Talks Tone, Color & Craft @ Reverb
He also discusses the pre-Pete de Freitas days when rhythm duties were handled by a Korg Mini Pops Jr drum machine – not nicknamed “Echo”, contrary to popular belief, and the recording of their signature song, “The Killing Moon”.
My bookshelf of music books is already too long and not getting any shorter, but I’m going to have to add this volume to it – ideally before his next book covering the next phase in the band’s career is completed.