Thurston Moore Gets His Yuri Landman / Premier Guitar DIY Drone Guitar
Dutch avant-garde luthier Yuri Landman delivers the DIY drone guitar he built for former Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore. Read about the project here: http://www.premierguitar.com/articles...
Perhaps it’s best if I start this article with a confession: I’m mostly known for being “the guy who built guitars for Sonic Youth.” Actually, I only built one guitar for one member of SY—Lee Ranaldo. Even so, I will probably live with this “stigma” for the rest of my life. Not that this worries me—it could be much worse. Here’s the story of how it happened.
In 2006, I built a 12-string, zither-like instrument called the Moodswinger and donated it to Liars, an experimental band based in Los Angeles, as a form of mutual promotion. Full disclosure—this was a setup: I knew they had opened for Sonic Youth a few years before and that the connection might help me get my foot in the door with Lee and Thurston Moore. As soon as I finished that job, I contacted Sonic Youth’s management and offered them the same instrument deal. Within an hour I got a reply saying my request had been forwarded to Lee. The next day Lee enthusiastically replied that he was interested in such a project and proposed something like a harp guitar. The conversations with Lee eventually culminated in the 18-string Moonlander.
After that I did a third instrument called the Bachelor for Jad Fair of Maryland art-punk outfit Half Japanese—which meant I had my weird instruments in the hands of a fresh, hip young band, a famous veteran outfit, and a legendary cult act. They’re three of my favorite bands, for different reasons.
Again, I stress that all three instruments were donations. I insisted on this, since I don’t possess the level of skills most expect from a bona fide luthier. I just have odd ideas and I’m not afraid to try them out. In order to both ensure that I didn’t get complaints and that I could maintain absolute autonomy in the builds, the first condition was not taking any money.