Adriano Sergio, father of Ergon
Guitars, was a musician and guitar technician. Now he is a guitar-maker.
He’s living his dream, making cool hand-carved guitars, looking at each
musician who enters his shop, Guitar Rehab in Lisbon (Portugal)
as an opportunity to design, investigate and create a new instrument, a new
source of sound waiting to unleash.
Looking at his guitars, it is as wood doesn’t resist his hands: sexy
curves are sculpted in maple, swamp ash and mahogany.
BT, RB, JF are the mysterious initials of his 3 available guitar designs on www.ergonguitars.com, but Adriano is open to discuss -with each new client or musician- what’s the design and creation that best matches with desires and necessities.
Creativity, passion, soul and know-how find their physical expression in Adriano’s guitars. Lundgren, Bare Knuckle and others pickups do the rest.
We’ll closely watch Adriano’s evolution: we’re sure his smile is hiding a new insane idea…
1. GUITARS EXCHANGE: How did you end up becoming, or start out as, a luthier?
Adriano Sergio (Ergon Guitars): I became a luthier after 15 years working as a guitar tech for various artists, as well as having my own workshop (Guitar Rehab Lisbon), where I repaired instruments for individual customers. Some of my closest customers started asking me to build them a guitar, and that eventually led me to design and build my first solid-body guitar from scratch. Before this moment, I had never built any guitar, not even a copy of another design. And so, the first ever Ergon was born.
2. GUITARS EXCHANGE: What inspires you to design and manufacture a new guitar?
Adriano Sergio (Ergon Guitars): Most of my inspiration comes from the interactions with musician and fellow luthiers, and the basis for any new guitar arises from both that interaction and the gathering of the fundamental aspects of classic designs that have proven to be of value and try to make them better. Better in comfort, playability, building technics and sound, while also giving them a different aesthetic twist. In all of this, when it comes time to actually work on a guitar, I try not to limit myself to old patterns and standards of going about doing things. I try to have an open mind about different solutions and possibilities when facing the development of a new design, or adapting an existing one to a customer’s particular needs.
3. GUITARS EXCHANGE: Do you look for a given sound for any particular reason?
Adriano Sergio (Ergon Guitars): When it is a private order, I discuss with the person and we try to make clear what kind of sound he/she is looking for. When it is my own creation, I gather the experience I gain with the private orders and experiment with different elements and approaches in order to achieve an instrument with a balanced and wide dynamic range of response. Things I look for are a controlled low-end that doesn’t curl in to an undefined rumble and a punchy high-end that isn’t too harsh on the ear.
4. GUITARS EXCHANGE: Select one and talk about: soul, jazz, blues, rock, pop…or other.
Adriano Sergio (Ergon Guitars): I don’t care about the genre of music, as long as it is made and played with passion and soul.
5. GUITARS EXCHANGE: Are you a jobbing artist or a solitary artisan?
Adriano Sergio (Ergon Guitars): If I understood the question correctly, solitary artisan.
6. GUITARS EXCHANGE: What was the last record or CD you bought? And listened to?
Adriano Sergio (Ergon Guitars): That question has made me realize that it has been a long time since I bought a record. In fact, I just bought one today - Bill Frisell, “All We Are Saying…”. Thank you for the question.
7. GUITARS EXCHANGE: Electric or acoustic?
Adriano Sergio (Ergon Guitars): Both.
8. GUITARS EXCHANGE: What is the secret behind your choice of wood?
Adriano Sergio (Ergon Guitars): Using my ears and believing in my (in)sanity.
...AND TWO HANDS
9. GUITARS EXCHANGE: Why should we consider luthier-crafted guitars as a viable option to guitars made by the large manufacturers?
Adriano Sergio (Ergon Guitars): We should considered it a viable option because I believed that a luthier has more pride in his/her work, and there for he/she invests a larger amount of effort to ensure the quality of it. Something that is not such a big concern of large manufacturers. Also, the luthier has as much curiosity about the possibility and the outcome of a new instrument as the musician who order it, which also is reflected in a more intimate relationship between the three - the luthier, the musician and the instrument. To the luthier, quality always outstrips quantity.
10. GUITARS EXCHANGE: Who plays your guitars? Who would you like to have play your guitars?
Adriano Sergio (Ergon Guitars): The people who play my guitars are manly local professional musicians and other guitar lovers that find something unique about my guitars’ design and sound.
I never thought much about who I would like to have play my instruments. I would say that I hope it will be people who enjoy my work and find in it a trusty tool or a good friend.
Ergon Guitars Official Website