Arts Q&A: Guitarist Simon McBride on AC/DC, Toto and Steve Lukather

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Belfast guitarist Simon McBride

Simon McBride play The Deer's Head in Belfast on March 12
Simon McBride play The Deer's Head in Belfast on March 12

1. When did you think about a career in music and what were your first steps into it?

I never really thought about it. I basically grew up in the music industry as I have been playing since the age of nine and I picked it up very fast so I was playing many TV shows, gigs and guitar clinics since the age of 13, so I haven't really known anything else apart from music so I don't know what the first steps were as I was only a kid and can't really remember.

2. Best gigs you've been to?

The first gig was Gary Moore at the King's Hall in Belfast. This was the first moment I realised I loved music as I was very young.

The second would be Toto in Dublin. I think the venue was called the Mean Fiddler at the time. The reason I loved this gig was because I believe there was a mess up in the venue. It was so small, but it was great for me as I got to hear them as if they were in a rehearsal room; it was that close.

The third would be AC/DC, in Newcastle, England. This is the moment I realised that it's about the performance element as well as the playing as they had a massive show with blow-up dolls, cannons, fireworks and much more. It was amazing.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

AC/DC - all those anthemic songs that every music lover likes.

4. The record you would take to a desert island?

Toto's 40 Tours Around The Sun, simply because I never get bored listening to this record.

5. And the book you would bring to a desert island?

The Gospel According To Luke. This is such an amazing book as it's about American guitarist Steve Lukather's life in the session industry, so it just reminds me of everything I love to do.

6. Top three films?

Terminator 2 - absolutely loved this when I was a kid, and could still watch over and over again.

Dances with Wolves - it is such an epic movie with such a good storyline and the visual aspect of this film is mouth-watering.

Blade Runner - the story is amazing, and the music is unbelievable, I can get lost in that movie.

7. Worst film you've seen?

There are lots, but recently I'd probably say the new Matrix movie, Resurrections. To be honest it's not that bad, but I choose it simply because the ones before that are so hard to live up to.

8. Favourite authors?

I mostly read autobiographies. Most recently I've read The Gospel According to Luke by Steve Lukather, The Dirt about Mötley Crüe, which is a riot from start to finish and The Storyteller by Dave Grohl.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top competitor?

Moto GP. I'm addicted to that sport; I have been ever since I was kid. My favourite rider from the sport would be Valentino Rossi.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

My favourite holiday destination would be Phuket, Thailand - it's paradise.

11. Pet hates?

Bad driving. Who doesn't hate that?

12. What's your favourite:

Dinner? Indian.

Dessert? Chocolate.

Drink? Red wine or brandy.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

My best friend would be a guy called Chris; we know each from working in a music store a long, long time ago.

14. Is there a God?

I honestly have no clue.

Simon McBride is currently back on the road with an Ireland and Britain tour. He plays Whelans in Dublin on March 11 and The Deer's Head in Belfast on March 12. He will be touring with fellow musicians Dave Marks and Marty McCloskey. Tickets available from Ticketmaster. Simonmcbride.net. His new single High Stakes is out now.