The Current's Guitar Collection: Adam Castilla of The Colourist

The Colourist's Adam Castilla tunes his Gibson Midtown Custom guitar in the studio of 89.3 The Current.
The Colourist's Adam Castilla tunes his Gibson Midtown Custom guitar in the studio of 89.3 The Current. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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Adam Castilla is the front man of The Colourist, a cheekily self-described "math pop" band out of Orange County, Calif. When The Colourist played an in-studio session at The Current, Castilla took a few minutes to tell us about his guitar.

What kind of guitar are you playing?

I'm using a Gibson Midtown Custom, which is not really a true hollow-body; it's chambered. I've been playing hollow-bodies for years, and I kind of switched to this just because the feel and sustain are perfect for me.

It's kind of like a Les Paul, but hollow-body sounding and very comfortable to play.

How long have you had it?

I've had it for about a year, so I just recently transitioned to it. I actually got it online. [Gibson] only made it for about a year, year and a half, then they discontinued it.

What about the tone of it do you particularly like?

I really love the sustain on it. It's not too mushy sounding. A lot of hollow-bodies that I've played are kind of big sounding in a way — and not always in the best way. And I'm a huge hollow-body fan, but once I tried the Midtown, it was kind of meant to be. It was kind of weird.

Do you write songs on this?

Yeah, lots of songs. Actually, some of the songs on the EP [Lido] were written with this guitar.

I'm actually a huge fan of writing on hollow-bodies just because it's got the best of both worlds: On a typical electric guitar, if you don't plug it in, it doesn't sound very good. With this, you can strum it — whether plugged in or unplugged — and it sounds great either way.

As a performer, you combine a lot of guitar solo work with simultaneous lead vocals. How do you approach those two disciplines?

It's kind of natural to me, [but] it takes a lot of practice, a lot of messing up to get things right.

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  • Adam Castilla

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