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Dollyrots's Luis Cabezas

Dollyrots's Luis Cabezas loves his light weight Gazelle. As the guitar player for power pop/punk trio The Dollyrots, Luis Cabezas knows a cool instrument when he finds one.

After Dollyrots bassist Kelly Ogden scored a beautiful new Luna of her own, Luis, who counts Gene Vincent, Kurt Cobain and Steve Jones among his musical influences, was intrigued.

And yeah, a black Luna Gazelle may be a light-weight guitar, but it is anything but "light-weight" when it comes to quality. "They're really comfortable to play," Luis says enthusiastically. "My Gazelle is the perfect writing guitar. It's semi-hollowbody and resonant, so it sounds full even unplugged. The string action is nice and low and the guitar itself isn't too heavy. You can play it for hours and repeat phrases during writing without wearing yourself out."

The self-taught musician - who would have gone to medical school if he hadn't gotten sidetracked by music - took piano lessons as a kid, but ultimately decided that ear-training was going to get him further on guitar much faster. "My teachers ended up being a mix of Kurt Cobain, Brian Setzer and Johny Ramone," he says.

Prior to forming The Dollyrots, Luis and Kelly, both natives of Tampa, Florida, had a band called No Chef with two other friends. "We wrote songs about ninjas, zombies and Charles Manson," Luis says.

But even before he started a band, music was always part of the family. Luis's dad "de-stresses every day by playing piano."

Owning a Luna also helps Luis's frame of mind when he's performing and, with The Dollyrots' intense touring schedule, that is a very important feature. "When you're comfortable with an instrument it translates into your demeanor onstage," he says.

Above all the guitar's best aspects, Luis values the easy-to-play neck of the Gazelle most. "It's set up perfectly and intuitively."

photo by Aaron Settipane

When he's not playing with his band, which is rare these days, he likes to read books on music counterculture, aliens and ghosts as well as collecting old, beat-up guitars and "doing crappy techno remixes of Dollyrots songs on my Mac."

Dollyrots music and songs like "Because I'm Awesome" may be fun and often as light-weight as Luis's Gazelle, but the trio is steadfast in their strong opinions about animals and women's rights. "We have a strong belief in animal rights and the power of women to rule the world and take it back from the dirty old men destroying it now," Luis says. "And yes, I'm a boy but I still think so."

See the Dollyrots next time they come through your town and, in the meantime, visit them on myspace.

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