Mark Knopfler Explains What Makes Him Different From The Other Musicians

Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler recently sat down for an interview with The Project ahead of a new tour in May. The host asked him what he thought of being named the best guitarist by other artists, and Knopfler replied:

“It’s nonsense. Sort of got a shorthand on it, which would be a guitar teacher’s bad dream. And so, you know, you’re doing everything wrong. For a starter, you’re holding it wrong. I just hold it like a plumber holds a hammer.”

He mentioned:

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

His Playing Inspired Other Musicians

Many rock guitarists pointed to Mark Knopfler as an influence on their style so far. For example, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour shared with Guitar Classics in 1985:

“I 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.”

A Guitarist Knopfler Named The Best

Knopfler himself mentioned several names that inspired him throughout his career in previous interviews. His list included Chet Atkins, Hank Marvin, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The Dire Straits guitarist said in a 1996 tribute for Vaughan:

“He was one of the best ever. You know, he was really, really tremendous, especially later on. You know, I thought that uhm… something was happening where the Hendrix and Buddy Guy influences were giving way to some real powerful stuff. He’s one of the best I’ve ever heard, no question.”

Watch Knopfler’s recent interview below.