Created with Sketch.
26 minutes | Jan 25, 2023
When it comes to jazz virtuoso Julian Lage, you’d be hard-pressed to find an electric guitarist who uses less gear. “Any time I’ve [used too much equipment], there’s an awkwardness where I’m still grappling with the fact that I play here,” he says, gesturing to his guitar, then gesturing to his amp, “but the sound comes out there.” He continues, “It sounds like a joke, but it’s been a struggle for me. Any time there’s layers or filters or anything, I feel dissociated.” Of course, Lage’s rig, which buoys his clean, no-frills tone, makes sense for a musician like himself—whose playing often comes across fluidly, and as gently as his personality. For Lage, that fluidity stems from his conception of music as a language. “I think that the way people speak is often more unfettered,” Lage told Premier Guitar in 2021. “There might not be an obvious correlation between the way people speak in a lecture and the notes on the guitar. But it's just a little stretch of the imagination to see that those are pitches, those are rhythms, those are phrases." On View with a Room, Lage’s second release on the hallowed Blue Note Records, he’s offering a fresh, bold continuation of the conversation he’s created over the years. The album features his latest ensemble, made up of himself, bassist Jorge Roeder, and drummer Dave King—but this time, he’s added the legendary Bill Frisell. Together, the musicians help to expand Lage’s body of work with performances of 10 of his original compositions. While on tour for the album, Lage invited PG’s John Bohlinger to the soundcheck before his show at Brooklyn Bowl inn Nashville to share his insights into why he likes a straightforward rig and “honest” tone. In the interview, Lage elaborates on his three main guitars (his Nachocaster, Collings signature, and ’55 Les Paul), explains why he prefers low volume on his amps, and offers a remarkably brief tour of his pedalboard. Brought to you by D’Addario XS Strings.
45 minutes | Jan 18, 2023
We’ve featured loud rigs. We’ve stood strong in front of Matt Pike’s octet of Oranges, been washed over with waves of volume from Angus Young’s nine Marshalls for AC/DC’s “small gig setup” in an arena, trembled from J Mascis’ three plexi full stacks, and even withstood Bonamassa’s barrage of seven amps at the Ryman, but nothing prepared us or compared to the Godzilla-rising-from-the-Pacific roar that is Sunn O)))’s auditory artillery. And it’s more than the sheer sight of 14 amps and 16 cabs or the dishing of deafening decibels; it’s the interplay of these characters and their conductors. “The third member of the band is the amplifiers!” laughed Greg Anderson in a 2014 interview with PG. “We use vintage Sunn Model Ts from the early ’70s. They’re a crucial part of the show. I’ve got more amps than I have guitars.” Stephen O’Malley takes a more metaphysical outlook to the connection between him and the thundering Model Ts. “My philosophy is that I’m just part of this bigger circuit of the instrumentation,” he says. “You have, of course, the amplifier valves, the speaker, effects pedals acting like different and various voltage filters, the air in the room, and the feedback generated from all this equipment, so who’s in the band is immaterial.” We learned more about O’Malley’s perspective when, following a 90-minute drive southeast from Nashville to Pelham, Tennessee, and a short descent into The Caverns, the Sunn O))) guitar tag team welcomed PG’s Chris Kies onstage for an amplifying chat. O’Malley details his signature Travis Bean Designs SOMA 1000A, while Anderson explains how a broken guitar led him to his beloved Les Paul goldtop. Both pay homage and reverence to the eight Sunn Model Ts that form the band’s foundational tonal force, and explain why the LM308-chip Rat influenced their Life Pedal collaboration with EarthQuaker Devices. Special Silver 25th anniversary edition of the V.3 Life Pedal Sunn O)) Official Website Brought to you by D’Addario XPND Pedalboard.
