Seeing a Guy Buttery show is, more often than not, a chance at witnessing one of the most unique live acoustic acts that SA has to offer. Always perched on a chair, long hair swept to the side and tucked behind an ear, Guy has been known to bring into his performing repertoire a sitar, a saw and bow, and at times, a loop pedal to combine all three.
If you’ve ever stayed after the show to have a quick chat with the quiet finger style guitarist, you’ll also know that he’s got a brilliant sense of humour. A few days into the national tour of his latest, eponymous album, we caught up with Guy for a light hearted Q&A and a few musings on cruel instruments, snakes, and buffets.
What’s your biggest fear?
I’ve never been a big fan of the black mamba. I spend a fair bit of time in the bos and have come across 5m African Rock Pythons, rhino’s, monitor lizards bigger than my person, but the mamba is just not kiff hey. Many a snake dream has awoken me in the dark of night screaming in Parseltongue.
Who was the last person you texted?
It was my drummer Gareth Gale for a rehearsal this morning. He arrived exactly 2 mins late.
Any strange habits you just can’t shake?
I’ve been biting my nails since the 80s. What’s strange about it is that my right hand has 3 kak long nails reinforced with layers of acrylic powder to speel the kitaar more better. 7 nails are totally chowed down but the other 3 talons tend to scare off parental units at my nephew’s birthday parties. He’s a lot younger than I am.
You’re stranded on a small island off the coast of South Africa and you can only have one thing with you. What would it be and why?
A buffet. I like buffets.
Is there any instrument/object you’ve tried to play that really just didn’t work?
Fret-less instruments have been openly laughing at me for years. I don’t understand why they don’t just put frets on them. What a mission. Intonation issues seem so 1795. Meh.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
Photographs of Guy Buttery by Jacki Bruniquel.