Chatting with Warren Haynes
Wherever it is they park rock 'n' roll tour buses between road trips, that must be where Warren Haynes sleeps, one eye open, ready to hop the next velvet-lined Prevost that dares crank its overworked diesel and fire its yellowed running lights. Haynes is a road-warrior of the highest order, touring with as many as three headlining acts during any given year; sitting in on countless album dates for unnamed others. Keep in mind that Haynes sorta considers both Gov't Mule and the Allman Brothers his full time gigs.
The vaunted slide guitarist with the voice seemingly borrowed straight from those thrumming diesels has spent the past few months on tour with the Mule, in support of The Deep End, (Vols. 1 and 2). In March, 2003, he hit the stage at New York's Beacon Theater for yet another string of dates beside Gregg and the rest of the brothers Allman, promoting that group's first new studio release in nine years, Hittin' the Note.
Yes, he's back - permanently, we all hope. After eight years spent successfully re-lighting that band's musical spark, Haynes left the ABB in 1997, feeling it time to devote more of himself to his side project with Brother's bassist Allen Woody and former Dickey Betts Band drummer Matt Abts. Unfortunately, the driving power trio Gov't Mule experienced a great loss in August of 2000 with the sudden death of bassist Woody. For awhile thereafter, Haynes threw himself back on the road with Phil Lesh & Friends, and busied himself with other plans.
But eventually the idea to do a tribute album to his fallen friend took hold of Haynes and Mule drummer Abts, and the Deep End was born. Gathering two or three dozen of the greatest bassists ever to grace a concert stage or recording studio, Haynes, Abts and special guests created a towering tribute to the grossly under-rated Woody. Featuring everyone from Bootsy Collins to Flea, from John Entwistle to Jack Bruce, from Jason Newsted to Les Claypool, the two Deep End discs (and the fabulous Mike Gordon documentary film, "Rising Low") show Haynes at his improvisational best, and pay homage to yet another phenomenal musician who checked out way too soon.
A track from Deep End Vol. 1 is even nominated for a Grammy Award, in the Best Instrumental Rock category. The appropriately titled "Sco-Mule," featuring John Scofield dueling with Warren on guitar, Yes bassist Chris Squire on the low strings, and Bernie Worrel on keys and Clavinet, leans somewhat toward the jazz fusion reminiscent of the Allmans' "Elizabeth Reed."
In this far-reaching Guitar.com interview, Haynes tells us about Woody, the Allman Brothers, his gear, his slide technique, and so much more. Hurry on reader, before the next bus rolls.
Warren Haynes: Hello.
Guitar.com: Warren, it's Adam with Guitar.com.
Haynes: Hey man, how are ya?
Guitar.com: Pretty good, how are you doing? How was your ride to Minneapolis?
Haynes: It was OK. Uneventful.
Guitar.com: It's probably about six hours?
Haynes: Maybe more... no, that's probably right, about six or seven.
Guitar.com: The show last night in Chicago was cool. Nice theater.
Haynes: Yeah, the Park West is cool.
Guitar.com: Besides George Porter, Jr., of the Meters, who was the other bassist you had playing with you last night?
Haynes: Greg Arzab.
Guitar.com: He plays with Buddy Guy, doesn't he? Or he used to...
Haynes: He played with Buddy for about 12 years. And then he joined the Black Crowes and did that Jimmy Page/Black Crowes tour.
Guitar.com: I thought I'd met him with Buddy before. Is he traveling with you? Is George traveling with you?
Haynes: Yeah, they're both traveling with us; they're both doing the whole tour. Some other guests come in for certain gigs, like Dave Schools is going to join us in Denver and on the West coast. And some places we have three or four bass players.
Guitar.com: So George starts the show, then Greg plays?
Haynes: It changes every night. Some nights Greg will start, some nights George will start. It really just depends.
Guitar.com: Out of all the bassists you've played with recently, how did you come down to taking these two out on the whole tour with you? Mostly scheduling?
