SEGAS interviews Mike Delaney of Delaney Guitars!

SEGAS: What musicians and bands inspired you as a young guitar player?
DELANEY: I grew up listening to the blues. Guys like Big Joe Turner, Canned Heat, and James Harman. My early guitar influences and still favorites to this day are varied. Jeff Beck, Larry Carlton, Chet Atkins, B.B. King, Al DiMeola, Clapton.

SEGAS: How did you get started building your own guitars?
DEALNEY: As a player, I got tired of trying to find a guitar to my liking at the local music stores. Having a woodworking background, I always was fussing and fixing and modding my guitars to suit my particular likes. I started doing repairs and mods for other musicians which led me to build my first guitar. Other guitarists heard me playing and asked if I could build one for them. Who knew it would turn into this? I haven’t looked back. I’m very fortunate.

SEGAS: What’s the most important thing about a great guitar to you?
DELANEY: The tone and feel of the guitar is of utmost importance to me. Then the asthetics come in to play. I like a guitar that allows the wood to breathe and contribute to the sound. I use old school finishing techniques with today’s electronics to accomplish my goal of great tone. I let Mother Nature help with the organic looks and feel of my guitars. Natural finishes, beautiful grain and textures all play a part in the final product.

SEGAS: Tell us something about Arlen Roth, that our readers may not know …
DELANEY: I’m very fortunate to have met Arlen Roth through a colleague, Tony Murga. I think the thing that strikes me more about Arlen than anything is how nice a guy he is. He’s one of the greatest guitarists of our time, in my opinion, but it hasn’t gone to his head. He’s genuinely a kind-hearted, sweet man. He has a good soul. He’s the kind of guy you’d like to have as a neighbor. Just a good guy.

SEGAS: What’s the biggest challenge you face, in the production of instruments?
DELANEY: My biggest challenge is time….We are a VERY small shop. My wife and I do 99% of everything you have to do to maintain a business. As a result, we are limited in how many instruments we can put out in a year. I had hopes of growing and “producing” more guitars but I don’t want the quality to suffer. I have to be involved. My name is on these things. They have to be right.

SEGAS: What do you feel is the future of the custom built guitar maker? Where is the market headed?
DELANEY: Good question. I don’t have the answer. There are ALOT of guys out there building guitars. There will always be guys like me building guitars for individuals, not mega-stores. The custom guitar maker doesn’t do it to become a millionaire, he does it because he has a passion for guitars and wants to create something personal for other guitar players. It’s a very personal thing.

SEGAS: Do you collect ?
DELANEY: I used to have Gibsons and Fenders etc. but with the exception of one Strat and a couple other guitars, my collection consists of Delaney prototypes and a few other Delaneys that I just couldn’t part with.

SEGAS: Who is one of your favorite guitar players, and why?
DELANEY: Larry Carlton is one. Pat Metheny is another. Stevie Ray Vaughan was a monster. And, of course, Arlen.

SEGAS: Who is one player you’d really want to meet in person?
DELANEY: Well, I’ve met Arlen, I’d love to meet any of the above.

SEGAS: What’s the next big thing happening for Delaney Guitars?
DELANEY: After SEGAS, we have a couple of builds coming up that are really exciting. Mike Martin (Fozzy, Stuck Mojo) is getting his new seven-string built by me. We hoped to have it done in time for the show but you just can’t rush these things. Mike, who was recently signed by Steve Vai’s label, Digital Nations, will be demoing Delaneys at the show and spending time in the booth with us as well. Orders for Delaney Basses have been very good. We are building 4, 5, and 6 string basses now and are debuting our 4-string “Studio” bass this month. We have a couple of endorsed artists who have new CD’s coming out in the next few months featuring Delaney Guitars on them. Greg Marra, a west coast player is one of them. Check him out!

September 23, 2010 in 2010,News | Comments (0)