“Like every good TV-watching American child, I grew up adoring science fiction movies and comic books. Then I was introduced to the whole psychedelic experience and that was another trip! But the psychedelic music I’d heard was ornate and delicate. There were few examples of heavy acid rock. There was Pink Floyd of course, but Hawkwind plugged into that cheesy sci-fi thing and they changed my life! They weren’t pussyfooting around. They weren’t promising flowers or some nirvana at the end of their rainbow. It was people dying in outer space! Dead astronauts! They had naked women writhing on stage.
"No one appreciated Hawkwind more than I did. They rewired my young brain. My love for Dave Brock’s guitar was a huge influence when I started Monster Magnet. He was like, ‘I’m gonna play these three chords until my hands drop off!’.
"I love Amon Düül II too. They’re one of my favourite prog bands because they weren’t too delicate about it. They were the Bigfoot of prog! While everyone else was dancing around trying to be all elegant, they were the lead-footed monsters stomping through the forest, trying to eat people. They had these plodding monster songs with a guy screaming in German over the top. It was irresistible! When they were at their best they had a secret weapon, Dave Anderson, the first bass player for Hawkwind. People say ‘Oh, Hawkwind was great with Lemmy!’ but they were great before.
"David Gilmour also does more with less. He leaves more space between his notes. The guy could shred if he wanted to, but why shred if you’re using up all the ideas in your head just to impress someone? That’s just adolescent. David Gilmour is an adult guitar player and he was that way when he was a kid. His solo records are really underrated. I don’t know why. There’s beautiful stuff on there."