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Gear Review: Cowards Guitarist Adrien L Discusses His Gibson ’83 Tobacco Sunburst LP Custom Guitar

We chatted with Adrien L, guitarist for the Parisian metallic hardcore/sludge quintet Cowards, to discern just how he’s able to get his sound so dark!

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Since 2013, Parisian quintet Cowards have been peddling their violent blend of metallic hardcore and sludge to the masses and now, as they’re ready to unleash their newest album, the 10 track affair Rise To Infamy (out February 9, 2015), people better duck and cover ’cause this band is totally AMPED UP! The new offering was recorded from September 30th to October 31st at Studio Sainte-Marthe, Paris, with Francis Caste. We chatted with guitarist Adrien L to discern just how he’s able to get his sound so dark!

What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Adrien: I’m not really comfortable talking about my signature sound considering the fact that my real only aim is to have maximum feedback available at all times, but I always use my Gibson ’83 tobacco sunburst LP custom.

What about it makes it so important to you?
Adrien: Being the shallow, narcissistic, self-centered guitar player that I am, I love this guitar for its looks – you can’t go wrong with a tobacco sunburst LP – plus it was made on the year I was born. It might also come from the fact that no other guitar I have owned or played feels more like my hands belong on it.

How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Adrien: Quite a simple setup actually, plugged in a modded TS9, through my Rivera KH100 head and in two cabs, an Orange PPC412HP8 and a Randall Warhead 215.

How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Adrien: We never use gear we don’t own while recording, this way we have everything we need when playing live to at least try and recreate those tones. Once again, it’s often more about general chaos and sound of warfare, feedback running everywhere than really pinpointing the perfect EQs for everybody. As long as the bass lurks alongside the guitars properly and that the drums and vocals cut through. We’ve really always been more of a drum/bass band than a guitar oriented one. Don’t get me wrong, everything begins with the guitar riffs but what makes it good are the drums, bass and vocals, guitars are supposed to be more of a dirty topping on a rotten cake I guess.

Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
Adrien: Ah. I just might have the best gear goes wrong story, although probably not the one you’d expect. Back in ’08 when I was still playing with Hangman’s Chair in Lille, we were all enjoying the aftershow at some guy’s recording studio. The party was really kicking and there was way too much of everything, we felt creative, I got my guitar from the van to record some tracks for a solo for that song we were doing but of course I was way beyond able to record anything decent.

So I had a flash of genius and decided on storing the guitar back in the van, safe. That was my second mistake, you guessed it, next morning, emerging from the haze of the night, my guitar was nowhere to be found and to this day I have no idea where I put it. My best bet is that I probably dropped it on the sidewalk and got back to the party… It’s a good thing that we brought a spare guitar (we usually never did) so we could finish the tour, but needless to say I felt like shit having abandoned my true guitar love in some hazy high I’ll never remember.

We went home and I bought a new guitar that I never liked as much as the LP and life went on… Until, a year and a half later, visiting the one pawnshop that I usually visited, I spot a very similar LP hanging from the wall. Two minutes to check it out, check the serial number that I had photographed back when I bought it and it was official, she had found her way back to me. A couple days of negotiation with the shop owner, exchanges of pictures etc. and my hands were back home at last. How lucky am I?

Check out the album ‘Rise To Infamy’

Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada's (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve of the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.

Alternative/Rock

Geared Up: The Sees Discuss the Gear Used on Their Album ‘Conversations With My Future Self’

Jamie DiTringo and Alex Daly of The Sees join us to discuss their favourite gear they used to record ‘Conversations With My Future Self.’

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The Sees, photo by Kevin Condon
The Sees, photo by Kevin Condon

The title of The Sees’ new record, Conversations With My Future Self, in many ways, implies the record’s theme. Released last month, it is the debut album from the Brooklyn quartet. Featuring eight songs, they freely travel between the past and future, with an epic scope that speaks to the ambition that drives these four talented musicians. Interestingly enough, a lot of the album’s themes stem from lead singer and guitarist Jamie DiTringo’s adoration for Back To The Future. As it did for many who grew up in the 1980s, the film had a profound effect on DiTringo. It not only interested him, a curiosity that remains to this day, but it also inspired him. Moments come and immediately go, and the future quickly becomes past. It’s concepts and ideas like this that form the core of this record.

