Urban’s Lost Guitars Improved Album Sound

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December 2, 2010 | 9:15pm EST

Keith Urban is convinced the loss of his guitars during heavy floods in Nashville, Tennessee in May worked to his advantage – he credits unfamiliar borrowed instruments with giving his latest record “a burst of new life”.
The Sweet Thing hitmaker was left devastated after several of his guitars and musical equipment were destroyed in a storage facility during the extreme rainstorms in the spring.

The loss came just days before Urban was due in the studio to record tracks for Get Closer, which was released last month, so the star was forced to borrow friends’ guitars in order to start work on the songs.

But Urban was overjoyed to discover the on-loan instruments actually improved his sound – because they forced him out of his “comfort zone”.

He tells CNN.com, “We were going to the studio to start our record on the Monday, and all these rains came to Nashville on the Saturday and Sunday.

“It was all very strange, going to the studio with borrowed guitars. But I actually think it gave this record a burst of new life that was very different to the other albums, because the new guitars, and the new amps and the new equipment – it got me out of my comfort zone in a really good way.”

However, Urban is slowly restoring many of the flood-damaged instruments – and he’s even managed to fix his most precious guitar.

He adds, “The good news is a lot of these guitars that went underwater are being slowly brought back to life. Not all of them, but a significant amount of them. Some of them I’ve had for 20-plus years, and they have a sentimental value, too. One of them, in particular, I’ve had on every album I’ve ever recorded, including some of the album covers. So it was really important to me to salvage that guitar.”