Interview With John


An Interview with John Rush

1.  Name?
John Rush

2.  Birth Day? Sign?
July 3rd - Cancer

3.  Where were you born?
Huntsville, AL

4.  School history?
Mrs. Shan's kindergarten (Huntsville, AL)
1,2 East Clinton (Huntsville, AL)
3,4,5,6 Riverton (Huntsville, AL)
7,8 Huntsville Middle (Huntsville, AL) (Notice a trend here?)
9,10,11,12 Huntsville High (Huntsville, AL)
3 & 1/2 years University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
2 years Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, TN)

5.  a: Favorite Bands and Influences?
Mark Knopfler                       
Peter Gabriel
Stevie Ray Vaughn              
Bob Marley             
Neil Young                             
Johny Lang
 The Black Keys
The Killers        
Paul Simon

6.  How long have you played guitar?  Any other instruments?
Started guitar at age 12.  After two years teaching myself I started classical guitar lessons.  While taking classical guitar I started jazz lessons and continued both until I left for college where I majored in classical guitar performance at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA.

Age 10 - String Bass - I was the only one that was willing to try it.  I didn't know that trying it meant I would be playing it.  I just thought she wanted a volunteer.  I was stuck with playing bass in the school orchestra.
Age 10 - Clarinet - I wanted to play the sax but we had a clarinet so once again I was stuck playing the clarinet in the band while playing the bass in the orchestra.
Age 12 - Guitar  -  My real love.  My brother  Ray gave me this old crappy electric and then I played my dad's acoustic.  Aubrey Scarbrough gave me my first classical guitar that he bought for 2 dollars.  We glued the back together and put a set of 10 dollar strings on it.  I played it for the next two years.
Age 21 -  

Vocals - I never thought of myself as a singer then it  just kind of came to me. I was working in a bar in Huntsville and they needed someone to play for the Christmas party.  Jed  Murphree, Brent White, and I played as many songs as we knew (not many).  After that I started playing there solo once a week.      
Harmonica - David Greer gave ma a set of harmonicas when I was playing in Nashville and said, "Somebody should play them. I can't."  So I started playing harmonica.

7.  How do you remember so many songs?
I've always just had a good memory.  The guitar parts are all pretty easy to remember because I hear the melody in my head but the lyrics are the hard part.  I picture them as a story and if I can see the story, I can sing the song.    

8.  Have you always played solo?  Any bands?
I was in an acoustic jazz band called Elgin while in high school.  They were all older and ready to go on the road for real.  I wanted to go to college so I left the band.  I've played with a lot of musicians off and on but I never  found the band that I was really looking for.  I love playing with other musicians, especially good musicians, but I think I've just been spoiled for too long by myself. There's just so much freedom.   I can do whatever  I want and I don't have to rely on people who may or may not be reliable.

9.  Where do you  live now?
A suburb of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Nashville was nice but now that I'm touring I can live where ever I want.  My wife's family lives there.  Elisa travels with me often, but when I'm gone she needs family near.

10.  Why did you go to Nashville, you're not country?
Once again I just kind of stumbled into it.  I was working for a restaurant and they needed people to open a new store in Nashville.  I went up as a trainer and then just stayed there.  Of course it didn't hurt that my wife (just starting to date at the time) was a manager for the same restaurant.
I didn't really know what I was going to do, but it made more sense than Huntsville, AL.  Everyone told me you can't make money playing in Nashville, but they were wrong.  People are often intimidated by Nashville because there are so many musicians.  You just have to get out there and play.  I guess it helped that I wasn't country.

11.  Stuff that doesn't really matter
Favorite Movie?  Braveheart and Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Hero?  William Wallace
Favorite TV show?  Ray Donavan, Real Time
Favorite Albums?  Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms & Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Wish You Were Here)
Favorite Comedians?  Robert Schimmel, Greg Giraldo
Favorite Teams?  Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Titans
Most Influential Book? "Awaken The Giant Within" --- Tony Robbins 
Turn-ons?  Women
Turn-offs?  Complaining
Favorite Food?  Pizza and cheesecake
Hobbies?  Basketball, working out, running, biking, disc golf, pool

12.  What would you say to someone just starting guitar?
Practice --- then practice some more.

The difference between a bad guitarist and an ok guitarist is ---- practice.
The difference between an ok guitarist and a good guitarist is --- practice.
The difference between a good guitarist and a great guitarist is --- practice.
The difference between a great guitarist and a truly phenomenal guitarist  like Joe Satriani or Steve Via is a little bit of true talent to start with and a lot of practice.

13.  What is the key to being successful?
Figure out what you're willing to do for free.  Then find a way to get paid doing it.  Then work your ass off.

14.  What do you think about file sharing and downloading music?
If it's a band or artist that you believe in and you want to support their ability to keep making music then you have to buy the CD.  I charge $10 for my CD and I think it's a fair price to pay.  It takes a lot of work to write and produce a CD and you have the ability to listen to it as many times as you want.  We pay up to $10.00 to see a movie and we only get to see it once.  

The way I see it is if you download my CD and give it to someone that would not have bought it otherwise - great!  If you are burning it for someone who would have bought the CD if you hadn't given it to them - not cool.  I believe in downloading music and then when you find artists you like, buying their CD - especially independent artists.  I can download lots of music for free, but I make a real effort to support artists and bands that I like and respect. 

I make a living doing what I love to do and I feel extremely lucky and thankful.

15.  What kind of equipment do you use?
Guitar - Alvarez 6 string acoustic
              Fender Stat

Pickup -  L.R. Baggs - Acoustic Sound
                GK-2AH Divided Pickup - All Other Sounds

Strings - Elixir Nanoweb Mediums (13-56) - If you don't use these strings, then you've never tried them

Capo -  Shubb Deluxe

Pedals - Boss RC-300 Loopstation
               Digitech Vocalist II 
               Digitech 7 band EQ - 1 for guitar and 1 for vocals 
               Boss GT-100  - Guitar sounds

               Roland GR-55 - bass, percussion, piano, sax, trumpet, etc.
               Roland GR-33 - bass, percussion, piano, sax, trumpet, etc.


Mixer -  Mackie 1202LZ

Power Amp - Crest CA9

Rack Effects - Oddyssey Sliding top rack
                          Alesis Quadraverb - for reverb
                          Digitech Vocalist II - for vocal harmonies
                          DBX Dual 31 band EQ
                          Alesis Nano Compressor - for vocals

Speakers -  JBL SR4726