Haynes: Yeah. We're just dealing with peoples' schedules. We've been using Dave Schools and Oteil (Burbridge) a lot. Of course they're both really busy doing other things. We utilize them as much as we can. But we're just taking all of the cats that we love to work with and putting their schedules into a big pile and seeing how it works out.
Guitar.com: Are you doing two sets at most of these shows?
Haynes: Yeah, most of the time we prefer to do what we call "An Evening With..." That's two sets, no opener. On the West coast we're going to have Drive-By Truckers opening a lot of the shows, so some nights we'll probably just do one long set.
Guitar.com: How long is your long set?
Haynes: About the same. About two-and-a-half hours, but no break in the middle.
Guitar.com: And are you mixing up a lot of songs?
Haynes: Yeah, the set list changes every night.
Guitar.com: Do you actually make a list, or do you just call them out?
Haynes: No, we make one because there's a lot of guitar changes and bass changes, and I play a lot of different tunings, and things like that. We make like a rough sketch. That doesn't mean that we'll stick to it, but there is an actual set list that we put together sometime earlier in the evening. And we try to stick to it as much as possible, but it changes. I keep a log of every set list we've ever done, and when we go back to a city I want to make sure that we don't play a lot of the same songs we played the time before. And that's really the most important thing. Then you couple that with what we feel like playing, and what we played the night before, and that type of thing.
Guitar.com: Is your choice to play certain songs affected by, for instance, on any given night something really cool happened with that song so the next night you're inclined to try it again?
Haynes: It depends. Like, with a cover song, sometimes we'll play it once and then not play it again for a long time. With an original song, if it's getting better all the time, then we'll play it a bunch of nights in a row just to let it grow into itself. But it really just varies. Really we like to not repeat songs from night to night if we can, just to keep the energy level fresh, so we're not playing the same songs in our own minds.
Guitar.com: I was talking to your keyboard player on the way out last night and I told him that I really liked your version of Zeppelin's "Trampled Under Foot." I thought that was really cool.
Haynes: Oh cool. We've only done that... I think that was the second time.
Guitar.com: That really rocked. So what guitars are you taking on the road these days? I noticed a whole rack of them behind you last night, like about ten?
Haynes: Yeah, something like that. I take three or four Firebirds, three or four Les Pauls, and a 335. We do some stuff where I'm tuned down a half-step, we do some stuff where I'm tuned to an open C chord, we do some stuff where the low E string is tuned down to a D - and a lot in just regular standard tuning. And some stuff where I'm tuned down a whole step. I don't use that tuning as much, it's more of a dark, fat, Hendrixy kind of thing that I use on one of my Firebirds sometimes.
Guitar.com: So it's a standard tuning, it's just down to D?
Guitar.com: Do you do most of your slide work in standard tuning?
Haynes: Yeah, the majority of it is standard.
Guitar.com: And you don't use a pick at that point, do you?
Haynes: Not unless I really just want that extra attack. But probably 90 percent of the stuff that I play slide on is with my fingers. I always have the pick cupped up into my hand where I can get to it if I need it.
Guitar.com: It's a matter of tone?
Haynes: Yeah, and technique. The technique I use to play slide, you're using your other fingers to dampen the strings. Whichever fingers you're using to attack the strings, you're using the ones on the other side to dampen the strings you don't want to ring. And it really keeps a lot of the unwanted noise and harmonics and overtones to a minimum.
Guitar.com: Especially if you've got a lot of gain on the signal.
Haynes: Yeah, and in standard tuning, where there are notes that aren't in the chord.
Guitar.com: Right. What brand strings do you use, and what gauge?
Haynes: I use both GHS and DR, and my tech Brian decides which ones he likes on which guitars. I use a few different gauges, .010 through .046 is my main gauge, but I also do some stuff where the low strings are .052 or .056, depending on which tuning and which guitars - that kind of stuff.
Guitar.com: What kind of picks do you use?
