Baltimore, Maryland death metal miscreants, Misery Index, dropped their latest slab of beefy beats dubbed, The Killing Gods, on May 23rd via Season of Mist Records. Reviews have been pouring in and praise remains high for this quartet’s newest slew of tracks. Recently, we were able to email some questions to guitarist and vocalist, Mark Kloeppel, in order to get better visibility into what gear he considers to be key, and how it was used during the recording of The Killing Gods.

What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Kloeppel: the Amptweaker TightMetal Pro never leaves my guitar case. I use it for fly-ins and any other time I can’t have my EVH full stack.

What about it makes it so important to you?
Kloeppel: The TM Pro gets the job done in a compact unit. It has 5 gain stages, a dual pre/post gate for silent stops, a lead volume and gain foot switchable boost with independent effects loop, and a variety of tonal options. It’s great for having to work with a rented backline. When we carry our own backline, I use EVH. They make the very best head and cabs for this kind of music… crunch and clarity!

How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Kloeppel: It was a 50/50 split between the aforementioned units. We used an EVH 50watt head through an EVH 4×12 cab coupled with the TM Pro going through a heavy duty tube power amp and matching cab.

How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Kloeppel: That’s easy. We recorded with what we use live.

Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Kloeppel: When the TM Pro isn’t my primary rig, it’s the back up to my EVH. It’s my solid go-to preamp unit. The EVH has more good tube dynamics, but the TM Pro will get me through anything.

How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Kloeppel: James Brown (engineer of the original 5150 by Peavey) and I conceived the original Tight Metal Pedal about 4 years ago, I think. The TM Pro is that piece of gear on steroids. I typically use it in any situation my EVH stack isn’t available or just logistically unattainable. I’m always open for more innovations in gear, but EVH and Amptweaker are really nailing it.

Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
Kloeppel: We were doing fly-ins throughout Indonesia, and apparently they don’t know how to bias an amp in Indonesia. All three brand new heads burned up in 20 minutes. I ended up grabbing the only solid state amp they had up there, a roland jazz chorus 2×12, and running the tight metal pedal in the front. I made it through the show just fine. But, without that pedal, I’m not sure the show could’ve happened.

Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Kloeppel: I also use ESP guitars and EMG pickups. ESPs and EMGs sound great and have consistent production. In this line of work, you need consistent accessible products, because the show must always go on.

Check out the song “The Calling”


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