10 questions for Dinosaur Pile-Up's Matt Bigland

Big riffs, gargantuan hooks, 90s heritage: Leeds' Dinosaur Pile-Up have been shaking up the modern rock norm since 2010, and new album Eleven Eleven takes their powerchord-laden anthems to, erm, 11.

Chock-full of sledgehammer riffs from an arsenal of guitars wielded by frontman/guitarist Matt Bigland, Eleven Eleven has a darker, heavier sound than its predecessors, ably aided by Royal Blood producer Tom Dalgety.

Ahead of the band's UK tour in November, Matt found time to sit down with MusicRadar and talk first guitars, gear philosophy and what can go wrong when you support the Pixies…

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

"My first guitar was a crappy Westfield copy of a Stratocaster. It was red and permanently out-of-tune. I got it when I was nine years old, and I played it every freaking day."

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

"My Gibson Explorer. It's black, and totally beaten up. I know it like the back of my hand. I got it when I was 18 and it's been everywhere with me."

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

"Not really. Gear is gear, you know? I wasn't born with it, and I won't take it with me."

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

"I've always wanted a Gibson RD Artist. They are kind of rare now, but they're super-badass and have a cool pickup booster on them, which is kind of unusual and right up my street."

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

"Yeah, for sure - all of it! I taught myself pretty much since I was nine, so my technique sucks and I never have any idea what I'm doing. I just get on and do it."

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

"Usually suffering from anxiety."

7. ...And five minutes after?

"Feeling super-good."

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

"That's a tough question. I guess an acoustic guitar, but that's so obvious. So, let's think outside the box… A harpsichord."

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

"Walking out in front of like 8,000 people supporting the Pixies and playing the first chord of the whole set, only then realising that I was in completely the wrong tuning. It was fucking hilarious."

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

"You already know what you wanna do, so quit fucking around and do it."

Eleven Eleven is out on 16 October.

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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.