SPB: What is your preferred guitar model for personal playing, and how has your production work affected that choice?
Bisi: I started way late on guitar. I was a drummer during my teens, through my early years recording. It was drumming that helped me work with the early hip-hop I did (Afrika Bambaataa, "Rockit," etc.) And I also had mind towards fx and sampling with my drumming. Sometime in the mid-late '80s I veered away from hip-hop and very avant-garde stuff, and did my first rock bands, like Sonic Youth and Live Skull.
Soon after this, in the early '90s, I got the bug for picking up guitar. I felt that in the music I was interested in, there wasn't a place for me as a drummer and how I played. At first I started with fucked up guitars and weird ad hoc tunings – jeez, I wonder where that came from. But soon with grunge-era, big-but-heavy guitar sounds, I needed something with solid bottom, strong output, easy to move around the neck. Some bands I worked with that were heavy, leaning toward math, used an SG – particularly Duane Trower in Season To Risk whom I recorded in '93. His was a '65 SG. So that's where I went, and still am. I have an Epiphone SG though – I want to be safe on the cost because of touring, flying, etc.
Check out BC35 Volume Two: The 35 Year Anniversary of BC Studio, a tribute to Martin and his studio.
Photo by Joan Hacker