Gale is a 4-piece band from Phoenix, Arizona that is equal parts doom, sludge, and stoner metal. Heck, they’re even a tad post-metal at times. Regardless of classification though, the band’s music is heavy, dark, and fun-as-shit. As evidenced by their October 21, 2014 release, Vol. 1 (which was recorded live at Audioconfusion in Mesa, AZ on October 5, 2014), Gale can rock! Naturally, we checked in with guitarist and vocalist, Wilson Hensleigh who talked to us about some of his gear.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Hensleigh: I obtain my “signature sound” through a few different pieces of gear used in sequence, but for the purposes of this interview I will focus on my Peavey Mace VT head. This head provides an excellent platform for pedals and if it’s good enough for Skynyrd, it’s good enough for me.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Hensleigh: The two main features this amp has are loudness and dependability. In my experience, most people will describe almost any tube guitar amp as loud. While it is probably true that most guitar amps are relatively loud, I’m talking about louder than that. This amp has a solid state pre amp and a 160 watt tube power amp. I like to look at a row of six 6L6 power tubes. I’m not sure why, I just like it. I’m also a believer of the quality of Peavey amps built in the ’70s and ’80s. Hartley Peavey is an American hero, in my opinion.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Hensleigh: You’d have to ask Jalipaz Nelson of Audio Confusion that. We recorded live so I didn’t really do anything different than I would at a rehearsal or small venue. I remember being mindful of my volume since we were all in the same room; and a microphone was definitely involved. Jalipaz compared my guitar sound to that of a lazer gun. I was pleased with that.
How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Hensleigh: I actually strive to do the exact opposite. I love albums and some of my best musical experiences have been listening to a tape, CD, or record, rather than listening to a band live. That being said, with this band the live sound is the priority and reproducing that is the goal.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Hensleigh: I have several other guitar heads. One of my favorites is a Mark Guitar Classic 1. It sounds kind of like a Twin Reverb, another of my favorites. I have no idea where it comes from and I’ve never been able to find any information on it online or otherwise. If anyone knows any information about it, hit me up on Skype.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Hensleigh: I’d like to share my opinion on guitar amplification in general. A guitar is wood with wires stretched across it. A lot of electricity is involved. I think you should be able to tell that when listening to it. Also I’d like to point out that, if I was the only guitar player in the band, my “signature sound” would be much different. I’m lucky enough to play alongside Brandon (guitar) and Nick (bass guitar), who are both amazing players with excellent tone. Brandon’s tone is thicker and smoother than mine. Our tones are meant to be heard together and complement one another. I’d also like to encourage everyone to get down off the tone cross and not believe the hype.
Check out the album ‘Vol. 1’