‘Two words: PERSEVERANCE and DETERMINATION’.
Wayne Barrett is a founding member of Slaughter and the Dogs, an English punk band from Wythenshawe, Manchester. They were the first of the major UK punk bands to sign with a major label, Decca Records. The band tours regularly, with their next string of dates in the UK in August 2018, including the Rebellion festival.
Wayne was kind enough to sit down with me for an afternoon and answer questions for The Punk Lounge regarding his history in music, his influences, his instruments and even some advice for those starting out in the big, scary world of music! Grab a beer or cider and sit on down and get ready for a good read! I hope you enjoy!
You can find out all the latest info on their band site at:
Erin: When, where, or why was your dream to be a musician?
Wayne: I think it started out at an early age. Must’ve been around 7 or 8 something like that?
Wayne: Watching the Rolling Stones on Top of the Pops and wanted to be the same as them.
Wayne: Because I thought, not to be big-headed, I could do better. I wanted to be better than them. I wanted to be LIKE them, I wanted to be their equivalent.
Erin: Was your dream to play an instrument? Or was it strictly always being a frontman?
Wayne: No, it was a combination of the two, because I was playing double bass at school. When I started out at high school, I had loads of problems at school, so when Mr. Howard, the music teacher, caught me in the assembly room playing around on a piano, when I shouldn’t have been in there, instead of telling me off he asked me if I would like to learn to play an instrument and I said yeah. He told me there was a vacancy to learn to play the double bass, so I started out playing double bass at school. At the same time I asked my mum if she’d advance me some money so I could buy myself a bass guitar, which she did do with the deal that I would pay her back, so I had to do odd jobs on the weekend and what not.
Erin: How old were you when you got the first bass?
Wayne: I was I think around 12 and a half, maybe 13.
Erin: So you started playing seriously by 12 or 13?
Erin: By then was your goal to use it as a foothold or a way into some type of musical group?
Wayne: Well, yeah because nobody wants to play bass guitar, but I wanted to play bass guitar because it was an easy instrument to play, so I could concentrate on singing and playing bass.
Erin: Your ultimate goal was still to be a singer but also implementing an instrument along with it?
Wayne: Yeah, the two they basically went together at the beginning but then I began to find it really difficult to express myself vocally and physically at the same time as I was playing bass guitar and singing, so I dropped the bass and I had met up with Mick around that time.
Erin: Had you dropped bass guitar when you met Mick (Rossi)?
Wayne: No, I had dropped it afterwards because as I was playing double bass and because I was doing about 65-75% of my school lessons in music and when I met Mick, he didn’t play any instrument whatsoever although he had great knowledge of music as a fan, he was a big David Bowie fan, and we met up and I asked him if he wanted to learn to play double bass with me because there was another opening. So he said yes and he tried it twice and this very funny moment in our youth came then because Mick isn’t a big lad and a double bass is a big instrument, so even at the lowest bottom pick of the bass, all you could see were Mick’s arms wrapped around the bass-you couldn’t even see his face! So, he tried that for around 2 weeks with me and then I asked him if he wanted to learn to play the guitar and he said yes, so I said if he learned to play guitar he could join my band, which I didn’t have, just my imaginary band! My band existed without existing haha! But it existed in my mind at that time. And Mick asked his mum to get him a guitar which she did do and then we started writing songs with a minimum of knowledge of technique or anything. And we started hanging out together and have ever since. We were inflicting a kind of regimental thing or what looked like a regimental thing to the outside world because-
Erin: What do you mean by regimental?
Wayne: I would go to Mick’s house or he would come to mine 3-4 times a week after school and we would just listen to records and then write songs and ideas. I’d write the lyrics with the melodies go and see Mick with that and he would come and see me with the rhythms and chords…
Erin: What were you writing the melodies with? The bass?
Wayne: It was just basically by memory. When I write lyrics, very, very often I have the melody in my head already there, it’s like it’s lingering there and it is just waiting to see if Mick can bring a coat to cover the rest of the words. It-It’s kinda strange because Mick will say to me I have this song, right? Over the phone, this rhythm idea and then I go OK, alright, and then he will leave it with me and then I would keep it in my mind and then I would write some lyrics and extrovert the melody on top of the lyrics. I think to be honest, the most interesting thing is, when you have this collaboration thing going on and you don’t realise that it is happening that is untainted, real and pure, THAT is the magic-it’s not controlled.
