Will Sergeant: Echo and the Bunnymen

Why You Should Know Him

Will Sergeant is, and has been, the only constant member of the monster ‘80s neo-psychedelic new wave band, Echo and the Bunnymen. The native Liverpool group achieved much acclaim and praise for their unique, dark, post-punk approach that was fundamentally centered on the guitar playing of Sergeant, which differed from the heavy use of keyboards and synthesizers that many other bands of the era were embracing.

The band’s creative approach, fueled by Sergeant’s innovation, earned them three Gold records including their 1980 debut, Crocodiles, along with the 1983 release, Porcupine, and 1984’s Ocean Rain. Amongst those albums were several tracks that had successes on the charts such as: “The Killing Moon,” “Lips Like Sugar,” “Cutter,” “Silver,” and “Bring on the Dancing Horses.”

The band’s music has been featured on the silver screen; from the John Hughes classic, Pretty in Pink, to Grosse Pointe Blank, Donnie Darko, and The Lost Boys.

The Gear

Sergeant’s delay and reverb-rich tone maintained a clear-cut edge made possible by his use of various Fender guitars that consisted of a Telecaster, Jaguar, Jazzmaster, and Squire Strat. He also plays a Vox 12-String and the Gibson EDS-1275 double-neck.

The amps that allowed for his transparent tones were modern rock staples: a Fender Twin Delux and Roland JC120.

For effects, Sergeant relied upon a Roland Space Echo, Roland GT-8, Yamaha SPX multi-effects processor, and a Boss GT-5 multi-effects processor.

Sergeant has also been playing with an E-Bow since the early ‘80s.

Where Is He Now?

As mentioned before, Sergeant is the only original member remaining in Echo and the Bunnymen, and the band is still active today. In 2011 they released Do It Clean, a live album from their show at the Liverpool Olympia recorded on December 11, 2010. This year, they released Avalanche, an EP featuring re-recorded versions of older hits such as “Hang on a Dream” and “Silver.”

Outside of music, Sergeant was also active in the world of modern art since the late ‘70s, mainly creating expressionist and abstract paintings. In 2012, he hosted his first major U.S. exhibit, My Own Worst Enemy, at the Substrate Fine Art Gallery in Los Angeles from May 18th to June 16th. The show featured his abstracts, collages, and screen prints, along with some older minimalist pieces as well.

In 2013, Sergeant and Les Pattinson formed the band, Poltergeist, with former Black Velvet drummer Nick Kilroe. They released their first album in 2013 entitled; Your Mind Is a Box (Let Us Fill It With Wonder). Since then the band has been performing and doing small gigs, taking a small break due to Pattinson falling ill. Their most recent gig was supporting the band Ghost in 2016 at London’s Palladium.

Back to the Top 40 Under-Appreciated Guitarists of the 1980s.

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