Haynes: D'Andrea. I use these picks that are shaped like the old Gibson star. I don't know if you remember those, they quit making them a long time ago. They didn't have a gauge - they only came in one gauge. It said "Gibson" on it, and it had a star on it. They were kind of teardrop shaped, but not the real small mandolin shape - in between that and a regular Fender kind of pick. And that's what I grew up playing. Then Gibson quit making them for awhile. In the '80s I used these Tortex or whatever versions....
Guitar.com: Dunlop, or one of those kind...
Haynes: Yeah, but they adhere to your thumb and to your fingers when they get hot, and I don't really like that. So D'Andrea said they could make some that didn't do that, and they just get the gauge the way I want it. Gibson started back making that pick again for awhile - I don't know if they still do - but they made them in gauges like medium and heavy. And the medium was too light for me, and the heavy was too heavy. So D'Andrea is makin' 'em kinda the way I like.
Guitar.com: And what kind of slides do you use?
Haynes: The one in my pocket is a Coricidin bottle. And the one sitting on the rack is just like a glass tube made by a fan that's painted psychedelic purple, that somebody just gave to me one night from the audience. It's similar to like a Dunlop or something. My favorite thing to use is the Coricidin bottle, but it gets moisture trapped inside there, and if it's a long, sweaty night, it'll cause the callous on my ring finger to come off. So I've discovered recently that, even though it's not quite as comfortable for me, if I use a slide that's not sealed at the end, then my finger breathes, and the callous doesn't go away. So I kind of bounce back and forth.
Guitar.com: Couldn't you put something in the bottle, like a little cotton ball or something?
Haynes: Yeah, I probably could, but you know, I'm just stubborn and close-minded. It's hard to change after all these years. I am kind of experimenting with stuff like that, and maybe get somebody to build a Coricidin bottle that's open at the end.
Guitar.com: Just drill a couple of holes in the end of it to let it breathe and let the moisture out.
Haynes: Yeah. But, the whole concept of using an open-ended slide is new to me too because forever I just used a Coricidin bottle and complained about it. (laughs)
Guitar.com: Did you learn to play slide in standard or open tuning?
Haynes: I first learned in an open E, but not for very long. It wasn't long that I realized - well no, that's not true I guess - I first started in standard, but wasn't very good at it. Then I discovered open E and did that for a short period of time. But then when I started discovering some tricks on how to utilize certain string combinations in standard to emulate open tunings, then I went back to that. And I stuck with that for a long, long time. That was my main voice, so to speak.
But then, like anybody else, you get tired of what you're doing and want to experiment with something else. Sometimes I'll have a guitar around - also one of my guitars on stage is tuned to an open A, I forgot about that one, one of my Les Pauls. But some of those open tunings I don't do many songs in. We may go two or three nights before I pick up a certain guitar.
But I'll keep an open A guitar laying around, or an open C guitar laying around, just for - more than anything - not just noodling purposes, but inspiration to write something in a different tuning. All the chord shapes are different, and so you put your fingers where you think it's going to sound a certain way and it doesn't sound that way. And sometimes you discover chords by accident, which is kind of one of the things I think Jimmy Page used to do in Led Zeppelin - take these weird tunings and discover cool chords by mistake and go, 'Wow, that sounds really cool!'
That's the way I wrote "Wandering Child" for Life Before Insanity. It was this open C tuning that I'd never really used before, and so I just discovered a lot of accidental chords and turned them into a song.
Guitar.com: That's cool. I haven't messed around too much with open. I've got to get there some day.
Haynes: It's not as comfortable for me, but I love the way it sounds. There are people that are really good at it, but like anything else, you get tired of doing one thing and start wanting to do something different.
Guitar.com: And what are you running all your guitars through - what kind of amps, what kind of effects?
Haynes: My main two heads that I use the most are the Cesar Diaz CD-100 and the Soldano SLO-100 that's been modified. I have three of those SLO-100s and they've all had the same modification done to them.
Guitar.com: What's that mod?