Erin: It is developing on its own; it is a natural, organic development.
Wayne: So your mind and your inspiration just run wild all day. And since we come from the same kind of background and share the same kind of ideals and love and styles of music it was interesting to look.
Erin: You don’t realise it when it’s happening, the magic, to look back and see what developed.
Wayne: Like I have always said, our lyrics and our music at that time, which was total shit, but at the same time, we were hitting out on something that was unknown. Because we were masters of our instruments, it was coming out in a way that it shouldn’t. We wanted to do an “E” to an “A” and because we couldn’t do proper chords, my voice was floating on the melodies, so why not do something in biniar timing which we didn’t know what that was! But it went onto a 4/4 beat and normally you wouldn’t do a biniar on a 4/4 beat! But we did! People would say “oh it weird but it works”, and it’s like you mix a version of reggae and classical music together and people say, “why? You cannot do that”, but why can’t you do that? You CAN do it! And that is the chemistry of music. Music is a chemistry-completely. It’s open and no laws are divine. That’s why I left my studies because I started to study more at music school, like the fourth overture of Beethoven. A different music teacher at this school was like, “you have to play this part of the overture like that” and I was like, “but why”? Imagine if Beethoven was born in the 1950’s and had a Marshall amp and a Les Paul guitar, he wouldn’t play the overture as it was written 200 years before? No way! And because the Manchester orchestra was very conservative about their ways, it was always, “you will play it like that because that is how it is has always been done.” The whole classical scene was embedded in this old school, lots of rules that included not messing around with traditional music and that’s all we wanted to do-completely fuck about with it!
Erin: So, we know you play multiple instruments now, but which is your favourite to play and why?
Wayne: It’s most probably my Martin electro acoustic, because it is a quarter size case, not a three quarter size case, which gives out a beautiful, mahogany acoustic sound, which to me is something I like, which comes out of such a small guitar.
Erin: When did you discover it was your favourite?
Wayne: I’d heard a few demos on it and I’ve had quite a few acoustic guitars, Ovation, Yamaha, Fender, Gretch, but a lot of these high tech guitars, at the end of the day, they are not what they are made out to be. I think the most important thing you can have in a guitar is its SOUND. I have this twelve string Bee and Billy, it’s a shit mark, but that 12 string, if I don’t put a dead ringer on it, right? It fills the whole fucking room up on its own. It’s a BAND on its own and it sounds PERFECT, it sounds great for recording, it sounds great on stage and it’s a guitar I picked up for, well it was French francs back then, so it would be around about £300 maximum, for a 12 string guitar, which is not expensive and I’ve still got it today! It has a perfect sound.
Erin: Are there any other instruments, like your tambourine and maracas? (Laughing ensues as I always say there’s no room for Stevie Nicks tambos onstage in punk rock!)
Wayne: A haha. Yes, my electric guitar, the only one I have left because my wife made me sell my old Les Paul Junior because she was jealous because there was a girl’s name on it that represented an unsavoury character. I have a friend of mine that has lent me a Les Paul Gibson that sounds pretty good.
Erin: But don’t you usually take just the electroacoustic guitars on tour with you?
Wayne: Yeah, it’s rare that I take an electric guitar on the road-I mean I might take a Gibson with me only as a backup for Mick, when Mick needs one, but I take the electroacoustic because I only play one song on stage with the guitar which is a song I wrote which is “Maybe if We Followed the Devil” from the album Vicious, and it needs that acoustic guitar so I take that with me.
Erin: Ok-I’ll get ready for a LOONNGGG response to this next question! Who were or are your major influences? Were there specific songs, bands, scenes that grasped you, sucked you in, transported you to another level where you said, “This is for ME”.
Wayne: The first song that made me go tilt was “Lazy Sunday Afternoon” by the Small Faces, which I bought, my first 45, I was 10 it was 1968.
Erin: What about that song grabbed you?
