Gear

Guitarists, by nature it seems, tend to be obsessed with gear. I am no exception; my gear is extensive - and ever-expanding. The principle electric guitars in my studio are the Parker "Classic Fly", with that striking DUAL output capability; a G&L "ASAT" as well as a G&L "Legacy" (for the price, I think they're the best made American instruments at the moment) and, last but not least, a Zachary "Z2-T." I am very excited by Alex's renegade designs, his attention to nuance and, in general, his radical stance vis รก vis the guitar community. Here's how my guitar looks: http://www.zacharyguitars.com/120104pics.htm This is the spearhead, as it were. I also recently commissioned him to build a short-scale bass. It's enormous sounding: http://zacharyguitars.com/190510pics.htm

To support these guitars sonically - let's be honest, your "sound" is influenced first and foremost by your hands and what you do with them, as well as your choice of instrument -, I normally employ either an analogue pedal chain, or I use 19" multi-effect processors, in combination with a MIDI foot controller. The choice depends mostly on the context and the specific project. For years I used the Lexicon MPX G2 for more "advanced" types of art music which, by very definition, often demand either extensive patch programming or multiple patch settings and changes within the course of a given work. (I added the t.c. electronic "G-Force" 2 years back and now use this exclusively - that is, along with a Roland FC-300.) The analogue pedals - which I prefer engaging from the sonic perspective - are employed more often than not in musics which call for a more "traditionally-oriented" guitar sound - whatever that actually is supposed to be....

Some of the analogue pedals which I use in various combinations include the Digitech Whammy, overdrive/distortion pedals (RAT, Barber "Direct Drive"), Tone-Press by Barber (compressor), Electro Harmonix "Dr. Q" (an envelope follower), the Hush by Rocktron, the DigiTech JamMan, Moog's MoogerFooger, subdecay's "Liquid Sunshine", a Boss 5-band EQ, a Lehle D.Loop SGoS and, lastly, an Ernie Ball volume pedal.

There's nothing more beautiful than a tube-amp sound. At home I've worked with an old Fender Twin and, for ease of transport (i.e. saving my back from another slipped disc), I employ a Gallien Krueger on occasion - actually a transistor amp, but possessing some nice sonic qualities. I've recently added a Fender Junior Blues to the mix.

My instrument collection also includes an array of fretted acoustic instruments, including a Vega 1924 tenor banjo, a Deering 5-string banjo, a Dobro Pre-WW II slide guitar (all three discovered at Mandolin Bros. in Staten Island!), an Ovation custom, and a classic guitar from Imai.

Lastly, the exciting new addition to my collection is a specially designed "A-Series" classic guitar by the English Luthier, Gary Southwell. His craftsmanship is stellar, the design forward-looking - at the same time poetically referential. Here's some information about Gary and his work: http://www.southwellguitars.co.uk/aseries.shtml