Photographer: Palle Schultz
Mika Vandborg is a Danish Guitarist. He has released 3 solo albums “Under The Sun”, “2010” & “Wall Of Books”. He changed his solo project to “Future Garage Sale Item” in 2006 and released the record “Future Garage Sale Item” in 2007. Mika also plays guitar in Love Shop and has recorded the last two records “Frelsens Hær” and “Skandinavisk Lyst”. Mika Vandborg & Søren Andersen have together started the projetct “Guitar Event” in March 2013. He has been a steady member of Gnags since 1999 and plays both on the records and live. Mika has worked with Dicte since 2004, also here both on the records and live. Mika is also a part of the project Dicte/Hempler. Furthermore, he has played live on records and tours with many different artists and bands.
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 and when was that?
I started playing the guitar because I heard Jimi Hendrix on the radio when I was 9 years old. I called my dad and said: “What’s that” and he goes: “Oh it’s Jimi” and pulls out a record full of naked women called “Electric Ladyland” that changed my life, and I decided that I wanted to play guitar for a living.
Could you explain to us why you initially got into the genre you’re currently playing? What musicians and bands inspired you the most over the years.
Again, it all started with Jimi and then came all the blues legends, especially B.B. King and Muddy Waters (Electric Mud). Eric Clapton and Ocean Boulevard was the soundtrack to my childhood. Along with Bob Dylan, The Band, Stones, J.J. Cale, The Doors. I guess that music shaped who I am. Over the years I have had different periods with AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Bryan Adams, and also old school funk like Sly & The Family Stones and George Clinton.
Can you tell us about the gear you’re using, and why? What is your main guitars, amps and effects?
Vox AC 30 TB is my all time favorite amp, but I also play Marshall JMP45 and Fender Super Reverb Amp. Vox is a crazy amp, it can solve any gig and fits right in where there’s space in the music – I love it. Marshall… Well, what can I say, for rock music it’s just perfect.The Fender Super Reverb amp is very clean and cuts like a knife.
Telecaster with Bigsby 1968 or 69 don’t remember. Maybe the guitar that I play most gigs with. Like the Vox it’s an instrument with personality and big “work range”.
Stratocaster 1957 – Amazing guitar. So crystal clear and full of overtones. A dream come true guitar.
Gibson SG 1968, aggressive piece of wood, full of tone and at the same time blues.
Hughes & Kettner “Tube Factor” is my all time favorit drive stomp box.
Crybaby and T-rex Gull Wah.
Fuzz – there’s a lot but I seem to come back and use Roger Mayer.
Does the gear you play live differ from the gear you’re using in the studio?
No, it’s the same. I got 3-4 different set-ups from big 16 loops T-rex system to old school “boards”. They are big, bigger and biggest…
In the video we did with you some time ago, you brought an amazing 1957 Fender Stratocaster – Could you eloborate a bit on the thoughts behind aquiring this guitar – any particular reason why you went for an original 1957 Strat?
I’ve always been dreaming of a real 57 Stratocaster, maybe because of Clapton. I remember trying a 57 at a gig, and I was like “this is the f…… best guitar I ever tried”. It’s the sound of the maple neck and the old wood + pick-ups that works so good together, the craftmanship is brilliant.
If people ask why the guitar is so expensive, I say: “Well it’s the Stradivarius of guitars. A Stradivarius violin costs about 4-5 million Dollars, so do you still think it’s expensive for the king of all guitars”?
Do you feel that new instruments lack anything compared to old instruments – how do you see this?
Well, I’m a sucker for old thing and history!!! But besides that, it’s like the vintage instrument gains personallity over the years. I tried many new guitars that was killers, but I would always choose a vintage. There’s a lot of talk about the wood and the years they have been stored, maybe it’s got something to do with it.
Are there any special guitars, brands or a models, that fit your specific sound or genre better than others, and if so, why?
I’m a traditional kind of guy so the big brands like Fender and Gibson fit me well, they sound like I wanna sound!
How important do you find the gear to be, in relation to the sound you’ re trying to produce?
It’s very important that the gear I use is the stuff I prefer, so I can make the sounds I dream of. But when that is said, I also find it funny when I end up playing on stuff I normally wouldn’t choose, because it makes me work differently, and have to compensate, which can be very musical and maybe open a door to something new.
Any new piece of gear in your arsenal of musical sound tools that you would like to give a thumbs up and why?
TC Electronic “Hall Of Fame”. That’s a GOOD reverb, I have to say.
Can you please tell us about your collaboration with Guitar Events – What is it about?
Yes!!! Guitar Events is a project I have with Soren Andersen (Gleen Hughes…). It’s a band that is founded around …surprise… Electric Guitars, and lots of it.
I released 3 solo albums. The latest is called “Wall Of Books” and came out february 2013. It’s a more quiet record with a lot of slide guitar. My earlier records are “2010” and “Under The Sun”. On those records I have a lot of guest stars like Justin Hawkins (The Darkness), Mads Langer, Ida Corr, Allan Vegenfeldt and a line up of Danish top players.
Any famous last words?
Buy the guitar you dream of, you only live once (as far as I know). Well, and please check out some of my music.
If you would like to know more about Mika Vandborg, please go to:
Mika Vandborg’s Website: www.mikavandborg.dk
Mika Vandborg on itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/dk/artist/mika-vandborg/id200324703
Guitar Event: www.guitarevent.dk