INTERVIEW: Quinn Hedges
by Cyrus Rhodes
From start to finish “Step Outside” is a very entertaining collection of music. Its strong suit is its musical feel, amazing musicianship, and rock solid consistency. Song for song it’s extremely melodic and at times can even be infectious when it comes to the musicianship. My hats off to Quinn Hedges for letting it all hang out (vocals, guitar, songwriter). He's clearly a marquee talent. So if you’re looking for a consistent musical catalogue that dishes out a modern blend of Modern-day Americana, with Classic Blues and Jam Band with solid musicianship, and a straight forward vocal swagger, them I highly recommend you Step Outside head first.
IMD What do you want fans to take from your music?
QH I would like fans to take away from our music how much dedication and thought is put into everything as a whole. We absolutely love to perform, and in doing so, we’re able to share all the hard work we’ve been up to behind the scenes. We would mainly like to leave fans eagerly looking forward to another show or upcoming album.
IMD Who are some of your top musical influences?
QH Ok, ready??...here goes. I’d have to say I have been influenced by Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Bon Iver, Ben Folds, Dave Matthews, Elliott Smith, Ray LaMontagne, The Beatles, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Alice in Chains, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Phish, Robert Cray, and Leo Kottke to name a few. The list can seriously go on and on and on as there are so many great artists and songwriters out there. I’m sure if you ask John and Jamison their musical influences, you’d get even more artists from all over the musical map. I believe that’s an asset of the band.
IMD What was the best concert you have ever been to?
QH I’ve seen many great concerts, but I’d have to say that one of my favorites was Bela Fleck and the Flecktones about 10 years ago at the Crest Theater in Sacramento. I was just blown away by the amount of talent and musicianship on one stage at the same time (plus, I had killer seats).
IMD Who are some of your guitar influences? For the gear-heads tell us about some of the guitars and amps you use on the CD?
"We absolutely love to perform, and in doing so,
we’re able to share all the hard work we’ve been up to behind the scenes."
- Quinn Hedges -
QH As a guitarist, I was heavily influenced by Classic Rock, you name it, I listened to it. I grew up loving the bluesy rock guitar sounds of Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Trey Anastasio, and Jimi Hendrix to name a few. That type of playing really spoke to me. Later when studying jazz in college, I became more influenced by guitarists such as Kenny Burrell, Larry Coryell, John Scofield, and Derek Trucks. As for the gear, I only used 2 electric guitars and 2 acoustic guitars on the album. Electric guitars consist of my trustee 1987 Fender American ‘57 Reissue Stratocaster and my 2005 Gibson ES-335. I played through my 1966 Blackface Fender Super Reverb, which my father, Bernie Hedges, modded for more mojo. It’s pretty awesome to have my father as my guitar/amp tech! My pedalboard is another story; I have 2 super-secret weapon pedals that my father built for me: The Berntone and the Bernboost, a Line 6 DL4, Modded Vox wah, and a Fulltone Fulldrive II. The acoustic guitars used on the record consisted of my Taylor Leo Kottke signature model 6-string, and a 12-string that was custom built by Peter Rodman of Rodman Guitars.
IMD Tell us a bit about your latest CD “Step Outside”?
QH Well, John (Drums), Jamison (Bass), and I had been playing together for close to 3 years by the time I was approached with an opportunity for us to record an album. In the early part of 2012, John broke his ankle which left us out of commission for a few months. By this time I felt like the band’s wheels were spinning a little bit and thought it was time to get into the studio to finally have something to show for all the hard work we’ve been putting into the band. We were lucky enough to have my father, Bernie Hedges, play pedal steel guitar on the track, “Step Outside”, and John’s father, John W. Yessen, to play trumpet on, “Searching My Soul”. All in all, we are pretty proud of our debut album and hope our fans enjoy it as much as we enjoyed recording it.
IMD What’s the best and worst thing about being based in Sacramento?
QH Playing original music isn’t really easy to get off the ground anywhere, especially for an unsigned band. Sacramento can sometimes be a frustrating place to play at times because of a fair amount of politics, local favorites, lack of venues, etc… However, I really can’t compare it to any other city because we’ve never really had the opportunity to venture outside the City of Trees. I do know that once people do open up to the music scene and become fans, the support has been great and we’ve been well received.
IMD Is there a song on this latest release that stands out as being your personal favorite?
QH As far as the final product is concerned, I think “Searching My Soul” is probably my favorite track on the album mainly because it’s different from the rest of the tunes on the album. I’d had the melody for the trumpet part in the outro stuck in my head for a while and was stoked to be able to have John’s father come in and lay down the parts I’d arranged. This song allowed us to stretch out of the norm a little. I would have liked the outro to go on for another 5 minutes or so…but I was (smartly) overruled!
IMD What’s the best thing about performing live?
QH On stage, when you get into that space where you “own” it and you can do no wrong, there’s really no other feeling similar. It’s very freeing; nothing else clouds your mind. It is such an awesome feeling when you know the audience is captivated, and as a performer, you know when you have them, and you know when you don’t. It’s the best.
IMD Any touring scheduled to support? If so how long is the tour?
QH At the moment, we don’t have a tour on the books; however, we are playing shows regularly in the Sacramento area. If an opportunity to tour comes up in the near future, we’d definitely be all ears though!
IMD What’s next for QHB?
QH Right now we are trying to get “Step Outside” into as many hands as possible, sending it out to Indie Labels, radio stations, etc. We’ll continue to gig out as regularly as possible and striving to be the best we absolutely can. We want to gain as many fans and make as many friends along the way as possible. We are currently working on new material while keeping the old stuff tight, so who knows, by this time next year, we may have a new album to talk about!
interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
Copyright © 2012
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