It didn’t take long for Jeff Duncan to find his passion. Born into a musical family, Jeff was fascinated by his father’s guitar playing since the age of six. It was then that Jeff received his first informal guitar lesson from his father and never looked back.
Years later, trading high school homework time for band rehearsal time, Jeff became a founding member of the band, Odin, which quickly became a pillar on the Sunset Strip in the 80s. Odin cut several albums and was featured in the documentary, Decline of Western Civilization, The Metal Years. Although a massive draw on the Sunset Strip, Odin disbanded in 1988.
Never one to rest, Jeff jumped at the chance to become one of the lead guitar players in a friendly rival of Odin’s, Armored Saint, alongside guitar player and friend, David Prichard. The dual guitar attack of the virtuosos quickly became a legend, but due to personal issues, Jeff left Armored Saint briefly after joining. Months later while doing a brief stint with the LA-based band, Lost Boys, Jeff received the disturbing news that his friend and ex-bandmate, David Prichard was diagnosed with leukemia. David’s heroic battle with the disease ended months later, as David tragically passed away at the age of 26.
Given a new outlook on life, the timing was now right when Jeff was once again asked to join Armored Saint. To this day, Jeff continues to play a very active role in Armored Saint. His blistering guitar riffs, solos, and excellent rhythm guitar playing have consumed the left side of the stage during each Armored Saint show for more than 20 years.
Due to the many projects in which the band members from Armored Saint partake, the band experiences a fair amount of downtime between tours/gigs. Realizing this, Jeff started his band in 1998. DC4 is comprised of Jeff’s brothers Shawn (drums) and Matt (Bass), as well as Rowan Robertson (guitar) of Dio fame. Jeff is the primary songwriter, lead vocalist, and co-lead guitarist for DC4. (DC4 has released four albums)
In June 2012, Jeff was featured in the book Tales from the Stage #1. His career and life story are featured alongside 14 other rock pros such as Bruce Kulick, Eddie Trunk, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Herman Rarebell, and Tracii Guns.
How are you doing Jeff?
JD: Doing well thank you.
Who influenced you to get interested in guitar?
JD: The same guys as a lot of people, Tony Iommi, was the first most significant influence. Eddie Van Halen, Michael Schenker, Gary Moore, Jake E Lee, Warren DeMartini, all those great guitarists. Those are pretty much my guys as far being influenced as a lead guitar player.
What are your plans for 2018?
JD: I just finished the new DC4 album, that’s going to come out in springtime. Armored Saint is going out in the summertime, doing some touring, South America, Europe, the States. Doing some shows with Frank Dimino, some of you might know from the band Angel. Also, there is going to be a re-releasing the Odin catalog, (EMP label group)
Now wasn’t there some buzz about an instrumental album you’re doing?
JD: I’m going to be doing an instrumental guitar album. That will probably come out towards the end of the year. I have all the demos done and fit in when I can to finish it up.
Being were at NAMM, want to ask about your gear, your rig, what you use all that?
JD: Well I’ve been with ESP Guitars since 2000, so they’re pretty much family, and I love their guitars. They’re just the best out there in my opinion. Currently using Peavey amps, but I like any of the Van Halen amps that are out there. We all know what they are, Peavey, EVH, any of the old 5150’s those are the heads that I love. My pedal boards are provided by a company I’m using, called Fix pedal boards. I use all Pig Hog cables. I’ve been fortunate for all my people have been good to me and keep me rolling out there. My Floyd guitars are equipped with FU-Tone upgrade parts which make a huge difference. Anyone out there using a Floyd and isn’t using these upgrade parts I highly suggest you do, as they make a huge difference.
I appreciate this and thank you for your time, and I hope 2018 is an excellent year for you!
JD: Thanks, Rock n Roll!!
Written by Tony Lepre.