Wayne: It’s a cheeky record and that’s how I was. It’s all that cocky kind of thing and that cocky attitude drew me towards it because I was a cocky cunt when I was a kid. Always wanted to get one over on somebody else as a question of survival. You could see there was a lot of mischievous happenings going on during that song and it’s great. It’s just like a regular lazy Sunday afternoon, it’s like the whole ambience of the song is brilliant. I used to play it to death-and I still got it today.
Erin: Who and what else? I know there is moorreeeee…..
Wayne: By the time I was 11 I was well into Tyrannosaurs Rex, Tyrannosaurs Rex THAN T. Rex, cause I used to hang out with a guy Mark Brennen, who has nothing to do with the record company Mark Brennen, but a guy I used to hang out with down the street from where I used to live, him and David Carr and myself we were big Marc Bolan fans. It was the ending phase of hippie kind of thing. Marc Bolan was still trying to hold on to that thing and then when he crossed over and divorced from John Peel and started playing electric guitar that was a wakeup call. It was like hey! He plays electric guitar way better than he plays acoustic! He had a special sound, it wasn’t a sound we had heard before and it was the beginning of glam, so it was very, very sexual. When Marc Bolan had that guitar in his hand, every male and female wanted to be that guitar. Just the way he touched the guitar! And being a kid, I was aroused by that. So I was sexually aroused by Marc Bolan and his guitar playing and his audative sound was immaculate so to me that was beautiful. Then there was Bowie and from Bowie I started to get interested in Lou Reed, because I had heard that Bowie had been working with this guy Reed. I didn’t know the Velvets really and I didn’t start listening to the Velvet Underground until I was around 14-15 and I didn’t really like the Velvets at the very beginning, I thought their sound was shit, but I did have a massive, huge hard on for Nico. Her vocal and her instrument when they were combined together, it was like really, really weird.
Erin: Very droning and so full of melancholy and longing.
Wayne: When you’re 14, you HAVE to have melancholy. If you don’t have melancholy, you’re not gonna listen to music. So everything was all about changing the world and how bad the world is and is love ever gonna happen to me and all that kind of shit. Every kid was thinking like that. So when I did get into Lou Reed and then started listening to, this is for me, the most moving album ever recorded which is Berlin. I’ve listened to everything he had done before, but I think the most journeyful, imaginative and creative album that was ever recorded is that album of Berlin. It’s impossible to not imagine the times of the dark days of Berlin. You understand from the first note of the piano bar and you hear the cocktail glasses clinking and feel the doom. It’s a misery album, but it’s so emotional. I mean, I love Ziggy Stardust. I think Ziggy Stardust is one of the best albums in the world, but as a directive, without having to question things, you just listen to Berlin and from song 1 until Sad Song; it takes you through a journey and there is no one that can turn around to me and say I don’t understand it.
Erin: So would you say Lou Reed had more of an impact on how you ended up song writing then David Bowie or anyone else?
Wayne: Well, it’s a crossover. Because when you are writing songs, you’re basically a thief. You take things up from William Burroughs, you take things up from David Bowie, you take things up from Leonard Cohen, you take something from Alice Cooper, you take something from JR Tolkien, and you take something from everywhere you’ve experienced. You go and buy some bread and see something happen which will leave an imprint on your mind and you’ll take it back and try to do a description of it in the best way you can on paper and pen. The paper and pen has always been for me like a painter on white tableau. It’s easier to put the pen to the paper.
Erin: But don’t you have to have the words to bring out the emotions, to create the setting and mood of whatever it is you are trying to convey, like what the character is doing, what colours the walls are, make it so people can envision it in their minds how you are trying to explain all through just the usage of words?
Wayne: Exactly. I’ve always had that problem. What I refuse to do, my lyrics until only a few years ago, I never, ever corrected them, ever. I wrote something down and I would never, ever change it. Whether it was Mick asking me, whether it was the producers asking me, I would refuse. When you write a song, the words that you are going to write down, are the ones that should be there. If you correct them, then you’re polishing it up and it is no longer the song, the inspiration you had at that very moment and that is what it’s all about. I don’t mind people decorating my vocals up in the studio, or compressing or whatever, I am not a big fan as I try to keep my voice as natural as possible when we record, don’t like too much reverb or delays apart from if we have to put it in for the context of that song. But if it’s a rock n roll band you don’t need reverb and all that. You use the reverb from the room! I think in today’s world, too much is controlled and polished, decorated and played up.