36 minutes | Jan 11, 2023
Ariel Posen 
KingTone’s The Duellist is currently Ariel Posen’s most-used pedal. One side of the dual drive (the Bluesbreaker voicing) is always on. But there’s another duality at play when Posen plugs in—the balance between songwriter and guitarist. “These days, I like listening to songs and the story and the total package,” Posen told PG back in 2019, when talking about his solo debut, How Long, after departing from his sideman slot for the Bros. Landreth. “Obviously, I’m known as a guitar player, but my music and the music I write is not guitar music. It’s songs, and it goes back to the Beatles. I love songs, and I love story and melody and singing, and there was a lot of detail and attention put into the guitar sound and the playing and the parts—almost more than I’ve ever done.” And in 2021, he found himself equally expressing his yin-and-yang artistry by releasing two albums that represented both sides of his musicality. First, Headway continued the sultry sizzle of songwriting featured on How Long. Then he surprised everyone, especially guitarists, by dropping Mile End, which is a 6-string buffet of solo dishes with nothing but Ariel and his instrument of choice. But what should fans expect when they see him perform live? “I just trust my gut. I can reach more people by playing songs, and I get moved more by a story and lyrics and harmony, so that’s where I naturally go. The live show is a lot more guitar centric. If you want to hear me stretch out on some solos, come see a show. I want the record and the live show to be two separate things.” The afternoon ahead of Posen’s headlining performance at Nashville’s Basement East, the guitar-playing musical force invited PG’s Chris Kies on stage for a robust chat about gear. The 30-minute conversation covers Posen’s potent pair of moody blue bombshells—a hollow, metal-bodied Mule Resophonic and a Fender Custom Shop Jazzmaster—and why any Two-Rock is his go-to amp. He also shares his reasoning behind avoiding effects loops and volume pedals. Brought to you by D’Addario XPND Pedalboard.
19 minutes | Jan 11, 2023
Swarms of musicians and guitarists have found social media’s current 60-second attention span inspirational and fruitful. But what happens after that first minute? Well, for TikTok bass tycoon Blu DeTiger, you become a shooting star. However, her story isn’t that sudden or serendipitous. She’s been working towards the spotlight since she first picked up the bass to jam with her drummer brother, Rex, at age 7. “He was playing drums and I wanted to play an instrument,” recalls DeTiger. “As a girl, I thought guitar was ‘mainstream’ because I saw that everywhere and thought bass was rare and it would be more unique to play. I fell in love with it and my passion took over.” Further fanning her musical flame, she joined School of Rock and performed semester-ending concerts covering Zeppelin, Bowie, Prince, the Stones, and others. She collaborated and performed with Chromeo and Jack Antonoff’s Bleachers. Inspired by horn-playing DJs, she even toted her bass to DJ gigs, where she laid down the funkiest lines she could muscle out over the top of her playlists. “I saw people playing saxophone or trumpet over songs they were DJ-ing and I had really never seen bass used in that context. Bass is fire and it should feel good in a club because of the low frequencies hitting you.” An added benefit of the symbiotic sets was elevating her improvisational skills. Then, the pandemic hit and DeTiger took to social media, finding a creative outlet on TikTok by adding dance-y flourishes and bouncy thunder to classic tracks. She earned a spot helping announce Fender’s Player Plus P and scored a deal with ALT:VISION Records, releasing the How Did We Get Here? EP in early 2021. She’s since graduated to being an UMG Recordings/Capitol Records artist and continues to embrace the snippet culture by churning out singles: “Blondes,” “Blutooth,” “enough 4 u,” “Crash Course,” and “Hot Crush Lover.” Yeah, you might only see 60 seconds of her talent before the algorithm pushes you by, but she’s put in years of sweat to get this far. What’s the plan going forward? To throw one helluva party, of course! Ahead of her headlining set at Nashville’s Basement East, the booming bass star jumped at the chance to give her eager fans what they’ve been asking for—a Rig Rundown. In the chat with PG’s Chris Kies, she covers why she saw the bass as an underdog, how a Jazz tops a P bass, and explains the reason behind not going through her “crazy pedal phase” yet. Brought to you by D’Addario XS Strings.
