e e d
AW: How do you like it compared to touring with cabinets, as you did
in the past?
Well, I have to tell you, it's really nice after a show to take your in-
ears out and you don't have ringing. You can actually go to sleep instead
of lying awake and waiting till the buzz goes away. We've been doing
this for so many years that I have some damage in my left ear. It's not
even from the guitars - it's just the damn cymbals. But it just gives you
a little bit more control, which is nice. We're very, very hi-tech now; we
have the whole system streamlined. We can fly with the whole backline,
everything we need, including our monitors and everything, anywhere
in the world. It allows us to be self-sufficient, and I like that, you know.
AW: Yeah, that's got to be great to be just able to show up wherever
with the Kempers with you and you're going to have your sound. You
don't have to rely on what kind of rented backline they might have
available at that place.
Exactly. And we have iPads for monitors, we have the same
monitors on every night, we control them ourselves with iPads. There's
really no change in sound wherever we go, we just plug in and it's the
same. Especially when we do festivals, you know, where we're set up
in minutes, and we have the same sound that we had last night, or six
months ago.
AW: I've always been impressed that I can easily hear every note
that you're playing, both live and on recordings. That's not always
true in metal: sometimes the bass player just disappears. So what is
your ideal tone?
That's a good question. It's a tone that's pretty much precisely what
you just said: a tone that cuts through without being too relevant. That
means you need good low end but you want to sit below the bass drum
a little bit. Always, when you have a live sound, if the bass drum is too
low, you get the emphasis on the bass drum on the downbeat too much.
But, if you sit below there, then your eighth note gives it that full body
and the bass drum gives you that push. You don't want too much high
end, because you're then moving into guitar territory, and then you
kind of disappear as well. So you want a kind of wood-sound. It's hard to
put a word on it - woody, midrange.
.. You've got to find an area where
you don't piss the guitar player off and you support the drummer: that's
where you should live. And that all depends on what kind of player you
are. If you're Rush, you have a totally different sound, the emphasis is
on the bass so much more. Accept and AC/DC, we're a totally different
animal. But to actually name the sound or figure it out is very difficult for
me to do.
AW: Do you use any overdrive?
I can do it now with the Kemper because it just changes
automatically with the MIDI setup, so I use a little overdrive basically
when I battle with Wolf. Otherwise no, I have no effects at all, and I've
never had any.
AW: It's probably just how hard you're playing, but it sounds like there's
■ i I
a little bit of overdrive on all the time, especially on the past three
f *
studio albums.
Yeah, I think it's just the intensity. You know I play with a heavy
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