Conversations With My Future Self is an impressive statement from still a very young band. They did not actually form until the fall of 2022, but their shared history extends back much further. They have played together in the past, but this is the first time that DiTringo has stepped out front. He has never before fronted a band, but that burden is softened by his shared history with his bandmates. The Sees sound self-assured throughout the record, working on a solid foundation of poise and determination.

Today we are joined by DiTringo and bassist Alex Daly for Geared Up. The two discuss their favourite guitars and effects machines that help them achieve their signature sound.

First things first, what’s your current setup?

Jamie DiTringo: “Guitars: Danocaster Jazzmaster, ’74 Fender Telecaster, Gibson SG ’61 Re-issue, Gibson Hummingbird Acoustic

“Strings: D’Addario NY XL 11|49

“Amps: Carr Rambler, ’77 Fender Silverface Champ

“Main pedalboard: My pedalboard was built by Jerry Nepomuceno (27” x 17” with a hinged tier) and I absolutely love it. I recently transitioned into the switching system world and have an RJM PBC6X as the brains behind the setup. In the six loops of the switching system, I have an Xotic BB Preamp and Xotic EP Boost, Interstellar Audio Machines Octonaut Hyperdrive, Keeley Fuzzhead, Electro Harmonix POG Nano, and Strymon Cloudburst.

“I have a Dunlop Volume pedal for volume swells and control of overall volume, a Dunlop expression pedal for changing the intensity of all the delays, and an Analog Endeavor AUX2 Controller to toggle through the songs in our setlist. In the MIDI loop of the RJM PBC6X, I am using a Strymon Mobius, Strymon Timeline, and a Strymon Big Sky.

“After the RJM PBC6X (and before the amp), I am using a Strymon El Capistan for an on-the-fly echo sound, a Strymon Flint for tremolo and additional reverb, Electro Harmonix 1440 Looper for both pre-programmed loops on ‘The Calling,’ and on the fly looping for texture. The last pedal before the amp I added an MXR/Custom Audio Electronics Boost/Line Driver if I want to add a few dB of a clean boost for a lead part. My tuner is a TC Electronic Polytune Mini.

“Everything is powered by a Strymon Zuma with a Strymon Ojai and GigRig Isolator.

“Guitar cables: Evidence Audio Reveal.

Alex Daly:LaBella strings, Sadowsky PJ/FrankenFender PJ bass, Origin Effects Cali76 Compact, Jad Freer CAPO preamp, Line6 HX Stomp XL (acts as a switching system as well as having some niche effects blends on there), Earthquaker devices Avalanche Run V2 delay/verb, Phil Jones Amps.”

What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?

DiTringo: “Strymon Timeline. I love and own a ton of delays but the Timeline can achieve everything in one box.”

Daly: Jad Freer CAPO. “After rolling through Broughton/Darkglass/SansAmp preamps for years it’s the first one that I can get the ‘right’ sound out of consistently and quickly through pretty much any speaker/DI/amp.”

How did you come to possess this piece of equipment? Vintage shop, regular shop, borrowed money, gifted? Give us the details.

DiTringo: “I bought the Timeline probably ten years ago or so. It is from my favourite store in New York City, 30th Street Guitars. I am always buying pedals, especially delay pedals and overdrives. The Timeline has every conceivable delay sound imaginable. Now that I am using the Timeline through the RJM PBC6X, utilizing MIDI, I feel that I am using the pedal in more ways than ever before. It’s like finding a new pedal within your favorite pedal!”

Daly: “I spend way too much time reading other people’s opinions on Talkbass.com. That was the first place that brought Jad Freer to my attention. I then purchased one directly from my favourite Italian electronic audio maestros and haven’t looked back since.”

The Sees ‘Conversations With My Future Self’ album artwork

The Sees ‘Conversations With My Future Self’ album artwork

What made you choose this particular piece of gear and were there any close seconds or alternatives?

DiTringo: “I own a lot of delay pedals and didn’t have a Timeline so I had to have one! It’s as simple as that! At the time of purchase and until recently, I wasn’t using the pedal the way I am now. This is all due to programming the pedal through Strymon’s Nixie software and the RJM PBC6X.”

Daly: “It’s got a versatility that I haven’t seen from other preamps. It’s also capable of putting out quality sounds at both ends of the spectrum. Clean settings give a great clarity and glassy tone like a Broughton DI/pre or Phil Jones, but mixing up gain and the B channel can give near SVT levels of tube warmth and a really full drive.”

