Imminent Sonic Destruction is a metal band that is known for their bone-crushing sound and complex time signatures. This unique sound is solidly anchored by the incredible bass playing of Bryan Paxton. Recently Paxton took a moment out of his busy schedule to speak with me about the gear he uses to achieve his signature sound. Here is how the conversation went.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Bryan: Eden World Tour WT550 amplifier.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Bryan: The dials are all set flat at 12 o’clock. I don’t even need to adjust the EQ, or change the tone. It just sounds like my bass, being loud. I’ve played many, many bass amps, trying to find my tone. My tone is me playing one of my basses. A lot of bass amp manufacturers out there love to voice their amps and add lots of bells and whistles to get their amp sounding unique; which for me, sounds like a gimmick. I want my bass amp to sound like me. Eden’s amps are as flat and uncolored as I could ask for. Although I must add, my D212XLT cabinets give me a gnarly, growly tone once I crank it. But the amp itself is as clean and natural as I can find in a bass amp.
What are the major pros and cons?
Bryan: Major pro, I never have to dial anything into it. Sometimes I might increase or decrease the low EQ depending on the stage’s boomy floor or reflections from walls, but for the actual tone, set flat makes me happy every time. The only con I have is it didn’t come stock with the bottle opener or the cup holder! I had to make those modifications myself.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Bryan: Five years now. For its first real test at a gig, I had it baking in August sunshine, locked inside its pitch black SKB case, just cooking away. Opened up the case, it was too hot to touch inside. Powered up, played full volume, never once did it even hiccup during the gig. I don’t know what it will take to make this amp fail, and I don’t think I ever want to! Unless someone can bring me an amp that does what this thing does, but better, I won’t be changing anything.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Bryan: I used a Nady wireless system long ago. I hated the comparison between wireless tone, and a straight cable tone. This was especially noticeable with the low B string, as the Nady sounded thin and weak. Not good for this band’s sound. I found the X2 digital wireless system, the XDS-PLUS before they sold out to Line 6. I hear no difference between a straight cable, and this wireless. Best wireless system for a bass guitar you could ask for.
Check out the song: “Monster”