Erin: So are you saying in music, it’s not as raw and emotive as it used to be? Everything is too slick and shiny?
Wayne: Yes, everything now has become the same. I can’t tell one band from another on mixes. In the U.S., all the young punk bands, well, not young but bands from the early 2000’s let’s say, they all have the same sound. Like X-Ray Spex did not have the same sound as Slaughter and the Dogs and Slaughter and the Dogs did not have the same sound as The Stranglers, you know what I mean?
Erin: The minute you put on an album by any of those bands you know within the first note straightaway who it is based on their unique sound.
Wayne: The thing is today, you listen to the music and you’re like, FUCK, it is ALWAYS the same thing! And if there is one artist that comes out with a new vocal tonality or something else, you can be guaranteed within six months to the follow up to that there will be 15-20 artists that sound exactly the same as him. He’ll be cloned, detailed and then put out. I look at life and say to myself, is everybody too scared today? Does nobody want to take chances anymore?
Erin: Well there are bands that challenge the “sameness” disease. Remember that band the OC Hurricanes? I don’t remember if you saw them with me but I sent you a link and said Charlie Trujillo Sharar and I went to see them and I told you I finally found a fucking band that doesn’t sound like all the other punk/garage bands! It was those 19 year old kids playing Farfisa organ in their set with punk guitars! And they are making a decent name all over Orange and Los Angeles County. Remember?
Wayne: Oh yeah! There are bands like them and the Huskies and the Vapors and they come a little bit out of the thing but why do we incarnate exactly what has already been done? You don’t have to do that. Just be yourself! When we first started with Mick and the band, I use to do my own clothing, all silk and satin because I wanted to be all glam rock and everything. I was a poor fucker! I didn’t have no money, etcetera, I use to beg, borrow and steal to make my clothing. But during the day I was wearing exactly the same as Joey Ramone-holes in me jeans and all the rest of the shit, not WANTING to look like Joey Ramone, but I had that look and people just turned around to me after the Lesser Free Trade Hall thing and said Oh Wayne, you’ve been wearing these clothes years before the Pistols, etc., but it wasn’t a statement! I didn’t wanna look like that! It’s all I had! And then when I spoke to Martin Hannet and he said, I think the best thing for you guys to do is just be yourselves, because as yourselves you’re unique. And that’s what we did. When you look at my records collection, it varies immensely. There’s Herman Broad, there’s jazz, there’s rock, there’s a lot of glam, electronica, blues, the entire Madchester scene, the whole lot. If I like it, I will buy it. The problem today is I can’t buy anymore because when you listen to something that you think is good, what’s your natural instinct? You want to listen to better! After that better than the next one, right? You don’t want to listen to something and say that was great twenty years ago, that was real, really good, buy twenty years on the band is doing the same thing apart from the production. Maybe it’s a little bit cleaner, more polished or remastered, but it is still THE SAME.
Erin: Well, we will see if people get off their asses and genuinely create as there is such a potential for it and I have seen first-hand it happening even if it’s on a small scale so I have hope!
Wayne: The small scale Erin, has always been there and thank fuck for that! Thank fuck there are people who will go out and work to produce and promote and play, whether it’s bands or promoters and keep the punk/indie scene open and alive because if we didn’t have that, we would have nothing. It’s not gonna be the “State” that generates or encourages music and art or a scene, that’s for sure. They don’t give a shit. They are closing more and more venues. Lyon, France where we live, is the second biggest city in France. There are four places in the whole of Lyon where you can play gigs.
Erin: And out of those four, only ONE, The Trokson which puts on bands of more of punk/garage rock/indie nature. ONE. In a city with a population of 506,615 people. I have seen TWO shows since I have moved to Lyon over a year and a half ago, to give the readers an idea of the severity.
Wayne: You have to go the 7th arrrondisment (far out from the center of town,) or farther and that is just to hear the USB key DJ’s, as Erin calls them.
Erin: So what successes or failures have you experienced along the way? Let’s start with the failures first, the dirty stuff!
Wayne: There are two things in your question here. On the failures, what I would like to answer. Failures-I am a failure for believing in people too much, so that makes me a failure.
