Interview: Todd Grubbs

Dan McAvinchey: Todd, who were some of your early guitar influences?

Todd Grubbs: KISS! I know this is a cliché, but it's the truth. First it was tennis rackets, then I moved on to guitar. After Ace Frehley some of my early guitar heroes were Uli Jon Roth, Jeff Beck, Steve Morse, and Michael Schenker.

Dan McAvinchey: What guitars and amplification do you use to get your sound?

Todd Grubbs: I use PRS Guitars mainly because they are well made, sound great, and feel very good. I also use Fenders; I have a Strat and a Tele -- you just can't get those sounds anywhere else. I've got a 30th anniversary Marshall 3-channel head. It's very flexible and has that Marshall sound.

Dan McAvinchey: What are you striving to achieve musically?

Todd Grubbs: I'm trying to grow as a musician and create a body of work that I'm proud of. I always try to please myself first, and hopefully others will enjoy what I do. I will always write and record music whether I have ten or ten million fans because I love to play and create something from nothing.

Dan McAvinchey: What are your most recently completed projects and what's currently in the works?

Todd Grubbs: My most recent CD is "Combination" and I'm in the middle of an all new instrumental CD that will be out in early 1997. I plan to also record some kind of vocal project before long.

Dan McAvinchey: Do you work with others when composing your music?

Todd Grubbs: At this point I write everything myself but I would like to collaborate with another writer. It would be nice to let someone else bring ideas to a project. I write music anywhere it hits me, even if I don't have a guitar. Mainly I write in my rehearsal space.

Dan McAvinchey: Do you record at home as well or rent time at a commercial facility?

Todd Grubbs: Both. I always record drums and mix in a big studio, but I'm doing a lot of the tracking at home on my Alesis ADAT digital 8-track recorder.

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Dan McAvinchey: What made you decide to release an independent, self-financed record?

Todd Grubbs: I was offered a couple of small record deals, but the contracts were ridiculous so I invested my own money, and it's starting to pay off. At least this way you own your product.

Dan McAvinchey: Any disadvantages of being an independent musician?

Todd Grubbs: Distribution is a big disadvantage, but you do have total creative freedom, and that, to me, is very important.

Dan McAvinchey: Would you have any promotion tips or any inspirational message for musicians about to release their first independent record?

Todd Grubbs: Look into as many avenues for promoting yourself as possible, and don't be afraid to send a lot of promo CDs out. Look at it as a challenge; it truly is amazing what you can accomplish if you work hard!

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Guitarist/songwriter Todd Grubbs, from Brandon, Florida, has been involved with music for over 20 years. In 1994, Grubbs released an all-instrumental, guitar-driven CD, "Combination", which was totally self-financed. The eleven tracks on "Combination" reveal Grubbs' formidable guitar technique along with demonstrating an original compositional style -- and a sense of humor! Grubbs has also been online with his own web site since 1994.

Dan McAvinchey asked Grubbs about his music and invited him to share his reasons for recording his project with his own money instead of pursuing a standard recording contract.