He doesn’t know why. All he knows is that he needs more of it. Badly. From Gay Paris HQ, Old Blacktooth talks openly of his never-ending quest for the ultimate tone, those that got away and the trail of broken, unloved refuse left in his wake.
This weeks starting line-up
Electro Harmonix POG2, MXR Zakk Wylde Overdrive, BOSS DD5 Delay and Hughes and Kettner Red Box
Electro Harmonix POG2, Dyna Comp Compressor, Hughes and Kettner Red Box Three
On the bench:
MXR Dyna Comp Compressor, Hagstrom Viking Deluxe (white), Fender Fuzzwah, Marshal DSL 2000, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe + Extension Cabinet.
You’re off the team, asshole
Electro Harmonix POG, Gretsch Duo Jet, Gretsch Malcolm Young
In the mail:
Fender Jim Adkins Signature Telecaster
Let’s preface this by saying: just plug your guitar into an amp and it’ll sound good. This kind of fucking around is a silly business for compulsive morons like myself and a lot of effort for small returns. It’s nerdy and mostly pointless, so read on with caution.
Most people are secretive about this stuff but really, who cares? Sound tricks are fun to talk about. And hey, it beats sitting on the couch and spanking it to Big Brother or collecting model trains or whatever it is healthy people do. I don’t collect gear; I constantly swap it. At some point in my life I had enough money to buy a pair of guitars and an amp and ever since then I’ve been circulating that same cash around switching out different junk. So I’m not a Richie Rich or Steve Vai – I just like how stuff sounds (you can buy me a Bad Cat or neon green cape though if you want to). Maybe one day I’ll get settle down with what I’m playing, but where’s the fun in that? There’s nothing like discovering a new way to melt your own face off or to disappoint, annoy or excite your band mates. Anyways, this brings us to Episode One of my contribution to this blog, a look at screwing around with gear in rehearsal, in the studio and on the road.
THIS WEEK’S STARTING LINE UP
This week I’m trying to keep it practical (as opposed to the two rig wank-a-thon I’m usually carting around). We’re heading to Adelaide to play with Coerce, one hell of a band featuring old pals of ours from that sweet flat city. We’ll be borrowing their awesome amps when we land, so I’m currently fussing about trying to get a piece of carpet for a makeshift Velcro pedalboard for the run. My Fuzzwah is too heavy for the plane (as is the regular board), so I’ll have to play my two “wah” parts in Surgeon and Skyship as best I can (look for lots of feedback and pointing). This is the first time I’ll be taking my new POG2 out for a run and my god is it a life changing little box.
Because you can make presets for it I currently have five settings on the go:
MORELLO-IAN OCTAVE BONANZA – Simple heavy octave below, touch of
octave above – subtle but thick. This is for the big grindy bits at the end of Behold! The Pale Surgeon and the default setting I’ll head to for most single note riff outs.
WANNA SEE MY ORGAN – This has a touch of two octaves above, as well as the detune function for beefing up chords. This is my main setting for the choruses of Deadrie Fell’s Dog Park Blues.
SHRILL BURGERS – Octave above and two octaves above combined subtly for a nice solo boost. I’m looking to kick this off in the “solos” in My First Wife She Was a Fox Queen.
GARBAGETRUCK FULL OF RATBALLS – One octave below plus two octaves below plus attack and LP filter to the max. I’m gonna kick this in for the final parts of Skyship…if they let me. It’s one of those things where you can take over your entire band with, which is not necessarily a good idea.
AN ORGAN SO SMALL YOU CAN’T QUITE SEE IT – A hint of everything this pedal can do…but only a hint. This is where I’m gonna cover up my sloppy playing in clean parts by adding a touch of The Addams Family to it all. Probably won’t fly at rehearsal though.
In Adelaide, I’m gonna try out this Hughes and Kettner Red Box Mk111 I bought on eBay this week. It’s a speaker emulator/DI – basically takes the fear out of letting the work experience kid mike up your shit. It has a setting where you can choose either 4×12 cab or a combo and goes between your head and a box (you just need two speaker leads) and the direct signal can then be put through the P.A. Preliminary fuck arounds suggest it’s a good option but this will be an interesting test. Anyways, I’ll be back soon to elaborate on how it all went down and talk shit about the new stuff I have on order. Til then, I pray nobody pours beer in my f-holes (damn Melbournites).