Wayne: I should have been harder and more firm on certain things.
Erin: So you feel you gave yourself up or where taken advantage of by individuals in the industry which then led you to feel as though you failed.
Wayne: When you are 19-20 years old, you get manipulated like everybody. I got manipulated in the music. I got manipulated in love, I got manipulated in finance. All that before I was even 20.
Erin: So what do you wish you had done differently regarding those situations at that time?
Wayne: I should have been more dominant and told a lot of people to fuck off and stuck to my guns, my gut instincts. The thing is with Slaughter, in that day, people tend to forget, that it was just me and Mick. It was NOBODY else. There was no manager, there was no producer, there was no engineer. Just third party drug dealers telling us what we should be doing. And we were listening to those people who were influencing our judgement. And I should have stuck to my guns with Mick and Mick should have listened to me a bit more and trusted me a little bit more in my decisions that I wanted to do. So when I stopped the band, I dropped Mick in the shit, that’s for sure, the others in the group I do not care about. Maybe I did a little when I stopped the band, but after 10 years and not hearing a peep out of the other musicians, and touring managers and managers I said to myself, I was right. They didn’t give a shit about me. So my decision to stop the band…
Erin: What year was this so people know and your decision was?
Wayne: 1979-1980. My decision was final. I said I wouldn’t go back on that. At the same time it was proposed to me to do a solo album collaborating with Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy) because Phil had been writing songs for Decca and I was still close to Decca Records at that time and Decca wanted me to do a solo album where Phil and I would co-write the album together. But sadly, it wasn’t to be, because he passed away shortly after that proposition. And I was now living in France. I gave the band or rather the management an ultimatum: I wanted my full share of the money and my thoughts and my ideas to be heard and they just didn’t give a shit. And I’m like, hold on, I’m writing the songs, as long as you’re making money while I’m doing 50 percent of song writing with Mick, you do balls all, all you do is sell the stuff and that’s it. Anybody can sell!
Erin: What about successes, now that we got the shit out of the way? What would you say are your biggest, funnest, whatever, you consider successes?
Wayne: The best success would be like, there’s two: Just going back on stage with Mick in 1996 doing the Holidays in the Sun gig,
Erin: That was after how many years since you had played together?
Wayne: Mick and me, we worked together, we did the Shocking album the early 1990’s, but that was studio.
Erin: But you didn’t tour or anything during that album did you? This was the first time you two had performed together, LIVE since when?
Wayne: The last gig, I think was in Nottingham in 1979.
Erin: So you had that big gap from 1979 until 1996. So 16-17 years. Wowzers.
Wayne: We hadn’t been onstage together for about 17 years, so that was a REALLY good moment and like a powerful moment for me-rich.
Wayne: Because I had to prove to myself, I had to prove to Mick that we still had that desire. You see, Mick and me went from growing up together, I came to France, he went to Ireland then he went to Los Angeles, but we’ve always stayed in contact. Just like a letter, or a phone call and phone calls in them days were dead expensive to call the States but we did it.
Erin: So even after you split the band up you guys still communicated or was there a period of time everyone had to cool off? Like a couple of years or what?
Wayne: It took around about 4 to 4 and a half years for it to heal.
Erin: And then who reached out to who?
Wayne: It was Colin Newman who wanted to do a compilation album and Mick said he would be in Paris, so I went over to Paris and we just got together and did the deal with Colin and while we were doing the deal with Colin we went out, had a chat and a few drinks and I tried to explain my perspective since I had to hide basically for the first few months since I had death threats and all the rest of this shit that had come into view when I stopped the band. I just wanted to be back with Mick. I mean, I would have gone back with Mick before that but he was working with Gary Holton and Martin Deville, so he was doing a few things on his own. Mick’s a very talented producer as well as a talented musician, he has a great way of working with other artists.
