Tag Archives: Gretsch Billy Bo
Posted: July 23, 2012
Patrick Matera, guitarist for pop sensation Katy Perry, is a big Gretsch fan, and he recently stopped by the Gretsch Artist Showroom to discuss his relationship with the brand.
Matera – who may be best-known for the copper and blue Gretsch Billy Bo guitars he uses on stage – notes in the video below that he had wanted to play Gretsch guitars since childhood, when he had the opportunity to play with Chet Atkins.
Off-camera, we asked Matera a few more questions, including one about Katie Perry: Part of Me 3D, which hit theaters this month.
Check out the interviews below.
Gretsch Post: What does the Billy Bo sound like to you?
Matera: It’s got a typical Gretsch sound, somewhat like a Duo Jet with a little more mid-range, whether that’s from the pickups or the body shape. Hollowed-out, they’re pretty light. And that thicker humbucker sound – compared to a Tele – isn’t overwhelming and dark like a Les Paul.
GP: What do you think about your big-screen debut?
Matera: Actually, I’m hesitant to see the movie at all because it’s going to seem weird. You’re not supposed to be that large and in 3D. I think it’s going to be embarrassing [laughs] because we had the documentary crew out with us for a year and we have no idea what they’re going to use. Hopefully, they’ll be kind to us.
It will be amazing, but I admit that when I first heard it was coming out for real, I cringed a little bit. I’ll let other people decide if it’s any good, and in 20 years I’ll watch it on a hologram [laughs]. No, it should be fun.
GP: You’ve been playing Perry’s huge hits for a few years now. Is there one song you really enjoy playing live?
Matera: We used to do a cover of “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, and I always liked playing that one. We ended up being in a hotel in Manchester, England, and Brian May was sitting in the lobby on his laptop, so I went up and said hey. This was like three years ago, so Katy wasn’t as big as she is now. I introduced myself, and he said “Oh, I’ve seen you play ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ on YouTube!” He ended up coming to one of our shows in England, and when we had to play that song, it was a little nerve-wracking. It came time to solo, and there’s Brian May off to the side with his arms crossed. No pressure.
GP: Did you nail it?
Matera: I just kind of went for it. I remember looking on YouTube for that performance so I could check, and I couldn’t find it. It’s probably for the best.
For a list of Matera’s tour dates, visit Perry’s official website.