MARK KNOPFLER INTERVIEW
(Originally aired on October 30, 2008)
From the moment he burst on the scene in late '70s with Dire Straits and the smash hit, "Sultans of Swing," Mark Knopfler has been lauded for his distinctive, signature tone. Initially, he used a Fender Stratocaster to create chimey, bell-like solos and then switched to a Gibson Les Paul to forge a radically different sound based on throaty, singing distortion. In addition to recording six studio albums with Dire Straits — including the blockbuster Brothers In Arms, which included the hit "Money For Nothing" — Knopfler has released numerous solo albums and composed and recorded soundtracks for several movies, including Local Hero, Cal, and The Princess Bride. Known for his expressive bends and snappy fingerpicking, Knopfler continues to influence rock and country guitarists with his tone and phrasing.
I interviewed Knopfler in 2004, coinciding with release of his fourth solo album, Shangri-La, and this interview is excerpted from that encounter. In the clip, Knopfler describes his 1958 Les Paul and what gear he used to record "Boom, Like That," the first single from Shangri-La.