Posted: 22 March 2018
We all have one song that we are obsessed with. We've memorised every single line, every crescendo, bass drop and solo moment. But what do we know about the production that went into it? Who were the producers? The sound engineers? Or even the session players? Dive into the lives of nine different session musicians and find out what it's like supporting some of the world's greatest recording artists. Our series begins with Liam Gallagher's talented guitarist, Mike Moore.
Which artist are you currently working with?
How did you get into being a session musician?
I still don’t see myself as a session musician even though I’ve done a few bits here and there. I’m definitely not Brit school. I’m from a band background so I still apply that thought process to any “session” gigs.
Which Marshall amps are you using and why?
A JCM900 100w head into a 4x12” and a 2061x head with a 1x12” cab.
The front amp (2061x) I got to replace a boutique Bluesbreaker style combo I’ve had for years, but wasn’t reliable to take on the road. I’d tried a few other options but this has all the same frequencies I was looking for and broke up nice, but not too much. More like a classic rock tone. Not too heavy at all.
The 900 I have facing backwards and turned up loud. All the heavy lifting is done with this amp. I was using an 800 for a while which was super cool too, but the 900 has extra dirt which I need to make the Oasis tunes sound natural. Noel used these amps for the first few albums and tours too so it made sense. Actually, I had a 50w years ago too. Wonder what happened to that...?
What is a typical day like for you?
Well, right now we’re headed to the airport to start our European tour, and last night (21 February) we played at the Brits. We’ve been touring pretty hard since June 2017 or so. In short: shows, travelling and laughing a lot.
Which artists have you worked with in the past?
Over the years bit of a mixed bag. From pop stuff like Duffy and James Arthur to Baxter Dury. I love Baxter. We’ve done a few albums now and it’s always really fun.
What’s the most memorable moment you’ve had so far in your career?
Lots. But more recently, Glastonbury with Liam. Think Liam was a bit of a curiosity for everyone there, so the field was absolutely packed with everyone just staring. Eerie but it was a moment.
How do you prepare for touring and studio work?
These are really two separate beasts. Recently found myself in the studio again after so much touring. I found it hard initially get back into character…or get out of character. Creating is mining from a totally different part of the brain.
I played a gig with Carl Barat the other day with little time to prepare but it went really well and was enjoyable. Usually my worst nightmare is having no time to prepare. I prefer having time before to work stuff out, but I have good results with no time too.
Is it hard to adapt your sound to different artists?
Not so much. I definitely have my own style, but know better than to just try and shoehorn that in to every gig. I’ve done a fair bit of production so I’m more versed on playing what’s appropriate.
How do you find work?
Tough one. No real definitive answer to this. Word of mouth really. Just being around for long enough means you get to know a fair few people, and if they don’t think I’m a twix, they’ll give me a shout if they think it would work.
What advice would you give to young people wanting to work as a session musician?
Get out the bedroom and meet people. Try and put what life throws at you into your music/playing. Sounds abstract but that’s half the fun.