When Laura Cox uploaded her
first guitar video to Youtube in 2008 she could scarcely have imagined the astounding
reaction she would have. Since that time her clips have garnered more than 70 million
views, her channel has over 260,000 subscribers, and her skill on the
six-string has been complimented by living blues legend, Joe Bonamassa.
The success of her cover versions led to her forming her own group, The Laura Cox Band, who have toured in France, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland, and have shared stage with Joanne Shaw Taylor, Chris Slade (AC/DC), and Dr Feelgood.
Guitars Exchange catches up with Laura Cox during a break in touring at her home near Paris, on a cold January day. Today she is working on a video for a pedal demo for one of her French sponsors, Anasounds. “The video is of me playing the intro solo from our debut album ‘Hard Blues Shot’, she says.
GE: How would you describe your debut album (released 10 March 2017)?
LC: It is a mix of music from our main influences like Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top, to hard rock like AC/DC. We like to describe the heart of the album as ‘Southern rock blues’. We have a song ‘Barefoot in the Countryside’, which is more country, and I play banjo on it, and then we have two singles: ‘Hard Blues Shot’, and ‘Good Ol’ Days’, which is more like a southern rock ballad.
GE: How has the record been received?
LC: It has been great. People see us as more of a band now that we have released our album and we have been signed up by a French record label. The only thing that bothers me is that you can only find the album physically in France, Belgium and Switzerland. That’s too bad, but other than that I hear great comments when I meet people, fans and journalists, so we are really happy with that.
GE: Going back to the start of your career, what first interested you in guitar music?
LC: I don’t really know why I picked up a guitar, because there are no other players in my family. My father never played any instruments, but he used to listen to great music, particularly country, like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, and also rock n’ roll like AC/DC and Dire Straits, and this music was a big influence on me when I was 14. I just wanted to play the guitar solos I was hearing on these albums.
My grandmother bought me an acoustic guitar for my birthday. It was a Stagg Dreadnought acoustic, which I sold years ago. So for my next birthday (laughs) I was bought a Squier, and a Fender amp, and was really impatient to try it. I just wanted to have fun at first, but then it became a real passion.
Some time later I started watching videos on Youtube, and then, at 17, I started recording videos and uploading them. It was at that moment I thought ‘this is what I want to do, I want to be a guitarist.’
GE: And you had an extraordinary response…
LC: Yes, I think because at that time there were not many girls playing electric guitar on Youtube. If I tried to do the same thing now I don’t think it would work because there are a lot of people out there with real talent. I was really lucky.
GE: Can you think of any other guitarist in history who has had more success than you using social media?
LC: I don’t really know.
GE: Do you have a favourite ‘Youtube guitarist’?
LC: I really like Sam Coulson, who I think is an English guitarist. He inspired me a lot when I was learning.
GE: Do you have any plans to develop your social media profile?
LC: Yes, I am working to upload more videos. I quit my job working in a music shop a couple of months ago and my plan is to focus on my band and my Youtube channel.
GE: What guitars do you use?
LC: I mainly use my two Bacchus - both are signature guitars. I have a Bacchus Duchess with two Lollar High Wind Imperial pickups, and a Bacchus Mistress with a Lollar P90 pickup. The former is more versatile and the latter has that cool vintage look with its cream P90. I love them!
GE: What gear can’t you do without?
LC: I’ve been playing on Orange amps for several years now. Mine is a Rockerverb 50 MKIII head, with PPC212 cabs. I’m thinking about adding a Thunderverb 200 to my rig too. Concerning pedals, it’s quite simple, I mostly use some overdrive boosts - my favourites are Anasounds Savage and J. Rockett Archer - and a volume boost, an MXR 10 band equalizer, for my solo parts; otherwise it’s pretty much ‘plug and play’!
GE: When can we expect your next album?
LC: We are composing now, I really hope it will be released by the end of this year. It will be in a more defined style. Perhaps the album will have a little more of an old rock n’ roll vibe, but you’ll have to wait and see!