Did you use this gear during the recording of the new album?

DiTringo: “The Timeline is all over the record; heavily used on ‘The Calling,’ ‘End Of Scene,’ and ‘Turn The Lights Out.’ All the delays are tied to the BPMs of the album, so everything synchs i.e. main delay melody on ‘Turns The Lights Out.’”

Do you have a special way that you recreate your album tones in a live setting, or is it more just plug-and-play?

DiTringo: “Since I started using the RJM PBC6X, all of our songs have specific presets to recreate the album sounds. I always tweak things and add some more flavour so if I can improve on the recorded sounds live that’s always the goal!”

How easy is it for you to tweak the device and get the tone/sounds you need?

DiTringo: “It’s comforting that all my sounds are locked into the switching system so if a dial on a pedal shifts somehow it won’t matter because it’s all saved. You can tweak things within the RJM PBC6X pretty easily so it’s saved for future use.”

Daly: “The CAPO makes it really easy to dial in tone in a new room. It’s the only thing that touches all of my tone all the time and the two blend-able circuits give me the option to instantly warm things up or act as a gain boost. The dials are really balanced 1-10 so small tweaks are straightforward. The HPF and pre and post-DI options are also great. Having something of that quality and ingenuity on the pedalboard means I don’t have to worry too much about what surprise a backline might throw at me.”

What was your first-ever instrument?

DiTringo:Fender Squier Stratocaster.”

Daly: “My first bass was an early 1990s pos chambered P Bass. It now serves as the body of the Frankenbass PJ.”

What brand do you usually lean towards when looking up new options?

DiTringo: “I use a lot of Strymon pedals. They all sound incredible and I just love working with them.”

What’s your dream setup?

DiTringo: “If I can run a wet/dry/wet setup that would be the dream. Having time-based effects separate from the overdrives and run everything in stereo? That would be the dream for sure.”

Is your jam setup the same as your road setup? Any notable differences (other than output, obviously)?

DiTringo: “I have a few different pedalboards and a couple of boards that can be used live but write a lot on them. Once you start using a switching system and move from pedal-stomping life gets a lot easier live.”

What was the first rig you ever bought that felt like you had “arrived” as a musician?

DiTringo: “I love my guitars a lot. But when I play out of the Carr Rambler amp I just shudder at how warm and clean the amp sounds. There is so much depth to its warmth that I just want to play through the amp for hours.”

Daly: “The Warwick FNA Jazzman with zinc strings into the Trace Elliot Stack just captured everything about the music I was playing in the time I was playing it. So much clank and power.”

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Alternative/Rock

Geared Up: Gina Volpe Dives Deep into Her Gibson SG Diablo, Guitar and Amp Set Up

Singer and songwriter Gina Volpe joins us today for Geared Up, in which she discusses her Gibson SG Diablo, guitars, and amp arrangement.

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Gina Volpe, photo by Barb Morrison
Gina Volpe, photo by Barb Morrison

While she’s no stranger to the music world, things can’t help but feel a little bit different for Gina Volpe. She is set to release her debut solo record, Delete The World, on February 23rd, 2024. But she is no newbie to any of this, having a lengthy, successful tenure as the frontwoman to BANTAM. The power trio released two albums and then a new single last year. Volpe’s time in BANTAM was preceded by her fierce 1990s punk band Lunachicks, which she formed with some classmates in high school. That band became an international touring act, releasing six albums. She then made the leap to lead singer when she formed BANTAM.

In 2017, Volpe released her debut solo EP, Different Animal. This was followed up in 2021 with the Chaos Agent EP. It’s taken some time, but we are finally almost at the release of Volpe’s debut full-length. This is her first full-length as a solo artist. The songs are a change from the style she stuck with on those EPs. Delete the World is a brooding, experimental batch of songs combining indie rock, synth pop and alternative rock. Many of the songs reflect on when coping mechanisms don’t serve you well and the unintended associated consequences.

With such a musical junkie, Volpe made for an ideal participant in our Geared Up interview series. Today, she discusses her Gibson SG Diablo and her elaborate amp setup.

First things first: what’s your current setup?

Gina Volpe: “I play a Gibson SG Diablo through my trusty silver Marshall Jubilee anniversary series half stack. When possible, i.e. local shows, it’s accompanied by two other custom-built amps that my mad professor of a husband created. One is a hybrid green and orange tube amp with a custom 4×12 cabinet. The other is a solid state Hilbish Sunn Beta clone with a crown power amp and a 2×15 Mesa bass cabinet. Do I need three amps on stage? No. But since I have three amps, then why not play them all at once?

