Gonzo's Toybox

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Ed Sein

How It Started: My parents weren't musicians but there was always music playing in our apartment. My parents always had the radio on and played records all the time. My earliest memories are of playing my mother's Beatle records as well as early Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Santana, Hendrix and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. My father brought home Deep Purple's Made In Japan and I wore that thing out! I started to play guitar around 12 years old as a result of my love for listening to music. Playing the guitar was and continues to be a way of finding a deeper appreciation for the songs that move me. 

Influences: Once I got serious about my guitar playing in my early teens I made it a point to expose myself and listen to as much music as possible. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal (up the 'Irons!) and Van Halen were major influences early on as well as the virtuoso electric guitarists Alex Lifeson, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Vernon Reid. However, I think it was my early efforts to learn to appreciate Classical, Jazz and World music that really opened my ears and mind to the cultural and emotional dimensions to music appreciation. I found music, at its best, provokes an emotional, visceral, beatific response unlike anything else for me. I continue to seek out that sense of communion and the sense of grace, empathy and humility that it fosters within me. 

Gear: Over the years I've acquired a modest collection of guitars- a Les Paul Classic Plus that I played with GT for many years, a couple of American Stratocasters that I mostly play at home or in other projects that require that type of sound as well. I own two Paul Reed Smith guitars-a Custom 24 that is a main go-to guitar and a Stripped '58 that has been my primary with GT for a couple of years now. My secondary guitar that gets used exclusively with GT is a Godin LGXT which accesses the sounds on the Roland GR-20 guitar synth. On the floor with the GR-20 is an MXR Carbon Copy Delay, an MXR Analog Chorus and a Morley Bad Horsie wah. It all goes into my Mesa Boogie Stiletto Ace 50W 2x12 combo. 


How would you describe yourself as a person? 

An irresistible man who's elegance draws you subliminally into his orbit. Possessed of a delectable smoothness due to a low acid content. Redolent of a profusion of aromas of coffee, cherries, and sun-dried fruits. In short, a man who exudes glory, nobility, and power.

How would you describe yourself as a musician?   

Homo musica. The hunter-gatherer of the species.

How do you relax, offstage?

I read books. Actual books. I love to go on long walks whilst contemplating the duality and nature of existence. Oh, and disciplining my children. That does relax me so.

Best gig and why?

Kindergarten jam-session I initiated with rhythm sticks and a bongo or two.

Worst gig and why?

Kindergarten jam-session +30 seconds when I realized I was the center of attention and that this was very, very silly.  

Craziest thing that ever happened at a gig?

Recently, I was solicited by a nice lady who had a request on behalf of her "friend”. Something to the effect of the possibility of me spending a single evening with her. Without skipping a beat, I asked, "How much does that gig pay?". My wife and I had a bit of a laugh over that one.

What other member of GT irritates you and why?

I find them all irritating. A bunch of slack-jawed cretins, the lot of them.

How do you deal with critics?

I remind myself that I must be above someone if they wish to take me down. When that doesn't work I have a handy phone number to dial. When that call is answered I speak the phrase, "Kazoo! Bring the ax!". Critic dealt with.

What do you think accounts for GT's longevity?

Booze. Our fans drink a lot of Booze. A good time is had by all, memories are made, and the accompanying brain cells are destroyed. Thereby, necessitating repeat attendance to GT shows in order to find out what it was all about. 

The zombie apocalypse has started. You have time to play one last show. Where and why? 

I want to do it someplace like a mall. Some place where you can hole up and ride it out after the last song.