Greg Koch – New release from Koch Marshall Trio – “Toby Arrives” – Q & A
Your band, Koch Marshall Trio just signed with Mascot Label Group and released “Toby Arrives”.
Tell us about the experience of making the new record…
This record and the forming of the band was one of those happy accidents. My son, Dylan, who is a drumming Beast of the Night, had been doing gigs up in Minneapolis and would always come home to Milwaukee singing the praises of this organ player he had been playing with named Toby Lee Marshall. Dylan instigated a jam with myself and Toby while Toby was in Milwaukee buying a Leslie speaker. At the insistence of my son, I booked a studio for a jam and the very first notes we played together are captured forever on the first track on our record called “Toby Arrives”.
Tell us about working in a trio with your son Dylan and with Toby Lee Marshall.
It’s actually best described as joyous. The moment we arrive and plug in we start playing… always new tunes and riffs or reinterpreting stuff we had already been playing. It’s really one of those magical combinations the was evident from the first time we played
You just returned from a European tour with the Koch Marshall Trio. How did that go?
We had a blast and people really enjoyed this new lineup. We were in Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Greece and The Netherlands. I have been touring over there as a bandleader for 15+years and the response to this latest tour was markedly enthusiastic.
What are your future touring plans?
We have been getting around quite a bit. I plan to try to get this band in front of as many people as possible. It deserves the extra effort and our record label Mascot Label Group/Players Club is dialed in to help us in this effort.
You’re widely known as a Tele player, but do you have other guitars that you reach for now and again?
Sure, I’ve played Strats, Les Paul’s and ES-335’s over the years.
What is it about the Tele you love so much?
I think a Tele is the ultimate blank, sonic canvas as far as electric guitars go. It can make any sound stylistically but it’s not going to do it for you. It’s a primal yet elegant tool that can take an incredible amount of abuse. As I like to say that in a post-apocalyptic world, there will be coach roaches and Telecasters and the Tele’s will be in tune…
What musical ideas or situations cause you to reach for a different guitar?
There are things that require a certain guitar whether it’s a B-Bender Tele, a whammy bar on a Strat, the beefy sound of a Les Paul or the clarity of an arch top…depending on the situation. When doing my own music, it’s fun for me to try to get all the sounds and nuances of the other types of guitars on the Tele with minimal effects.
We’ve seen you playing more acoustic guitar lately. Tell us about that.
Can we expect to see any acoustic in your live shows or perhaps in an upcoming release? Absolutely. I have always played acoustic guitars, mostly my Martin Custom 15 (which basically a HD-28V) on recordings but rarely in live performance. Once I started working with Fishman on the Fluence electric guitar pickups, they helped me get up to speed on all the cool things they make to get a really good acoustic sound for live playing. This inspired me to start performing more with my acoustic and write a bunch of new tunes as well as reinterpret some of my older things with an acoustic treatment. I’m in the process of compiling an acoustic release as we speak.
Your Fluence Signature Series Greg Koch Gristle-Tone pickups are wildly popular and are a top seller in the Fluence line. What do these pickups do that others couldn’t?
The Gristle-Tone pickups really weaponize a Telecaster from being an already wonderfully versatile instrument in the right hands, to being unstoppable. It gives me the most dynamic control and consistent glorious tone without any squealing or 60 cycle hum. I’ve got them on many different Teles and they all sound fantastic as the pickups allow each guitar to sound the best it can be.
What’s next for Greg Koch?
I’ll keep creating until and I can’t create anymore! More Koch Marshall Trio records, an acoustic record from me out in later 2018, and I’m sure more touring, clinics and videos!