“I rotate pedals on my board, but usually I have a custom delay pedal, a flanger, a modified wah, a spark volume pedal and Edison pre and post-amp pedals.”

What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?

“My Gibson/Marshall setup is the meat of my sound, along with the Edison post amp pedals.”

Gina Volpe Riot Fest SG Diablo, photo by Hillary Terenzi

How did you come to possess all this gear? Give us the details.

“Way back in 1989, when my first band, Lunachicks, got signed to the British label Blast First Records, we didn’t really have much in the way of gear. All we could scrounge up at the time were a couple of shitty old solid state practice amps that made all kinds of horrible noise. The label took us shopping on 48th St (aka Music Row) in Manhattan to get some proper gear. We were so young and just learning our instruments that we didn’t know anything about gear, although I did know enough to walk in and say that I wanted a Marshall stack.

“The salesman at Manny’s Music said he’d give us a deal if we bought the silver Jubilee anniversary series that had come out a couple of years prior. Ok, fine, whatever, dude, as long as it’s a Marshall! To this day, I owe that sales guy a long overdue thank you. The Jubilee is my most favourite Marshall series, and I’m fortunate to have one.”

Gina Volpe amps, photo by Basil Rodericks

Gina Volpe amps, photo by Basil Rodericks

What made you choose this set of gear, and were there any close seconds or alternatives?

“Switching to guitars here. I got my first Gibson right after I got the Marshall. It was a ’70s Gold Top. Sounded great, but I never liked the way it played, so I would only use it to record. I rarely played it live. Then I got myself an SG 61 reissue because, duh, Angus Young. I love that guitar, but I hated how neck-heavy it was. Actually, I bought a large fishing weight (at the old fish and tackle shop that used to be in between the Chelsea Hotel and Chelsea Guitars on W 23rd St., more old NYC references), and I sewed it into a pocket with velcro.

“I would then wrap it onto the base of my guitar strap to keep my SG upright. Worked like a charm despite the funny looks I got from some of the other band’s guitar techs. I also always wished that the SG body was thicker and had more heft to it. Ultimately, what I wanted was an SG-Les Paul hybrid, which doesn’t really exist (at least not in the way I think it should). But the SG Diablo is closer with its archtop, and that is my current guy right now.

“Recently, though, the huz decided to take on the challenge of building my dream hybrid guitar, and it’s amazing. I traced the ’61 reissue and the goldtop and made a template for the shape. Once I gold leaf, it will be done and ready to rock. Although it weighs 13 pounds, and now that I’m a little older, I really feel the full weight of it after jumping around and rehearsing with it strapped to me for a couple of hours. Oof, careful what you wish for.”

Did you use this setup recording Delete the World? If so, please elaborate on how and for what parts.

“I did use the SG Diablo for much of the album. But I also had the good fortune of having the New York DollsSylvain Sylvain’s fabulous cherry red SG loaned to me by way of Barb Morrison, my producer. Sylvain’s guitar played beautifully and sounded great. If I could have owned it I would have in a heartbeat, but it’s owner wasn’t going to let it go. I did however get to write and record a few of my favourite songs on the album with it before I had to give it back.

“As for the amps on the album, I have to admit that since I record at home a lot of the time, I’m using plugins such as guitar rig, along with the FM3, which I’ve recently added to my gear collection. Occasionally, though, I will mic up my Marshall, which is in my basement. I have chords running up through the house, and blast away, which I’m sure the neighbours just love. But I do find the digital set up more immediate when I’m struck by inspiration and need to lay something down quick. So the latest single was done on the FM3.”

Do you have a special way that you recreate your album tones in a live setting? Or is it more just plug-and-play?

“This remains to be seen as I have yet to play the new stuff live. But my intent is to recreate as close as possible, which means having more people on the band. I may also be using the FM3 simply for all of the different presets I can make as each song on this album varies quite a lot from the other.”

We know you love this gear, but are there any major cons? (Ok, you can also list the
pros.)

“For The Marshall, cons: It’s kind of big and heavy; a tube can blow at any given moment. Luckily, this has only happened once before, albeit on stage during the second song with a packed house and no spare amp for miles.

