10 Questions We Ask Everyone

Seth Baccus - Portugal

Seth Baccus is a young guitar maker with a lot of experience on his back. He grew up at Manson’s (Andy is his stepfather). He worked with such artists as Led Zeppelin. He has been able to see and regularly play an incredible array of instruments. How many people could say they’ve played Jimmy Page #1 Gibson Les Paul or his Gibson Stairway-SG Double Neck EDS-1275?


1. GUITARS EXCHANGE: How did you end up becoming, or start out as, a luthier?
SETH BACCUS: My step father is Andy Manson who is a world renowned acoustic guitar maker. He has made guitars for such people as John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Ian Anderson and Martin Barre (Jethro Tull) Mike Oldfield, Joshua Homme (Queens of the stone age), Don Felder (Eagles) and many more. So I grew up surrounded by guitars and saw dust. I spent many years managing Manson’s guitar shop in the Uk, working closely with Hugh Manson on the development of the Manson Matt Bellamy (Muse) guitars before starting my own line of instruments in 2010.  

2. G.E.: 
What inspires you to design and manufacture a new guitar?
S.B.: I am completely in love with guitars. All kinds of guitars from Vintage classics to the Midi Kaoss pad loaded modern guitars we built at Mansons. I always in the back of my mind have  the ideas for my new designs, offering some tweeks and refinements to some classic ideas. I have a tone and feel in my mind then it’s time to hit the drawing board! It’s a very exciting process.  

3. G.E.: Do you look for a given sound for any particular reason?
S.B.: As I said before I have a tone in mind when designing a particular model. I spent over a decade in guitar retail so I was able to really understand what players are looking for in a certain instrument. So each model is designed to deliver something unique tonally to suit different styles of players and music.

4. G.E.: Select one and talk about: soul, jazz, blues, rock, pop…or other.
S.B.: I guess my main genre that I listen to personally is rock. It started when I was about 4 years old and I fell in love with Bruce Springsteen's music that my mum was always playing. When it came to me buying my first album with my own pocket money it was Guns N Roses Use your illusion. I immediately was hypnotized by the power of Slash’s guitar playing. From that moment on I have been hooked on rock n roll!
I also was very lucky to work for John Paul Jones as his backline technician on several tours and also the Led Zeppelin reunion show in 2007. The whole experience of being at the rehearsals everyday and being with those guys through that time was a real slice of Rock history.
I am genuinely a music lover though so I do appreciate and listen to a lot of other styles of music. One of my favorite artists currently is Bjork for example. She is so original in everything she does.

5. G.E.: Are you a jobbing artist or a solitary artisan?
S.B.: These days I like the peace and quiet of being a fairly solitary artisan.  

6. G.E.: What was the last record or CD you bought? And listened to?
S.B.: Alain Johannes – Fragments and Wholes vol 1. It’s a great album and he is even playing one of my guitars on a few tracks.    

...ONE BODY...

7. G.E.: Electric or acoustic?
S.B.: Electric (smile)    

...ONE NECK...

8. G.E.: What is the secret behind your choice of wood?
S.B.: it very much depends on the type of voice I am going for. But I always select the most naturally resonant woods I can find and look for stable grain patterns.      


9. G.E.: Why should we consider luthier-crafted guitars as a viable option to guitars made by the large manufacturers?
S.B.: There will always be a market for a specialist artisan, creating instruments with a care and attention to detail that you just can’t offer in mass production.
I recently exhibited at The Holy Grail Guitar Show in Berlin, and I have to say it really felt like something special, that I was part of something, so many amazing people doing some really beautiful and outstanding work. I was proud to be among my Luthiery brothers and sisters. This is in my opinion the second “Golden Age of guitar making”

10. G.E.: Who plays your guitars? Who would you like to have play your guitars?
S.B.: I’m lucky enough to have a few well known customers which helps develop a reputation but I am just happy to be building guitars for people who will get joy from playing them. Whether it be someone just playing at home for a creative release or whether it be on stages in front of thousands of people. My aim is for the player to emotionally connect with the instrument. If I achieve this I am very happy and proud to have made it for them. It’s my way of being part of the circus we call music!  

For sale on Guitars Exchange: Nautilus Drop Top 2013
Official Baccus Guitars website: www.sethbaccus.com