Canadian music boasts a lot of variety . Here , we ’ ve put together a panel of five guitarists with differing styles , backgrounds , skill sets , and pretty much anything else you could think of . What ties them all together is their love of the guitar . Read on to learn about the setups , favourite guitars , practice routines , writing styles , and more of five unique Canadian guitarists .
PHOTO : CASSANDRA POPESCU
Daniel Monkman : My rig is pretty basic . At one point in my life , maybe 10 years ago , I had tons and tons of pedals — I was known as the pedal guy . I was always tap dancing on stage clicking on these things . Somewhere along the way , my pedals and gear were stolen , maybe like six years ago , and that was at a time when I wasn ’ t doing music . When I started to make my step back into music , I was like , “ Okay , I don ’ t have any money , so I have to make a rig that is so simplified , but where I ’ ll still be able to produce the sounds that I need .”
I ’ m almost embarrassed to talk about my gear just because it ’ s very basic . But if you came to one of the live shows , you ’ d be like , “ whoa ,” at least that ’ s the reaction I ’ ve been getting . I use this digital delay , it ’ s a Digitech and it has one of the best reverse reverb effects , and that ’ s the reason why I use it . And a lot of people think that it ’ s pretty dinky , but as soon as I showed them that feature on it , it ’ s just the classic shoegaze sound . There ’ s a part in here that modulates your delay , too . So , it gives this vintage sound that is pretty apparent on Bleached Wavves . I used it for every song on Bleached Wavves and it stays with me in my live settings , too , but I use this in the studio as much as I can . I use it live because it ’ s just something that I ’ m really familiar with . For distortion , I don ’ t try to use pedals all that often when I ’ m in the studio . I usually just try to use the gain on , say , my Fender Hot Rod Deville .
CM : Do you have any guitars you use for both live and studio work ?
ZOON ’ S DANIEL MONKMAN
Daniel Monkman is an Anishinaabe musician and the core member of Hamilton , ON alternative outfit Zoon . They are known for blending traditional music with shoegaze , in a signature style they ’ ve termed moccasin-gaze . Zoon ’ s last album , Bleached Wavves , was shortlisted for the 2021 Polaris Music Prize .
CM : I would love it if you could give me a walkthrough of your usual rig and how it differs from live to studio .
Monkman : Right now I ’ m using this golden and red shiny Fender Squier . I ’ ve never used Squiers but in the last year I ’ ve grown a big appreciation for them . And I use a Fender Jaguar . Onstage , I usually have four to five guitars with me , but lately , I just have three guitars — a Fender Jaguar , Fender Stratocaster , and Fender Mustang . I recently got a Fender endorsement , so I just kind of have all Fenders .
CM : When it comes to practicing guitar , do you have a typical routine that you like to do ?
Monkman : I ’ m a big fingerpicking person . Before practice , before songwriting , or even just during , I ’ ll always run chords , just fingerpicking those chords , and really allow myself to just get really immersed in playing . I used to be like , “ Okay , I ’ m going to write
50 CANADIAN MUSICIAN