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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.



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

“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

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.


The V13 Fix #004 w/ Darkest Hour, Glitterer, LowLives and more

From pop to metalcore, experimental grindcore to indie, each week The V13 Fix will bring you a roundup of all the new music worth hearing…



The V13 Fix

Welcome to the latest The V13 Fix our weekly round-up of some of the best albums, singles and EPs to drop in our laps/inboxes this week. From pop to black metal to experimental pop to punk rock, there is something for everyone in this mix of new music. Check out and support all the bands and labels if you like what you hear and if there is a particular album you like, make sure you head over to Spotify and check out one of our specially curated playlists where there is more great new music added daily.

Alternatively, if you’re in a band or want one of your bands considered for inclusion get in touch. While we can’t guarantee every album or EP we receive will be included, there are still plenty of other ways we can support you.

So, without further ado, sit back, plug in your headphones and get this week’s V13 Fix of new music…

Zero’ [Single]

When Japanese genre-smashers Crossfaith exploded onto the scene with their brutal, electronic-laced metalcore, the world sat up and paid attention. Well, after twelve months regrouping, the band are back with this new single, a massive statement that they’re ready to pick up where they left off but with a new energy. This new slice of heaviness from the band is packed dangerously full of pulsating electronics and pummelling metalcore. Equally as explosive as it is anthemic, “Zero” heralds a new chapter from the band who, after hitting the reset button twelve months ago, have returned with a vengeance.

Pick up your copy of “Zero” from here.

Darkest Hour
Perpetual | Terminal
MNRK Heavy

It’s incredible when you realise that Perpetual | Termainal is the tenth album in the rollercoaster career of US metalcore/metallic hardcore mob Darkest Hour. Spirit and dogged determination has kept the band going to this point and it is a theme which provides the heartbeat of this savage collection. Guitarist Mike Schleibaum explains: “The record’s theme centers around the duality of survival while embracing rebirth,” and, hearing the band hurtle through each of the eleven tracks, Perpetual | Terminal certainly feels like the sound of a band who have been reborn. An uncompromising, unrelenting metal assault, Perpetual | Terminal highlights exactly why heavy music would be worse off without Darkest Hour in it.

Pick up your copy of Perpetual | Terminal from here.

Morta Skuld
Creation Undone
Peaceville Records

Now, even though the new wave of modern death metal bands is doing a sterling job in keeping the flag flying high for the genre, sometimes it’s nice just to take a trip back into some of the old-school bands. Having formed in Milwaukee in 1990, Morta Skuld are still battering away with their latest offering from the death metal stalwarts indicating no sign of slowing down. For fans of the likes of Obituary, Morbid Angel and Deicide, the band expertly combine groovy moshy sections, blastbeats with swamp born vocals. Creation Undone isn’t metalcore, it’s not deathcore, there are no symphonies, this is just straight between the eyes brutality.

Pick up your copy of Creation Undone from here.

Dirty Deeds
Quiet Panic

M.U.T.T. are a trashy punk rock band straight from the gutters of the San Fransisco punk rock scene. There isn’t much you need to know about the kind of punk rock M.U.T.T. peddle except that it comes devoid of airs and graces. Taking a route one approach, M.U.T.T’s punk noise is covered in snot and packed with attitude. Formed from the ashes of Culture Abuse, the project has moved on from the more rock and roll stylings of their debut album, Bad To The Bone, into more trashy waters. Offerings like “Downtown Boy” come with a suitably unpleasant sneer plastered across their face and, while this EP might a fairly brief listen, M.U.T.T pack plenty of bite into those eighteen or so raucous minutes.

Pick up your copy of Dirty Deeds from here.

Gen & The Degenerates
ANTI-FUN Propaganda
Marshall Records

Alt-punk collective Gen & The Degenerates tattoo their principals proudly onto their debut album. Written to a backdrop of disaster, tragedy and misfortune, ANTI-FUN Propaganda comes from a world of late nights and early mornings, sexuality, gender politics and mortality. It’s a punk rock album at its beating heart but, as vocalist Gen puts it, comes with a humourous approach and a love of dirty disco pop. Lyrically, tracks like “Famous” may come from a dark, bleak place but, as the video for “Big Hit Single” highlights, there is a wry smile and a sense of sarcasm nipping away at the subject matter to make sure we don’t lose sight of the fact that, while a quick look outside your window will show a world imploding on itself, it’s important to enjoy what time we have while we’re here.

Pick up your copy of ANTI-FUN Propaganda from here.


Following his previous band Title Fight ceased touring, lead singer and songwriter Ned Russin needed a creative outlet. The creative outlet soon manifested into what originally started out as solo project but, six years later, has blossomed into a fully-fledged band and the release of their fourth album, but debut as a full band, Rationale. An album with a sound deeply entrenched in the DC hardcore and indie rock scenes, Rationale is a rowdy listen packed with jarring indie guitars and slick pop melodies with the cohesiveness paying testament to the fact that Russin has found bandmates who share his creative vision.

