Interview: Mark Trotter of Lonely The Brave

The guitarist and gear hound on falling over, Esquires and taking a highway to the 'Danger Zone'.

Lonely the brave mark trotter

1I couldn’t live without my…

“As I’m sure is the way with most guitarists, my answer on this probably changes daily, but out of all the guitars I own I think I could never be without my Fender Masterbuilt John English Stealth Esquire. That guitar can do literally everything. It puts up a fight and makes you work for it but it is basically perfect for me. One minute it’s serene, next minute it’s tearing your face off and everything in-between. A proper weapon of a guitar that.”

2In another life I’d have been…

“There was never a Plan B. From the moment I found guitar my mind was set. I always loved planes as a kid and wanted to be a pilot right up until guitar took over so we’ll go with that.”

3The moment it all started…

“Yes! I remember being 12 years old and feeling so frustrated with school and everything else going on at that time. I knew I needed a release; a way of escaping the mundane normality of life. The moment of clarity came as my best mate told me he had just had his first guitar lesson. That was it. Hook, line, sinker. Head first into guitars for the rest of my days.”

4The one that got away…

“Oh god, hundreds! I bought the same Les Paul three times once, only to sell it again! These days I’m much more fatalist about these things. I sold a couple of guitars over the last year or so that I thought I would never part with. To be honest I don’t miss them now. I guess I am happy with the core gear that I have and know I can cover the bases I need. Having said that I do need a Tele Thinline at the mo…”

5My Spinal Tap moment…

“We were playing a small run of shows in Holland a few years back; the first chord at the first gig saw me flying backwards and landing on Mo’s [drummer Gavin ‘Mo’ Edgely] kit. The next night I went one better and fell through my amp rig, sending one of them off its flight case and off the back of the stage! It was still working so I just carried on playing laid on the floor, unable to get up. Mo looked over mid-song and mouthed ‘What the fuck is wrong with you!?’ I honestly don’t know… still don’t!”

6The best advice I’ve ever been given…

“Don’t stamp on toes on the way up, as these may be the feet you’re kissing on the way back down. My friend Cliff, our label boss in the States, told me that one. I think it’s a mantra for life, not just music. Stay humble, stay you.”

7The first thing I play when I pick up the guitar

“Every time for years now it’s been Perth by Bon Iver. I remember hearing that track for the first time while in Minnesota back in 2011 and just being blown away. I know Justin plays it with a capo so I have my own bodged version for standard tuning, but what a track. The whole album is still stunning. Love that band.”

8The most important thing on my rider…

“Tea bags. No tea, no show.”

9My guilty pleasure…

“So many but I’m gonna go with Danger Zone, Kenny Loggins. It’s Top Gun’s fault. Man, I really did want to be a pilot!”

10If I could play one thing…

“I wish I could shred generally. Not that I would use it in the band context but it would just feel good to have it there, in the pocket, you know, just in case. On that basis I’d love to nail some of Dimebag’s solos. The guy was out of this world. Go listen to the isolated guitar of I’m Broken and how it’s all one take. Just great fun.”

Lonely The Brave go on tour with new singer Jack Bennett in January 2019.