55 minutes | Dec 21, 2022
Inspired to by play guitar by his 6-stringing father, Shawn Tubbs emerged from the Christian-music scene. By his late teens, he was doing club and session gigs, and became part of The Violet Burning. In 1992, he played with Stone Temple Pilots on an episode of MTV Unplugged, then got deeper in the high-profile Nashville session scene, and began touring with Carrie Underwood. He’s since stopped road-tripping in favor of the studio, where he’s a first-call player and his credits include recent work with David Crosby. The 30-year-veteran guitarist’s current album, Demolition, A Collection of Short Jams, can be heard on SoundCloud, and he’s got a popular YouTube channel, but you can hear him demo is own gear in this Rig Rundown, filmed at his home studio. Brought to you by D’Addario XPND Pedalboard.
41 minutes | Dec 14, 2022
Butch Walker 
When you produce acts like Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, Weezer, Green Day, Pink, Rayland Baxter, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr., it’s hard to find time for your own music. Yet in 2022, Butch Walker managed to release his 10th album, Butch Walker as … Glenn—a surprising tribute to the ’70s piano-rock balladeers that were among the rulers of FM radio in his youth. Nonetheless, that didn’t stop him from bringing a fleet of cool Fender and Gibson guitars, and a hemi of an amp, a Two-Rock Bloomfield Drive, on his recent It’s About Damn Tour tour. For Walker, playing those guitars is something of a comeback celebration. In 2007, the house he was renting in Malibu from Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers caught fire and the Rome, Georgia, native lost the collection of classic axes he’d spent a lifetime accumulating, as well as the masters to every song of his own that he’d recorded. As Walker explains in the Rundown, it was a hard lesson about keeping up with insurance and making sure all his valuable instruments are covered—which they weren’t. Today, he splits time in Nashville, where he’s also built a new version of his RubyRed studio in the old Warner Music building, from the 1950s. As Walker said in a Facebook post. “There’s been countless hits and amazing country and rock ’n’ roll songs recorded here over the years. It smells a little funny. It’s maybe haunted (hell, it was a morgue at one time). But I love it. It’s got vibe for days, sounds incredible, and people dig working here.” So, dig into Walker’s Rig Rundown, which we filmed in November at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl. Brought to you by D’Addario XS Strings.
24 minutes | Dec 7, 2022
Trivium steadily raised its metal flag through the old-fashioned method—relentless touring. The band took any and all opening slots, priming crowds for Metallica, Iron Maiden, Killswitch Engage, Machine Head, DragonForce, Korn, and Megadeth before graduating to headliner status. That constant grind was fueled by 10 full-length releases that incorporate varying tints and tinges of their three core musical tenets: metalcore, melodic death metal, and thrash. (The band derives their name from a Latin word that means “three-way intersection,” describing their combination of these aggressive subgenres.) And while tone dictates many decisions made by a guitarist, touring comes with a cost and might be the one thing that could trump a player’s desired setup or sound. Now, with elevated gas prices, venues fleecing bands for merch cuts, and overall hiked inflation, many artists are having to compromise and condense their live arsenal. Thankfully, digital modelers like the Fractal Axe-Fx and Kemper Profiler have made that decision easier (or harder, depending where one sits on the digital-versus-analog debate). Trivium embraced the future in the early 2010s, when they shifted towards the Axe-Fx II and then pivoted to the Kemper Profiler. “We were one of the first bands to use Axe-Fx and Kemper, and both those things rule,” says Matt Heafy. So, it’s rare to see a hard-charging, globetrotting force like Trivium—who were rocking Kempers during our 2014 Rig Rundown—return to their roots, blasting through furious 5150-style heads after nearly a decade on the digital dial. “In 2019, when we were in the studio recording What the Dead Men Say, we didn’t have any amps and it was a bummer. We had to scramble to find somebody who had tube amps that we could use to track, so after we finished that album, I never wanted to be stuck in that situation again. I scoured Reverb and bought all my favorite amps and everything we used for all our past albums. Through that process, I really got back into messing with gear,” explains Corey Beaulieu. Onstage, the return of the stacks enhanced their performance. “The modelers had a slight latency—I don’t think the crowd noticed the difference—and I felt that if we could shave off a little bit of that by bringing back the amps, reducing the response even closer to zero, we’d be better for it. We’ve just really loved returning to live tube heads.” The afternoon ahead of Trivium’s headlining performance at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works on October 14, guitarists Beaulieu and Heafy joined PG’s Chris Kies to cover the pair’s smorgasbord of signature gear—they know what they like, and brands are eager to hit their high standards—and why they transitioned back to traditional tube-drenched tone. Brought to you...
