Lukas Schwengeler is the no.1 session guitarist in Switzerland. We talked to Lukas about his guitars, amps and his taste in music.
Hi Lukas thank you for taking your time to speak to us. Could you please tell us a bit about how you got into playing music in the first place? Do you remember any specific moment that sparked your interest in music?
Since I was the youngest of 6 kids and all of them played an instrument I was elected to start up playing the violin with 6 years of age and enjoyed playing this instrument until I was 12. During that time my hippy neighbor gave me her guitar because she moved abroad. I picked up that lovely instrument and I was hooked. From that moment on I started to play and play and play. I stumbled into some old blues tunes and worked my way up.
Could you explain to us why you initially got into the genre you’ re currently playing? What musicians or bands inspired you in the beginning?
Blues and old hippie stuff was the start up. The first band I started to admire was the Spencer Davis Group. My first guitar hero was definitely Eric Clapton. Later I got into the tunes of Jimmy Hendrix, Duan Alman and Gary Moore. Today one of my favorites is Robben Ford.
Can you tell us about the gear your using, and why?
One of my favorite guitars is a custom made from Claudio Pagelli. Next in line is my 62 Fender Stratocaster Relic from the custom shop. I also have a Gibson Les Paul Slash Sig and I also use a Gibson Les Paul R6 . And sure enough I also play the standard Fender Tele. Besides that, I have a full set of acoustic guitars. The amp I mostly use is Fender Deluxe Reverb and Bogner Extasy.
Can you please tell us about your collaboration with Good Tone Pickups?
Claudio Pagelli made my guitar and we started to discuss possible pickups. He told me about a small swiss manufacturer that handwired pickups. We decided to give it a try and I got into contact with Ralf from Good Tone Pickups. He was open to all my suggestions and really created a pickup after my desires.
What kind of Good Tone Pickups do you prefer in your guitars?
I am using the customized pickup Ralf created for me. He made a Humbucker with low output in order to do coil tapping without significant loss of output . The result is amazing. This Good Tone Pickup is now selling it under the label Lukas Schwengeler Signature Pickup.
Does the gear you play live differ from the gear you’re using in the studio?
The guitars are pretty much the same. But the amps, stomp boxes and other stuff can vary. In the studio you can include some gimmicks in order to specialize the sound. On stage you need to stick to the stuff that definitely works.
Are there any special guitars, brand or a model, that fit your specific sound or genre better than others, and if so, why?
Sure. If the music requires the sound of Strat I use a Strat . If it requires Les Paul … I will use that guitar. I do have no matrix to show.
How important do you find the gear to be, in relation to the sound you’ re trying to produce?
Absolutely elementary. I only use the best gear I can find, because this is making the difference of the output.
Any famous last words?
There will be guitars in heaven.
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