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Bobb Bruno

Best Coast

"It's always going to be a life-long exploration about finding different sounds, finding different ways of playing that interest's my life." Watch the full interview with Bobb Bruno of Best Coast in this episode of String Theory.

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Bobb Bruno:
I started playing Ernie Ball strings probably when I started playing guitar, which when I was like 19. I was originally a bass player and started playing guitar just kind of for fun or more as a joke honestly to get my friends mad because they were all treaders.

Bobb Bruno:
Probably my first pack of Ernie Balls was just the regular green standard. And then when I got more serious about guitar they were having the heavy bottom mixed sets and also the baritone strings are my absolute favorite. If I'm playing a guitar that just has standard strings, it just feels like I'm going to break them immediately. So I like having the thicker low strings. It's a feel thing besides a tone thing for me.

Bobb Bruno:
Guitar-playing to me, it's so many things besides being like a way to express yourself creatively. It can be just kind of like a meditative thing where if you're stressed out or you just don't want to think about the world, I can just really get lost in it. It's the most expressive instrument to me. There's just a physicality about it. And also like a cerebral thing about what you're playing and then just let out some rage and stuff on it, or just play something really beautiful and feel really calm and a lot better than you felt before you picked up the instrument.

Bobb Bruno:
Guitar-playing, for me, I don't know, I can't imagine life without it now. When I was kid, it was this really intimidating thing because I grew up in the 80s when it was all about shred guitar. I would watch my friends do that kind of stuff, like play some Randy Rhoad solo or something. And I'd be like, "I'm never going to be able to do that, so I'm not even going to get started."

Bobb Bruno:
I remember seeing the interview with Buzz from the Melvins and he's like, "Every time I pick up a guitar, I'm trying to write something. I'm not trying to practice some technique or anything. I'm always just trying to create something." And that's kind of how I feel. I have a lot of limitations as a guitar player, but I can do the things that I want to do. And the things that interest me is that it's always going to be like a lifelong exploration about finding different sounds, finding different ways of playing that interests me. I don't know, it's my life basically.

Bobb Bruno:
Having an incredible technique and prowess, I really appreciate it and I admire so many players like that, but there's something about... Somebody can just do the simplest thing, but if there's an emotional resonance to it and it just connects with your soul, that's like something that... it doesn't matter how odd, you could do all these scales and solos and stuff. There's a lot of people that can't do that thing. I mean, how many songs have you heard where somebody just hits the most awesome sounding chord? And if you showed somebody that cord, anybody can do it, but it just resonates inside of you and, I mean, that's one of the cool, like almost intangible things about music, is just how it connects with us as human beings.