“I've Never Been Interested in Being Technically Good!”
Total Guitar|February 2022
Tom Dowse of art rockers Dry Cleaning plays by his own rules. His specialities: improvisation and guitar abuse
By Jonny Scaramanga. Photographs by Steve Gullick

HAIL THE GIBSON SG

I just gravitated towards SGs when I was a kid, just the shape of them looked the most metal. I’m a huge fan of Greg Sage from The Wipers. He played an SG with a Bigsby, and when he was strumming he was always bending the Bigsby as well, so it had this really warped sound. That’s something I do with the SG a lot. I like to bend the neck. I treat it quite badly to be honest. I switched from a Silvertone 1478 back to my SG again and it was so much more indistinct, almost like an ocean. There’s more space for the texture and weirdness I was going for.

TWELVE STRING GUITARS ARE UNDERRATED

I’ve got a Burns Double Six which I really like playing. I’m a bit addicted to twelve string guitars. If I had the money, I’d start collecting 12-strings. I have a Roland JC-30 amp with built-in chorus, and sometimes I have a chorus pedal as well as the chorus on the amp so it’s really crazy. That’s one of the reasons I like 12-strings – it’s like natural chorus.

HARNESS THE POWER OF IMPROVISATION

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