Pick up your copy of Rationale from here.

Hands of Kalliach
Prosthetic Records

Spawned from the minds of Edinburgh, Scotland husband and wife duo have blended together melodic death metal melded with Scottish folk music to create an album that is a work of art. The title of the album is inspired by enormous whirlpool, Corryvreckan, which lies between some of the western isles of Scotland. As harsh yet as beautiful as the inspiration behind it, Corryvreckan is a jaw-dropping piece of work. Soaring passages of melancholic Scottish folk music crash into brutal death metal, like two perfectly matched components. Through the folk music, the pair capture a drama and the emotion that can only come from being truly living and breathing it. When matched up with the extremities of the death metal scene, the end result is utterly majestic.

Pick up your copy of Corryvreckan from here.

Job For A Cowboy
Moon Healer
Metal Blade

For fans of iconic progressive death metal outfit Job For A Cowboy, it’s been almost a decade since new music was last heard from the band. Having teased for a number of years, the band are now back with their follow-up to 2014’s Sun Eater pretty much picking up where the 2014 album dropped off. Unsurprisingly, Moon Healer is the kind of album you really need to invest your time and effort into to really appreciate. Skim over it and you’ll find another incredible album in the Glendale’s musical armoury. Dig under the surface and you’ll find yourself immersed in a world which thematically picks up the story from Sun Eater while musically delivers it in a tightly woven package of complex, experimental, progressive death metal.

Pick up your copy of Moon Healer from here.

Austrian Death Machine
Quad Brutal
Napalm Records

Ten years since their last outing, Austrian Death Machine are back with Quad Brutal, their first album for new home Napalm Records. Formed fifteen years ago by As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis, the Arnie-inspired neck-wrecking death machine is back reinspired and reinvigorated. Joined by a bunch of friends from across the metalcore scene including members of Ov Sulfur and Wolves At The Gate, Lambesis is back with another full-throttle, adrenaline-fueled metal feast. With more muscle than your typical weights room, Quad Brutal is just pumped-to-fuck, beefed-up metal. There’s nothing fancy about this. No need to put your brain into gear, Quad Brutal is just here for when another couple of plates on the end of that bar just doesn’t seem enough.

Pick up your copy of Quad Brutal from here.

Royal Tusk
MNRK Heavy

To date, Alberta, Canada three-piece Royal Tusk have gigged with a veritable Who’s Who of Rock from Slash to Halestorm while, during the pandemic, frontman Daniel sang on viral at-home collabs with Stone Sour, In Flames, and Mastodon. Listening to the hard rockers third album and you can probably pinpoint all of those inspirations seeping through the thumping anthems. Full of hard rock bangers like “Fire In Your Veins” and “The Death of Common Sense” to “Hated”, Altruistic has the perfect blend of melody, singalong choruses and power. Of the album, bassist Sandy MacKinnon says “I really hope you want to blast it in your car and headbang” and we can’t think of a better way to enjoy Altruistic than that.

Pick up your copy of Altruistic from here.

Century Media

Honouring commitments delayed by the pandemic means that it has been almost five years since we have heard a new full-length album from Norwegian progressive folk/black metal band Borknagar. Reading into the whole process the band go through to write an album though, you do get the feeling Fall would have taken as long pandemic or not. An unrushed, flawlessly-crafted peice of work, Fall sounds like Borknagar frontman Øystein G. Brun has worked tirelessly to ensure that every moment of this album plays out like a story. Blast of grim, violent black metal weave through epic passages of progressive rock and folk to tell a tale of survival. Heading towards their third decade, Fall feels like the Norwegians are still riding at the top of their game.

Pick up your copy of Fall from here.

Mother Mother
Grief Chapter
Warner Music / Parlophone

It’s fair to say that 2021’s album INSIDE catapulted Canadian indie rock troop Mother Mother to new heights. Piling up an incredible 300 million streams for said album Grief Chapter has some task ahead of it. The ninth album of their career finds the band at their most energized despite it focusing, lyrically at least, on themes of death and mourning. This is an album that transcends genres not only over the course of the twelve tracks but, as demonstrated on the brilliant opener “Nobody Escapes” or the stomping “Normalize”, many times within songs. An album which may come from a morbid place lyrically, by the end, will have you well and truly hooked.

Pick up your copy of Grief Chapter from here.

Loser’ [Single]
Spinefarm Records

It’s the year 2000 and Wheatus earworm “Teenage Dirtbag” is rapidly becoming one of the biggest hits of the year. An anthem for misfits, outcasts and losers, it’s a song we hold close to our hearts even 24 years later. Now, West Coast alt-rockers have gone and written their own version. A wonderfully hopeful slice of slacker rock, “Loser” has an almost pleading air to the chorus while the melody is lifted straight from the grunge/alt-rock 2000s. The track is taken from the band’s upcoming debut album, Freaking Out, so don’t worry if you’re going through that misfit phase because Lowlives have got your back.

