SOPHIE BURRELL Q&A
PRS: You’ve said that Mark Tremonti is one of the big things that introduced you to PRS Guitars. What about his style do you like? Any other early PRS memories that drew you in?
SB: It was Alter Bridge in general I would say. Tremonti’s style…I can’t place it directly, but I like how melodic Alter Bridge is, and it’s the same with Tremonti’s playing. They have been my favourite band since I was 11, and nothing has ever really made me feel the same way since. And it was the birds on the frets, I just thought they were the coolest inlays I’d ever seen in my life. None of the other brands ignited that sort of feeling inside of me like PRS did, so it was quite easy for me to decide and be like yeah that’s me!
PRS: Which is your go-to PRS lately – the Dragon Fruit PRS SE Silver Sky or your Custom 24? Why?
SB: It’s got to be my Custom 24. After getting the SE Silver Sky, I went through a phase of just playing that for a good while, but I think that was just because it was new. I get new guitars for my YouTube channel, and getting a new PRS is something I get very excited over, and I know that I’m actually going play them all the time. The Custom 24 to me is literally perfect, so if I was to ever have a signature model it would essentially be that but maybe a different colour, maybe with a signature 12 fret inlay. I love everything about it, how pretty it is, I just worship that guitar.
PRS: What has been the biggest “bucket list” moment of your career so far?
SB: Probably my PRS endorsement! And D’Addario endorsement because both are companies that I’ve liked and played since I was 11 years old, and I always wanted to work with you guys and be part of the family, so to speak. For those two things to actually materialise and happen has been amazing. When you’re younger, endorsements seem really untouchable and unreachable, so when it actually happened and I made the announcement, I cried, like ugly cried. To me it’s like a symbol of my hard work and my commitment to it over all these years. Just guitar in general and wanting this to be my career, it was a little nod to say “you’re going in the right direction.”
PRS: Any exciting new projects coming up?
SB: Yes! I have a very, very exciting project coming up. I will be launching my new band, and we’ll be releasing our first single hopefully in the new year, and we’ve got our first music video shoot coming up. It’s going to be interesting because I’m fronting it, and that’s not something I’ve done before. I’m a little scared, but I’m super excited. I just cannot wait to be in a band again and play live again because that’s really what I want to be doing…and ultimately why I’m doing this. I’m very grateful for the online stuff, and I love doing it too, but my soul comes alive when I’m on stage and with a family.
PRS: What artists have you been listening to recently?
SB: Love this question! Top of my playlist is Billie Eilish. Maybe people wouldn’t expect that, but it’s the songwriter side of me that really enjoys her music. The new Alter Bridge album has just come out, and I’m going to go and see them next month so that will be cool. The new Polyphia album as well – very good stuff, absolutely blows my mind.
PRS: As a social media influencer, what have you found the most challenging?
SB: This question comes at an interesting time as it’s been a bit tricky recently. I have received a ridiculous amount of support for as long as I’ve been doing this, but, obviously as you grow your audience, you also face more criticism. I’m in a really weird place where I can still read a lot of my comments and DM’s. I can’t reply to them all, but I see a lot of both positive and negative messages. It puts you through quite the rollercoaster, and I would say two things. First, is dealing with burnout because you permanently have to be making content in order to stay relevant, which is actually insane. Second, is facing criticism and hateful comments from other people. I think they forget you’re an actual person. It can be quite hurtful. You have to grow really thick skin and not take things to heart. It’s never to do with the actual playing, it’s more about me as a person or what I’m wearing. It feels like a lot of pressure at times when people are constantly telling you what you should or shouldn’t do, so it puts you in a weird head space.
PRS: What advice would you give to aspiring guitarists?
SB: Give it enough time, be patient, work hard consistently, but most importantly enjoy it because that will be what creates a nice long happy career.
Learn more about PRS Artist Sophie Burrell – www.sophieburrell.com
Sophie’s first reaction to the PRS Pedals!