Despite Exile are a metal band from Udine, Italy that plays metalcore with progressive influences. They are currently supporting their amazing album Scarlet Reverie which they self-released. Guitarist Giacomo Santini recently gave us some time to talk about the Seymour Duncan Blackouts AHB-1 Pickups that he uses. Read on to find out why these black bars are so important to him!

What one piece of equipment do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Santini: Pickups Seymour Duncan Blackouts AHB-1.

What about it makes it so important to you?
Santini: In the studio I usually prefer passive pickups, but when it comes to the live performance I simply love how active ones push mid/high range attack of your tone, making every note and picking intelligible in breakdowns as well as in fast riffing. Lots of passages in our music may result chaotic and blurry without an edgy sound.

What are the major pros and cons?
Santini: Pros: excellent results for dist tones, for both rhythms and leads, without the typical amount of ground noise that you have with most active pickups. Cons: the clean sound is very sharp too (well, it’s not a cons if you want it so ^^) if you don’t use tons of effects and EQ you just can’t get a smooth/soft result. Oh and of course thousand nine-volt batteries….

How long have you used this piece of equipment and would you ever change it?
Santini: I’ve been using these pickups for about two years, recorded 2 EPs and played dozens of concerts, but I do not exclude that I could change in the future (I often try new stuff, if one day I found something more suitable and satisfying I’d change for sure).

Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Santini: The active pickups market is largely dominated by EMG (also excellent by the way), but I am convinced that Seymour Duncans offer a good result, though different. Therefore I recommend them to everyone who wants to differentiate their sound from the “standard” of widespread EMG, without sacrificing the energy and the sharp sound of an active pickup.

Check out the song: “Oscillate”