Pick up your copy of Freaking Out from here.

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Day In Day Out Festival Reveals 2024 Lineup & Details

Daydream State has announced the whole lineup for the 2024 edition of their Day In Day Out festival at the Fisher Green Pavilion in Seattle.



Day In Day Out Festival

Daydream State has announced the full lineup of performers for its fourth annual Day In Day Out (DIDO) festival scheduled for July 12th to 14th at the Fisher Green Pavilion at the Seattle Center. Headliners include Seattle indie folk powerhouse The Head and the Heart, American alt-rock band Bleachers, including frontman, Jack Antonoff, and beloved pop artist and three-time Juno award winner Carly Rae Jepsen.

Daydream State CEO and founder Jason Lajeunesse comments:

“We are delighted with the response from the local community as we developed DIDO over the last few years. With the overwhelming success of last year’s sold-out weekend, we decided to expand in 2024 by adding a third day. We’re thrilled to bring even more great talent to the heart of the city.”

Daydream State strives to showcase a diverse array of talent at its events. This year’s lineup will showcase genres ranging from retro-pop and electro to indie rock, including English actress, singer-songwriter sensation Suki Waterhouse, Canadian indie band Men I Trust, and violinist, singer, and songwriter Sudan Archives.

In addition to mainstage performers and local DJ sets, DIDO will feature an all-ages viewing lawn, a 21+ VIP lounge deck, a spacious indoor-outdoor beer garden, local food vendors, and more.

The public on-sale begins on Friday, February 23rd at 9 am PST.

Daydream State owns and operates a number of Seattle’s last independent venues, bars, and restaurants while producing a myriad of year-round live events and festivals that celebrate the city’s vibrant music and arts culture. Known for attracting some of the greatest local and national performers to the Pacific Northwest, the Daydream State team is dedicated to the preservation and proliferation of music, entertainment, and hospitality to create one-of-a-kind experiences. Learn more at

Day In Day Out Festival 2024 admat

Day In Day Out Festival 2024 admat

Day In Day Out 2024 Artists & DJs:

The Head and the Heart • Bleachers • Carly Rae Jepsen • Men I Trust • Suki Waterhouse • Peach Pit • Hippo Campus • The Walkmen • Amyl and the Sniffers • Washed Out • Beach Fossils • Sir Chloe • Sudan Archives • Mannequin Pussy • Les Savy Fav • Blondshell • Illuminati Hotties • Miya Folick • Grace Ives • Mali Velasquez • Acapulco Lips • Acid Tongue + Sarah Savannah • Aleeens • Appaloosa • Avery Cochrane + IVEY • Biblioteka • Brenna Dart • Dark Chisme • DJ Phaedras • Hannah Duckworth • Jul!et • Juliette • King Youngblood • La Fonda • Lemon Boy • Maxwell Edison • Pink Boa • THEM • Waxwitch • Zookraught

Day In Day Out 2024 Sponsors & Partners:

KEXP • The Stranger • Do206 • KNDD • KPNW • BandsInTown • The Nudge • Bolster • Crewfare • White Claw • Pacifico • Coors Light • Schilling Cider • Athletic Brewing • Celsius • Altitude Beverages • Guayakí • Flintts Mints • Cookies Country Chicken

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OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival Returns with Powerhouse 2024 Lineup

OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival dropped an unbelievably impressive lineup for their 2024 edition this week.




The OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival dropped an unbelievably impressive lineup for their 2024 edition this week. The 17th edition of the festival will take place from August 2nd to 4th, at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Saint-Hélène, close to downtown Montréal. Headliners include SZA, Green Day, and Noah Kahan setting the tone for a diverse exhibition that is sure to appeal to the masses.

Representation is present for all genres at this year’s fest. Rock is covered by old-school legends Rancid, LA rockers The Linda Lindas, ’90s indie favourites Sleater-Kinney, and grunge icons The Smashing Pumpkins. R&B will be backed by hip-hop pioneer T-Pain, as well as Tyla, Ayra Starr, and Michaël Brun. Pop is represented by Mean Girls powerhouse Reneé Rapp, Euphoria star Dominic Fike, and alt-pop phenom Melanie Martinez. Indie will be covered by Irish musician Hozier and this generation’s Elvis, Stephen Sanchez. EDM will be showcased with sets by world-class producers like Martin Garrix and Labrinth.

If you’re someone who enjoys all types of music, this year’s OSHEAGA is a can’t-miss event. The lineup easily competes for the best of 2024. Tickets are on sale 2/21 for 3-day passes and 2/23 for single-day passes. Prices are as follows:


PLATINUM TICKET / 3 DAYS: starting at $1,620 CAD

Get your tickets while they last!

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