“Pros: It’s cool as hell and not that common, and it’s silver. Oh yeah, and it sounds amazing. Also, I remade the letters to spell ‘arsehole’ over the years, though the ‘hole’ fell off and now it says ‘arse.’ Well, actually I think I’m just at ‘ars’ at this point.”

Gina Volpe, photo by Barb Morrison

Gina Volpe, photo by Barb Morrison

What’s a brand or bit of gear that you love that no one else seems to?

“When I first started playing guitar as a teenager, my friend’s metalhead little brother lent me his BC Rich Warlock to learn on, which he later took back and then loaned me his Jackson (now that I think about it, how did a 13-year-old kid have so many guitars?) I got used to playing the Jackson and decided to buy myself a Charvel. It was 1989 in the heyday of hair metal, and there I was, a punk rocker in a punk band with a heavy metal guitar. Everybody had something to say about it. I had to eat a lot of crap for it, but I loved my Charvel.

“It may have been the infamous and hilarious Howie Pyro (R.I.P.) who dubbed it the ‘Poop Charvel.’ I suppose there was a poop shovel joke in there, but I cannot remember what it was. Anyways, I decided that I had to make it less metal-looking and give it a makeover more in my style. Out came the glue gun and the supermarket vending machine trinkets, Barbie doll heads, paint, stickers and whatever else I could find to stick onto her. I am happy to say that my beautiful ‘Poop Charvel’ now proudly hangs on display at The Punk Rock Museum. Go check it out and say hi to her for me next time you’re in Vegas.”

Gina Volpe Guitar World 2000, photo by Michael Halsband

Gina Volpe Guitar World 2000, photo by Michael Halsband

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Geared Up

Geared Up: Instrumental Prog Trio The Parallax Method Unpick their Complex Set-Up

In this new Geared-Up interview, progressive instrumental trio The Parallax Method helps us unpick their complex set-up.

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The Parallax Method

Following the release of two critically acclaimed EPs, The Owl in 2015 and The Squid in 2017, V13 quickly became big fans of instrumental prog trio, The Parallax Method. On July 17th, the band returned with their debut album, Folie à Trois, accompanied by their massive new single, “We’ve Learned Nothing.”

Following the release of both the album and the single, we thought it would make sense to sit down and chat with the band about how they managed to create such a huge sound. So, check out the video to the single while you read the band talking about their set-up in the latest edition of Geared Up.

First things first: What’s your current setup?

Danny Beardsley (Guitar): “My guitar setup has been relatively consistent, although I have a selection of guitars I pick and choose from. This can be driven by a specific sound or depending on how I’m feeling.

Pedalboard: TC Electronic Flashback x4 delay in the FX loop. Suhr Koko Boost & Rufus Reloaded Fuzz and a TC Electronic SubNup in the front end.

Amp: Orange Rockerverb Mk iii 50 head and PPC212OB. (In the studio I use a Two Notes Torpedo Live)

Guitars: Chapman ML2 Pro, Suhr Classic Antique HSS, Seth Baccus Nautilus Standard, PRS Hollowbody 1 and Singlecuts.

Picks & Strings: Hawk Picks and Jim Dunlop strings.”

Ben Edis (Bass): “I play a 5-string Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray with Ernie Ball Regular Slinky strings. The signal chain goes to a TC Electronic Polytune -> MXR Bass Chorus Deluxe -> TC Electronic Sub n Up -> Darkglass Alpha Omicron -> SansAmp Bass Driver Deluxe. Then, on the FX loop on the SansAmp, I have a Digitech Bass Synth Wah and an MXR Bass Envelope Filter.

On the SansAmp, I only use 3 of the 6 patches: one is my clean tone, one is a gritty overdrive tone, and the third I have as a dedicated patch for the FX loop as I try and account for the shifts in volume and tone that the envelope filters can add so as to try and keep things consistent. From the SansAmp I usually just go direct into the sound desk as my back aches too much for lugging an amp around. ”

The Parallax Method - Geared Up Photo 3

The Parallax Method – Geared Up Photo 3

Dave Wright (Drums): “I play a Mapex Saturn V in red/blue hybrid sparkle. 22×18 Kick, 10×8/12×9/16×16 Toms, Black Panther Phatbob 14×7 Snare.

