So, What is a Tristan Avakian Anyway?



  1. Plays Guitar, Bass & Synthesizer
  2. Records on major and indie labels
  3. Tours
  4. Writes Songs and Film Scores
  5. Produces

Tristan Avakian: The Interview
a real-life email article produced from correspondence between
Tristan Avakian

C. Moore
C. Moore

C. Moore "So, like... I gotta ask a coupla standard guitar questions. How many guitars do you own?"

Tristan "About 8."

C. Moore "Which is your favorite?"

Tristan "The Anderson and the Les Paul are my recording guitars. They sound great. Live, I use an assortment of cheap ones because I am much too violent - I get carried away and try to get a piece of a monitor, a side fill or somebody's head. (Long Live Sid!)"

"I also have a guitar signed by 3 members of Marilyn Manson (Marilyn, Twiggy Ramirez and Madonna Wayne Gacy). But that's a story in itself..."

C. Moore "Who's borrowed guitar have you enjoyed playing the most?"

Tristan "Well, it's not a guitar story, but I played John Lennon's Mellotron once at the old Record Plant. Only the flute sound worked, and only in 1 octave, but it was just enough to play the intro to "Strawberry Fields" - believe me, it made your hair stand on end."

"The only guitar that I still get upset about was a '61 Lake Placid Blue Strat that was magic - it was alive in my hands. I think that one is now in some fucking yuppie collector's vault along with 1,000 other guitars that will never again see the light of day..."

C. Moore "We've a friend on tour with some great guitarists (Robert Fripp, Steve Via, and Joe Satriani). Do you know any of these guys?"

Tristan "I took lessons from Steve as a kid. I got him for $10 an hour..."

"If you want to ask about my influences they are Adrian Belew, Mick Ronson, Page Hamilton and Steve Jones..."

C. Moore "Picks... what are you thoughts on playing with a pick?" I prefer to play without one... just using the fingers... how about you?"

Tristan "I know that's how Beck does it... (i.e. Jeff Beck, not Beck Hansen). He does amazing things w/o one. I myself am too much of a spaz... BTW I saw Beck (Hansen) and he was great... what an incredible performer."

C. Moore "It's evident that you play a wide range of styles... when you're sittin' alone pickin' an acoustical, what style comes out?"

Tristan "Hopefully, fully realized songs, with lyrics and everything. That's how most of the good stuff is written...on my bed with an acoustic. I frequently use weird tunings to break out of a rut. Sometimes I play a form of mutant bastard ragtime, solely for yuks...."

C. Moore "What are you thoughts on Yoko Ono?"

Tristan "I never really "got" her as an artist, but she & John had a true partnership. And, I respect that as I respect anything John had a hand in."

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