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Extreme Guitars Ax Facts & Stats interview with Alliance & BOSTON guitarist Gary Pihl

By Dave B. Roberts. Check out featured in the forthcoming Ax Facts & Stats Volume 2 book due for release in the near future

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My name is: Gary Pihl

My current gig is: Alliance and Boston.

My hometown: Boston, MA

My current album or project is: Alliance – Fire and Grace.

Former bands: Sammy Hagar , All41, Fox, Day Blindness.

My guitar influences growing up were: Duane Eddy, Ventures, Rolling Stones.

The guitars I use are: Bill Foley, PRS S2 Standard.

The strings and tunings I use are: 9-46 or 10-46 standard A440.

My current rig setup consists of: Tube amp I built for Alliance recordings, Rockman gear for Boston gigs.

The greatest invention for guitars is: the pickup.

My normal songwriting process consists of: riffs, words and arrangement – in that order.

My favorite guitar solo from our band: Reason to Walk Away – Alliance, Walk On - Boston.

My favorite all-time guitar solo (from another guitarist): While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Favorite all-time song (any artist) is: Tempted By The Fruit of Another - Squeeze.

Favorite song by our band: Road to Heaven – Alliance, Long Time - Boston.

Favorite song to perform in front of a live audience: My My My – Alliance, More Than A Feeling - Boston.

My Career highlight thus far is: Boston’s Third Stage album reached number 1.

My most embarrassing moment on stage: throwing up when sick with flu.

Other than my guitar and amps, the one piece of my gear that I cannot live without is: compressor.

The first song I ever mastered on guitar: Red River Valley.

My first guitar was: Stella acoustic.

The first time I ever heard our band on the radio was (when and where): 1969 San Francisco, Day Blindness.

If I am only sure of one thing in life, It's: the Golden Rule.

The one ritual I always perform prior to going on stage is: tune up.

The exact moment I knew I would pursue a career in music was: When I was in 8th grade, my band played at a 7th grade dance.

The one thing most fans don't know about me is: my left thumb is double jointed.

The best advice I could give beginning guitarists: go to school.

Music/Band(s) I'm listening to right now: Jeff Beck.

My 3 all-time favorite albums: Donald Fagen – Nightfly, Axis Bold is Love – Hendrix, White Album - Beatles.

Best gig: Rochester Memorial 1987 – my first gig with Boston.

Favorite junk food: bagels.

My biggest pet peeve: violence.

The word or catch phrase I say too much is: obviously .

The hardest part of my job: waiting for the next tour.

What I like to do in my "off" time: tube amp design.

The first thing I do when I come home from touring is: kiss my wife.

Previous or first day job: photographer.

Right after this interview I'm going to: play guitar.

I couldn't imagine being on the road without: a book.

If I wasn't doing the musician thing, I could really see myself working as: photographer.

Favorite movie: Casablanca.

My mission in life: make the world a little better than when I found it.

My guilty pleasure band or artist: Keith Urban.

My next goal is: archive Boston video footage for potential live DVD.

The greatest contribution guitars/music have brought into my life is: travel.

Check out our Website at:

The one musician I would love to work with that I have not yet had the chance would be: Paul Rodgers

If I could have three wishes, they would be: world peace, End hunger, Save the planet

When it's all said and done, I want the world to remember me for: being a guitarist in a rock band


Copyright July 2019 Dave Roberts & &

Copyright 2019 Dave B. Roberts & is the web home of articles and interviews written by Dave Roberts. All Dave Roberts interviews & articles are available for use or FREE reprint ONLY by Permission and proper credits. Permission can be obtained by contacting All materials are Copyright 1999-2018 Dave Roberts and Ent., All Rights Reserved.


This interview will appear in the forthcoming Ax Facts & Stats vol. 2 book, but in the meantime, be sure to check out OTHER exclusive Ax Facts & Stats interviews in's Ax Facts & Stats, Vol. 1 on sale now at, and many other fine online book retailers!

This large format 8.5 by 11 inch paperback Features 97 of's celebrated Ax Facts & Stats interviews; including tons of classics from our extensive archive spanning the last 10 years as well as dozens of BRAND NEW never seen interviews! Interviews include guitarists from 3 Doors Down, Anvil, Foghat, Puddle of Mudd, Hall & Oates, Evans Blue, The Great Kat, Finger Eleven, Staind, Train, Gwar, Halestorm, Hinder, Judas Priest, Gary Hoey, Night Ranger, Shinedown, Alabama, Janis Ian, O.A.R., Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Matchbox Twenty, Sick Puppies, Styx, Stone Sour, Tantric, Candlebox, Sevendust, Stryper, Derek Trucks, Thriving Ivory, Seven Mary Three, Chicago, Cracker and many others! A portion of proceeds from every book sold is being donated to the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund. Check out the book's official website at for complete lineup

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