GUITARS: Are you a guitar nerd? Every wonder where certain guitar twangs come from? Here’s Mr. Doug Gillard’s guitar set-up for all of his bands with some personal notes from him for each thing in his pedal daisy chain. Next week we’ll come back at you with a full on interview but be sure to catch him pushing these knobs and tuning some of his axes on Friday May 31st,2013 at the infamous Asbury Lanes down the Jersey shore with Eastern Anchors, Risk/Reward and Asbury/Brooklyn locals Woods Party. Here’s the facebook invite.
Not many folks can say they have several guitar set-ups for different bands because most normal dudes in bands play in just one band at a time! Doug shares some magic and some surprising guitars in his arsenal with some candid notes from his Guided by Voices days, a coming Death of Samantha LP, Bambi Kino and of course his set-up with Nada Surf!
Boss floor tuner
Boss EQ pedal set for lg boost
Durham Electronics “Mucho Busto” distortion/boost
Boss EQ set for small boost
Voodoo Lab Tremelo
E-H Holy Grail Nano reverb
One-Spot power chain.
THE DETAILS: I use 2 Boss EQ pedals for a clean(ish) boost. One set for larger boost, the other for accents or small boosts. For a saturated fuzz controllable by volume, or in some cases just a good distorted boost, I use a Mucho Busto, made by Durham Electronics in Austin, (Alan Durham, maker of the Sex Drive pedal). Its a great little unit, and the led beam is bright and blue, so it’s like an old Spielberg movie when you step on it. The Voodoo Lab Tremelo is versatile, and everyone knows the Holy Grail is the best reverb in pedal form. I end the chain with a Boss DD-3 delay pedal. Good for slapback, or actual delay. I should probably get a more involved delay, but I’m lazy and cheap. This is fine.
All this is loosely velcroed to 2 Ikea cutting boards duct-taped side by side. Hey, you can fold them up when you fly. Done. Fugghed. About. It.
Depending on the application, I use any number of guitars. For my solo band shows, I use mainly my black Les Paul (76) or SG Classic. I just got a ’67 ES-330, so I may use that as well. Amp-wise, I’ll use my Mesa Rectifier and cab if I’m driving, but backline amp at the venue is good most times in the NYC area.
For Nada Surf, its been the Les Paul and SG through my Mesa Rectifier & 4×12 cab. The Mesa doesn’t have the most amazing clean tone, but it has 3 channels, and the main appeal of these amps to me is the “Solo” channel. Its just a dedicated volume knob/boost to whatever channel you’re on at the time, and provides a huge clean boost. What do the kids say today? “Ginormous”? Wait, that was a few years ago.
With Bambi Kino I use my new old 330, and my Hofner Verithin. (Its a semi hollowbody, but yes, “very thin”!). Sometimes my SG with P-90′s sounds perfect for the old Beatles Star Club lp/BBC sessions sounds though. Amp-wise, I go through my Budda 30w combo with Bambi Kino.
With Death Of Samantha, I use the black Les Paul I got when I was with them and played on those records. I also use my SG, and if possible, my Mesa thing. If not, someone else’s amp will do. And has. We have a new LP coming out this year based on rehearsals for our reunion show a year and a half ago, original lineup. I remember playing Maxwell’s in ’86 or so when Ira Kaplan did our sound! We will be playing a few shows this year, too. Just don’t know where or when yet.
I also own a 94 Strat, a 68 Harmony Rocket which i write on a lot, a nylon/classical which i used to write on a lot, and Alvarez 6-string acoustic, an Alvarez 12-str acoustic, a Kay Old Kraftsman Thin-Twin (Jimmy Reed, Hubert Sumlin, & my dad) and an old Fernandes “elephant” battery-powered built-in speaker guitar. I did some demos to “Mag Earwhig” songs on that, on a Tascam 4-track to Bob’s acoustic demos. Good times.