The first time we ran into Daniel
Cabezas, the founder of Bacce Guitars, was in September, 2014 at the
International Guitar Fair (Feria
Internacional de la Guitarra) in Málaga, a far cry from his workshop on the
suburban outskirts of Madrid.
The Andalusian fair is a legendary event for the Spanish guitar but the Bacce stand there unquestionably stood out among the handful dedicated to electric gems. The reason why is quite simple, as easy as looking at the photo gallery at the end of this article: Daniel builds beautiful guitars and basses. It is the perfect incarnation of what we at Guitars Exchange understand to be a true luthier: an artist capable of creating real works of art with their own hands, art you can smell, hold and touch, art that speaks out to you.
Daniel's designs surprise and intrigue in equal measure. The woods alone, which he searches for one by one depending on the particular project and idea, speak for themselves. The excellent quality of the mechanics and electronics seal the deal.
Bacce Guitars is evolving and it's on the right track: if you have the chance to visit Daniel's workshop or if your paths cross in some guitar shop, trade fair or at the Holy Grail Guitar Show in Berlin, don't pass up the opportunity to chat with him. He's a good guy and it's a pleasure to talk with him about the instrument that fascinates all of us.
...ahh, we almost forgot: some of those wonders are on sale right here at Guitars Exchange!
1. GUITARS EXCHANGE: How did you end up becoming, or start out as, a luthier?
Daniel Cabezas: I began trying my hand at it when I was 19 and had very little money. Even though I always flirted with the idea of going into the profession during those years, actually getting down to it "seriously" had to wait until not that long ago. I left a lot of creature comforts behind in order to dedicate myself to what I was so passionate about and I’d like to think that this is how I will end up.
2. GUITARS EXCHANGE: What inspires you to design and manufacture a new guitar?
Daniel Cabezas: From the very start, I was driven by the desire to try and look for designs unique to the brand. I wanted to set us apart and capture the attention of the public, make them see that you can do anything that crosses your mind.
3. GUITARS EXCHANGE: Do you look for a given sound for any particular reason?
Daniel Cabezas: With every new model, I'm looking for its own special musical “sound". Normally I let my creative instincts take over and try to combine quality woods to get the result I have in mind. Then I embellish it with the right kind of aesthetic for it and top it off with quality electronics.
4. GUITARS EXCHANGE: Select one and talk about: soul, jazz, blues, rock, pop…or other
Daniel Cabezas: I always like to answer that I'm pretty eclectic when it comes to listening to music. And the truth is I have music of every genre in my collection, although if you drop by the workshop unannounced, you'll probably find me listening to '70s and '80s rock and heavy metal... :)
5. GUITARS EXCHANGE: Are you a jobbing artist or a solitary artisan?
Daniel Cabezas: I'm a jobbing loner. I'm from the school that thinks you have to give the craftsman/artist the space to work in order to develop the full potential. The people who trust and believe in me know that I always like to put my two cents’ worth into the instrument they order from me. If it was any other way, they would lose the essence of what Bacce means in my life and work.
6. GUITARS EXCHANGE: What was the last record or CD you bought? And listened to?
Daniel Cabezas: The most recent one I bought is a picture disc of Lonesome Crow by the Scorpions. Lately I've been listening to a lot of music produced in Spain. That's also due to the relationships that have connected me with a lot of musicians from here for some time now. One of the albums I've "burned" the most is Here Come... the Jokers!! by our friends from Valencia, Jolly Joker.
7. GUITARS EXCHANGE: Electric or acoustic?
Daniel Cabezas: Normally electric. Doing the carpentry work on the block of wood gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Although I can tell you, as part of a small, select group of friends (ha-ha), that our first Bacce acoustic project is in the works.
8. GUITARS EXCHANGE: What is the secret behind your choice of wood?
Daniel Cabezas: If you take as your starting point the idea that almost any wood can work for making instruments, we should concentrate on making our strong point the selection of top quality raw material, both for its musical and aesthetic qualities. We practically buy the wood for each instrument, taking into account the needs of each client, or our own (potential ones) if they're for use as stock.
...AND TWO HANDS
9. GUITARS EXCHANGE: Why should we consider luthier-crafted guitars as a viable option to guitars made by the large manufacturers?
Daniel Cabezas: We have to dispel a few myths about guitars made by luthiers, and the first one is that they are inaccessible for many people’s pockets. There are mass-produced guitars in price ranges very close to the ones a luthier can offer for building you a totally custom-made guitar. It's a question of educating people, of valuing craftsmanship as something exclusive and unique, of supporting small businesses and products made with passion and dedication. OK, there will always be consumer preferences and of course those should be respected. That's the reason it's not necessary to give preference to anything. You simply have to be sure that the end client is aware of our work.
10. GUITARS EXCHANGE: Who plays your guitars? Who would you like to have play your guitars?
Daniel Cabezas: The experience we have with our clients and brand endorsers today is excellent. We've worked with well-known musicians and others who are not so well known, and fantastic ideas have always emerged that we've developed for them. Many times they turned into catalogue models for the brand. We consider all of them first-rate musicians. As for who I would want to play our instruments, that's a complicated question. Sometimes a virtually unknown musician or one without a big reputation provides you with great ideas and inspires your creativity more than anyone else. And naturally when an acclaimed musician trusts in your work, it's more than gratifying. So everyone will have their little corner in our workshop.
Bacce Guitars for sale on Guitars Exchange
Bacce Guitars official website