Haynes: It's something that Mike Soldano does to give it more low midrange and more bottom end at a low pre-amp gain. The way he designed those amps was the more you turned up the pre-amp, the fatter the sound got, because most people like that high-gain sound. And I called him up about 10 or 12 years ago and said, 'I'm having trouble getting enough bottom out of this head.' And he said, 'That sounds impossible. How can that be? Where's your pre-amp set?' And I said, 'Two-and-a-half or three.' And he said, 'Oh, well most people run their pre-amps way up.' And I said 'Yeah, I just don't want all that pre-amp gain.' And he said, 'Well, I can make it where you get a lot of bottom at a low pre-amp gain.'
So he put a little switch in there where I can have it stock or I can have it at my mod. And since then a lot of other guitar players that use Soldanos have requested that same modification, there are dozens of guitar players around the country that have that same mod done to their amp.
Guitar.com: So now it's the Warren Haynes model Soldano.
Haynes: Yeah, actually, if you call up Soldano and say, 'Can you do the Warren Haynes mod for me?' they go, 'Sure.' They'll make it for you that way.
Guitar.com: That's cool.
Haynes: And I also use - I have a Dick Boyden 100-watt head that I use. I have a Custom Audio Electronics - which is one of Bob Bradshaw's - heads that I use. I have a couple of Wisetone amps that are really cool - straight up volume and tone kind of amps. One is 50-watt and one is 100-watt. I still have my old 100-watt Plexi Marshall, but I don't bring it on the road. There are a lot of amps that I only use to record with. I have this new amp that I just used on the new Allman Brothers record, that I've so far only used in the studio. It's really small. And I really like recording with Gibson amps and small Fender amps - mostly little Gibson amps that are tiny, that you could barely hear in a big room. But when you record, when you mix them in with the 4x12s and the 100-watt heads, it just adds something that the other amps don't have. I'm trying to remember the name of that new amp that I got, that's awesome.
Guitar.com: The little one?
Haynes: Yeah. It's called a... oh shit, it has the weirdest name in the world. And I finally met the guy that made it the other day and asked him what the name meant and I still don't understand it.
Guitar.com: Where is he based?
Haynes: He's in the Northeast, like Vermont/New Hampshire kind of area, or Massachusetts. Oh what is that thing called ... It'll come to me. I want to mention it 'cause it's a great amp.
Guitar.com: And you just use it for recording?
Haynes: So far, 'cause it's only a 15-watt amp.
Guitar.com: One 10-inch speaker?
Haynes: One 15. Or is it one 12? Yeah, maybe one 12.
Guitar.com: A real low-end kind of thing.
Haynes: It really records great. [Editor's note: Warren never does remember the name of the amp during the course of this interview, but it's fun to watch him try. It's a Maven Peal amp that he's talking about. Warren used their Zeeta 0.5->20 model on the new Allman Brothers album, Hittin' the Note.
Guitar.com: And all these amps that you mention, you're not bringing all on the road, right?
Haynes: No, I bring four or five heads, and three or four 4x12 cabinets, on the road.
Guitar.com: Marshall-type cabinets?
Haynes: I have a couple of Engl cabinets that I've used forever. They're real roadworthy, real thick wood, heavy duty cabinets. And I have a Custom Audio cabinet. They're loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s.
Guitar.com: And effects or pedals?
Haynes: I have one of Bob Bradshaw's switching systems built. I actually have a couple of different ones. The one that I use most of the time is just a switching system that allows me to not be running through effects when I'm not utilizing them. And in my effects dish, so to speak, there's a Hughes & Kettner Roto-sphere, which is a Leslie simulator; there's a Boss Octaver, octave divider; there's a delay - I experiment with a few different delays. Right now I think I'm using the... Paul something, it'll come to me.
What else am I using? I'm a using a tremolo, I'm using one of Bob Bradshaw's SuperTrem, which is a two-speed tremolo unit, which you can use stereo, or you can use two separate speeds. I'm using a Centaur distortion pedal. I don't use it a lot for distortion; sometimes I use it for a gain boost. But it's a real cool pedal. Let's see, what else is in there... not much, really. Most of the sounds that I like are just straight into the amp kind of sounds.
And in the Allman Brothers, I usually use no effects at all. Once I started Gov't Mule and it was a trio, then, y'know, in a trio you need all the help you can get to vary your sounds and change layers 'cause you don't have keyboards and the two guitars, and all that stuff. So I started adding a few effects here and there. I have a wah-wah that I use every blue moon. And similar effects in Phil Lesh's band, I use this thing called a Funky Box, it's made by Guyatone. It's just like an autowah, and envelope filter.
Guitar.com: Do they call 'em envelope filters anymore?
Haynes: I don't know.
Guitar.com: I was thinking about that recently 'cause I was doing some funk stuff and I said, 'I need an envelope filter,' and nobody knew what I was talking about. But I think they gave that name up long ago and just call them auto-wahs now.
Haynes: Yeah, I don't know if the technology changed or what, but it's a pretty cool unit. What is the name of that delay... As soon as I say it, you'll know what I'm talking about. I don't know why I'm spacin' out on the brand of delay that I'm using now. It's a digital delay that's made to sound analog. It's a rack mount unit. I don't know why I can't think of it, but it'll come to me in a minute.
Guitar.com: When you go into record, and then you head out on the road and you try to re-create that sound, do you worry about re-creating the recorded tone and sound? Or do you look at them as two totally different situations and go different ways?
Haynes: To a certain extent. I don't really toil over it. If I played a certain guitar on the record, then chances are I'll play that guitar live. But sometimes, if another guitar sounds better live, I'll just go to a different sound. We're not really so much about re-creating the records as we are just trying to re-create some sort of magic.
Guitar.com: So wherever it takes you on a given night is where you go.
Haynes: Yeah, every night is different. Every time we approach a song it's completely different.
Guitar.com: Did you grow up thinking that you'd be doing such improvisational work, at one point? How did it evolve to this?
Haynes: Well, I grew up in a time when that's what guitar players did, is improvise. I think I'm lucky in that way: I didn't have to learn to improvise, that's the way we started. So I've been doin' it all my life. Even when we had garage bands, when I was 14 years old, we were trying to play "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," and "Whipping Post," and Return to Forever songs, and just stuff you could jam on. And so to be able to still have that as an outlet all these years later is pretty cool. I've been lucky in the way that I've always been able to make a living playing music, and for the most part, haven't had to compromise too much. There's always been lean years when you have to make a living doing something. We've all done projects that we weren't so proud of, but I think I've survived with a minimum of those. And I really am just grateful to have this kind of opportunity, to play music for a living, and kind of determine my own boundaries.
Guitar.com: And to completely just go wherever the inspiration takes you...
Haynes: Yeah, that's the wonderful thing. Improvisation is the life-blood of our music. Chandler: That's the name of that delay pedal, Paul Chandler.
Guitar.com: How about that little amp?
Haynes: I'm still working on that. I don't know why...
Guitar.com: Do you check out a lot of gear when you're out on the road? Do you stop in a lot of little vintage shops?
Haynes: If I can. I don't always have time to, but when I do have time to I like to check out stuff like that. Usually little small amps and stuff like that.
Guitar.com: Do you carry a computer around with you? Are you online?
Haynes: No. No, I haven't crossed that bridge yet. I'm kind of scared of it.
Guitar.com: Besides being the editor of Guitar.com I run a website called, Gbase.com, which is more or less a database of instruments - largely vintage instruments - from dealers all around the country. In fact all around the world, there are a few international dealers. We've got close to 30,000 items in the database, with all kinds of little vintage mom and pop stores.
Haynes: So Gbay is....
Guitar.com: It's G-B-A-S-E dot com. But if you're not into surfing the net yet, it probably doesn't matter to you now, does it. But it's a cool site. We've got all kinds of stuff on there: Les Pauls that are listed at $25,000 and $30,000, and all kinds of pedals and effects and old amps and all kinds of stuff. I was talking to your keyboard player about it last night, he said he was into surfing the net for vintage gear. What's his name?
Haynes: Danny Lewis.
Guitar.com: I was talking to him about his Clavinet last night and telling him about the site. There are some keys on there as well.
Haynes: Oh cool. He's an online guy and he's always shopping for weird gear and stuff.
Guitar.com: So with all of the people that you've been playing with - and I don't even know how you can keep up the schedule you've been keeping the past couple years, you are just so incredibly busy - how do you keep all this material straight?
Haynes: Uh, I don't know. For some reason it's not that hard for me material-wise to keep it all together. It's just a nice, welcome challenge for me: About the time I get sick of one project I bounce over to another one. Gov't Mule obviously is something we can take wherever it wants to go. And Phil Lesh & Friends and the Allman Brothers have been really enjoyable things. The Allman Brothers have been really like family to me this year and I'm really happy not only to be back in that situation but that everyone is getting along so great, and that the band sounds so great. We just did a new record. That's a really rewarding situation.
It's been a lot of juggling, a lot of work the past few years. But the pay-off has been great. I don't plan on being this busy for the rest of my life, but the time seems right now for me to do all this stuff.
Guitar.com: Sure. I guess you've got to go for it when it's there.
Guitar.com: The new Allman Brothers album, Hittin' the Note, came out March 18th. Is that a self-release by the band, by any chance?
Haynes: No, we self-financed it. But it'll come out on a label. [Editor's note: The Brothers own newly-launched label, Peach Records, has teamed with major subsidiary Sanctuary Records for this release.] But the band paid for the recording itself, just so we could do exactly what we wanted to do ourselves, finish the record, and then go, 'OK, here it is. Who wants it?'
Guitar.com: I spent quite a long time on the phone with ABB manager Bert Holman, probably two years ago, and we were discussing the fact that the Peakin' at the Beacon disc was the final obligation to Epic Records. And I was asking him, 'Is the Allman Brothers going to be one of the first big, major bands to go Internet only, and take it all on their own?' And he said, 'Maybe.'
Haynes: Well, the Allman Brothers started a label, and are releasing live concerts and archive stuff on that label. But I don't think we feel that this is the right thing for this record. This is the first studio record since '94, and we really need for the perception to be large, and for the whole world to know it's out there.
Guitar.com: You want the push of a big, major label...
Haynes: Yeah, and, y'know, you're always weighing the options of how much money per unit, and how important is that, compared to getting the massive publicity, and all that stuff. So coming up with a nice compromise that everybody can live with is really the most important thing. The labels that we're talking to understand that it won't be a normal type of record deal where the band gets raped and the company makes all the money.
Guitar.com: That's good. They need pressure like that, don't they?
Haynes: (laughing) Yeah!
Guitar.com: I imagine you did quite bit of songwriting?
Haynes: Yeah. I co-wrote most of the material on the record, a large majority of it with Gregg. And it's just great. Gregg continues himself to have been in a slump for quite some time, and I think we pulled him out of it. He's really written some great stuff for the record. We've written a bunch of tunes that we're very proud of.
Guitar.com: With any band that has a history like that, the old classic songs just carry so much weight in everybody's mind. But a lot of the stuff that you guys were doing - I'm sure you want to hear this once in awhile - but I just loved a lot of the stuff that you were doing in the early '90s when you were with the band recording new songs. "Sailin' 'Cross the Devils Sea" is one of my favorite Allman Brothers songs, as is, of course, "Soulshine." That material is really cool.
Haynes: Yeah, there were a lot of great songs that came about during that period. That was a very strong period for the Allman Brothers. And I think the new record - actually I think we all feel - that it's the best record in a really long time.
Guitar.com: And you started with a string of dates at the Beacon in New York? [Editor's note: the ABB played the Beacon March 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 28, 29 & 30, 2003.] How do you feel about those long-standing dates in a certain venue like that? There must be some pros and cons to the issue?
Haynes: Yeah, it's fun for me. I live in New York. I take a car back and forth to the Beacon and sleep at home. But it's weird going back and forth to the same venue every night. You feel like, 'Wow, wasn't I just here?' But I kind of enjoy it. Sometimes when you get done with that and then you actually go on the road that's a welcome change. But since we spend so much time traveling, it is nice to sit in one place for a little while.
