I get emails every day from people around the world, wanting to talk about guitars, guitar history, and vintage curiosities. And occasionally, I get emails from folks who just want to connect in some way. Some of my favorite emails are the ones from guys and gals in bands, who really share my ethos of DIY guitars and using “forgotten” gear. Some of these peeps are forced to use cheap old gear out of necessity, and some just use it because it’s funky and cool. Well today I wanted to talk about one of these kindred spirits, Matthew Legard…
Matthew currently plays in a band called the Colourflies and he initially contacted me about vintage oddball guitars. Soon enough we were messaging back and forth about what guitars he was playing and his music. Just as players in the 70s were reaching back to the forgotten guitars of the 1960s, Matthew has embraced some of the import guitars of the 70s and 80s. Right now, these copy guitars don’t have much cache on the retail market but in the hands of a capable player they are just fine rock machines! Plus, Matthew has this real artistic sense and I dig how he personalizes his gear. And he’s from IDAHO!!!
I was doing this exact same thing back in the day, but I was nowhere near as creative. I just liked to piece together parts and make Frankenstein creations… and most of them were sorta poor creations! But the idea was to create something new out of the old, kinda like early recycling! And while other players were obsessing over ridiculous details like nut width and capacitor types and “tone”, I was thinking about the creative aspects of guitars and how each one seemed to have a few song ideas built right in them! I really connected with Matthew when he wrote that every guitar “has a song in it.” I totally agree.There is currently this argument in the business circles of guitar world, and it argues that guitar-based music is really in trouble, as are guitar sales. There is some validity to that notion, especially since I have young kids who listen to top-40 music stations! Really, there is very little rock music on the radio right now. But what business types fail to see are the innumerable bands that always exist in basements, garages, and small venues all over the world. Guys like Matthew are going to continue to create and express themselves through the music medium, just as people have done since the guitar became a serious vehicle for expression in the 50s.
Seriously, just check out his creations! For me, guitars are simply a tool to create. Tools with a soul, but still tools. You create with them, like a paintbrush, and use them until they can’t give it up anymore and then it’s on to the next one. My hopes in the future are to highlight some players and bands just like Matthew and the Colourflies, just to show how guitar based music is still plenty alive, and in the hands of creative folks the music is always going to be flowing like good poetry!
Here’s how Matthew describes his approach to playing…
Guitar can be anything. There are a million types of guitar players, but I’m attracted to guitarists who claim an area of sound. For example, Hendrix and Harrison are two opposite players in a bunch of different ways, but I consider them the ultimate beautiful fluid guitar players. The phrases they use are like talking, which I have to say the only person that comes close in this regard in the modern era is John Mayer. Say what you want about Johnny’s personal tailspin, but he’s a beautiful player. What I’m attracted to is the idea of something entirely new, while most people believe I play “Grunge” guitar, I actually obsess about tone and sonic implication. Within the context of our band and our music, old stompboxes and pedals really help to manipulate songs into a certain sonic arena, therefore making it new. In our new single Pepper, I have the spacey vibe that I wanted without losing the emotion of the song, therein lies our goal. Sonic Pallet achieved, without distraction.
You can check out some Colourflies videos here… these guys play nice and heavy, raw!
Here’s a video of the boys during band practice…
And some other nicely produced videos!
9 thoughts on ““An Artist and His Tools…” Matthew Legard of the Colourflies”
Great post bro
Sent from my iPhone
I TOLD him not to put stickers on that damn Firebird….
That’s my nephew!! Love you Matt and love the article!
!!!!!! Great post!