Spy inside the studio of Portishead's Adrian Utley and discover what inspires his creative process.
Utley's “entire life is music”, so incidentally we find him in his home studio surrounded by equipment he has used on sessions for the likes of Goldfrapp, Massive Attack, and Radiohead's Philip Selway. “It doesn't matter if it's really cheap or if it's really expensive,” Adrian is more interested in finding an “esoteric sound” and over the years he has used Rotosound strings to get it.
Growing up playing bass in holiday camps, Adrian Utley stepped up to become a professional session guitarist, playing with Big John Patton and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and Jeff Beck, before concentrating on his original project Portishead with friends Beth Gibbons and Geoff Barrow. The trio's debut album 'Dummy' was met with critical acclaim and is now regarded as somewhat of a soundtrack to the 1990s. Utley's guitar and bass playing is a big influence on the band's cinematic sound; this interview explores some of Adrian's influences and gear choices that helped shape the atmospheric guitar tones of Portishead and his other works.
Adrian Utley uses Rotosound British Steels, Pure Nickels, and Tru Bass 88 strings.
00:00 Recording guitar for Dummy by Portishead
01:02 Adrian Utley's guitar sound
01:55 Classic British guitar gear
02:24 Playing Rotosound guitar strings
02:56 Guitar heroes
03:35 Playing with Jeff Beck
04:19 Adrian's approach to Portishead
04:58 Session guitar work
05:41 Rotosound Tru Bass 88 strings
06:50 Paul McCartney's black nylon bass strings
07:34 Getting into bass guitar
07:58 Recording bass guitar for Dummy
08:49 Bass inspiration
• About Rotosound:
Rotosound are manufacturers of the World’s Finest Music Strings - a legacy which goes back to the birth of Rock n’ Roll itself. Since 1958 Rotosound strings have been ever-present on some of the most famous recordings ever heard.
Developed in conjunction with some of the world's top artists, Rotosound strings are synonymous with unbeatable tone and longevity and are manufactured in Great Britain.