Ax Facts and Stats: Brave New South's Mike Estes

Another Exclusive Interview/questionnaire type thingie by Dave Roberts exclusively for Extreme Guitars.

Welcome back to another edition of Extreme Guitars's "AX Facts & Stats"; the guitarist's SAT. In this segment, Brave New South's singer, song writer and, of course, lead guitarist Mike Estes, former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist (1993-96) was gracious enough to participate in our usual list of, or should I say "unusual" list of fill-in-the-blank bio facts & stats. -Dave Roberts Copyright 2002 Dave Roberts/Extreme Guitars, All Rights Reserved.

My name is: Mike Estes

My current job is: Guitarist, vocalist

My hometown: White Bluff, TN

My current album or project is: Too many to name! Former band(s): Helen Highwater, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Drivin' Sideways

My guitar influences growing up were: Allen Collins, Steve Gaines, Eric Clapton

The guitars I use are: a reissue a '95 Gibson Les Paul Special, '59 Les Paul Jr, a custom made Telecaster given to me by Ed King, Gibson SST and J-200 acoustics.

The strings and tunings I use are: Gibson VR 10's on electric, Gibson Phosphor bronze 11's and 12's on acoustic. Mostly standard or dropped D tuning

My current rig setup consists of: a 30 watt Peavey classic, '67 Fender Super, a silver Deluxe, and various other old Fenders in the studio. Live, Peavey classic 50's or Classic 100 with a 4x12 cab with Celestion Vintage 30's, or a reissue Marshall Plexi 50 watt with that cab. I don't use effects except a little bit of the amp's 'verb, and a killer boss pedal tuner. Sometimes a phaser or an old MXR Dyna comp in the studio.

The greatest invention for guitars is: The flight case!

My normal song writing process: Starts with a melody or a hook, or maybe a guitar riff. I write the lyrics until I'm happy with them.

My favorite Mike Estes song is: "Me and the Devil Himself" (unreleased at this time).

My favorite Mike Estes solo is: The middle one in Snake Bit

My Career highlight is: meeting and playing with some of my favorite pickers.

My most embarrassing moment on stage: once with Skynyrd, my tech had my volume down on my neck pickup, cause I rarely used it live, and Gary came over before my solo on What's Your Name, and gave me a friendly shove, knocking the pickup switch to the Rhythm position, cutting off my solo. He DID apologize though!

The one piece of my gear that I cannot live without is: my new Boss TU 2 tuner

The first song I mastered on guitar: the G chord! My first guitar was: a Yamaha acoustic which I still have

The one thing most fans don't know about me is: I'm a good swimmer!

The best advise I could give beginning guitarists: Learn the neck best you can, write great songs and play hard with soul

The CD(s) I'm listening to right now: Steve Gaines "I Know a Little live".

My 3 all-time favorite albums: Lynyrd Skynyrd "Second Helping", Steve Earle "Guitar Town", The Legendary Hank Williams, Sr., That's today anyway. It could change tomorrow!

I'm a sucker for: killer tone

If I could meet any ONE person living or dead, he would be: JEB Stuart

If I was a boxer, My boxing name would be: Mischief Mike Estes

My favorite junk food: Pretzels and Wow chips or Hot wings and tater skins

My biggest pet peeve: car trouble

The word or catch phrase i say way to much is: "Killer"

The hardest part of my job is: downtime

I knew I hit the "big time": I heard a song of mine on the radio

The worst job I ever had: Way too many to name

Right after this interview I'm going: to the car wash

My greatest regret is: I once sold a mint '68 ES 335 for 800 dollars.

The one musician I would love to work with, That I have not yet had the chance, would be: Richard Bennett

My greatest obsession: Bass fishin'

My first band was: 100 Proof

My next move is: To get out of this chair

The greatest contribution guitars have brought into my life is: The opportunity to write songs, have fun and see the world

The coolest toy I had growing up was a Slingshot

If I could have three wishes, they would be: Mo' money, mo' money, and some mo' money!

I couldn't imagine being on the road without: boiled peanuts and chocolate milk

If I wasn't doing the musician thing, I could really see myself working as: an Ad agent

My favorite movie ever: The Usual Suspects

My mission in life is: to write killer songs

Points of Interest:

Born: Michael George Estes 12-7- 63

Mike's band Helen Highwater was named by Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Allen Collins.

Mike Estes endorses: Gibson Guitars, Gibson Strings, Peavey Amps, ART. Electronics, Seymour Duncan pickups, Svetlana Tubes, Renegade Headwear.

Brave New South was founded in the summer of '98 by vocalist-guitarist-songwriter Mike Estes.

Mike Estes started his musical career playing piano in the fifth grade.

Estes got his first electric, a cheap Silvertone, out of his neighbors' garbage can.

Mike had struck up a friendship while in high school in 1982 with the guys in the Rossington Collins Band.

Extreme Guitars: Thank you so much Mr. Mike Estes for being a part of Extreme Guitars "AX Facts & Stats". We want to wish you and Brave New South the best of luck on your new release, "Mike Estes & Brave New South" and continued success! Make sure to check back for the next installment of Extreme Guitars's "AX Facts & Stats" coming soon!

All materials Copyright Dave Roberts, All Rights Reserved. All articles are available for use or reprint ONLY by Permission.

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