Often when you pair together two people who are at the top of their game you face the possibility of over doing it or ego getting in the way of a good thing. But, occassionally, when the planets align, it becomes something special as is the case with Mark Easton and Adam Hole in Monster Guitars.
Formed a relatively short two years ago, this musical masterpiece pairing came about when Adam became disillusioned with life in the capital and decided to venture North. “We’ve known each other for about 10 years on the Blues circuit touring around Australia,” Adam explained. “I was living in Canberra at the time and was in a band that broke up so I moved to the Gold Coast. I wasn’t really playing anywhere or working and one day Mark asked if I wanted to come on board and do a few gigs with him and I said yeah so we hooked up.
“We had a rehearsal together, and after that we did our first gig and we didn’t even play one of the songs we rehearsed!! We just improvised on stage and that was when we knew we had something together.”
Adam is widely recognised as one of Australia’s premiere solo blues guitarists, recently being mentioned in Chris Johnson’s latest book “Guitar – The Australian Story” alongside Jeff Lang, John Butler and Ash Grunwald. His duo partner, Mark Easton, has had a diverse musical career, starting in a 20 piece Jazz band in his youth before moving on to front 90’s glam rock/punk outfit Candy Harlots and now settling into blues guitar and vocals.
They have both toured extensively and supported many of the big names, but their roots lay in guitar and their love of and ability to play their instruments has to be seen to be truly appreciated.
As Monster Guitars they have already built a strong fanbase through touring, releasing their first CD together, Monster Guitars Live, since their last visit to Cairns twelve months ago.
Their live structure has changed significantly since then, and as such promises to be even better this time around. “We do three sets together now, as opposed to an individual set each and one together like last time we toured,” Adam said. “We started off doing the solo stuff at the beginning, mainly because Mark was touring alot before we got together and doing alot of stuff on his own, and I was doing my solo stuff as well so when we joined forces we thought we would stick with that. After a while we found that we got a bigger and better sound doing the duo all the way through.”
One aspect of seeing the boys play live is the wide array of instruments on show for a duo, with Mark in particular choosing to play more than one at a time. “Mark, he does everything,” Adam pointed out. “He plays the kick drum, he plays the guitar, he plays the bass with a double neck set up he has and he also records and loops the sounds as we go. Oh yeah, he also plays the harmonica.”
The guitar set up used by Mark is rare and difficult to play, and something not many musicians attempt. “The bass is up the top and the guitar down the bottom,” Adam continued. “It’s pretty rare. You do see the double neck with the 12 string on top and the 6 string on the bottom but his has the bass on top which adds to the sound.”
Monster Guitars play at The Railway Hotel on Thursday July 10 and Friday July 11 from 7 p.m. Entry is free