Erin: So you said there were two successes. Going on stage and playing live with Mick at Holidays in the Sun, you felt you both jived together and-
Wayne: After that show, we woke up the next morning, we had breakfast together and head to head we said, we can’t let this go. Let’s get back on the road. So it took a lot of phone calls and the rest of this shit and the rest started to happen. The other success, in Italy and the U.S.A. the revival of the punk era just restarted about 8 years ago, something like that. Our public were kind of middle aged and then we came to Italy and we are playing to like ¾ of the clubs full of chicks! And young chicks, up to like 30 maximum! The crowd of women was like 17-30. And like I said, 75% of the crowd were girls. I thought they made some kind of mistake like, shit! Do they think it’s a boy band? And the promoter who we were working with said, “no, no Slaughter are really big in the punk scene here in Italy with the girls towards all the songs like Dame to Blame and Since You Went Away!” And then we hit America and it was the same thing. Loads of girls at the shows. And the guys were young as well. So it was a new generation of kids getting into our music.
Erin: So this revitalised you guys seeing that your music was appealing to a whole wider audience, particularly younger men and women.
Wayne: Whether it was old or new and that was interesting because they were referencing albums and songs like off of Beware Of… as much as they were referencing Do It Dog Style, after the shows they were asking questions and it was interesting because the questions were much deeper than usual like, whereabouts did you record this and why did you record it and all that. Very interesting questions, which was new and nice! I mean, I love Do It Dog Style, but it was good to have that interest and buzz in something else. When we did Beware Of… it was recorded in England, we rented a house in Manchester, Mick and myself for about a month, we’d take the car and drive around until 2 or 3 in the morning in Manchester and Wythenshawe and look at the old places, kind of take all the memories and images of what Manchester was and what Manchester is today and try and combine the two of them and that’s how we did Beware Of… Whereby the Vicious album, that was up in Berkley. We rented a house up there, Mick and myself and it was great because it was just the two of us and we were just working on the songs. Song writing, like I said in the beginning of the interview, when you have that chemistry between in our case, two people, Mick will say look I’ve just recorded this with a small cassette lalalala like that and I say ah, OK that sounds good and I would wake him up around 7 in the morning making noise since I’ve been tapping out the lyrics and I’ve been up since 3 or 4 in the morning and working on the song and before midday we had written the song.
Erin: Do you guys just subconsciously gel together and it works for you? It is not something I think you can put into words because you guys intuitively know how to make music together and you have your own unspoken way of that creative process.
Wayne: Yes, we do. I give Mick total liberty in the chord structures and he gives me total liberty with the melodies and lyrics to the songs. So that combination works and it has been like that forever.
Erin: Do you have any funny stories you want to share or lessons learned with a funny ending, like you did something in a certain way and it didn’t work, so haha “lesson learned”? Maybe the shiny pants story?
Wayne: (lots of laughter between both of us,) Don’t wear shiny latex pants on stage when you have a PA system which has a carpet type covering.
Erin: Because why? When did this happen?
Wayne: It was the third time we played Holidays in the Sun and I climbed up the towers on the side of the stage wedges and sat on the speaker and I wanted to jump down onto the stage and I realized I was glued to the speaker and couldn’t get off because of the heat of the pants on my body and the carpet covering on the speaker created some type of static electricity or something! So don’t do that!
Erin: Didn’t you have to play the rest of the set on the damned speaker til someone could get you down?
Wayne: I had to wait for Phil (Smith) to come and help me off. He had to just rip me off the speaker and it ruined me shiny pants! Another word of advice, when you jump into the crowd always keep one of your hands on your balls and the other on the microphone because girls and boys have a tendency of touching your testicles!
Erin: So when you’re in the crowd, make sure you got one hand on your balls the other on the microphone!
Wayne: Or if you’re like me, let them do it, just I just like that. I can take it!
Erin: Do you have any advice to those looking to start playing electroacoustic guitar or want to start singing or get into the business? Any recommendations you would give someone young today that is trying to get into it?
Wayne: Just one word: PERSEVERANCE. Two words: PERSEVERANCE and DETERMINATION.
Erin: And why would you tell them that?
