By: Tom
Category: Gear

August 31, 2017

Miquel, as far as I know, the last time Mark used the Pensa-Suhr MK1 was during the Golden Heart tour in 1996 (check Sultans of Swing on YouTube from that tour). I am quite sure that I have read that he doesn’t use it anymore mostly because it has a thin neck. As you get older, you get bigger hands and fingers, so a thicker neck is more comfortable to play. And a thin neck can actually give you cramps and contribute to tendonitis, not a good thing when on long tours. Another thing is that guitars that are made to be “universal” often end up being a compromise; the MK1 is not quite a Strat and not quite a Les Paul, it’s its own thing really. And considering Mark’s evolution as a musician, I suppose vintage and vintage-styled instruments fit better. The MK1 was after all an 80s creation …

Yes, you are right Tom

By: Miquel
Category: General discussion

August 31, 2017

Hi Guy, hope all is Ok and I send to you all my best wishes.

My questions are: why Mark has never play again in public the Pensa-Suhr Guitar he played at the OES Tour? Is a comercial reason or it is a sound issue? Do you consider that guitar is intimately related with the DS sound?
Thanks in advance for your answer.

Personal choice at the time. No particular reason, it does come out and get used in the studio now and again.

By: The tennisman
Category: General discussion

August 31, 2017

Can’t upload the picture….How does it work Doc ?

You have to use an image link and insert it into the question link field.

By: The tennisman
Category: General discussion

August 31, 2017

I've heard that poor Guy didn't see the North American eclipse.This is a picture i took on my way to Lake Powell.Cheers

By: chris1600l
Category: Competition

August 30, 2017

Was up at camusdarach beach at the weekend where scenes from local hero was filmed been up here many times but the beauty of the area is outstanding , have you ever visited ?

Actually, no. I didn't go the day the band took a day trip. I should have done. Will do next time for sure.

By: Stephen Butler
Category: Miscellaneous

August 30, 2017

Dear Guy: P.S.: Me again. I have just scrolled down, which I should have done in the first place I suppose, and found my post of August 27. It was intended to give myself a laugh, and hopefully others who read it too. It was just meant for humour. By the way, I notice that I wrote something along the lines of Brothers in Arms being old enough to have its own grandchildren by now. While this may be true, it would mean – at least, I THINK it does – that they would then be Second Cousins in Arms. But I'm not 100% sure about that. Cheers! x

By: Stephen Butler
Category: Miscellaneous

August 30, 2017

Dearest Guy: I can only offer my sincere apology to you and the readers of this forum for my slightly barmy post the other day. Frankly, there is no excuse for it, but even if I were to offer a pathetic one, it would be that a long-standing depression condition, going back decades, seems to have been rearing its ugly head again. The only bit of truth in that post, from what I remember, was that I was – and am – taking my meds! Pretty much everything else, as far as I recall, was – to turn to medical terminology – total bollocks. No offense was intended to anyone. I hope this is OK. Cheers! Love & Peace, Stephen x

Barmy posts are fine here, within reason of course.

By: DGS
Category: Gear

August 30, 2017

Hello Guy,

I must say I find myself very intrigued by your remarks regarding “no EQ at all” on the Tracker record. During tracking (pun intended), when using the right gear for the right situation, I can imagine getting away without using EQ as a correctional device. But, since I believe you use lots of old gear, how come Tracker sounds so open and “breathing”? It really feels like a fresh wind blown to your ears. I always assumed that Bob Ludwig added just a bit of air to the record as a whole, but I guess this is nothing more than an assumption? Also, I recently recording a few tracks at Abbey Road Studios and we also used a U47 for vocals. We wanted a very natural result, so EQ and compression were used at a minimum. The U47, however, definitely needed a boost in the highs, because otherwise it just wouldn’t cut through the mix, which is something I can image of a microphone that old. Assuming that Mark’s vocals were also (mostly) recorded with a U47 on Tracker, and knowing that U47’s aged differently through time and some are maintained better than others, I guess yours just doesn’t need that high boost? Sorry for all the questions, but I find this very interesting. Best regards.

The high boost on Mark's vocal comes from the Decca Limiter which colours the sound in a very pleasing, 'record-like' way. One of the kick drum mics did have a little mid cut eq on it upon tracking, I confess....but apart from that, nothing.

By: Naif
Category: General discussion

August 29, 2017

Hi Doc;

Do you ever think of playing private investigations on previous tours? Such a powerfull song!

I must be honest, no, not really.

By: redblooms
Category: Gear

August 29, 2017

Hi!
Tracker sounds amazing. Why is there so little tape hiss concering that all tracks were recorded onto tape?

All the best, Alex

Because we used Studer A800 2" 16track machines running at 30ips all perfectly aligned. Tape hiss isn't really an issue if you're careful.

By: Erwin
Category: General discussion

August 28, 2017

Guy, the first time we heard about this secret project you were working on was in september last year. Since you are now almost 1 year working on this project I think it is ok to ask when we will have some official news about this project? Last time you mentioned “soon ” about this on a question here but that was in January I believe. I understand that sometimes we ask things you can not speak about but I do hope you can give us some more info on this one…..looking forward to your new diary!! All the best…

Yes, it's fair to ask. It's also still not possible for me to say anything just yet but I can say it is gathering pace and in my opinion, will be fantastic.

By: Tom
Category: General discussion

August 28, 2017

@Stephen, I'm in stitches, mon. Thanks for providing a good laugh this morning. Cheers!

