Mark Knopfler Shares How He Rises Above Other Artists

Mark Knopfler Shares How He Rises Above Other Artists | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via Mark Knopfler / Youtube

In a recent interview with The Project, Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler discussed the upcoming tour and his reaction to being lauded as a guitar god by fellow musicians. Knopfler’s response was characteristically humble and humorous.

He deflected the praise, suggesting his technique might raise eyebrows with a guitar instructor.  “It’s nonsense,” he chuckled, “sort of got a shorthand on it, which would be a guitar teacher’s bad dream.”

This self-deprecating remark sets the stage for Knopfler’s next statement, hinting at the secret sauce behind his success. He acknowledges a key difference between himself and his bandmates: songwriting.

“The thing that makes me different from the other guys in the band,” he explains, “would be that I’m the guy who writes the songs. So, I can get away with stuff.” Check out the interview below.

A Timeless Influence on Rock Guitar

Knopfler’s impact on rock guitar is undeniable. Countless guitarists credit his distinctive style as a major inspiration. In a 1985 interview with Guitar Classics, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, himself a guitar legend, expressed his admiration for Knopfler.

Gilmour highlighted what makes Knopfler’s playing so impactful: ” was a blues fan, but I was an all-around music fan. For me, it was Leadbelly through B.B. King and later Eric Clapton, Roy Buchanan, Jeff Beck, Eddie Van Halen and anyone you care to mention. Mark Knopfler has a lovely, refreshing guitar style. He brought back something that seemed to have gone astray in guitar playing.”

This praise goes beyond just technical skill. Knopfler’s influence lies in his ability to breathe new life into the instrument, reminding listeners of the core elements that make rock guitar great.

The Guitarists Who Shaped Knopfler

While countless guitarists revere Knopfler, he himself has acknowledged the influence of several musical giants.In past interviews, Knopfler has named Chet Atkins, Hank Marvin, and Stevie Ray Vaughan as key inspirations for his own playing.

One guitarist who particularly impressed Knopfler was Vaughan. In a 1996 tribute, Knopfler spoke glowingly of Vaughan’s talent: “He was one of the best ever. You know, he was really, really tremendous, especially later on. I thought… something was happening where the Hendrix and Buddy Guy influences were giving way to some real powerful stuff.”

The iconic guitarist concluded, “He’s one of the best I’ve ever heard, no question.” Knopfler’s admiration highlights Vaughan’s ability to blend influences and forge his own unique voice. This echoes the impact Knopfler himself has had on countless musicians.