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It Goes To 11: Why LP Will Never Part With Her Custom Martin Acoustic Guitar
LP

Photo: Ryan Jay

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It Goes To 11: Why LP Will Never Part With Her Custom Martin Acoustic Guitar

Watch emotive rocker LP declare her undying love for her Nashville-tuned Martin guitar and describe what makes it "magic"

GRAMMYs/Mar 16, 2022 - 04:01 pm

LP's music is alive and filled with emotion, rock for the tender-hearted. She uses guitars and ukuleles to transmit her feelings into music, and one ranks supreme among the rest: her custom Marty Robbins guitar.

Made by Martin, the size 5 acoustic guitar has what LP describes as a "harpy sound." As she explains in her episode of It Goes To 11, the high-tuned instrument has allowed her to access different emotions and sounds than her also-beloved ukuleles.

"It has some magic to it," the New York-born singer/songwriter muses. Her tiny dog seems to agree, as he prances into the room at the first strum.

Many of LP's songs have come from the custom Martin model, one of the many reasons she's so connected to it. "I will never get rid of this guitar," she declares. "I don't care if you threaten my life."

Hear LP explain why this guitar is such a joy to use above, and make sure to visit GRAMMY.com every Wednesday for new episodes of It Goes To 11.

You can watch LP play her beloved guitar in person on her 2022 World Tour, which kicks off in South America on March 19 and will see the “Churches” rocker touring the globe through September.

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GRAMMYs On The Road At SXSW With The Temper Trap And LP

Backstage with the Temper Trap and LP at the conference's 26th annual installment

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

The Recording Academy Texas Chapter played host for GRAMMYs On The Road At South by Southwest during the conference's 26th annual installment from March 9–18 in Austin, Texas. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists participating during the music portion of the conference, including indie rock group the Temper Trap and pop/rock singer/songwriter LP.

The Temper Trap's bassist Jonathon Aherne and vocalist Dougy Mandagi discussed their forthcoming self-titled release, music their currently listening to, the formation of the band, and social media, among other topics. 

"We sold out our first U.S. tour by just announcing it on Facebook, which shows you the power that [social media] has," said Aherne. "It's connecting us with our fans [and] it's something we're running and something that we have power over. It's kind of amazing the contact you can have with people that actually do care about the band."

Formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 2005, the Temper Trap features Aherne, Toby Dundas (drums), Joseph Greer (keyboards), Mandagi, and Lorenzo Sillitto (guitar). The band built a local following after performing at the St. Jerome's Laneway Festival in 2006, and subsequently released their debut EP that same year. The EP caught the interest of producer Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys), who later came onboard to produce the Temper Trap's debut album, 2009's Conditions. The album peaked at No. 28 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart and featured the Top 20 Rock Songs hit "Sweet Disposition," which was also featured in the film (500) Days Of Summer. The Temper Trap are currently on tour throughout Australia, Europe, the UK, and the United States, with select dates scheduled through July. Their self-titled album is set for release in the United States on June 5.

LP discussed her musical mentors, songwriting inspiration, vocal training, and advice for aspiring artists, among other topics.

"Really concentrate on your writing," LP advises aspiring artists. "If you want to do this, you have to have songs, at least even one song. You have to work on your craft and get better at your instrument and get better at writing songs and figure out how you can write songs that mean something to you and deliver what you are inside and what you feel inside. … It takes dedication."

New York-based singer/songwriter LP began her music career as the frontwoman for the New York band Lionfish during the late '90s. After garnering the interest of producer/songwriter David Lowery during a live performance, she appeared on alternative rock band Cracker's 1998 album Gentleman's Blues, with whom she subsequently toured. In 2001 LP released her debut solo album, Heart-Shaped Scar, drawing comparisons to artists such as Maggie Bell, Pat Benatar and Robert Plant. Her sophomore effort, Suburban Sprawl & Alcohol, followed in 2004 and featured "The Darkside," which was co-written by LP with Linda Perry. During GRAMMY Week in February, LP performed at the One Night Only: A Celebration Of The Live Music Experience — the GRAMMY Foundation's 14th Annual Music Preservation Project. On Feb. 24 she released "Into The Wild," the title track from her forthcoming EP/DVD set for release on April 24. LP is currently on tour throughout the United States, with select dates scheduled through June.

Come back to GRAMMY.com tomorrow for more exclusive backstage interviews from GRAMMYs On The Road At SXSW.

It Goes To 11: Jorge Drexler's Favorite Spanish Guitar Has A Special Childhood Connection
Jorge Drexler

Photo: Anton Goiri

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It Goes To 11: Jorge Drexler's Favorite Spanish Guitar Has A Special Childhood Connection

In this episode of It Goes To 11, Uruguay-born musician Jorge Drexler introduces fans to his favorite classical guitar and explains why it's the most essential instrument he owns.

GRAMMYs/Jun 1, 2022 - 02:11 pm

Uruguayan singer/songwriter Jorge Drexler's life path included training as a medical doctor — specializing in otolaryngology, the study of diseases of the ear and throat. Still, he says that music, and specifically, the classical guitar, has been a constant for him ever since childhood.

In this episode of It Goes To 11, Drexler introduces viewers to the Spanish guitar, the most essential item in his musical tool kit. As he explains, it was made by Vicente Carrillo, a Spanish luthier who made guitars for Keith Richards and Paco de Lucía, among others.

Drexler's instrument has various siblings. some who've landed in the hands of some of the biggest stars in music. What makes Drexler's guitar truly special, he continues, is the wood it's made from.

