Boss Keloid release their new album Melted On The Inch through Holy Roar Records on April 27 so, ahead of the release, we sat down with guitarist Paul Swarbrick to talk about the set-up he used to record the album.
Tell us a little bit about your set-up…
Paul: I play through two Matamp heads with both engaged at all times using an ABY. The GT2 I play through the clean channel with the depth set to maximum and bass and mids set to high. The GT150 I use a touch of gain and higher treble and presence than the GT2. This gives me a good blend and balance of frequencies. The Matamps have a really warm and clear tone with a lot of depth to them. I run my 1983 Gibson LP Custom with original Tim Shaw pickups through an EH Pog 2, EH Ravish Sitar, EH Deluxe Big Muff and Boss DD7. I pretty much have the Pog 2 switched on all the time and alternate combinations with the other pedals.
Which is the most important piece of your set-up?
Paul: The Pog 2, which I certainly take advantage of the two octaves including sub-octave for the deep tone. My Pog 2 settings create a very strange and unique tone with a lot of texture. It sounds like a guitar, bass and organ combined. Originally, I just wanted to use it as an octave pedal that I switched on occasionally, but I become addicted to its tone and started using it as my base to build with.
Why do you go with this set-up?
Paul: I’ve always been interested in achieving a bass heavy guitar tone but one that still allows the individual notes from my fiddly playing to cut through. The combination of the two Matamp plus Pog 2 creates the essence of my tone. It’s only been recently where I have started to experiment with other layers and on Melted On The Inch I used the sitar emulation and delay pedals quite frequently to create a lovely texture and richness.
Do you use the set-up both live and in the studio?
Paul: I use this set up in the jam room and playing live. When recording Melted On The Inch I used my Matamp GT2 simultaneous with a Peavey 5150 in lieu of the Matamp GT150.
What are the pros and cons of using this set-up?
Paul: It gives me the tone I’ve been wanting to create for a long time. It gives me a balls heavy deep tone full of texture and character. There are no cons for me really but I think I can certainly evolve my tone and experiment with other layers and textures.
How long have you been using this set-up?
Paul: Pretty much since the start of the writing process for Herb Your Enthusiasm in 2014. Since then I’ve added the second Matamp, EH Ravish Sitar and Boss DD7 when writing Melted On The Inch.
There must have been the odd occasion when things have gone wrong? Any memorable stories?
Paul: Little things usually go wrong during every show, typically a loose or damaged lead, or blown amp fuse. I’ve snapped a string on a few occasions. The most recent was halfway through the first song at Uprising Festival. I managed to surprise myself and turn it around and re-string pretty quickly without losing much momentum. The worst snapped string incident didn’t go so smoothly. We still had a few songs to play at a local show and I snapped my low E and tried to replace it with a much lower gauge as that’s all I had. I couldn’t get it to tune properly and didn’t have an alternative guitar so therefore we had to end the show. It was a great show up until that point too.
Finally, is there anyone you would like to thank?
Paul: The rest of the gents in the band as they’ve helped me evolve my tone and musicality over the years, giving good suggestions and good advice. Jeff at Matamp for making the green goodness. The dude who designed the EH Pedals, especially the Pog 2. Holy Roar Records and Hold Tight PR for supporting us and our latest album Melted On The Inch.
Check out Paul’s balls-heavy deep tone on the Boss Keloid video for “Chronosiam”