Ryan Peake and Chad Kroeger of Nickelback visit The Gibson Flying V Website

Ryan very kindly accepted to give an interview for The Site and Flying V fans shortly before their gig at Caribana Festival on June 10th 2004. As a bonus, Ryan and Chad came to visit the Flying V collection.

Straight on, Ryan accepted to play with the tradition of posing with The Site icon Flying V (that answered to my "How do you play your V sitting down?" question up front!).

Why a Gibson Flying V ?  Ryan wanted a new style for "The Long Road" album. "The Flying V is The Rock guitar, it definitely has an aura!". He started playing them about a year ago. He has been playing Gibsons (and vintages) for years though.

How many do you own ? Currently 5, 4 Limited 98 natural models. 1 is a Lucite replica made for me by Dillion (Les Paul kind of weight). Vintage guitars stay at home, these are "road" instruments.

Why all natural ? They go through considerable road use so when the finish is too damaged (that is: not on purpose), I can just sand the guitar.

Do they have any modifications ? Yes I use EMG-81 PUs so the guitars have 2 pots and the switch is moved towards the jack. Gibson is now doing this mod directly in the factory for my guitars, there are no extra holes or patches on the new ones.

What string gauge do you use ? 13-56, you figure out the ones in between (laughs) !

What is the pyro-engraved logo on your guitars ? It's the 100 years old family horse brand, a "flying U".

Have you tried other Gibson Flying V's ? No actually not ! (authors comment : not for long, I've got a surprise for you mate!)

Do you have a Gibson Flying V wish list ? Well I was interested in a white refinished 58 V that was for sale at Gruhn (note, previously at Elderly), the one with the Bigsby.

Have you seen my beat up Explorer ? Gibson will be pulling 2 Natural 98 Limited V's off the production line before finish is applied so that they can be "Peaked" in the same way.

How many hours do you practice a day ? I don't but I wish I could.

Let's get to your gear list !

What about Chad, does he play a V ? He endorses PRS .... He does have an Epi 7 string and I believe a Gibson V. Ask him !

Would you care to visit The Site collection ? Yes by all means, let me finish the TV interview (TSR Garage show hosted by David Cunado - our local equivalent to Chads smile).

Ryan, Chad, welcome to the site !

Chad have you got any Gibson Flying Vs? "Yes I own a couple, the same as Ryans, plus a 7 string Epi". Then looking at mine : "You have to switch your PU to an EMG and it rocks". Got that, will do!

Chad, there is a "Site" tradition and that is to pose with the icon V, will you do it ? I'm not really into pink guitars, but of course, here goes :

After a brief "History of the Flying V accross the ages" by your host, we tried out some Vs.

Chad with a 1975 Pelham Blue : you use EMGs, right ? Try these out they are Gibson Burstbuckers #3. Quite good indeed !
So Chad tunes the E down to a D and goes into a very heavy "Never Again" ... (Ryan's looking at a 79 bloc inlay, preferred models of  Michael Schenker, Graham Oliver-Saxon, Carlos Cavazo-Quiet Riot).

Ryan was interested in a nice looking black V, that's Lenny signature model, based on a historic 67! Chad being plugged in and thus having an advantage starts a Nickelbackesque version of  Kravitz "Always on the run" - cool & loud (who said I was complaining?).

Chad what about playing Michael Schenkers Flying V ? Wow the action is so low !
Then memories must come back because Chad cannot supress a wide grin while he kicks the Schenks "Armed & Ready".

How about a little wah ? (so I switch to the "Schenker lead") and here goes Chad into a solo that seems just coming right out of a never published MSG track! Hey maybe we could have a bit of that on the next Nickelback album!

Chad likes wider necks so he feels quite comfortable with a 1989 Flying V Double, "it's been ages I haven't played with one of those!" (the licenced Floyd Rose whammy), so he goes into abysmal bends and pulls for our finest entertainment !

We try out different Vs and sounds to eventually close the session with a surprise : Chad, try this one out, it's a bit different. So I give him my 1981 bound fretboard V with a Fishman transducer in the Tune-O-Matic with a real accoustic setting (through a Roland Accoustic simulator).
He was obviously taken by surprise - there is more in a V than meets the eye ! I switch to a combo accoustic + paralled distorted sound : "you can actually play both guitar parts of Alanis Morissette songs like that". The answer came back as fast as a Federer return : "who wants to play Alanis songs???" Nickelback 1 - The Gibson FlyingV Website 0.

That concluded the visit.

Later we met at the show - outstanding !
Here are some selected pictures fo you V fans !

You didn't think Nickelback was a hard rock band ? you thought we would play Someday & This is how you remind me ? WRONG !