"The cover is made of Canadian cedar, and the sides and the back are made of palo escrito. It's a type of Mexican wood," Drexler says. He then flips over his guitar to reveal the gorgeous, multi-toned panel of wood that makes up the back of the instrument.

When Drexler was first learning to play the guitar, as a ten-year-old in the mid-1970s, he had an instrument made from a similar type of wood.

"This guitar is made of Mexican wood," he explains, "and the first guitar I ever had was a guitar from Paracho, Michoacán, made with Mexican wood as well. So in a way, I'm reconnecting with the first guitar I ever had that was made with this type of wood as well."

Drexler's life has changed immeasurably since he learned his instrument: He's been nominated for five GRAMMYs and won five Latin GRAMMYs over the course of his career. In the meantime, he's only grown closer to his Spanish guitar.

"I can play it like it's a part of my body, right?" Drexler adds. "It's a beautiful instrument, and the sound is the most beautiful thing about it.

Watch the video above to see Drexler's classical guitar in action, and keep checking GRAMMY.com for more episodes of It Goes To 11.

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It Goes To 11: Scott Kirkland Unveils The Synthesizer That Helped The Crystal Method Find Its Sound
Scott Kirkland

Credit: Sam Hodges

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It Goes To 11: Scott Kirkland Unveils The Synthesizer That Helped The Crystal Method Find Its Sound

Meet the synthesizer that the Crystal Method's Scott Kirkland has used on every album in this episode of It Goes To 11.

GRAMMYs/May 18, 2022 - 05:00 pm

Over the course of the almost three decades Scott Kirkland has spent making music as the Crystal Method — which became Kirkland's solo project when former bandmate Ken Jordan departed in 2017 — he has always depended on a great synthesizer to help him create his signature sound.

In this episode of It Goes To 11, Kirkland introduces the trusty synth that has helped the Vegas-based electronic outfit form its signature sound. "It's been in the Crystal Method family for every album," he says. 

That's the Roland Jupiter-6, a piece of gear that Kirland says he originally picked up thanks to LA-based classified ads paper The Recycler — the same legendary paper that once helped bassist Duff McKagen join Guns 'n' Roses and put Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee in touch with guitarist Mick Mars to form Motley Crue.

"There would be, like, 20 to 30 people every morning at 6 a.m. out there getting 'em, ripping 'em open to put 'em on their car," Kirkland remembers. "Some people were looking for free items, some people were looking for cars, and there was a group of us that were always looking for synthesizers. I'm sure that's how we found it."

The now-discontinued JP-6 is well-known for its ability to produce a wide array of sounds. To Kirkland, that's what makes it great. "I always love sounds that seem to be antagonizing each other," he explains, adding that it can easily create texture, sonic juxtaposition and — because the Crystal Method is not a vocal group — create sounds that are ear-catching enough to serve as a main melody.

"It feels like an old friend. Like having a conversation with an old friend. I would never get rid of this old friend. But if I ever had the opportunity to buy a new friend, I would," he jokes. "If any of you out there want to donate your Jupiter-6 to the Crystal Method, I promise you, I will give it a fantastic home."

Hear more about Kirkland's trusty synth in this episode of It Goes To 11, and check back for new episodes. 

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It Goes To 11: Samantha Fish's Favorite Piece Of Gear Is A Road-Tested Blues Instrument With A Sound That Sets Her Apart
Samantha Fish

Photo: Kevin King

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It Goes To 11: Samantha Fish's Favorite Piece Of Gear Is A Road-Tested Blues Instrument With A Sound That Sets Her Apart

Blues rocker Samantha Fish shows off her cigar box guitar, an instrument that's been a crowd-pleaser at her shows ever since the day she bought it.

GRAMMYs/Jun 29, 2022 - 06:01 pm

Singer/songwriter Samantha Fish's catalog encompasses an array of different styles, from rock to alt-country to bluegrass. But a major part of her foundation is in blues, and her favorite instrument is a testament to those roots.

In this episode of It Goes to 11, meet Fish's Stogie Box Blues Cigar Box Guitar, a piece of equipment that's been essential to her live show for the past decade. "The beauty of this thing is how durable it's been for me for 10 years," she explains. 

The origin story of the guitar — made from an actual cigar box, which once contained 20 premium cigars from Nicaragua — is a memory that's special to Fish. 

"I remember being a teenager, and my father took me to my first-ever blues festival in Helena, Arkansas. They call it the King Biscuit Festival. And a lot of the bands and one-man acts were playing this instrument," she recounts. "I remember thinking, 'Wow. So cool and unique.'

"Fast forward, years later, I got hired to play the same festival with my band," she continues. "I saw a guy selling these, and I said, 'Hey, this is kind of circular and perfect and serendipitous. I'm gonna buy one.'"

The first time she tried it out in front of a live audience, the reaction was immediate. Now that the guitar is so special to both Fish and her fans, the singer admits she's not sure what she'll do once it dies. "You find it, and you're attached to it, and it's really hard to replace it, even if somebody makes you a replica," she says. 

Even when that moment comes, Fish will still keep it around for sentimental reasons. "I've got some gear on my walls," she adds. "I'm gonna play it 'til it can't be played anymore, and maybe there'll still be some shreds of it to hang up somewhere." 

Press play on the video above to see Fish's cigar box guitar — as well as some shots of the instrument in action — and check back to GRAMMY.com every Wednesday for more episodes of It Goes to 11. 

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