The passions of our youth are splendid things. Like most phases of life, some of these interests are noble and worthwhile, and some are fleeting and whimsical. As a person journeys through the middle age years, often one looks back. If that person is lucky, and of clear vision they may rediscover the more noble passions that fell by the wayside years ago. If you aren’t old enough to understand what I’m talking about, don’t worry, you will be one day!
Kip is a guitarist I came across some time ago, and he was gracious enough to take some time out to discuss his journey away from and ultimately, back to the music he loves. So please take a little time to enjoy our discussion, and by all means take advantage of the link that follows and dig into the music he is sharing with the world.
Without further ado, The Peter Principles gives you Mr. Kip Brockett:
To start with, a little about you. Have you always lived in Missouri?
Yes. I grew up in the southern part of the state. I moved to the mid-east part when I attended college. Eventually I married and started a family here.
Where did you obtain your music degree?
From Southeast Missouri State University. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with an emphasis on music theory.
Your bio says you had a lengthy hiatus from music. What drew you away? Career, family? What drew you back?
Honestly, I just got burnt out on music. I was teaching at a local music store, teaching through the Prep Program at the university, working in the music resource center at the university, teaching summer camps, and I was also working with a couple of bands. It seemed no one could get along in the bands and they all split up. I was very discouraged.I was also heavily into martial arts at the time. Trying to divide my time between music and martial arts seemed fruitless. So, I decided to put music on the backburner and focus on my martial arts training.I don’t remember exactly when I stopped playing guitar, but it was somewhere between 15 to 20 years. I would play my classical around the Christmas season each year for the family, but that’s about it. Eventually that stopped.I had the itch to play again for several years before I picked the guitar back up, but time seemed to be the biggest factor. After some injuries put me out of martial arts training for a while, I bought a small practice amp and started playing guitar again. I told myself that the day it stopped being fun would be the day that I stopped playing again.It’s been about 6 years now and I’m still having a blast!
In pics you are usually seen with your Gibson SG. Do you own or play other guitars or instruments?
I have a modified Stratocaster with a Floyd Rose tremolo and EMG pickups., a Squier Affinity Precision bass, and a Hirade handmade classical guitar. I also have an old Applause acoustic that used to be my grandfather’s guitar.My SG is my favorite guitar, though. It plays like a dream! I fell in love with the way it played and had to have it!My dream guitar is a Shawn Lane Master signature series Excalibur by Vigier.
Reflecting Rain is a beautiful original track of yours. Did you always envision having the rainstorm effect behind it, and how did you capture that?
Thank you, Peter. I really appreciate the kind words.The name of the track is meant to be open to interpretation. You could take the “reflecting” part as meaning the actual reflecting of the raindrops bouncing off a surface. Or it could mean a mental state of reflection during a rain shower.And yes, I wanted to incorporate the rainstorm effect early in the writing process of this piece. I used a royalty free, public domain sound effect. The hard part was mixing it so that it sounded like rain and not just static.
Your cover versions show a striking attention to detail. You obviously pay attention to the nuances and incidental fingerings and noises of the original. Is this something you work hard to capture, or is it part of how you learn to cover the song to begin with? I like how you pick less obvious covers by major artists. “Sisters” by Vai and “Brother John” by Satriani aren’t numbers usually covered by these two. Do you like the aspect of the “obscure song”?
When I was younger, I didn’t take the time to learn the details. I would get the basic chords and lead down, then do my own thing with the piece. When I started playing again, I wanted to learn and play as closely as possible to the originals, particularly when it was a track by someone as brilliant as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, or Stevie Ray Vaughan. I was on no timetable, so I could take as long as I liked to get it down.The covers I posted were also my first foray into home recording. How times have changed! I used to have a Tascam 4-track PortaStudio cassette recorder back in the day. Talk about a learning curve!And yes, I love the aspect of the “obscure song”! But really, the covers that I’ve posted so far were mainly tracks that I loved and wanted to play. I have learned some of the more “traditional” tracks, such as “Satch Boogie”. I hope to post a version of that one of these days!
What effects do you enjoy using? Amps, etc.
I used to play through a Marshall 100w half stack. I was always a big Randy Rhoads fan and so used an MXR Distortion Plus, MXR Chorus, and MXR 10-band EQ. When I stopped playing, I sold most of my equipment.These days, all I have is a little Peavey Vypyr practice amp and a headphone amp. I did buy myself a wha pedal, as I never used one before.For my recordings, I use mostly plugins.
Do you have any plans to put together an album, or do you think the Internet is better suited to marketing one song at a time?
I would love to put an album together, but time is the issue. My writing process for instrumentals takes a lot longer than when I was writing songs for a band with a singer.The one song at a time marketing approach does seem to work well with today’s music experience. I will probably stick with that for now.
What artist would you love to collaborate with?
Most definitely Joe Satriani! He’s one of the biggest reasons I picked the guitar back up. Such a class act. The career he has built, his incredible playing, G3, … and he’s still going strong at 61 years old. What an inspiration!I just want to say, “Thank You!” for doing this interview with me, Peter. I’m just an old rocker trying to create some music again. I’m so very thankful that there are people like you and all my great fans that appreciate what I’m doing. I’ve gotten some very encouraging feedback since I started putting out my original instrumental pieces. I am truly humbled.All of my original music is available for download on my BandCamp page: