Why I Love My… Jamie Lenman & his Yamaha RGX – The Guitar Magazine

Former Reuben frontman Jamie Lenman is synonymous with his beaten-up Yamaha RGX. Here he tells Sam Roberts why it sounds like razor blades…
Lenman
1. I love my…
“White Yamaha RGX, the guitar I’ve played almost exclusively since I started gigging.”

2. How I got it…
“I got it to replace the first guitar I ever had, which was also a white RGX, that I’d won in a songwriting competition my school put me in for when I was 10. Instead of getting any prize money myself, the competition awarded my school a bunch of vouchers for Yamaha equipment and they got it for me, and gave it to me in assembly on my birthday. Then when I was a teenager I took it apart and couldn’t get it back together properly, so I convinced my band a new guitar was a professional expense and we drained the gig account to buy this to replace it. I got a good deal ’cause I worked in a music shop at the time – essential for struggling musicians!”

3. It’s special because…
“It just keeps on going. Anyone can see that it’s been through wars and tours, and it’s basically held together with metal plates and stickers. I don’t treat it gently – there’s too much energy flying about on stage to do anything daintily, so it gets flung about and one day it’ll just explode in the middle of a show. I’m quite looking forward to that actually, I think that’d be a good point to retire. I just can’t find any other guitar with quite the same sound…”

4. It’s perfect for…
“Playing those big, chunky bar chord riffs, which are my stock and trade. I play mostly in drop D tuning, and then take the whole thing down a further semitone so it’s nice and deep – but with a new set of strings on it, it has the weight and the definition, so it’s perfect for what I do. I like those ‘chuggalugga’ palm mutes too, low down on the neck – they just sound menacing and awesome. I’m not really a shredder, so I don’t often get past the fifth fret!”

5. It sounds best with…
“My Laney Tube Fusion FX amp, which is in the same sort of state. It used to be a little practice amp but the speaker blew, so my tech chopped the top part off and I use it as a head. Even though the guitar is the star, it never sounds the same through another amp, and again I’ve never been able to find a replacement. I’m skating on thin ice here!”

6. Hear it on…
“All the albums I’ve ever made. Every now and then in the studio we might double things or pick out a certain part with a different guitar to get a different tone but the overriding sound of the music I make is that guitar on that amp. I think it comes across best on Waterloo Teeth from my new record, huge riff on that one, sounds like heavy razor blades. Just how I like it!”

Catch Jamie Lenman at the ArcTanGent, Download and Tramlines festivals this summer.

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