The Current's Guitar Collection: Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear, Guild T-50

Grizzly Bear perform in The Current studio
Dan Rossen of Grizzly Bear's Guild T-50 guitar (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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Grizzly Bear visited The Current studio in early December, where they visited with Mark Wheat and played songs from their most recent album, Painted Ruins.

After the session, Daniel Rossen took a few minutes to tell us about one of the guitars he had on hand that day — a vintage guitar he bought that quickly turned out to be one of his favorites. Here's what Rossen had to say.

What kind of guitar do you have here?

It's a Guild T-50; I think it's from '67, I don't know actually for sure. But it's a late-'60s Guild.

Where did you find it?

I found it used pretty cheap in a used-music store in New York. It was Main Drag Music in Brooklyn, just a classic New York shop.

I didn't know what it was when I first saw it, but since I found this guitar, it's been my primary instrument ever since for sure. It's the thing.

What do you appreciate about it?

You can just beat the hell out of it; I think that's partially why I like it. It's very simple, just one pickup.

I was looking for something to function kind of like an acoustic live but could also be electric. This Guild, it has a particular kind of grit and quality to that pickup. It's a very specific pickup. I was actually trying to retrofit — nerdily — a newer one, to try to make it sound like that, so I could have a durable road backup, but I cannot find that pickup for the life of me. It's a very specific DeArmond pickup from the early '60s that is just not really around. It's not very easy to find.

But there are just a couple little particular combinations of elements in that guitar that make it very specific, very special.

And you say it's now your primary guitar?

Yeah! It kind of became the sound … I find I need to have a vocabulary of tones that I want to get integrated into the writing, and that guitar very quickly was like, "Oh yeah, of course. This is a player. This is going to be there all the time."

I have a relationship with it. It's one of those instruments that you can always find something that sounds right on it. It always does the job.

When I was younger, I used to play a jazz guitar, archtops. I think I had a cheap Epiphone Casino, but the Guild, when I found it, I was just like, "That's going to be the thing."

Resources

Grizzly Bear - official site

Main Drag Music, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Guild Guitars

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  • Grizzly Bear perform in The Current studio Grizzly Bear's new album, 'Painted Ruins,' is their first in five years, and they've been busy touring in support of it. In town for a show at the Palace Theatre, Grizzly Bear stopped at The Current for a session hosted by Mark Wheat.

4 Photos

  • Grizzly Bear perform in The Current studio
    Guild T-50 played by Dan Rossen of Grizzly Bear (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Grizzly Bear perform in The Current studio
    Guild T-50 played by Dan Rossen of Grizzly Bear (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Grizzly Bear perform in The Current studio
    Guild T-50 played by Dan Rossen of Grizzly Bear (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Grizzly Bear perform in The Current studio
    Dan Rossen of Grizzly Bear's Guild T-50 guitar (Nate Ryan | MPR)

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