10 questions for Enter Shikari’s Rory Clewlow: “In my opinion, no-one can make a guitar sound better than Tom Morello”

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(Image: © Daniel Boczarski/Redferns/Getty)

Electro-rockers Enter Shikari had a storming 2017, with politically charged new album The Spark landing them a top 5 spot in the UK charts, followed up with a massive arena tour.

This year, the band capitalises on their continued success with a run of European summer festivals, including a headline slot at 2000 Trees in July.

As guitarist Rory Clewlow readies his rig, we quizzed him on his prized guitars, how the Kemper Profiler has revolutionised his rig and an expensive onstage dental disaster…

1. What was your first guitar and when did you get it?

“The first guitar I owned was a Yamaha Pacifica. It was my dad’s really, but it’s the one I learned to play on and even played the first few Shikari shows with it. I must have got that guitar about 16 years ago.”

2. The building’s burning down - what one guitar do you save?

“Probably my newest guitar, actually - it’s a Fender Telecaster American Pro. I got the body sprayed off-white and got a transparent aqua scratchplate, and got an EverTune bridge installed. I would be sad to lose my older guitars in the fire, but not too much; I’m not hugely sentimental.”

3. What's the one effects pedal you couldn't do without, and why?

I really love not having a pedalboard on stage any more. I don’t have to think about tap-dancing all over it to change tones and effects

“I haven’t used any effects pedals in the past few years, actually. I use a Kemper Profiler amp and it has a ton of effects built in. I control them with pre-programmed MIDI messages from Ableton. I really love not having a pedalboard on stage any more. I don’t have to think about tap-dancing all over it to change tones and effects. I can just concentrate on playing.”

4. Is there a guitar, or piece of gear, that you regret letting go?

“Probably my very first practice amp. It was a little Peavey thing but I can’t remember what the model was. I used to think it sounded amazing. Would like to hear that again.”

5. And what's the next piece of gear you’d like to acquire?

“I’d really like a proper vintage Tele. One of those ones that barks at you when you hit the strings.”

6. What’s your favourite chord, and why?

“That’s a tough one! One that springs to mind is C# minor 7th (no 5th) - it’s the chord at the beginning of Foo Fighters - Best Of You [that’s x-4-2-4-0-x - Ed].”

7. What’s the greatest guitar tone you’ve ever heard?

“Well, in my opinion, no-one can make a guitar sound better than Tom Morello.”

8. If you could have a guitar lesson from one guitarist, dead or alive, who would it be?

About eight years ago, a crowd surfer fell into my mic stand and the mic flew into my face and broke one of my front teeth

“Tom Morello!”

9. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?

“About eight years ago, a crowd surfer fell into my mic stand and the mic flew into my face and broke one of my front teeth. That sucked. Dental work ain’t cheap!”

10. What advice would you give your younger self about playing the guitar?

“Practise more!”

Enter Shikari play 2000 Trees festival on 12-14 July 2018 - tickets are available now.