Twist For Horse Riding Heroes
(DMG / Broken Silence)


French guitarist Philippe Caillat-Grenier is a legend of the early 1980s jazz-rock and fusion scene and he’s back big time with his late 2012 “Surf-Jazz” CD entitled Twist For Horse Riding Heroes. Released over in Germany, where he plays a lot, the nine track CD is filled with a range of jazz mixed up with a surf-rock twist, hence the appropriate name of the CD. Caillat has guitar chops aplenty and he puts his vast fretboard technique to good use here. Backed up by a tight rhythm section and second guitarist Johanna Weckesser, there’s plenty of hot jazz grooves and surf-rock instrumental fans will listen in amazement. The CD is quite well recorded, as you’d expect, plus there’s some great artwork including a picture of Philippe looking like Zorro The Fox. If The Ventures put a jazzy spin on their rockin’ instrumental guitars sound, they might end up sounding like this. Filled with nine all new original tracks, Philippe Caillat-Grenier’s Twist For Horse Riding Heroes is surf-fusion for the 21st century made to be played loud by surf-rock, jazz-rock and instrumental rock fans. presents an interview with

mwe3: Why do you call your new album Twist For Horse Riding Heroes and how did the album come together? It’s a modern surf-jazz classic. Can you say something about your band and the musical chemistry you have together on the new CD and have you done live concerts with the band?

PHILIPPE CAILLAT-GRENIER: To honor the memories of my youth because I would often watch wild-west movies which I really enjoy.

Drummer Alex Vesper and bass guitar player Hannes Vesper are from Cologne, and guitar player Johanna Weckesser is from Berlin, Germany. The percussion player Daniel Sicart is from Montpellier, France. The drummer is featured on my last two albums. The natural chemistry has simply built up, without wasting any words, each of us loving and perfectly understanding their part to play... the right casting.

Yes, we have had live concerts with this group, but, as usual in Europe, management remains the main problem.

mwe3: Where were you born, what was growing up there like and where do you currently live and what do you like about it?

PHILIPPE CAILLAT-GRENIER: I was born in Paris and moved around a lot in my youth: France, Tunisia, Corsica, Germany. I now still live in Germany. My wife is German.

mwe3: What guitars are you using on the Twist For Horse Riding Heroes CD? How has your choice of guitars changed through the years and what guitars interest you these days? What amps, strings, effects and pics do you prefer?

PHILIPPE CAILLAT-GRENIER: I play a Fender Relic Jazzmaster. A fantastic guitar, perfect for this album. I can’t do without my Jazzmaster, which is one of my favorite 3 guitars along with a Telecaster and a Statocaster. To play jazz and fusion, I favor an Epiphone Arch Top and a Les Paul.

As far as amps are concerned, I use a Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue or a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe or a Vox AC30. As for effects, I use T-Rex Replica /Lexicon MPX 550. My favorite strings are minimum .010 and .011 for the Les Paul, .012 for jazz guitars and I use Dunlop 1.5 mm or soft .046mm or Dunlop nylon pics according to the music, as well as thumb M-30, M-20 Zookies.

mwe3: What studio was the Twist For Horse Riding Heroes CD recorded in and can you say something about the recording of the tracks, the mixing and mastering? The CD has a great sound and the video of “Glory Be To Z” is brilliant too.

PHILIPPE CAILLAT-GRENIER: The album was recorded in Cologne, Germany, and mixed and mastered in France’s Recall Studio in Pompignan by the great sound engineer Philippe Gaillot. The video was done in Germany by Media Productiv Klaus Richter.

mwe3: Who were your favorite guitar players back in the 1960s up to today and what are some of your favorite rock, jazz and classical albums? On the new CD some tracks sound Hank Marvin influenced, which is a great idea. You must have been a Shadows fan. What other guitar groups did you like?

PHILIPPE CAILLAT-GRENIER: In the 1960's, of course The Shadows, The Ventures and... Hank Marvin of course.

I like innovative guitar players such as Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Jimi Hendrix, Dick Dale, Jeff Beck, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, John Scofield, Eric johnson, and all the great blues men.

I don’t have any favorite album. I like all good music from blues to metal, via jazz, country, punk, funky... ultra fast guitar players too, but this type belongs to performance and asks for respect.

mwe3: How long do you know Jean Pierre Llabador? I see his postings on your Facebook page are great.

PHILIPPE CAILLAT-GRENIER: I’ve know JP Llabador since the 1970s. We are old friends. He is a man of great humor as well as an outstanding guitar player and composer.

mwe3: I hope you can release another Surf-Jazz instrumental type CD with those swinging 1960s type vibes...

PHILIPPE CAILLAT-GRENIER: I hope so too, but it has to be natural. I have some idea on the subject and it will sure be positive groove which I will enjoy and which other people will, hopefully, also enjoy...

Thanks to Philippe Caillat-Grenier @


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