MRM recently interviewed Blues Rock Guitarist/Vocalist Lance Lopez. Lopez spoke about his origins, playing with legendary artists, the rocking new album “Trouble is Good” and future plans. For more information, please visit www.lancelopez.net & Instagram: @lancelopezguitarist .
MRM: Where are you “calling” from?
Lance Lopez: I’m currently in Nashville, Tennessee…I have been here about 5 years now.
MRM: How are you liking this summer heat? (Haha)
LL: I’m used to the summer heat in the South, growing up in Texas and Louisiana I’m used to it.
MRM: Growing up, who were your influences?
LL: My biggest guitar hero growing up was Jimi Hendrix. I went through so many different musical phases just within the Blues growing up! All of the great legendary blues guitarist like BB, Freddie & Albert King! But I also grew up seeing all of the great rock bands in the ’80s so I loved all of that music too!
MRM: What was your first concert as a spectator?
LL: Kiss on the Asylum tour…my second concert a couple of weeks later was actually Sammy Hagar’s first gig with Van Halen.
MRM: How was it being recruited by Johnnie Taylor?
LL: It was pretty terrifying and exciting all at the same time! He hired me after I sat in with Lucky Peterson at Booker’s Arandas Club in South Dallas. As soon as I stepped off the stage a guy grabbed me and asked me if I could be in Atlanta in 2 days…I said I don’t know I’ll have to ask my Dad! My Dad said yes and the next thing you know I was on a tour bus learning 36 songs in 11 hours…playing the infamous “Chitlin’ Circuit” where Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Miles cut their teeth also which is what connected Buddy Miles and I so well…
MRM: Cool! How did you end up connecting with Buddy Miles?
LL: We met at the Belgium Rhythm & Blues Festival in Peer, Belgium in 1997. I was there playing guitar with Lucky Peterson. Buddy sat on the wings of the stage and watched our entire set…when I came off the stage he gave a huge hug and said “Man, I been looking for you.” We had some great times together, I learned so much from him…
MRM: Why did you end up leaving the supergroup Supersonic Blues Machine?
LL: I was starting to get really busy with my last release “Tell The Truth” trying to keep up with the scheduling became interesting…there were also some financial issues…it was a great band with great artists, I was proud to be a part of it, I made 2 great records that I’m very proud of with those guys…
MRM: Which of your solo albums did you play all of the instruments on?
LL: Oh that was “Higher Ground” the album I cut “El Paso Sugar.” I wanted to do a record kinda like how Stevie Wonder did all of his early-’70s albums seeing as how I was covering his song for the title track.
MRM: Could you speak about your recently released album “Trouble Is Good”?
LL: It really is a Covid-era piece as we made it all through the pandemic. The title relates to all the “good areas” we were all pushed to during that time. The album was really piecemealed together at the beginning of Covid and once things began to open up we traveled up to New York and began recording in studios with our favorite musicians. The album features great musicians such as Gregg Bissonette, Brian Tichy, Peter Keys, Buck Johnson, Bobby Rondinelli, Danny Miranda, Jorgen Carlsson and so many other legends…I’m so proud of how it turned out.
MRM: What made you lean towards more of a rocking sound? (Which is GREAT!)
LL: I’m categorized as a “Blues-Rock” musician so I wanted to make an album that emphasized some of the Rock side of that. Maybe the next album I’ll lean more towards the Blues…
MRM: For the gearheads out there, what gear are you using these days?
LL: My main guitar is my Pelham Blue 1965 Firebird re-issue the “Bluesbird” it has a Les Paul shaped neck on a Firebird…Firebirds tend to have thinner necks and I like fat Les Paul necks, so the guys at Gibson Custom built this beautiful example of a Firebird but with a Les Paul neck. My other rider is the “Barton Creek Burst” which it was named by Billy Gibbons! It was also built by Gibson Custom, it’s an outstanding R9. My amps live are Category 5’s and sometimes my old Mojave Scorpion Billy Gibbons turned me on to…my main amp though right now has been a Category 5 TBR-50 which is based on an old highly modded Fender Tweed Bassman Joe Bonamassa had, however, they modded it with a brown Fender reverb tank inside the amp. I’m also using a great pedal board built by XTS here in Nashville…
MRM: Any chance of your tour coming to Georgia or the Carolinas?
LL: We are working on some shows there for next year…so hopefully!
MRM: Thanks for the interview. Anything else you would like to add?
LL: Aww Thank YOU! Yeah I would just like for everyone to follow us on Instagram @lancelopezguitarist and please check our website www.lancelopez.net for our tour dates! Thanks for digging the new record, we look forward to hopefully seeing you soon!