21 minutes | Nov 30, 2022
Rut busting and reconstructing has probably been happening since the discovery of fire and advent of the wheel. Guitarists confront it each time they pick up a new instrument to avoid predictable patterns and tones. Premier Guitar contributor (and recent Rig Rundown subject) Pete Thorn has addressed this by suggesting several practices to approach our beloved 6 strings in a fresh perspective. And recently John Bohlinger recommended playing a different instrument to fertilize musical crops. But what does a guitar-playing producer and multi-instrumentalist do to shake things up for his band’s fourth album? Well, for Puscifer’s Mat Mitchell and the band’s 2020 release, Existential Reckoning, you go back in time 40 years to 8-bit synth sounds and the archaic sampling lurking inside the proto-digital Fairlight CMI. “Part of [the appeal],” Mitchell told PG in a 2021 interview, “is the flow—the way that you work when you’re using these tools. It forces you to do things differently. They are very limited, and being creative within very set boundaries is really good.” And being the creative force he is, Mitchell found gold in the antiquated sounds and tech. “They sound very unique,” he explains. “Of course, you can sample one and put it in a laptop, but it’s different. All the voices are separate hardware. When you hit a note, it is bouncing around between [processor] cards, so you can hit a note five times and it may sound different all five times. There are all these little things that affect the way it sounds when you’re performing, which is a very different sound from what you get when you sample.” But he would never tour with this digital dino, so how does Mitchell recreate 8-bit tones in a performance setting? Thankfully, moments ahead of the audience filling the pews of Nashville’s iconic Ryman Auditorium, Puscifer’s aural architect welcomed PG’s Chris Kies for a chat about how Existential Reckoning’s inspiration took him back to the future, and how his live rig has metamorphized and been miniaturized with contemporary gear to realistically represent those superannuated sounds. Brought to you by D’Addario XPND Pedalboard.
31 minutes | Nov 23, 2022
The Smashing Pumpkins 
The Smashing Pumpkins' first two albums, Gish and Siamese Dream, were a huge part of the soundtrack for the early ’90s alternative rock revolution. Still sounding revolutionary all these years later, the band’s leader, Billy Corgan, recently brought the Smashing Pumpkins to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena for the Spirits on Fire tour, on the heels of their 11th studio album, Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts. The concept album is a sequel to the Smashing Pumpkins’ definitive three-LP masterwork Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, from 1995—which also brought them crushing into the mainstream. Acts two and three of Atum are scheduled for January and April 2023. But meanwhile, there are live shows … and all the gear it takes to recreate more than three decades years of the band’s signature sounds. PS: Special thanks to super-tech Trace Davis for his help with the fine points. Brought to you by D’Addario XPND Pedalboard.
