With some gnarly photos thanks to Luke Mouradian, we managed to chat with Enabler vocalist and guitarist, Jeffrey Lohrber, about not only the band’s latest album, La Fin Absolue Du Monde (released May 27, 2014), and show off what gear he holds dear! Melding metal, hardcore, punk, and crust, this Ohio-based 3-piece is loud as hell and ready to rip ya a new one!
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Lohrber: My Gibson Les Paul Studio.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Lohrber: This guitar is not really a “great” guitar by any means, but it definitely has sentimental value. When I started drumming seriously in 2002, I stopped playing guitar in bands almost completely until 2009 when I decided to start Enabler. Around 2006, I had started a project with my dear friend Kevin Schindel (ex-Twelve Tribes, Mouth of the Architect, Neon Warship). While Kevin was touring with Twelve Tribes, he had lent me this guitar so that I could work on our side project in my own time and I just fell in love with it. Previously I had only owned Ibanez RGs, or cheap Strat knockoffs that my parents bought me as a kid, so being able to play regularly on a Les Paul just changed the game for me. I view Kevin as someone that was very essential to my learning of how to play guitar properly in the studio, and this is the guitar that I learned those skills on. In 2008, he was nice enough to sell it to me at a “friend” price.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Lohrber: I have used this guitar on EVERY Enabler studio recording. It has a very sharp piercing but beefy tone. It did when I was using Seymour Duncan JBs in it, and it just got even more so when I got endorsed by Lace Pickups and threw a set of Drop N Gain’s in it. It is the primary guitar used in every Enabler record, even though the amplification has changed on every record.
How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Lohrber: On the newest record, I used the engineer Shane Hotchstetler’s Ampeg V4 and Sovtek Mig100H. I layered 4 rhythm guitar tracks with each guitar track going through both heads, but 2 separate tracks with a Boss HM-2 and 2 tracks with a Boss DS-1 (with the Keeley mod) pushing the tone on both amps. All of the settings were dimed on both amps. Live, I have been running a Peavey VTM 120 with the Boss DS-1 and a Sunn 200S with the Boss HM-2 to recreate the amp tone that was made on the record. That will probably change again soon. I fall in and out of love with amps on a monthly basis.
What are the major pros and cons?
Lohrber:The pros are that this guitar sounds bad-ass, the cons are that Les Pauls are heavy guitars and when I jump around like an idiot, my back tends to hurt afterwards.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Lohrber: I had been using an LTD EC-1000 as a back up guitar, but I recently sold it to obtain a Gibson SG.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Lohrber: I’ve had it now for 6 years, and yes, I actually just decided to switch to an SG for live use. The Les Paul took a really nasty fall at a show back in March and cracked the headstock. Our drummer Ryan’s dad, Joe Steigerwald, was kind enough to fix it for me, but it just hasn’t played quite the same and I’m afraid to take the risk of hurting the guitar again.
Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
Lohrber: In March this year, we played a show that got a little out of hand. We were the only metal band on a fest in Milwaukee, and the bar we were playing at was obviously not ready to handle certain things that happen at metal shows. The audience started mildly moshing (I say mild because it was some of our friends and other kids just pushing each other around and having a good time, no ninja kicking or hardcore dancing, or whatever you call it), and the bar owner told us to stop playing. We stopped immediately thinking someone was hurt, but that wasn’t the case. So we started playing again, and everyone was on edge and then things got a little out of hand.
I called the bar owner a cunt over the microphone, hit somebody with my guitar on accident, and the cops were called. Later, the drunk guy that I accidentally hit with my guitar attempted to start a fight with me, and in going to punch him, I knocked my Les Paul over and the headstock cracked. Then I had to have a police escort to load the gear back in the van. Everybody else seemed to love our set though, even though I think it was in the top 5 worst sets I’ve played with Enabler. I also really hate when amps decide to stop working in the middle of a show. I guess that’s what happens when all the amps you like are at least 25 years old.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Lohrber: If you’ve never owned a Les Paul, go buy one. They are the greatest guitars ever made. I think watching Def Leppard, Aerosmith, and Guns N’ Roses videos as a kid just got the look of the Les Paul ingrained in my head. Jimmy Page also used a Les Paul, he’s kind of a guitar god. RIP “Steamin” Steve Clark.
Check out the song “Close My Eyes”