Birmingham, UK alternative/electro rock quartet, This Burning Age, self-released the first in a series of four EPs on April 28, 2014. Titled Supplication, the first recording features 3 unique tracks that run the gamut from driving hard rock to soft, piano-lead passages. So as to learn more about this up-and-coming band, we asked frontman Friday (vocals, guitar, synths) some questions about his gear. Check it out…
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Friday: I guess the first thing I have to say is that I’m not a traditional gear-head. I’ll use anything and everything to create the sound I’m after. Whether it’s a boutique pedal or a £10 eBay special, high end amp or bargain basement combo, analogue or digitally modelled I really don’t care, if it makes the right noise I’m happy. That said, I’ve found myself gravitating to the Laney Ironheart range both in the recording of our current 4 EP cycle and for our live shows.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Friday: Although a lot of what I write is pretty riff-based, in the demo stage when I’m laying down guitars, it’s always when I come to the rhythm guitar sections that the song starts to breathe for me and the Ironheart is a joy to work with when I’m tracking those sections. The clean channel is good but it’s when you dial in the gain that it really comes into its own. I love aggressive, wall-of-sound, hit-you-like-a-sledgehammer rhythm sections and the Ironheart delivers in spades.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Friday: We’re recording all four EPs with Tom Gittins at Monochrome Productions in Warwickshire, UK and the Ironheart features on them all. When coupled with my customised SG I can get rich, warm, full gain tones with plenty of sustain whilst still threatening to rip your head off at twenty paces. The dynamic shifts in “There Is No Hope Except For That Which You Give Me” and “Nothing” off EP02, Devotion are good examples of its use and the wall-of-sound approach I tend to take with guitar tracking – layer upon layer upon layer. I used my Gibson Baritone for the Drop A lead riff on “Your Will Is My Kill” on EP01, Supplication and as soon as I ran it through the Ironheart I knew it was the sound I was after. It’s now become one of the signature tones throughout the whole EP cycle.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Friday: For a long time before the Laney came along I was a big fan of Tech 21 stuff. I mentioned at the start that I’m not exactly what you’d call a traditional gear-head and my previous set-up, which is now my back-up set-up, was the complete polar opposite to the Ironheart: a programmable Tech 21 SansAmp Tri-A.C. pre-amp pedal, coupled with some Power Engine 60s for onstage monitoring and an array of pedals, nothing flashy again largely Tech 21 for delay/boost and reverb with the whole lot running straight to desk. It’s a fantastic little set-up and I could coax exactly the sound I wanted out of it (and I’ve got a lot of pre-amp pedals at home including favorites such as my customised Mesa V-Twin) but there’s definitely something to be said for a big-ass head and cab that’s loud enough to make your soul vibrate when you’re on-stage.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Friday: The Ironheart gives me exactly the sound I want and is simply the best amp I’ve ever owned. Tonally it’s very flexible, for example each EQ control can be adjusted further to create a different curve for more tonal variation; it’s solidly built and very reliable and, being entirely superficial for a moment, it looks fantastic. It’s become integral to my current sound and to be honest I don’t see me swapping it out any time soon.
Check out the song “Panic (Bring on the Bomb)”