Cymbals: I’ve played Meinl cymbals for over 10 years now and have a selection that I swap between, but these are my usual go-to:

Byzance Extra Dry 13in Medium Hi-Hats
Byzance Traditional 6in Splash
MB10 8in splash stacked with a Generation X 8in Filter China
Byzance Traditional 18in Medium Crash
Byzance Traditional 18in Medium Crash
Byzance Vintage 20in Sand Ride
Byzance Traditional 16in China stacked with a Byzance Extra Dry 10in Splash
Byzance Extra Dry 18in China

Pedals:
Mapex Falcon double-pedal

Heads:
I’ve always used Evans heads, currently using:
EMAD2 on the Kick
Coated G2 for the Toms
ST Dry on the Snare in combination with a snareweight m1b

Sticks:
Vater Keg 5A for the perfect rebound!”

Geared Up - Dave's Kit Photo

Geared Up – Dave’s Kit Photo

What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?

Danny: “My Orange Rockerverb Mk iii is the backbone of my sound. I sound more like me when I’m using that amp.”

Ben: “To me, the sound of a Stingray is really distinctive: it’s bright and punchy but with a low-end growl, and it sits well in the mix and with a wide range of styles. I’m not sure I have a signature sound, but I imagine I would sound very different without the Stingray.”

Ben: “I’d say my main cymbal stack is the key part of my sound.”

How did you come to possess this piece of equipment? Vintage shop, regular shop, borrowed money, gifted? Give us the details.

Danny: “This amp was a birthday gift from my wonderful wife. I think she was tired of me talking about it so bought it for me for some peace and quiet.”

Ben: “I bought it on eBay and collected it from a lovely chap in Basingstoke.”

Ben: “This was a happy accidental combination of two cymbals I was no longer using. No cool story behind them, just a regular shop!”

What made you choose this particular piece of gear and were there any close seconds or alternatives?

Danny: “I have tried plenty of amps through the years and always feel happiest when playing Orange. Rock solid and reliable, super simple and has plenty of chewy midrange.”

Ben: “I already had an Ernie Ball SUB 5 (one of the cheap ones) and wanted to upgrade to the real deal. Before I got the Stingray, I thought the SUB was the best-sounding and playing bass I’d ever played. And then the Stingray just blew it out the water, and it quickly became relegated to the ‘backup bass’ before eventually being sold to Danny due to managing to get my hands on another Stingray.”

The Parallax Method 'Folie a Trois' Album Artwork

The Parallax Method ‘Folie a Trois’ Album Artwork

What about this piece of equipment makes it so important to you?

Danny: “I am not interested in having a 1000 different tones; I want a singular voice that I can colour with a few pedals if I need to. The Rockerverb can do anything from super clean to that ‘in your face’ fuzz, and it’s easy to get those tones. This allows me to focus on trying to play my parts correctly.”

Ben: “Flea was a huge inspiration for me when I first started, and he was playing Stingrays at the time. It’s the bass I’d always aspired to own right from the get-go.”
Ben: “I like the fast attack and tight sound. I’m not such a fan of larger, washy-sounding stacks. This one is perfect for grooves, and quick accents.”

Did you use this gear during the recording of your latest song or album? If so, please elaborate on how and for what parts.

Danny: “My Rockerverb was the only amp I used for the entire album. I adjusted the tonal pallet using a few pedals or the controls on the guitar. The guitars on this album were 95% recorded using my Suhr Classic Antique HSS. A lot of the parts needed that singlecoil sound. There are a couple of solos that I used the Nautlius and some reinforced power chords using the Hollowbody for the intro to “Under the Stinging Tree of Death”.”

Ben: “I used all of the above during the recording of Folie á Trois, along with a few cheeky plug-in effects in Logic. I also used my fretless Fender Jazz 5 for most of “Ainsley’s Chariot” as I wanted that smooth, gliding sound that a fretless gives.”

Ben: “I actually did not! Due to the expensive nature of recording drums and the fact that we were recording the album during lockdown, I used my Roland TD25KV to track all the drums on the album, running into GGD for the sample sounds. I would always prefer to use real drums, however, the GGD samples sound fantastic and have made the recording process much easier, and less expensive while still getting great results.”

What was your first-ever instrument?

Danny: “My first ever guitar was a Hohner nylon classic 3/4 acoustic. I still have this guitar. The string action is absolutely horrendous.”

