Shutt: I love Kiss and Ace Frehley’s playing. I
love Jerry Cantrell. Pete Anderson [of Dwight
Yoakam fame] is great. Redd Volkaert is just
awesome too. He plays country stuff down
in Austin all the time, and he’s just amazing.
It’s crazy inspirational to watch that guy play.
You just want to play better, you know? And
there’s that sense of hearing the guitar in a
new way every time you see him—which is
huge when you’re just watching heavy players all the time. Watching Redd, you just get
a feeling in the gut that you’re seeing a real
guitar player. It kicks you in the ass.
So you relate more to feel or emotional
Cronise: I absolutely love watching shredders
work, players who can make their guitar do
anything. But I’m not a precision player, so
the studio can be a headache, even when I
like the sound I’m getting. Kyle makes up for
that a little bit. But I definitely appreciate soul
in a guitar player and it’s inspiring to hear
where that takes people.
What rigs did you use in the studio?
Shutt: Pretty much the same rig as the last
record, with the exception of the Tube Screamer
and my wah. I just bought a ’ 68 reissue Les Paul
Custom, which I played for most of my rhythm
tracks, and a ’ 61 reissue SG I used for “Lawless
Lands.” It has Rio Grande Barbeque Bucker
pickups—the same pickups I have in my Guild
S- 100. J.D. was using a B.C. Rich Mockingbird
with EMGs that I played for a couple of leads.
A lot of your tones are less jagged and
metallic on this record.
Cronise: I recorded through two amps
simultaneously—I plugged into an Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff distortion and then into
an Orange OR80 reissue, and I also used a
new Orange OR50 40th Anniversary head, set
up a little bit dirty through a separate Orange
cab. I used that rig for every track. It was a
small victory for me because [producer] Matt
Bayles was telling me about all the amps he
was going to make me try before we went in,
and I was like “Oh, man . . . I’m not sure.” I
like my own stuff because I’m really comfortable with it. So I was a bit defensive about
that. As soon as we mic’d up my rig and
played for a bit, we didn’t move a thing. I