Magazine article Guitar Player

Profile: Reb Beach

Magazine article Guitar Player

Profile: Reb Beach

Article excerpt

"It started as a joke," says Reb Beach, referring to "Junkyard Dog," a grinding track from Winger's third and latest album Pull [Atlantic]. "Kip was on the phone. I started going 'gah gunk, gunk, gunk' on guitar and sticking out my tongue. He stopped talking and said, 'Wait a minute, man, that's pretty cool! Can you play that again?'"

Despite the song's grungy vibe, the 29-year-old Beach insists Winger won't be trading spandex for flannels and Doc Martens. "We've always been a heavy-sounding band, but because of pop songs like 'Easy Come, Easy Go,' I don't think we're perceived as one. The Winger of old would never have released 'Junkyard Dog'; we'd have saved it for our own listening pleasure. With bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots, it's cool to be heavier, and it's become hip to wear whatever you happen to be wearing that day onstage. I'm happy about this change--it's exactly what I wanted."

Though the band's first two albums, Winger and In The Heart Of The Young, went platinum, the group decided to part ways with pop/rock producer Beau Hill. On Pull, Mike Shipley (Queen, Def Leppard, AC/DC) shares production tasks with singer/bassist Kip Winger. "We were always pushed to write hit songs with really poppy melodies," allows Reb, "but we still tried to keep the musicianship good. Atlantic just loved 'Miles Away' off our last record. They thought it was going to be a big hit, so we released it. I think our fans were like, 'Oh man, Winger's really gettin' sappy.' Pull is more what we've always wanted to do."

Is Pull the ultimate Reb Beach album? "It's the best record I've ever done," laughs Reb. "It's not as produced. The overall mix is drier, and the guitars are more in-your-face. I wish I could have gotten at least one burning 'Headed For A Heartbreak' type of solo, but in general, I'm real happy with the lead work. …

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