15 minutes | Nov 16, 2022
If you were to ask my wife, “What two things sum up Chris?” … she’d likely respond with “grilled meats and heavy metal.” So, given the chance to interview the self-appointed (and unchallenged) founders of “Drive-Thru Metal” that solidified their crispy claim with classic cuts “Frying Pan,” “Sweet Beef,” and “Pair-a-Buns,” I ordered a full plate. The thing is, you don’t just interview guitarist Slayer MacCheeze and bassist Grimalice. Not because they’re from the “bowels of outer space” and don’t speak or understand English. They converse quite well. But these seasoned freaks don’t do anything for free. Everything’s on the menu and it’s all for sale. Thankfully, minutes before doors opened at Nashville’s longstanding rock beacon, Exit/In, Mac Sabbath’s techs Bill Woodcock and Jonathan Hischke summarized their monster masters’ tangy tone tools. The flash-fried, seedy conversation quickly taps some key signature gear of another Sabbath that equally sweetens and thickens the band’s sound like a condensed and chilled milkshake. Plus, there’s a story about how one fateful Black Friday deal provided an iconic, golden-arch bass. Here’s to a fun-hearted Rundown with the Milky Way marauders that fight back against stale food and rotten riffs. And by the end, we bet you’ll be saying “I’m loving it.” [Brought to you by D’Addario XS Coated Strings: https://ddar.io/XSE.RR]
56 minutes | Nov 10, 2022
Pete Thorn has constructed a dream career on being heard, not seen. He’s toured the world backing Chris Cornell, Don Henley, Melissa Etheridge, Jewel, and Japanese rock icon Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi (even performing at Mt. Fuji for over 100,000 fans on the biggest concert stage ever assembled in Japan). For a self-proclaimed “guitar nerd” (check out Pete’s 2011 album under the same name), it was a 21st century guitarist’s goal. After that, what does one do in between tours to stay busy and relevant in a modern world? You become a beloved YouTuber, of course! His channel is a great destination for gear demos and comparisons, but Pete’s content stands out with his simple, and east-to-apply tone tips. (It’s worth noting that Pete did this very thing inside Premier Guitar for years with his “Tone Tips” column. Check it out!) The fun, diverse, informative videos Thorn has delivered have blossomed into a parallel profession with a built-in audience pushing 250k subscribers. While PG was on the road in SoCal, Thorn graciously invited Chris Kies into his Hollywood-based recording sanctuary, where his YouTube channel takes form. The hour-long chat covers Thorn’s signature Suhr gear (guitars, amps, and humbuckers), he shows how his setup can switch between eight tube amps in a flash (only outdone by his ability to interchange cabs, mics, and speakers in a snap), and we dive deep into Pete’s primary pedalboard. Brought to you by D’Addario XS Coated Strings.
28 minutes | Nov 2, 2022
Joe Robinson 
When Joe Robinson was learning to play in the remote village of Temagog, New South Wales, Australia, YouTube was his teacher. Then he discovered Tommy and Phil Emmanuel—Australia’s sibling 6-string slicers—and set out on a path that would lead him to Nashville, where he’s been a part of the city’s guitar cognoscenti for the past 13 years. At 31, Robinson’s fans include Tommy Emmanuel (who’s been a committed mentor), Steve Vai, Robben Ford, Eric Johnson, Steve Lukather, Albert Lee, Steve Morse, and Lee Ritenour. He’s released six acclaimed albums, performed in 40-plus countries, and continues to serve a large online audience through livestream concerts and his own popular YouTube channel. Robinson shared his current touring rig before an October 18 show at his adopted hometown’s City Winery. Brought to you by D’Addario XS Coated Strings.
