If they haven’t already, Philadelphia, PA Grind/Punk/Metal trio, Die Choking, are going to totally bludgeon you with the mad-ass warp-speed riffery they have going on their latest full-length affair, III. Released in North America on October 8, 2015 via The Compound Records, III was recorded, engineered, and mixed by Will Yip at Studio 4 and mastered by Brad Boatright at AudioSiege. We haven’t quite been able to get our heads around this band’s level of sheer speed, so we connected with guitarist Jeffrey Daniels to talk gear!

What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Daniels: Definitely the Ibanez Universe 7-string I play.

What about it makes it so important to you?
Daniels: It plays great, we have made some serious modifications to it. Completely took out the Floyd Rose bridge and had an Evertune Bridge installed. Also changed the pick-ups out for Seymour Duncan Nazgul and Sentient. Locking tuners and a Graph Tech Black Tusq XL Nut.

How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Daniels: I played it on every song on the new album through a VHT Deliverance 120 Combined with a Top Hat Head Through a Bogner 4×12 cab, I used my other Ibanez 7 string to track on a VHT Classic Pitbull and a JCM 800 through a Marshall 4×12 cab with greenbacks.

How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
Daniels: My main live rig consists of the Ibanez Universe 7 going into an Ibanez ts-808 Tube screamer and an ISP Technologies Decimator 2 Noise gate pedal and then into the VHT Deliverance which has KT88 power tubes. Also I use a BBE Sonic Maximizer going into the effects loop. Gain on the highest setting on the amp and everything else is just there to boost the awesome tone the VHT creates.

What are the major pros and cons?
Daniels: The pros are that it’s a solid rig that is roadworthy and can take some abuse and puts out some massive, crushing tones. It maintains clarity throughout some pretty ridiculous speeds, and you can clearly hear each note and the depth when I’m palm-muting versus normal speed tremolo picking is very distinct. The cons are usually the entire front row’s faces get decimated from the tone, so I have to go around apologizing afterwards.

Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
Daniels: I have a backup 7, it’s an RG7321 with a Seymour Duncan Black Winter Bridge pick-up. Big difference tonally because it has a lot more high end and it can have some sharper clarity than the universe with the Nazgul. It’s also way lighter. In the studio we double tracked each song with the two different guitars both times going through different amp combinations. They sound great together, I think the Universe works best on most songs but the RG really brings out certain parts in some of the tracks.

How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
Daniels: I have been playing this guitar ever since i joined Die Choking, which was about 2 years ago. The guitar has always belonged to our singer/bassist Paul Herzog. He played it for years when he was touring in the band Total Fucking Destruction. I’m honored he lets me abuse it on a nightly basis.

Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
Daniels: Probably the worst gear mess up I’e ever had was right before one of our biggest shows. We were opening the Decibel Tour Philly show with Carcass and Gorguts. Palms were sweaty, moms spaghetti. We sound checked real quick and then got off stage to wait for the doors to open. As they called us back onstage and people started rushing in, the stage manager is yelling to start playing and I wasn’t getting any signal at all. I panicked and stomped on all the pedals, checked all the cable connections, nothing changed. So I frantically unplugged the pedal board, plugged straight into the head and just comically mashed the gain and other knobs all the way up like an idiot, and then we started. Always check your 9 volt batteries in your pedals. It was a brand new battery that I apparently hadn’t snapped in all the way so after the first time I stepped on it to turn it off it became disconnected. This story is also a true testament to the tone of the VHT, it still sounded awesome. Also because I had the Evertune bridge in my guitar i was able to play a 20 minute grindcore set without checking a tuner once.

Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Daniels: It always sounds best played loud!

Check out the album ‘III’ here.

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