Ever since he was young, guitarist and singer/songwriter Steve Gunn has fostered a deep admiration for Sonic Youth and its members. For him, they stretched the rules of what a band could do, especially guitarist Lee Ranaldo.
“Sonically what he and the band were doing was just unlike anything I had ever heard,” Gunn says. “And the fact that he has such control of what he’s doing. I was particularly drawn to all the feedback stuff he was getting into and I was curious with how he was doing it.”
“[Ranaldo] was the first person that I knew of that was interested in open tunings. For me that was more for acoustic musicians but those guys were detuning their guitars and experimenting with feedback and that was something that really blew my mind as a kid.”
Now, all these years later, Gunn is going on a short solo tour around the country with Ranaldo. The two New York-based artists had met each other a few times over the years but hadn’t thought of a tour until their booking agency Ground Control suggested it. But it made perfect sense to them.
“We have similar interest in guitar nerdism and all that kind of stuff,” Gunn says. “So, we thought it would be a cool idea to pare down what we’ve been doing. We’ve both been touring a lot the last few years. We came up with the idea to do a more stripped down, solo trip.”
The tour has given Gunn the chance to pick Ranaldo’s brain about his technique, among other things.
“It’s been cool to get to know Lee a little bit and ask him questions about things,” he says. “He’s really friendly and knows a ton about all kinds of different things beyond guitars. He’ll talk about everything.”
In addition to playing their own sets, the two are planning to collaborate with each other, as well as opener Meg Baird.
“That was sort of the whole idea of the tour is that there would be a large part of the show that would be collaborative,” says Gunn. “We’re going to present songs to each other and see what we can add to them. And, try new things as well and keep it open-ended.”.....