Louisville native and musical phenom Dave Pajo has played guitar with damn near everyone in the world. He’s played with (and been a founding member of) seminal punk outfits Slint and Maurice, played guitar with alternative acts like Stereolab, Zwann and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and English post-punk band, Gang of Four. He’s traveled the world and now calls California home. But the roots are still here in the ‘Ville.
Earthquaker, a guitar device company, has released a short documentary with Pajo talking about growing up in Louisville but also, of course, guitars. Lots and lots of guitar talk but it’s still worth a watch. LEO asked Pajo how the documentary came about and got in a couple other quick questions about the topic.
How did Earthquaker decide to do a documentary about you?
“I can only assume that the EarthQuaker video happened because SunnO))) were asked to choose some of their favorite players to promote the latest version of their Life Pedal, I really am a fan of that pedal, in real life — it’s astonishing. And of course I’m a fan of Sunn as well.”
Are there other upcoming documentaries about your extraordinary life and career?
“That would be amazing! In 2016, a friend looked into publishing a biography on me, but it kind of fell to the wayside. I’ve definitely had some remarkable and intense experiences, for decades now, but… haven’t we all?! I wouldn’t mind documenting all my stories, before my memory continues to worsen. It’s just not very fun to look backwards, unless I’m sitting around with old friends.
Rock books and documentaries have always been a source of inspiration for music writers and musicians, what are some of your favorite rock books/docs?
3. I am definitely more of a fan of documentaries from the olden days. When there wasn’t a narrator holding your hand, guiding you. I much prefer the observational/ fly-on-the-wall/“direct cinema” style. They show the footage and you form your own judgments… “Don’t Look Back” being the most famous to pioneer this approach. “Cocksucker Blues,” old footage of Muhammad Ali, Monterey Pop festival, Leonard Cohen tour footage… I formed many ideas — some mentioned in later docs, some never mentioned. Mostly I don’t like most modern docs because they talk to me like I’m an idiot.
Earthquaker gives Pajo the stage and here’s the video to prove it.