Ben: “My first ever instrument was a left-handed guitar when I was maybe 12 years old. I didn’t take to it, and that was the end of that. Skip forward to when I was 17, I decided to give bass a go. I’m left-handed and, remembering how limiting it was trying to find left-handed guitars way back when I forced myself to learn bass right-handed. I still air guitar left-handed, and because I naturally want to hold a plectrum in my left hand, it explains why I can’t play bass with a pick. My first bass was a 4-string Peavey Milestone 3 that I only parted ways with last year.”

Geared Up - Danny's Amp & Cab

Geared Up – Danny’s Amp & Cab

Ben: “My first ever instrument was actually a nylon string acoustic guitar out of the Argos catalogue! But my first drum kit was a lovely blue Ludwig Accent kit.”

What’s your favourite piece of equipment you’ve ever owned?

Danny: “Probably my PRS Hollowbody 1. This is my songwriting guitar. I instantly feel inspired playing this guitar. Not the easiest for those ‘shred moments,’ but it’s a real tone machine and incredibly resonant. PRS Hollowbody 1.”

Ben: “My Byzance Vintage 20in Sand Ride. This is a rare example of signature gear that I could not resist! It’s not a typical cymbal used for our style of music, but I think that’s what makes it so special and unique to my setup.”

What piece of gear gave the longest service? Are you still using it?

Danny: “My PRS Singlecut 2003. I’ve played this guitar so much that it had to be re-fretted. It’s a real backbreaker (9.9lbs). This guitar feels amazing to play, though, and is very special to me. PRS Singlecut 2003.”

Ben: “My old Tama Superstar Hyperdrive kit. This was the first “proper” kit I ever bought, and played it extensively in many bands. I ended up selling this kit, unfortunately, but it served me well and went to a good home.”

What was the first rig you ever bought that felt like you had “arrived” as a musician?

Danny: “I remember getting my PRS Singlecut in 2003 and feeling like a Pro for a very brief moment! I wasn’t as tonally, technically or tastefully aware as I am now. All that being said, I’m still faking it until I make it!”

Ben: “When I bought my Ampeg SVT Pro 5 amp head and an 8×10 Ampeg cabinet to run it through, I thought I was the pope of chili town. Little did I know that I’d also just bought myself a whole lotta back pain and years and years of chiropractor bills, too.”

Ben: “Buying my first “proper” drum kit, a Tama Superstar Hyperdrive. This was my first step out of starter gear, and sounded great when I first mic’d it up at a live show.”

Which company do you think has provided the most support to you as a musician? Any sponsors who deserve a shoutout?

Danny: “Orange Amps have been very supportive through the years; Hawk picks are amazingly kind and supportive. During my time with PRS, those guys were super cool. Seth Baccus is a very supportive and talented luthier. Definitely check out his guitars. Bare Knuckle Pickups have been amazingly supportive, and their pickups are superb.

Recently, Rob Chapman and his team have welcomed me to the Chapman Guitars family, and they’ve been ridiculously kind and generous with their support.”

What setup did you spend the most time idolizing as a kid growing up?

Danny: “I always loved the look of the Les Paul, Stratocasters always looked classy but seeing Carlos Santana holding his PRS on the back of Supernatural sparked the Gear-Quest for me.”

Ben: “Dirk Lance’s setup in Incubus was ridiculously complex but sounded so so good.”

Ben: “I always loved the crazy big set ups of people like Joey Jordison and The Rev when I was a kid. However, I never had the inclination (or cash!) to build a set up that crazy!”

Time for some fun. Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.

Danny: “Less “gear goes wrong” and more of a “player goes wrong”. With my dual volume guitars, I often switch to a different pickup not realising the volume is off!”

Ben: “During a rehearsal many years and a few bands ago, we were playing through the set when I start to smell something noxious in the air. Nothing unusual here it being a small room with 5 dudes in. Mid-song, my bass cuts out, so I turn to my amp (a Trace Elliot AH500, I think) and as I get closer I realise there’s smoke starting to come out the back. The whole band stops as it rapidly started to spew smoke and the acrid smell of burning components filled the room. That was the end of rehearsal but not the end for the amp as I put it on eBay for spares/repair. The guy I eventually sold it to was a promoter and wound up booking us to play at the festival he was organising later in the year.”

Ben: “I remember playing a pub gig a long time ago where a cheap cymbal stand decided to fall to pieces and the cymbal proceeded to hit the stage and roll away into the crowd! I had to finish the song and sheepishly collect it before the next track!”

The Parallax Method released Folie à Trois on July 17th, 2023 and you can pick up your copy here.

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