Critically Acclaimed Author: SEB HUNTER!

Today's Elevenses Throws Eleven Quick Questions At 'Critically Acclaimed Author' Seb Hunter!

Seb Hunter is the author of the critically acclaimed 'Hell Bent For Leather', an irreverent heavy metal memoir "that's simultaneously hilarious, strangely moving and which identifies why music is so important to life" - Q magazine. His writing has appeared in the Guardian and the Observer and he plays in a band called Crater.

So what’s your drink of choice at 11am in the morning?

Usually it’s coffee. Proper coffee, the soothing ritual of it. But then I like it so much that I’ll drink two or three huge cups and be bouncing psychotically off the walls for six or seven hours. This suits my writing style.
If I am hungover though, it’s Diet Coke. And less bouncing.

Which song/album really made you want to play guitar?

I suppose that would be the live ‘If You Want Blood…’ by AC/DC. Although I didn’t want to play guitar, I wanted to play bass, but since the friend I was forming the band with had a bass already, I had no choice but to doggedly have a crack at my father’s old electric. To this day I maintain I’d have been a far better Cliff Williams than the sub-par Angus I turned out to be.

Who’s the world’s greatest guitarist?

Kawabata Makoto or Fred Frith or Keiji Haino.

Elisa Ambrogio?

Oh alright, Tony Iommi.

Who’s the world’s most underrated guitarist?

A few of them: Eddie Hazel, Manuel Gottsching, J Mascis, Neil Hagerty, Eddy Nageli, Michael Karoli (R.I.P.), Leigh Stephens.

So what are you up to at the moment?

I have just finished my third book, which follows my (hilarious etc) attempts to improve myself through doing as much volunteer work as possible over a two year period, entitled ‘How to be a Better Person’. My second, ‘Rock Me Amadeus: When Ignorance Meets High Art, Things Can Get Messy’ just came out in paperback this summer. This book details my attempts to get to grips with classical music (which I knew nothing about), as I stumble drunkenly around Europe in search of enlightenment. Is it possible for somebody steeped in rock ‘n’ roll to feel as passionate about classical music as the music he’s loved all his life? I give it a damn good try.

I’m also enjoying playing in Crater, the improv group I’m one third of:

I also have a baby. So mostly that actually.

What was the last gig you went to (as a member of the audience)?
Who would be in your dream line-up?

Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell) at the Bournemouth International Centre. The closer one got to the stage, the better it became, until the moment I was punched by an irate biker. This was my first exposure to Tony Iommi’s guitar tone in a live environment, and I was astounded by all his effortless, flying harmonics. All his solos kind of whistled.

Klaus Dinger & Michael Rother.

How many guitars do your own and which one is ‘your precious’?

Erm, three. A classical acoustic that my friend Paul recently found dumped outside somebody’s house with a busted neck, that my son likes to dribble over. An unbranded old bass that I bought off a bloke in a pub 15 years ago. A severely customized / upgraded Squier Jagmaster. I like cheap guitars because you don’t have to respect them. AT ALL.

(None of these are precious.)

What’s the last great album that you bought (or were given)?

The Magik Markers’ ‘Boss’ is pretty great.
Anything by Finnish band Circle is going to be great. I buy as much as I can.
Miles Davis’s ‘Get Up With It’ is great.
High on Fire’s ‘Death is this Communion’ is pretty great.
I like the new PJ Harvey album.
I have been listening to a lot of Charlemagne Palestine. He’s great.
For Christmas I want Albert Ayler’s ‘Holy Ghost’ box set. I fully expect that to be great.
I bought AC/DC’s ‘Plug Me In’ DVD and some of the Bon stuff is INCREDIBLE.

Do you suffer from stage fright?

God yes. And I don’t trust people who say they don’t.

So what’s your favourite tipple at 11pm in the evening?

If I’m out: real ale.
If I’m in: red wine.
If I’m neither in nor out: perhaps water.