37 minutes | Oct 26, 2022
Foo Fighters' Chris Shiflett
When Chris Shiflett left No Use for a Name and joined the Foo Fighters in 1999, he almost had no gear. The band was rehearsing to support their third album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose, and leader Dave Grohl was doing an inventory check on their newest member. “Dave asked me how many guitars I had, and I said, ‘Well, I have two, but one has a broken headstock,’” recalls Shiflett. “Dave chuckled and said, ‘We gotta get you a few more guitars.’” The duo ventured down to Sunset Boulevard hitting all the guitar shops and Grohl gifted Shifty a pair of Gibsons (that we’ll meet later). (This story is even more proof that Grohl is one of the coolest rock stars ever.) “I had been going to some of those Sunset stores since I was a teenager, and they’re never nice to you because they know you’re not buying anything. So, when I went in there with Dave Grohl and his AmEx card, it was a real moment for me. Here I am joining my dream band, and he’s like, get whatever you want … and he really meant it!” Shiflett’s gear germination didn’t stop there. “When I joined the band, I didn’t have any pedals. And now my bandmates constantly make fun of me for the size of my pedalboard—it’s ridiculously big and there are a lot of pedals on it—but my view has always been, ‘as long as I don’t have to carry it around, bring them all [laughs].’” But they all serve a purpose and allow Chris to stand out in a three-guitar band. “I do love that my role in Foos over the years has become the color guy with all these pedals.” His growth as an artist doesn’t stop there. Shiflett’s put out punk albums in Jackson United and for nearly 25 years, he sparked endless good times in the best punk-rock cover band (Me First and the Gimme Gimmes). In 2010, he shifted his creative outlet to busting out alt-country twangers and Bakersfield barroom bruisers as Chris Shiflett & the Dead Peasants, and then, later, solo. Since 2013, he’s been hosting a podcast (Walking The Floor with Chris Shiflett) that’s featured conversations with Wolfgang Van Halen, Mike Campbell, Greta Van Fleet, Billy Strings, and recent Rig Rundown subject Marcus King. Where does the dude find the time?! Following Foo Fighter’s recent Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert at L.A.’s Kia Forum to honor their dearly departed drummer, Shiflett carved out some precious time and invited PG’s Chris Kies to the Foo’s HQ, Studio 606. The laidback conversation covered his essential live guitars (including a not-so-golden ’57 Les Paul and a few gracious gifts from Grohl), some custom Friedmans, and a pair of unusual AC30 stacks that only he and Sir Paul have … and all his pedals that sting, sparkle, shimmer, and sizzle.
25 minutes | Oct 20, 2022
Marcus King 
Since Marcus King’s previous Rig Rundown in 2017, he’s made two albums—produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach—and scored a Grammy nomination. He’s also busted out his own signature Orange amp with an allusive name, and upped his profile, stepping from clubs to big halls. Not bad for a South Carolina kid with blues in his bloodline. And, really, not entirely unexpected. King hit the scene in his teens as a full-blown virtuoso, playing club gigs at night and going to high school by day. He was initially championed by Warren Haynes, who was so impressed that he released the Marcus King Band’s 2015 debut, Soul Insight, on his Evil Teen Records label. And then the hard-playing young roots genre-blender rode that wind under his wings. Before his September 29 gig at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, touring behind his recent release Young Blood, he entertained PG’s John Bohlinger—with some help with the details from guitar tech Cody Bates—with a close-up look at his current touring rig. Dig in! Brought to you by D’Addario DS XS Strings.
