Glenn Proudfoot Summons the Riff Gods on His New Album, 'Fire & Rain'
Glenn Proudfoot is nothing if not prolific. The Australian guitarist/vocalist has played in several bands over the past few years, most notably the European prog-rock outfit Pražský VýbÐr. At the same time, he’s also established an impressive track record as a solo artist as he releases his fourth album, Fire & Rain.
Proudfoot, who grew up an AC/DC and Metallica fanatic, remains a resolute advocate for the fundamental importance of the killer riff, even though Fire & Rain’s melodicism sounds tailor-made for active rock radio.
He explains, “I always want to introduce a heavy, tough riff that listeners can sink their teeth into and then take them on the journey of the song with its melody. That was my ambition with this album.”
This marriage is perhaps best captured on “Broken,” Fire & Rain’s opener and first single. “It’s a really good introduction into the album,” Proudfoot says. “It encapsulates what it’s all about. It’s heavy, with some tricky guitar parts in it, with a big chorus.” The same can be said about “Fire & Rain,” an accessible tune that features a gorgeous, lyrical solo embedded within a propulsive groove. “Riffs that feature syncopation between drums and guitar really affect me. They move me.”
Despite the album’s modern sound, Proudfoot’s gear choices and recording techniques are steeped in tradition. For this record, he leaned heavily on his main ax, an Eighties-vintage Strat Plus, plugged into a Victory VX The Kraken 50-watt amp.
“I record in a really old-school way, with real amps and pedals. I always try to get the most clean signal that I possibly can, whether I’m using gain or not,” he notes. And while he appreciates the utility of amp modeling, he believes his listeners can detect the tonal differences between a cabinet and a computer. “People can feel it when there are real amps used on an album,” he declares. “They know the difference.”
As 2018 approaches, Proudfoot is excited to play his new material for live audiences in Europe and possibly America. “Making this album was an incredibly rewarding process for me,” he says. “It involved a lot of really hard work, but as a result I was able to take myself out of my comfort zones and push myself into new creative areas.”