Guitar.com: You probably see a lot of the same faces night after night?
Guitar.com: That's cool. Let's get back to the Deep End: With all of the bass players you've been playing with, how has that affected your songwriting and your musicality? I'm sure you've had a lot of new ideas coming from all those people you've played and recorded with.
Haynes: Yeah, it's been very inspirational working with all these great people. It definitely inspires my songwriting to go into different directions. You know, and the loss of Allen Woody - dealin' with that is tough, but in some ways, you turn that into inspiration as well. Because theres' two ways you can approach it: You can let it stagnate you, or you can cause it to open your mind up to learning lessons that maybe you hadn't been open to in the past.
Guitar.com: Was he a guy that was continually expanding his abilities on the instrument?
Haynes: Woody played all the time. He always had an instrument around him. We'd walk into his room at four o'clock in the morning and he'd have it set up like a little music store. There'd be basses and guitars and mandolins and dulcimers and shit just everywhere. He always just loved to noodle around on some instrument. He played a lot of different ones and music was just a huge part of his life.
Guitar.com: I imagine he would be just completely honored to see the response that you received?
Haynes: I would think so. I'm not sure if he realized how much respect he heralded in the business.
Guitar.com: Where do you go from here with Gov't Mule?
Haynes: We'll continue promoting the Deep End until sometime in the middle of the year. And then of course I'll be back with the Allman Brothers. I'm going to release a solo acoustic record early next year that I've been working on for quite some time. We just have so much stuff going on that we can't possibly release it all at once. [Editors note: Warren is releasing the limited edition The Lone Ep through the website http://www.mule.net in June, 2003.]
Guitar.com: I noticed last night - and probably at a lot of your shows - that you had some people in the back of the room with some pretty serious microphone setups. Unless those were yours, from your board?
Haynes: No, we allow tapers to come in and set up.
Guitar.com: And that kind of ties into the whole music industry situation with the Napster-type issues. How do you balance that? You need to be paid for your work, and yet...
Haynes: Well, the live performances are free. If people want to come in and tape them with their microphones - we don't allow people to patch into the sound board - but microphones, audience recordings are always welcome. We feel that if people are that hardcore fans, then they're going to support the band, continue to buy tickets, and continue to buy your studio releases. And it doesn't hurt. In whatever tiny way it hurts, it helps in so many more ways.
Guitar.com: I want to ask about your acoustic guitars. What do you use?
Haynes: I've been using Gibsons and Alvarez, for the most part. And y'know, they're both great acoustic guitars, and I'm going to continue to use them. But I'm also going to be experimenting with pickups and Eqs and stuff, between now and April, to try and work on my acoustic thing, because I've spent most of my life working on my electric thing. And so I'm kind of open to experimenting with a lot of different stuff, but Gibson and Alvarez both are guitars that I love.
Guitar.com: Are you endorsed by Gibson?
Haynes: Yeah, I've had a relationship with Gibson for a long, long time.
Guitar.com: What models are those guitars?
Haynes: You, know, I don't even know all the numbers. It was easy when they were Doves and Hummingbirds and that kind of stuff, but all the different numbers I can't remember.
Guitar.com: Warren, you actually did a video lesson with Guitar.com a couple years back. Do you remember that?
Guitar.com: I was the guy that came in afterwards and got to produce it. And at the time the video editor had put something together with the footage that they shot with you and they'd knocked down to like three minutes. And I was like, 'No, no, no, no, NO! Warren spent 45 minutes with you, you can't cut this down to three minutes. And if you were a fan of Warren's you would want to see every single second of this thing.'
Haynes: So what happened?
Guitar.com: We ended up making longer pieces of it, and I think it's still up there. Most of the things that post on Guitar.com are still there.
Guitar.com: I'd love to sit down with you again some day and update that.
Haynes: Yeah, we'll do it.
Guitar.com: Maybe next time through Chicago.
Guitar.com: OK Warren, thank you for your time.
Haynes: Thanks, man. I hope to see you soon.