20 Questions with Brian P. Simms

Brian P. Simms

For today’s 20 Questions, we’re jumping across the pond to the Great White North’s capital of Ottawa, Ontario.  Brian P. Simms is the vocalist/guitarist with The Kardashians.  


1. Why do you play the guitar?

 To relax, create, make sound, work.

2. What was your first guitar?

Fender Model F-200 acoustic. Still have it; over 30 years old.

3. Who was your biggest musical influence?

 Three-way tie between The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Joni Mitchell… Prince and Tom Waits are in there somewhere, too.

4.  What was the first concert you ever saw?

 The Kinks, Ottawa Civic Centre, 1983? (I always omit that Honeymoon Suite opened the show; technically, I went for The Kinks!)

5.  If you could jam with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

 Flea on bass, Keith Moon on drums, Stevie Wonder on keys, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Prince on guitars.

6. What’s your dream guitar?

Fender Classic Player Jaguar

 7. List 5 albums that you think every guitar player should own?
 The White Album – The Beatles

Electric Ladyland – Jimi Hendrix 

Friday Night in San Francisco – Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia

News of the World – Queen

Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin

8.  Tell us about the best gig you ever played?  Worst gig?

Best gig: Being part of the house band for the Just For Laughs festival at Barrymores in Ottawa and getting to hang out with Jim Breuer and Brett Butt. 

Worst gig: Crackers 2, Ottawa… late 80s with a cover band that played primarily Fishbone, Living Colour, Hendrix… owner asked if we could play some Lynard Skynard, or some more songs ‘that everybody knew’… it was a long night.

 9. How did your current band get started?
 Rehearsing in the basement of Metro Music on Bank Street.

10.  The Beatles or the Stones?  Why?

 The Beatles. Four distinct voices and composers. They perfected classical, rock, folk and popular music; weren’t constrained by any creative boundaries and all experts in vocal harmony. Still love the Stones, though.

11.  What’s your secret weapon on stage, aside from your guitar?

 Brass slide, Boss ME-70

12.  What music on your mp3 player would surprise people the most?

 Marilyn Manson, Eminem, Beyonce, William Shatner?

13.   What guitars are you playing now?

 I am using  a 1986 Ibanez Talman, a 2011 Gretsch Electromatic and a 2014 Fender Acoustic / Electric AM NAT series.

 14.  Are you in it for the money or the love?
 Therapy… then love, then money. 

15. Gibson or Fender?  Why?

Fender: Prince, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain

16. If I handed you a guitar and asked you to play the first thing that came to your mind, what would you play?

 Blackbird – The Beatles

17.  Name the three most important things a guitar player should know?

Tuning by ear;

How to implement a good practice routine;

Proper posture.

18.       What’s the greatest guitar song ever recorded?

1st –  Scuttlebuttin’ – Stevie Ray Vaughan

2nd – Dick Dale and the Del-Tones – “Miserlou”

3rd –  Pat Metheny / Lyle Mayes – It’s For You

4th –  Ralph Macchio (Ry Cooder) / Steve Vai – Paganini’s 5th Caprice, Guitar duel from Crossroads 

5th –  Jimi Hendrix – Third Stone From the Sun

19. What’s the most embarrassing that has ever happened to you on stage?

Guitar strap breaking mid-song. Wasn’t a complete disaster, played through, but it appeared as if I was cradling a baby for the rest of the tune.

 20.  What’s the best venue you’ve ever played?          
 Best venue and funnest gig would have been Freshfest at Lebreton Flats in Ottawa, opening for the Roots, Parliament, and Len. I have backed up various singer-songwriters at the Ottawa Bluesfest over the years. The Tractor in Seattle, Washington was fun to play; as was The Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, Oregon. And in the late 80’s I was in a band that played at the Ottawa Civic Centre, opening up for… gulp, Glass Tiger! 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s