By: Stephen Butler
Category: Tour

August 27, 2017

Dearest Guy: Now that U2 are about half way through their ‘Joshua Tree’ tour, I would like to make a couple of points about it. In my view it’s a waste of six months when they could be recording new material. I said to myself, I would go if they did it as they did on the original 1987 tour, with no video screens and a simple backdrop; just a great band playing great songs. But no: they had to spoil it with a huge video screen and all that nonsense. So, I didn’t go – and I think they noticed that I wasn’t there at Twickenham, and their performance suffered as a result. But naturally, it got me thinking, as it always does, what if Mark dropped all that he was doing and decided to get the ‘boys’ back together for a 33rd Anniversary Brothers in Arms world tour, for six months of next year, touring the worlds stadia? New album be danged! Let’s focus on a record that’s old enough to have its own grandchildren now. How would you like to do it? Mix old and new material with ‘Brothers in Arms’ songs, leaving out ‘One World’? Or play a few hits, then do the entire BIA album in sequence, go off stage for five and then come back for an extended ‘encore’ consisting of more hits? And would you need a 60-foot 4K video screen at the back, screening all sorts of incomprehensible ‘arthouse’ films made by second year film-school students who think they’re Jean-Luc Godard? Or – and this is my favourite option – reimagine Brothers in Arms as an Ed Sheeran album, using one of those guitar pedal things for all sorts of weird and wonderful effects. Oh, and just to be clear: I am not one of those fantasists who would love that to happen. It’s a real nightmare scenario for me, as it would be for you I expect, and I simply would not buy a ticket for it. But it did occur to me that DS have never needed that video screen BS. Neither has MK as an SA (Solo Artiste). As you correctly surmise in your humorous retitling of a song from BIA, ‘Why Bother’? And just to answer a question that I feel sure is buzzing round your head right now: yes, I am taking my meds. x

Hilarious

By: Icelander
Category: Guy Fletcher

August 25, 2017

Hi Guy, what was the name again of the Ukeleles made in Maui that you recommend. We are going to be there in November and would like to check them out. Cheers.

» http://meleukulele.com/product-category/mele-ukule...

Mele Ukuleles of Wailea on Maui. They are beautiful. Do visit the store. I'm envious of anyone visiting Maui.

By: Tom
Category: Miscellaneous

August 24, 2017

As it’s been years since Mark lived in Newcastle, his Geordie accent has softened a lot. Was curious, though – when he has a conversation with other Geordies does he switch back (say after a couple of beers with Steve Phillips he-he)? Would have loved to hear that!

Yes, I suppose it does wander back when Mark is with fellow Geordies.

By: Julio
Category: General discussion

August 21, 2017

Hello Doc. Just read in McCusker’s twitter that he and his wife will be touring the UK June/July next year. Expecting that the new Mk would be finished in March, we had hopes that a new tour would happen May 2018. Does this news from McCusker means that a) There won’t be a MK tour between May/July as usual or b) John won’t be part of the tour?

We don't know yet

By: sv
Category: General discussion

August 20, 2017

Hello Guy: are you and the family in the U.S. for the rest of the summer? If so, did you manage to get your hands on some eclipse glasses? We are completely sold out here in NYC, and I am kicking myself for not being more organized before I left on vacation. We are left having to figure out a contraption of sorts made out of cereal boxes, Al foil and tape! Let’s see how well it works. Wondering if the word ‘eclipse’ might creep into any new song by Mark! Enjoy the solar eclipse (my birthday!). Best, SV

No, we are in the UK and it's just as well we didn't get the eclipse as it was supremely cloudy. Hope y'all enjoyed the spectacle.

By: Julio
Category: General discussion

August 18, 2017

Next year it will be the 35th anniversary of the film “Local Hero”, I know that you didn’t play in what was the very first MK film score but you played some of its tracks live during the years (Going Home, Wild Theme, The Mist Covered Mountains…). It’s a little lovely film, one of those hidden treasures that would be unknown to most of us but luckily MK’s music put it on the radar of most of us. When the 25th anniversary there were a special screening in the Scottish village where most of the film was shot, Penan. I hope that for this 35th anniversary something special could take place, and having you involved, of course.

» https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOe2qckPh2k

Yes, it was a great movie and the soundtrack seems to live on. The Going Home theme must be our most performed piece.

By: Julio
Category: General discussion

August 18, 2017

Hello Doc. I was wondering… when rehearsals for a tour are about to beguin,I know that you as the musical director prepare cds with the songs for the musicians, these cds contains the isolated tracks for each instrument, or with their instrument mixed louder than the rest of instruments, or do they receive the songs as released, and they have to listen carefully and get what their parts are? As a very very amateur drummer, sometimes is difficult to know what exactly the drummer is doing when the instrument is mixed lower than the other instruments or other instruments sounding “interfere”, like, in the case of drums, percussion.

Both, I can generate individual mixes as requested by the musicians but in all honesty, this is rare as this band prefer mostly to evolve and not to copy religiously the original parts.

By: Pavel Fomenkov
Category: Guy Fletcher

August 17, 2017

Hi Doc. How you would explain this phenomenon: take any major artist’s band out there, right? Take Mark Knopfler’s band. I heard Mark making mistakes, Richard making mistakes, Glenn making mistakes, drummers and everybody else making mistakes, except for you. Keyboard players seems to exist in this perfect zone where I can’t really hear any imperfections on every bootleg or live show I hear. It doesn’t matter wether it’s Paul Wickens or Guy Fletcher… I know, of course keyboard players do make mistakes, but to me it’s like they genuinely make it less obvious than any other musicians. But how? P.S. And since I can hear all the other musicians messing up I don’t think it has to do with the fact that I can’t play a thing on a keyboard.

Simple, we're lower in the mix. Haha. Seriously, as the lead player, Mark's mistakes will always be more noticeable. Mine are often hidden...believe me, we ALL make them, it wouldn't be much fun being perfect.