Yamahamusicians.com was recently lucky enough to grab a few moments with inspirational guitarist Anouck Andre and she very kindly agreed to talk a little about how she started out on guitar, her journey to where she is now and a little about her collaboration with Ibanez.
YM: You did’t begin playing guitar until the age of 17 can you tell us how that came about, what inspired you to pick up the guitar?
Anouck: When I was in high school I was hanging out with a bunch of girls and they wanted to start a band, so I started to play guitar to be a part of this girl band! ( we were 7 girls in the band). My parents bought me a guitar when I was 14 but I was very lazy and my trigger point only came at 17. My early influences were rock bands like Nirvana, then I really fell in love with Led Zeppelin and the music from the 70’s and from that point I really started to focus seriously on my guitar practice. My interest into fusion came years later.
YM: Can you tell us what your first guitar was? Acoustic or electric?
Anouck: My first guitar was an acoustic from the brand Clayton, not easy to play but she was gorgeous. My first electric was a Samick Strat.
YM: You attended the prestigious MAI (Music Academy International) in 2006, can you tell us a little about your time there and would you recommend that formal route for aspiring guitarists?
Anouck: The MAI was a good experience for me. It’s like a dream to be surrounded by other musicians and awesome teachers all day long for a whole year. The schedule is divided between guitar technics, ear training, workshops, sight reading, rhythm and improvisation. I really enjoyed the year I spent at the MAI and it really helped me to develop my playing and to learn how to work efficiently. I think that music schools are great and that’s something I recommend to guitar players who want to push their playing further.
YM: You have met a lot of great guitarists over the years, can you tells us what has been your best experience so far?
Anouck: This question is a bit tricky! I attended a masterclass with Guthrie Govan a few years ago and It was fantastic. The guy is very kind and humble and he can do pretty much everything with his axe!
YM: I understand you have an association with Ibanez guitars? Can you tell us about the Ibanez guitar you play now and what it is about Ibanez that you like?
Anouck: Yes I’m working with Ibanez, I signed with Ibanez France a year ago. I’m very happy to be in this super cool family and of course I’m ecstatic about the guitars. They have an incredible range of guitars so anybody can find a guitar that will fit their needs, plus the models coming in 2018 are absolutely mad. I also like the fact that all the ranges, from the cheapest to the Prestige models are built with quality in mind.
YM: Do you have a preferred gear list, the gear you play through regularly such as amps, pedals etc?
Anouck: At the moment my main guitar is an Ibanez Talman from the 90’s. On the amp side, it depends, for small gigs I have a DV Mark amp, the Little jazz and a bunch of pedals because it has no drive channel. Basically in my pedalboard at the moment you will find a Xotic B.B preamp, a MXR il Diavolo, a chorus and a delay from Mooer and a Reverb from MXR. I also have an AXE FX II that I use in studio or for bigger venues, coupled with a Matrix preamp and a Matrix 2×12 stereo cab. I miss tubes a little and I’m thinking about getting a tube amp too but I am not sure yet about which one.
YM: Do you ever use amp modelling software such as Amplitube or Guitar Rig? And what software do you use for recording?
Anouck: Yes I use BIAS FX that I like a lot. I didn’t think that it was actually possible to get such realistic results with a plugin. Some of the presets are surprising and the interface is user-friendly.
YM: Is there any advice you would like to give to someone who would like to play guitar but doesn’t quite know where to start?
Anouck: The advice might sounds foolish but I would say: find a good teacher, at least at the beginning to get the right fundamentals, the good habits. They will save a lot of time and a lot of frustration! The other advice would be to never stop playing, if your dream is to become a great musician, practice, play with others, listen to music and try to protect your passion.
YM: Thanks for taking time out to talk to us Anouck. We wish you all the best for 2018.
Photos By Vincent Photographie