Marcelo Vasquez Rocha, guitarist of the German metal band Drone, recently took some time out of his day to speak with me about the gear he and the band use to dial in their unique heavy aggressive sound. Here’s what Rocha had to say.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Marcelo: We use Laboga Mr. Hector 100w tube guitar amplifiers and Laboga Premium Cabinets loaded with Celestion V30 speakers. Laboga has been building guitar amplifiers and cabinets since 1973. The head office is based in Poland. The Mr. Hector has a lot of gain reserves. They come with very much headroom, a very tight low end and a razor sharp attack. Especially in combination with our VGS Guitars (Visions In Guitars) loaded with only one EMG 81 pickup positioned at the bridge the amp crushes your balls!
VGS Guitars build some signature guitars for us. Mutz plays a customized VGS Eruption and I play a customized Screech V-Shape. We decided to use a mahogany body and a maple neck. This wood combination guaranteed a precise attack. This is necessary for our sound because we play a lot of down strokes. Both guitars come with a flamed maple top and an ebony fret board. The workmanship is amazing. Our live set up is really simple we only use an ISP Noise Decimator and a Korg Pitchblack tuner positioned at the PA monitor. So the sound comes pure from our guitars and the amps without any modulations. Live and in the studio we mic up the speaker with a Shure SM 57 and a Sennheiser E 906.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Marcelo: The killer unique tone and the reliability.
What are the major pros and cons?
Marcelo: After hundreds of shows the amps are still working without any problems. A lot of people trust in their good old Mesas or Peaveys and they all sound like the same. We are happy to have a recent sound. After our shows many other guitarists came and asked us about our guitar sound and they were often wondering that we use this simple set up. I guess that speaks for itself.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Marcelo: We have played the amps and the guitars live and in the studio for 3 years. No, we don’t want to change it. My opinion is, never stop a running system!
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Marcelo: Hey everybody out there, if you are bored of your vulgar guitar sound and if you want a beast of an amp, try out a Laboga Mr. Hector!
Check out the song: “Boneless”