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Hello friends! It is quite often that Marc and I are asked about our tone and how we go about getting it. The answer is really a combination of years of playing, the hands that God gave us, and the equipment that we so happily endorse.
Marc, Steve, and myself all use ESP guitars. There are reasons for this, the primary being simply that they make the best stuff. Marc and I both use LTD Deluxe guitars. They are just excellent. The craftsmanship and playability are second to none. I play H-1000 and H-1000 FR's and Marc has a colletion of M-1000's that he brings with him all over the planet when we play. Steve just got a 6 String LTD bass that we were all completely blown away with. Holy crap what a great piece of gear!
Marc and I use DiMarzio pickups, exclusively. NOT because we have to, but by choice. We both use Norton's in the bridge and a Humbucker From Hell in the neck position. Our playing style requires CLEAR tone that allows you to hear every articulated note. We play fast and we play mean, and we want you to hear everything we are playing. The DiMarzio's are the only pickups I have used in 25 years that give me that combination of clarity and brutality. The ESP guitars we play are built using premium woods that are chosen for their tonality. With the DiMarzio's we use, you can hear the wood, not just the pickup.
Now, I get a lot of incredulous exclamations for this, but yes, we use Line 6 amplifiers. Marc and I both use VETTA II heads and LINE6 cabinets. Based on the fact that people ask me about our tone and how we get it its pretty obvious that they sound killer. And the fact that we use them should also be a clear indication that they sound killer. Don't believe me? Listen to the record.
We both use Morley 'Bad Horsie' wah pedals. I use mine on the road for the intro to 'Terrors of War' and the solo for 'Inner Self' Again, with the dynamics involved in playing our music, I need a wah pedal that I don't have to worry about stomping down on to turn on or off. With the Bad Horise I just step on it and get instant wah. I lift my foot off and it snaps back to the off position. It is also the single most road worthy peice of gear I have. It has been all over the planet with me and I have beaten it nearly to death, but the little bastard just will not die.
DR makes the best strings in the world, hands down, end of story. I recently pulled a guitar out of it's case that I had last seen almost two years ago. The last time I used this quitar was at Progpower USA X when Futures End opened the festival on showcase night. Not only did it STILL sound great, but the damn thing was STILL IN TUNE! DR's come with this little set of instructions that tell you NOT TO STRETCH THE STRINGS when you put them on. Just put them on, tune it, and it will stay that way. I will never use anything else.
The rest, dear friends in all things metal, comes out of our hands. That isn't a piece of gear that I can share with you.
We are taking all of this wonderful stuff on the road with us when we leave this week to go play with Symphony X in the mid/southwest. You wanna hear what it all sounds like live? Come see us play!
On the Road to Join Symphony X, PowerGlove and BlackGuard in Houston,. Texas Hello friends!
We are very excited to be heading to Houston, Texas once again to play with some friends of ours at the legendary Scout Bar.
Last month the Symphony X/Nevermore bill was changed at the last moment, and we responded to a phone call asking for us to travel to Texas to fill in one of the empty slots.
So Steve, Jon, Marc, Fred, and myself have been busting ass preparing to make sure we deliver the killer show that we promise for every time we take the stage. And friends, we are ready.
We are honored to be playing for the people of Houston, once again. And excited to be joining our friends on one of our favorite stages in the world.
Scout Bar Houston, TX May 14th 8:00 pm
We will be flying in a day early to hang out. The band will be hanging out at MY BAR in Houston on Friday night for the Dark Horse Rising show. Come out and say hello!
SEE YOU ALL IN TEXAS!