Sam Fender on the Jazzmaster: "It's the multi-purpose machine gun of the Fender guitars"

Sam Fender
(Image credit: Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns)

Sam Fender is on a high. Difficult second album syndrome? Not here. The Newcastle native's new record Seventeen Going Under is gaining accolades left, right and centre in the UK but we're surprised it's taken an interviewer this long to ask about his guitars of choice - and they're Fender, of course. 

The tones of Jazzmasters are all over the new album - from the Johnny Marr-esque arpeggiated chord work to stadium-friendly lead excursions amongst the confessional lyrics and towering choruses. And the songwriter sees it as his weapon.

"Jazzmasters for me… it's still bright, it has that bright sound that a Fender has but it's got a bit more body and warmth to it than the rest of the Fender guitars," Sam revealed to Radio X's Johnny Vaughan in a recent interview. "It's the multi-purpose machine gun of the Fender guitars."

The musician reveals he wasn't always a Fender man. "I had a Les Paul… that was one of the first proper guitars… I love them but when we got all the free Fender stuff, that was when I got a Jazzmaster. They gave me one and I was like, 'This is something else.'" 

Sam also revealed to Vaughan that the first song he learned was an absolute guitar playing rite of passage; "I think it was Smoke On The Water, on the E string. But once I'd got the powerchord down, you feel like you've learned a million chords in one day. I thought I was a certified guitar god at that point," Sam added, not altogether seriously.

In the clip above, Sam then proceeds to illustrate his early days of playing but strumming the riff from Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. He also strums some other key early songs he learned growing up; Oasis's Morning Glory and The Animals' House Of The Rising Song, before playing some of his own new single, Spit Of You.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.