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Reb Beach – Guitar player for Winger and Whitesnake

Date: 02/01/07
Interviewed By: Rich Catino



Unfortunately Reb and I didn’t have too much time to chat as today was the start of the Winger tour and he was literally minutes away from doing sound check. I appreciate Reb taking the time to go out to the tour bus and spend around twenty five minutes getting everyone caught up on Winger and Whitesnake as I was looking forward to giving the guitar player the press. .

1. So when you and Kip started writing for the new record “IV”, did you deliberately want to follow the direction started for “Pull”?

REB: Well this new Winger record is really more of Kip’s thing. I think it was a natural progression though from “Pull”. This whole thing with the military themes idea was really Kip’s. It really wasn’t a Kip and me thing. I wrote the cool guitar riffs and worked with him that way which is what I normally do. He also usually plays the bass and drums to what we write. It kind of sounds like a progression of “Pull” but it really wasn’t thought out though to be. Kip worked out many of these arrangements ahead of time and this was what he envisioned.

2. “Pull” is such an underrated record for Winger and a different one compared to the first two. Can you tell us what led to this growth and harder sounding Winger?

REB: What happened was we fired our producer from those first two records, he was taking all the money and we finally got rid of him. That allowed us to do the kind of album we finally wanted to do ya know. There were several songs that producer Beau Hill wouldn’t let us put on the first two albums because they were too heavy. So once we got rid of him we were able to do whatever the hell we wanted and that’s how we got “Pull”. But “Pull” took like nine months to write and this new one took like three weeks because you know now we have newer technology which has a lot to do with it. You have pro tools and things go so much faster now.

3. When you were working on the new record was there any kind of goal in mind?

REB: I think we wanted to really showcase what the band was all about….our drummer, me and Kip’s voice. We wanted to make some good jams you know. Kip also wanted to convey some really cool messages in the songs too. A lot of times its just like creating a cookie (laughs), its like cooking, you add different spices as you write and you try and create something that tastes good.

4. Who writes the lyrics and who writes the music?

REB: Kip usually writes for like seventy piece orchestras, he’s just a genius, he studies music constantly and teaches it. I’m just a beer drinking guitar player hahah. The thing I can do, and he can do it too, but I am good at it is when we get together I come up with the guitar riffs like “Seventeen” and he plays the bass. He does all the arranging and everything else. He just studies that stuff, he’s the brains of the outfit.

5. Who is in the touring band aside from original drummer Rod Morgenstein?

REB: Johnny Roth is our second guitarist and has been since the “Pull” tour. The guy who played keyboards on the new record lives in Turkey and it is too expensive to get him out here so Kip will do keyboards for the tour. When we came through the last time when we first got back together in 2002-03 we had three guitarists because Paul Taylor also was with us that was really cool playing live.

6. Winger released four home videos to coincide with each release, one for the self titled, two for “In the Heart of the Young”, and one for “Pull”. Any plans for them to be released on DVD?

REB: Gheeze you got me…I mean there’s no label right so there are no plans. Maybe eventually. If we did that type of thing it would be with something new.

7. Well actually that was my next question, any plans to record shows from this tour behind “IV” for DVD?

REB: We are making plans to do that yeah.

8. Did your project called The Mob go over well and do you think you may do another record?

REB: I love The Mob and would love to do another one, but I doubt it will ever happen. I mean it sold nothing unfortunately but it was really cool to work with Doug Pinnick from Kings X. Really that project had a lot to do with what brought Winger together again because I was looking for someone to produce the record and working with Kip again is what sparked us to work on another Winger record. The Mob was really my baby, I write straight ahead rock songs. I can’t write like Kip can I write straight ahead stuff. But then again Kip taught me everything I know on how to arrange.

9. Any plans to release some more solo work?

REB: Well I just sent a bunch of songs to David Coverdale for the next Whitesnake record and if he doesn’t like em I will use them for my album Haha. I have been writing for the past couple months. Some of them are definitely Whitesnake songs but others maybe not because they may fit more to my voice. My stuff is not so bluesy as Whitesnake is.

10. Will you have a hand in writing the new Whitesnake record, are you officially part of that creative team with David and Doug Aldrich?

REB: David just told everyone to send ideas if you got em but when it comes down to it that’s all Doug and David.

11. What is going on with Whitesnake in the near future?

REB: I don’t know really, I will when I get the call from David. I don’t talk with him that often only really when we are on the road. The last I heard was to send David some ideas for the new record and I did hear they are looking to go out again on tour maybe late summer in the States.

12. What do you think is your strongest piece of work?

REB: “Pull” is the best thing I have ever been involved with and “Masquerade” from my personal solo work, that was all me and showed what I was all about.

13. What are some of your influences and are there any new guitar players you really like?

REB: I am really a songwriter so I spend most of my time listening to the music I am working on. I am really not in touch with these younger bands. If someone was to come out like Eddie Van Halen to grab my attention then yeah but I haven’t heard anything for me to say “Wow did you hear that new guy” but I am looking for him.

14. What would like accomplish as a guitar player that you have not yet?

REB: Ummm….gheeze….I would like to learn some really cool jazz licks. I love when guys can play like that. Sometimes when I hear a cool sax line I sit down and try and learn it but I am just not as motivated as I was as a kid Haha.

Right now I am just doing this Winger tour and then looking forward to recording the next Whitesnake and getting on the road with them again.

Official website: www.rebbeach.com

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