20Q: Catching up with 2211 guitarist/music teacher Brad Lutton


Angela Major

Editor's Note: Kicks presents a new feature — 20Q — that introduces readers to people involved in the area's arts and entertainment community. Compiled by kicks Editor Greg Little, each piece will include a short bio, photo and answers to questions that provide insight into not only that person's artistic interests but also his or her unique personality.

Brad Lutton

Born and raised in the Janesville area, it wasn't until Lutton saw a Poison video on MTV in the mid-'80s that playing guitar even crossed his mind. But after seeing lead guitarist C.C. DeVille wail on a skull-shaped guitar, he knew that was what he wanted to do. His parents bought him a guitar for his next birthday, and the rest is history. These days you can find him on area stages jamming out with his band, 2211 (joined by brother Tim and friends Derek Schyvinck and Jerod Edwardson), or teaching students at Knapton Musik Knotes, 2475 Milton Ave., Janesville. You can check out 2211 this weekend at Wally's Music Fest in Milton's Schilberg Park (wallyfest.com).

1. What is the best thing about working in the music business? Getting to meet all the people involved in the business and hearing all the different stories they have.

2. You teach guitar at Knapton Musik Knotes, but you're also a member of the band 2211. Is one more fulfilling than the other? Both are fulfilling but in totally different ways. Teaching at Knapton is fun to get involved with people as their music journey either is just starting or being taken to the next level. Playing in 2211 is exciting when you step out on stage and see all the people there to see you perform. There is nothing in the world that I feel can compare with either joy.

3. What is your favorite act to see live, or what act would you most like to see live? Pantera. Really any time I either go to see a show or we play a show, no matter if it is with local or national acts, it is just so cool to see all sorts of different people up there playing music.

4. At the store, which instrument or instruments are “trending” right now? Any idea why? Ukuleles, and I have no idea why. Maybe because they're relatively easy to play and portable, and you just can't help but to smile while you're strumming.

5. Where is your favorite place to unwind? I suppose Belize, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta or really anywhere it's sunny and warm would be a good place. Unfortunately, until I have my private jet and house down there, I'll settle for a campfire in my backyard.

6. What is the most dangerous thing you've ever done? Well, to keep it age-friendly and so my parents don't find anything out, I'll go with diving with sharks in the Bahamas.

7. Are you afraid of Chuck Norris? Heck yeah, but he's nothing compared to my boss, Lauri, on three cups of coffee in the morning.

8. If you could have any instrument that had been used on stage by any artist, what would it be and whose would it be? Dimebag's Black & Blue Lightning Bolt ML Guitar from Pantera. I know a lot of musicians and people out there probably think that is stupid, and there are definitely instruments out there worth a crapload more money, but he was my first idol and the person who made me want to play guitar. That is worth more than money to me.

9. Is it harder teaching kids or adults? I think adults. Don't get me wrong: I love my adult students, and I think it's awesome when someone comes through the door that has never played before and wants to take music lessons. But adults are always way harder on themselves for not doing things exactly right. Sometimes I think they make it more like a job than what it is supposed to be—fun and relaxing.

10. Your house is on fire. What is the first thing you grab on the way out: your wallet, your keys or your guitar? Hmmm... Now that you asked me the question, I think I'm going to start putting my wallet and keys in my guitar case so I can just grab and go.

11. What accomplishment in music are you most proud of? In 2211, we have shared the stage with touring acts such as Bret Michaels, Taproot, 12 Stones, Black Label Society and Warrant, which has been absolutely amazing. I must say the accomplishments I am most proud of are when I get a kid just starting out on guitar and, fast forward 10 years, they are still playing—and sometimes even going to school for music. There is nothing more gratifying than knowing you are the reason someone has music in his or her life.

12. Have you ever met anyone famous? What were they like? I have met quite a few famous people through the years. Kind of like everyone else, you have people that are cool, down-to-earth and fun to hang with and you have people who I could care less how famous they are, I'd rather hang out with a full garbage can on a Saturday night instead.

13. Blake Shelton, Lindsey Stirling, The Weeknd, Twenty One Pilots and Five Finger Death Punch all are playing the same night. Who gets your money? I would have to go with Twenty One Pilots. I really like Five Finger Death Punch; I just saw them at Sonic Boom this summer, and they were awesome. I have only seen the Pilots on TV, and it was quite entertaining, so I would love to see them live and in person.

14. If you could sit in with any musician or band, who or what would it be? Again I would have to say Pantera. I simply found their music so powerful and full of energy. Specifically, Dime! Man, I would have loved for some one-on-one jamming with him to just watch in person how effortlessly he could rip out some of the guitar stuff you hear from him no matter what band he was in!

15. What song title best describes your life? I would have to go with “Nothing but a Good Time” by Poison. Life is too short to not have nothing but a good time.

16. Are you a strong swimmer? Actually, yeah. My mom's side of the family was part Northern Pike.

17. People would be surprised to know that I: I can't believe I'm saying this, and curse you to anyone who uses this against me, but … I am afraid of spiders.

18. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? I think I would just use a bunch of punctuation symbols. Maybe like #@!&*%$, or even better %$?@*#.

19. You're in the middle of a show when you bust a string and then pop a blister on your finger? What do you do? Play on, my friend. Play on.

20. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat? Always thought this was one of the coolest ends to a song. I say once you start growing up, you realize that sometimes the meat is better than the pudding. I say eat the meat and forget the pudding!

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