10 questions for Black Peaks' Joe Gosney

(Image credit: Adam Gasson/Future)

Continuing the UK's great tradition of alternative heroes such as Oceansize and Reuben, Black Peaks deliver a brand of rock that massages your brain as it punches you in the face.

Debut album Statues is a devastating statement of intent, and at the forefront is Joe Gosney's varied, technical playing, weaving the intricacy of Brent Hinds' most finger-twisting licks with Ben Weinman-esque riff freakouts.

But how did Joe get started on his guitar quest? What are his essential weapons? And how, exactly, did his pedalboard end up getting disassembled onstage? The answers lie beneath…

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

"My first guitar was a Mexican Fender Stratocaster in Arctic White. I got bought this by my dad on my 15th birthday and I still have it in pride of place at home. It's always been one of my go-to guitars for writing on."

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

"I couldn't take just one! It would have to be the white Strat and my Gibson SG that was also given to me on my 18th birthday. That guitar is my baby and is consistently on tour with us [Joe talks more about his SG in our ArcTanGent Me and My Guitar special]."

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

"I was given a beautiful nylon-strung acoustic by my dear friend Vlad when I was in Australia, and I flew it back to the UK only to find that headstock had snapped off. I've since had it fixed, but that was the closest I have come to letting any bit of gear go. I'm a hoarder when it comes to guitar gear and find it almost impossible to get rid of anything."

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

"I'd love to get an old Fender Twin one of these days! It's hard to match the tone of those amps."

5. Is there an aspect of guitar playing that you'd like to be better at?

"Always! There's always something you can be better at. It's hard sometimes when we are busy as a band to get a chance just to play for more than an hour. I find that I have to play for at least a few hours a day before I see anything improving."

6. What are you doing five minutes before you go onstage?

"Playing guitar and drinking a beer!"

7. ...And five minutes after?

"Drinking a beer!"

8. What item of gear would you take with you to a desert island?

"Without a doubt a lovely acoustic guitar to strum along on."

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

"Will [Gardner], the singer of our band, once kicked a monitor off the stage and it pulled my pedalboard into the crowd. My pedals went flying everywhere and I found myself scrambling on the floor mid-song trying to piece together my 'board."

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

"Try not to get too frustrated when you are not writing anything you are happy with. Good songs come when they want to and it's good to always play through that and just enjoy playing the guitar for what it is."

Statues is out now on Easy Life / Sony RED.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.