Wayne: Because you cannot go in a domain where you are going to be on your own, because when you’re going onstage to play electroacoustic guitar you are on your own, you have to be everything. You have to be all the musicians that are missing, you have to be the manager if you don’t have a manager, and basically you have to be everything. So you need that perseverance and determination to carry it through. You will encounter problems because nothing happens A to Z you know, easy, other letters get thrown in there. And everything changes from one gig to another. You can have one gig where you’ll have a full 4 back systems with 4 monitors and then you will have a gig with no monitors. You have to become adaptable. Tim Smith, for example, does a great job on that, he is very adaptable. Very professional. I’ve always admired him when he was with the Adverts and his solo work and various collaborations. But I admire him most when he plays acoustic because he does many, many shows and he gives 100% on stage and he travels and he travels and he does gig from gig and I admire him. I can’t do that. I’d love to do it but I just can’t. I’d do around 10-15 dates maximum on my own and then I’d get bored. I need the band. Most of the time I bring Jean-Pierre (Thollet) in on the acoustic sets because it gets lonely on stage. Even when you’ve got your public. Your public is your other side. You’re entertaining them. It’s always good to have someone beside you.
Erin: So you say perseverance, determination and adaptability is what you advise to make it in the industry.
Wayne: You have to be able to adapt to the situation. You’re only an artist. You aren’t a god. People come to see you. They come to see you so you have to give them 100% of yourself. There’s places and promoters that aren’t going to do the job, etc., you get angry about it but you can’t let that anger be seen on stage.
Erin: That’s good advice. You can’t deprive the fans of a good show that they’ve paid money and that they’ve been anticipating and building up for themselves to see, so if someone backstage fucks up the rider or doesn’t have this or didn’t do this that you requested, you’re saying don’t go onstage with that anger projected at someone else.
Wayne: This is what I do today: I was the other way around for a while-I used to go apeshit on people, “I’ve asked for this, for that,” and it just makes the situation worse and you more angry and rebounds on you, your fans and it rebounds on the whole ambience. Just let it go and then write it down in your notebook or computer or wherever and say, “will not play this gig/deal with this promoter, etc., again”. That’s it. But don’t let it show on stage to the fans.
Erin: This is the last section of our interview! All about the instruments and their partners. Since you are big into acoustic guitars, what’s a good starter acoustic or electroacoustic guitar for a beginner? For someone that wants to start out seriously but may not have all the money in the world?
Wayne: These Yamaha electroacoustic are pretty good. You see, the guitars today are manufactured in a way that you can get a good acoustic guitar for around about €280-350 brand new. I would go with a Yamaha. Don’t buy a guitar for less than €200, unless you want to put it on the wall. It will warp, if it isn’t already, the neck will go. If you do have a little bit of cash, I would definitely go with a Martin; they run about €900 onwards, for the electroacoustic. You have Guild as well; they have beautiful guitars as well and are super well made. Like I said before, I am not a big fan of Fender or Gibson acoustic or electroacoustic guitars. I think they are too expensive for what they are and the sound they produce.
Erin: What are you playing now?
Wayne: The Martin electroacoustic OOCXAE Black.
Erin: What is the budget range for one of those?
Wayne: About €900. I’ve got this one that is really, really good. It’s a Cort model MRAS4 NAT. This guitar has a beautiful sound to it. It runs about €600-€900. The microphone I use is a SHURE SM58
Erin: And finally, what is your dream instrument? If money was no object, anything was available and you could have whatever you wanted?
Wayne: It would be a Dan Electro U2 1956 model. Because there are only 2 in the world. Jimmy Page has them. It is a guitar I have heard and it is fucking amazing. It only has one microphone on it, one switch and that’s it. It just rocks. You have to put it through a Marshall JCM 100 watt amp 2 4×12 Marshall Speaker cabinets and an MXR distortion pedal.
Erin: Fair enough! Is there anything else, before we close, you want to give a shout out to, promote?
Erin: WARNINGS?!? Of what?
Wayne: Merchandise. It’s come to my attention there are multiple companies that are using my name to sell products, on the internet via Facebook, and other social media outlets. This is the worst form of theft as they wouldn’t do it to Disney so why should they do it to us? Make sure you double check when buying band merchandise on the internet that it is either through an OFFICIAL BAND PAGE or direct from the band, same at the shows. Ask the vendor—does the band get a cut of these profits? Is this authorised band merch? If it isn’t? Fuck them and buy elsewhere!
Erin: That it, sir? Thank you Mr. Barrett for your great answers and for taking the time to let me pick your brain! I have had a blast!
Wayne: You’re welcome!
For more information on each of Wayne’s recommended instruments you could check out the links below: