I recently had a moment to sit and chat with guitarist extraordinaire Andy Wood, about the gear he uses to achieve his unique and signature sound. Wood has just competed and released a new double album, Caught Between The Truth and a Lie, that contains both acoustic and electric guitar tunes. Here is how the conversation went.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Wood: My source of tone starts at my guitars. Easily the fundamental building block to my tones. I have an arsenal of Suhrs but my main is a custom prototype 24 fret Suhr T.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Wood: I’ve always been a Tele style player, but I seek more ergonomic features that were standard on john’s (Suhr) moderns. So the guys at his shop developed a T with a beveled heel, 24 frets, and asymmetrical neck with flat radius, my preferred electronics, stainless steel frets and a trem. All tucked into that familiar Tele style guitar. Perfection.
How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Wood: My recreations of the albums tones live are fairly straight forward. I start with 4 basic sounds, a clean with spacey verb and delay, a mid-gain Cream-era crunch tone, a singing lead tone with a touch of delay and verb, and a country sound with heavy compression and Slapback delays. For amps I opt for my Rhodes amps, Diezel amps, or Suhr amps, for effects it’s Carl Martin, fractal and TC electronics. If I’m depending on back line I usually go for a Marshall of some sorts and then use Wampler pedals for heavy drive.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Wood: My backup rig is simply the fractal axe-fx2. It has great modeling and compact package perfect for fly dates or if one of my tube heads blows a tube or fuse.
Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
Wood: Best gear gone wrong? Easy. I was playing the Motörhead motorboat cruise, right in the middle of the shreddy outro to my tune “Of Elf and Man” and POP!!! The power amp I was using blew out. I was just like “well. That’s that!” The crowd got a chuckle and I swapped out and finished the show. Come to find out power aboard cruise ships is notoriously inconsistent. So my gear wasn’t to blame. All in the name of music!
Check out the song “The Truth and a Lie”