In The Domestics we play a number of different instruments and, which sometimes present us with a problem – there’s only two of us and we don’t possess enough hands to play all the things we want to play for our songs. We find ourselves reluctantly resorting to backing tracks and loopers to creatively fill out our music in the way we want. In addition we have to choose our set quite carefully to minimise the disruption from too many instrument changes.
Larissa’s Melodihorn instrument (aka “the blowy thing”) is a prominent feature in our music and is often found adding it’s melancholic melodies in instrumental sections.
Andy is an accomplished ‘cellist having been involved through his school and university years. He worked hard to achieve his grade 8 cello and went on to enjoy music in various groups and orchestras which proved an extremely fruitful source of girlfriends.
His acoustic cello was found in an antique shop in England over 35 years ago – it was in a poor state – no strings or foot, or sound post, but a trip to the luthier resulted in a fine German instrument dating back to the mid 19th century with a beautiful full tone which enabled him to continue his study and go onto achieve his grade 8.
On leaving university Andy found that there was no longer any opportunity or available time to play in groups and the cello was put to one side in favour of the guitar and it wasn’t until Larissa came on the scene 25 years later that he was persuaded to start playing it again – it has now become a staple part of The Domestic’s sound.
At the beginning of 2018, Andy had the opportunity to acquire an electric cello which is what we tend to use in our gigs.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear … this is a touchy subject … it didn’t take long for Larissa to utter the immortal words ‘why do you need another guitar’ to which Andy of course had a perfectly satisfactory answer – but needless to say the desired guitar (a superb and quite rare example of a 12-string mini Maton as it happens) was not acquired. Some would say that Andy has too many guitars – but this is not the case. Each one has a purpose and a story and can’t possibly be replaced or passed on (guess who’s writing this article)!
Larissa has one guitar – a nice Squire telecaster which sounds amazing; plays nicely and has even been used by Andy in gigs!
Andy has never counted his guitars (it’s much safer that way) but has a number of favorites among the instruments that he owns. His ‘go-to acoustic is a quirky Fylde Othello guitar which has a truss rod that’s too long; a sound hole that’s not quite in the middle; frets that have a flat and not curved profile and a beautiful dark cedar top with unusually bracing! He’s proudly owned it for about 30 years and bought it from a music shop he was working in as a student. It’s just had a full makeover and received a re-profiled fingerboard and frets and a super new pickup system installed.
His favorite electric is Mexican Fender Stratocaster Tex-Mex pickups, featuring black paintwork with a tortoiseshell scratch guard and gold coloured componentry.