Take a peek backstage.
Longtime friends Jeff Zirkle and Dan Dyszelski decided in 2021 to bring a fresh experience to the Charlotte music scene. Here’s a little more about their journey from a couple of kids ready to rock to guitar store renegades.
Jeff ZirkleBrand Executive
Hey, Jeff. Thanks for taking a few minutes to talk. First question: What got you into guitars?
Happy to do it! So, I started on the drums in the school band growing up but eventually switched over to guitar. I remember listening to my friends play and jam around, and I was like, “Hey, I want to do that.”
So, peer pressure works! Cool. You evolved into a pretty serious guitarist. Do you have any stories from a favorite performance?
When I was in college, we got a chance to headline a show back home, and my dad was there. Not only did he get to see us play, but also it was a great show. It’s something I’ll never forget.
What a memory. Tell us about your personal guitar collection.
Right now, I own four guitars. I still own my first acoustic, a Taylor 314ce. I also have a 12-string I inherited from my uncle before he passed away and one electric guitar, a Gibson Les Paul R0 built in 2006. At one time, I had as many as 18 guitars when I was playing shows regularly.
OK, that’s living the dream right there. What’s the song you always go back to again and again?
I have so many! But if I had to pick just one, I would say “No Excuses” by Alice in Chains; it’s one of the first I ever learned how to play. “Band on the Run” is a close second.
Right on. Ok, last question: Do you get out to watch live music in Charlotte?
Absolutely! And I love that you can experience live music on so many different levels here. From pros on tour to local acts at smaller venues, Charlotte is just an incredible place to see music of every genre.
Dan DyszelskiStore Owner
Hey, Dan, nice to talk to you. Same first question that Jeff got: What got you into guitars?
So, my first guitar-related memory was my dad handing me a Fender Bronco when I was 4 years old. I was like, “What the heck do I do with this?”
Going electric right out of the gate! You must have come from a musical family.
Yes, actually my mom has always been very music oriented. She plays most horned instruments and the harmonica.
Did you perform when you were young?
I did. I played churches when I was a kid. I remember to this day my first time getting up in front of everyone with just me and my guitar.
If you could pick one artist to jam with, who would it be?
This may surprise a few people, but I have to say Prince. He was very underrated as a guitar player. I think he may have been the best ever.
OK, before I go listen to “Purple Rain” on an endless loop, what’s your advice for someone starting a band?
Make sure you get along with everyone. You’re going to spend a lot of time with these people.