32 minutes | Oct 12, 2022
Code Orange's Reba Meyers
What would you get if you put the heaviness of Converge, the industrial sounds of Nine Inch Nails and Type O Negative, the catchiness of ’90s metalcore, the frantic delivery of Black Flag, and the sampled-chopped-and-glitched production of hip-hop into a blender and hit liquefy? You’d get 100 percent of your daily intake of Code Orange. The band was formed—as the Code Orange Kids—in 2008 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by Eric “Shade” Balderose (vocals, keys, programming, and guitars), Reba Meyers (guitars and bass), Jami Morgan (drums and vocals), and guitarist Greg Kern (who left in 2010). The current lineup also includes bassist Joe Goldman and guitarist Dominic Landolina. They’ve always played heavy and fast, rising quickly in the hardcore ranks with 2012’s Love Is Love/Return to Dust and 2014’s I Am King, but things took a dramatic, dense turn in 2017. (The band shortened their name ahead of the 2014 release.) Their Grammy-nominated, critically-acclaimed third and fourth albums, 2017’s Forever and 2020’s Underneath, incorporated all hues of heavy—drawn from all corners of crunch. In a 2020 interview with PG, Meyers explained the progression: “We took as much of it into our own hands that we could—writing, recording, mixing, mastering—and it drove us crazy, but we knew if we really did this record how we imagined it, it could become something that we’re extremely proud of and is recognized by people beyond the niche world of hardcore that we come from. That was proven to us a little bit on Forever, because of the Grammy nod. We realized that if we really took what we do to the absolute fucking edge, we could make something important and bigger than ourselves. Especially bigger than our individual selves, because it’s a full-band effort.” Creativity and performance are one thing, but how does a guitarist convey all the ideas in his or her head into a specific sound and where does that explorer mentality arise? “We didn’t have shit growing up. I would borrow people’s old Carvin amps that barely worked, and through that you’d learn what really mattered. The crap gear sometimes would produce cool sounds that you wouldn’t expect, and your ears grow and evolve,” recalls Meyers. “Bottom line, what matters most is your hands, your creativity, and your performance. For that reason, I pick pedals that are loud and proud to speak in my language and Code Orange’s language.” The afternoon before Code Orange’s middle slot for hip-hop duo $uicideboy$’s arena tour stop at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium, Meyers pulled her gear aside and invited PG’s Chris Kies backstage to catalog her eviscerating setup. In this RR, she details her signature ESPs (and why they no longer have EMGs), shows how she breaks down the digital-versus-analog wall by pairing an Axe-Fx III with a 100W 5150, and chronicles the “toys” she enlists to converse in the band’s dialect. Brought to you by D’Addario XPND Pedalboard.
18 minutes | Oct 5, 2022
Amyl and the Sniffers
Amyl and the Sniffers are pragmatic. They rock fast and write and record even faster. Legend has it they knocked out their debut EP, 2016’s Giddy Up, from start to finish in just 12 hours in the band’s shared home. And their Australian Recording Industry Award-winning (Best Rock Album) self-titled full-length debut is a sweltering, swaggering, scallywag’s set of 11 songs that clock in at 30 minutes. During Australia’s Covid shelter-in mandate, the frenzied foursome locked themselves in their home once again to pen 13 rambunctious-yet-buffed jams that combine blazers with slow burns. Regardless of tempo, danger lurks in their every note and word. With the disregard of Iggy, the venom of Lemmy, and power of Angus, their live performances are tornadic events. Lead singer Amy Taylor is the charismatic lightning, while guitarist Declan Martens, bassist Gus Romer, and drummer Bryce Wilson are the locomotive thunder. Hours before Amyl and the Sniffers’ headlining set at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl, Martens invited PG’s Chris Kies stage right to chronicle his Hemi-like setup. In this episode, we meet his paired live instruments from Gibson, unwrap the story behind his “Excalibur” pedal, and understand Martens’ MO to work smarter, not harder.
11 minutes | Oct 3, 2022
Exodus' Gary Holt 
If you’re a devoted follower of the Rig Rundown series, you’ve probably noticed our recent rash of thrash. We’ve featured nearly every corner of the genre—heavyweights Megadeth, torchbearers Anthrax, revivalists Municipal Waste, and, now, pioneers Exodus get their (re)visit. Their four-decade reign and 11 gnashing albums are brimming with sinister, trouncing, wood-splitting riffs and vividly vicious narratives. And the blade of this chainsaw collective is its longest-tenured member, fretboard flyer Gary Holt, whose last Rig Rundown appearance was in 2015. During the afternoon of Exodus’ middle slot for the ongoing The Bay Strikes Back tour—featuring neighbors Testament and Death Angel—at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl, Holt’s tech Steve Brogden invited PG’s Perry Bean onstage to catalog the thrasher’s setup. In this RR, Brogdon details the murderous axes, custom cabs, and more that Holt is packing into the trailer and onto the stage. Brought to you by D’Addario Nexxus 360 Tuner.
