As stated on their Facebook profile, Denver/Fort Collins, Colorado-based quintet Allegaeon are a “Modern Melodic Death Metal… NOT METALCORE, DEATHCORE or any other CORE.” That said, it’s exactly true and nothing less or more than what you’ll encounter on the band’s soon-to-be-released Metal Blade Records effort, Elements Of The Infinite. Due out on June 23rd, Allegaeon are in top form with this new release, as easily evidenced by their new single, “1.618.” Recently we got the opportunity to exchange emails with guitarist Mike Stancel who was kind enough to tell us about his Maxon OD808 overdrive pedal and some of the recording behind Elements Of The Infinite.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Stancel: That is definitely my Maxon OD808 overdrive pedal.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Stancel: It really makes the amp come alive. It tightens up all my rhythms, it makes leads sing more, and it adds a really nice mid-range boost that cuts through live. I can’t use my amp without it anymore, it sounds broken if I do.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Stancel: It wasn’t unfortunately. The producer, Dave Otero of Flatline Audio, used a different overdrive pedal in front of the amp. I’m not exactly sure what it was but it looked like a modified Tube Screamer so it sounds similar to the Maxon.
How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Stancel: On the album we used a 5150III with a tube screamer for our main guitar tone, so I use my Peavey 6505 and Maxon OD808 to make something similar but my live tone has a little more mid-range than the album tone so cuts through better in a live environment.
What are the major pros and cons?
Stancel: Pros: My rig ends up being pretty simple. My signal chain is often just Guitar-Overdrive-Amp. Sometimes there’s a noise gate in there but that’s only if I’m getting crazy feedback that night. There’s nothing really fancy happening so it’s really easy to troubleshoot when things go wrong. Cons: I can’t get a decent clean tone with my overdrive always on. My pedals stay on top of my amp so I can’t turn off the overdrive if I need to go to a clean tone. I end up with this semi-distorted clean sound, which isn’t terrible but, it’s just not what I want to hear.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Stancel: Nope. I’m kinda screwed if it fails but that should change very soon.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Stancel: I’ve used this set up for about two maybe three years. I really like it because it sounds good and it’s a pretty simple setup but I’m ready for the next step up. I’m gonna be completely changing my rig within the next couple of weeks. I’ve just bought an Axe-Fx II and I’m really excited to start using it. I know a lot are opposed to it and others like it but I’ve only seen it do good things for live sound.
Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
Stancel: That’s my amp at the moment. Somewhere on the last couple of tours I’ve done something came loose and it now hums like crazy. Like to the point where I have to switch to my clean channel when nothing is playing so that the audience doesn’t have to suffer through it. But soon almighty Axe-Fx will wash away all problems… hopefully.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Stancel: If someone is looking for a very simple setup that sounds good and doesn’t cost a fortune, a Peavey 6505 and Maxon OD808 are the way to go. It’s almost impossible to get a bad tone with that combo. Then find a cab with V30s and you’re golden.
Check out the song “1.618”