Simply called Self-Titled, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based trio Secret Cutter (guitarist Evan Morey, drummer Jared Stimpfl, and vocalist Ekim), released their 10-song slab of dirty-ass metal on February 10, 2014. Loaded with a lethal concoction of sludge, doom, grind, and more, Self-Titled has an incredibly rich sound considering this is the work of a three piece band. As such, we hit up Evan Morey to better understand how these guys conjure up their wicked, thick tones and music.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Morey: A JCM 800 model 2205. It’s a 50 watt channel switching head.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Morey: I tune very low and this amp has a great tone plus a clarity that gets lost with the double and triple rectifier heads.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Morey: I set the 2205 through one Marshall 300 watt cab and then ran it into a JCM 800 2203 which ran into two 300 watt Marshall cabs, for a larger sound. The 2205 is where the basic tone comes from.
How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Morey: Basically what I used to record Self-Titled is what I use live. I add a third amp in a live setting. It’s an Ampeg Bass head running into a Sunn 2×15 cab. We don’t have a bass player so the Sunn amp is basically the bass guitar. I recently got a Marshall 9200 power amp to replace the 2203 though.
What are the major pros and cons?
Morey: I love the set up. I feel the 2205 is the perfect amp for what I do in Secret Cutter.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Morey: I don’t have a back up at the moment. I’m thinking of purchasing a Orange Dark terror to back up the Marshall 2205. It’s compact and versatile and I can run it through a power amp. Perfect back up.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Morey: I bought the JCM 2205 in 1998. The amp is a warhorse. I dropped this amp down the stairs at the Trocadero in Philadelphia in 2001. Next day, worked fine. I just got it re-tubed for the first time this year. I will never sell this amp… ever.
Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
Morey: When I first started chaining all these amps together. I kept blowing fuses on my 2203 Marshall. I was using the DI output on the 2205. I had the DI volume at 10, then 5, then 2, and kept blowing fuses. I started using the effects loop and it solved the problem. I blew like 10 fuses. Dumb.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Morey: I love this amp, that is all.
Check out the album ‘Self-Titled’