19 minutes | Sep 21, 2022
Death metal is a genre built on precision and power. Chelsea Grin’s articulate picking and gut-rattling riffs are its foundation. But thanks to a rotating cast of ripping guitarists (including Rig Rundown alumnus Jason Richardson), their five albums have shown subtle brick-and-mortar flair by incorporating elements of djent, metalcore, doom, black metal, and even post-hardcore. The current lead guitar chair has been filled by Stephen Rutishauser since 2015. His input has given their chaotic sound a more meticulous gnarl and complex rhythmic density that binds discord and darkened melodies. Hours before Chelsea Grin’s rare club gig at Nashville’s the End, the gruesomely heavy guitarist invited PG’s Chris Kies onstage to talk gear. In this RR, the band’s face-melter details the sparkle-covered Petrucci signatures that he carries on tour and breaks down the dialed-in digital patches that color their brutal barrage. [Brought to you by D’Addario dBud Earplugs.
18 minutes | Sep 14, 2022
Dragged Under's Ryan "Fluff" Bruce
If you’ve perused YouTube for videos dealing with triple rectifiers, 5150s, the cheapest guitars imaginable, or absurd gear listings on eBay and Reverb, you most certainly know Ryan “Fluff” Bruce. The mastermind behind Riffs, Beards & Gear has amassed over 400K subscribers and nearly 100 million views since starting his channel in 2006. His charm is a mixture of quality, inviting guitar-related content with high-brow information and effective, well-timed low-brow comedy. And, of course, some high-brow goofs, too. On top that, Bruce often leaves his Pacific Northwest video sanctuary to continue chasing his main passion—playing guitar in a band. His current venture is Dragged Under. The quintet is a Negroni of rock, stirring in equal parts upbeat pop-punk (with anthemic choruses), melodic metalcore moshers, and spine-testing breakdowns. Occasional garnishes include sinister synths, acoustic guitars, and even orchestral overtones. They formed in 2019 from the ashes of Rest, Repose—with carryover members vocalist Anthony Cappocchi and fellow guitarist Josh Wildhorn. Bassist Hans Hessburg and drummer Kalen Anderson filled out the lineup for their 2020 debut, The World Is In Your Way. And since that release, guitarist Sean Rosario has replaced Wildhorn and helped bring their brand-new batch of jams, Upright Animals, together for a June 2022 release. Ahead of Dragged Under’s headlining show at Nashville’s punk-rock lair the End, on September 1, PG’s Perry Bean jumped onstage to talk shop. “Fluff” showcased his attractive and adaptable Music Man riff cannons, detailed the development of his signature Fishman Fluence humbucker (and who’s voicing he stole for one of his own), described his transition from the Line 6 Helix to Axe-Fx III, and spearheaded a jovial chat that involves a peculiar Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Warlock. Brought to you by D’Addario String Finder.
43 minutes | Sep 8, 2022
Anthrax went to church when they brought their Covid-delayed 40th anniversary tour to Nashville—the Mother Church of Country Music, that is, aka the Ryman Auditorium—on August 15. And PG’s Perry Bean was there to welcome the thrash metal royals and talk with guitarists Scott Ian and Jon Donais, and bassist Frank Bello. Some things have changed in their gear since our earlier Rundown, in 2012, but not Ian’s loyalty to Jackson, which makes the signature-model King V’s he loves to play. Donais is equally stoked on his Dean Exile signature axe, which he also used on the recent Shadows Fall reunion tour. And Bello shared his new signature Charvel bass and EMG pickups. Ian kicked things off, playing his V with a vintage-diner-tile-style finish, his current favorite. Check it out! Brought to you by D’Addario XS Coated Strings.
Terms of Service
Your Privacy Choices
© Stitcher 2023