- David "Skinny Devil" McLean
originally published at Tinfoil Music
Date: Sunday, April 11 2004 @ 22:22:00 BST
Nuno Bettencourt is (so far) best known for his work with
Extreme, who formed in 1985. By 1989 they had released their first album
and Nuno Bettencourt was known & respected overnight in the guitar
community. It was their second album, however, that launched Extreme,
and Nuno, into center stage with top ten hits, MTV videos, and world
tours. "Pornograffitti" (released 1990) featured "Decadence Dance", "Get
the Funk Out", "Hole-Hearted" and the number 1 "More Than Words", and
Nuno Bettencourt became a household name.
Extreme disbanded in 1996, but Nuno hasn't slowed down a bit. Not only
has he fronted Mourning Widows and now his new band, Population-1, but
he has continued behind the scenes as a writer and producer.
all his projects, he has demonstrated himself to be not just a
top-flight guitarist, but a song-writer of scope and sophistication. He
has also displayed a great set of pipes, from backing vocals in Extreme
to lead vocals in Population-1. The center piece for fans, however, is
Nuno fantastic guitar playing. Mixing hard-edged rock, steamy blues,
heavy funk, and smooth jazz flavors and pouring it out with passion and
incredible digital dexterity, Nuno is a guitarist's guitarist...and he
has the awards and accolades to prove it.
now with a set-full of songs, a new album, and his new band (who is set
to hit the road soon), Nuno is set to take the spotlight under the big
Keep track of Nuno at his web-site, and Population-1 at their web-site, and keep your dial tuned into Tinfoil Music for a CD review soon!
I had a chance to speak to Nuno recently - check it out!
1. What are your current projects?
current project is my band, Population 1. We are currently writing,
rehearsing and playing in Los Angeles. Also, I co-wrote Tantric's
current single, "Hey Now;" doing various studio sessions, including Toni
Braxton and a project for one of Wyclef Jean's artists.
2. How does this (do these) differ from your past work?
How do they differ? Hmmm, they don't, it's all about music.
3. Do you have one project that you are most proud of as a guitarist?
Wow, tough one! I'd have to say the early Extreme stuff, probably the more guitar oriented rock I've done in the past.
4. Can you give our readers a run-down of your basic gear (live and/or studio)?
I use 3 heads and 1 cabinet. A '69 Marshall cab, Hughes and Kettner
head, a Marshall JMP for solos, a Marshall JCM for rhythm, a MXR phase
90, a couple of Rat pedals, and a bar of soap.
5. Who would you cite as early influences, and who are your favorite new players?
Page/Led Zeppelin, Joe Perry/Aerosmith, Al DiMeola, Paco de Lucia were
influential. Also, some of the tasty players include Elliot Easton/Cars,
Neal Schon/Journey, and Pat Travers --he's a big influence.
the guys now, gee does guitar exist anymore? Seriously, the guy from
Radiohead, Tom Morrelo/Audioslave & Rage Against The Machine, and
Dean DiLeo/Stone Temple Pilots.
6. Can you give a few tips to aspiring players?
math, as much as you put into it, is as much as you get out of it. You
want to be a good player -- you practice!!!! Want to be a good
songwriter -- you write a lot!!!
7. What are your future plans?
Reclaiming the planet.
8. Thanx for talking to us, Nuno!