How about when you guys play harmonized lines—do you articulate them the
Harvey: A lot of the things we harmonize
are more on the rhythmic side of things.
On those, yeah, we’d be articulating the
the next bank is set at 180 BPM for the
leads I have at that tempo in “Apotheosis,”
and so on. I only use time delays on solos
and leads, and I have consolidated all of my
delay and harmony effects into two or three
banks on my TC Electronic G-Major 2.
I feel like anytime I’ve played out of an
Ampeg 8x10, it just pushed a lot more
power and had a lot more balls. But cabs
are such a wide market that I haven’t really
decided. Because of touring, I can only stop
in a guitar shop so much.
Did you record the stuff in chunks, or
did you record whole passes?
Waterhouse: It was definitely chunks to
keep that consistency. To be on par with a
lot of other bands, we had to keep everything as tight as possible on the album.
Did you use click tracks?
Waterhouse: Yeah, we all do.
Do you have the click programmed into
all of the different meters?
Harvey: It depends on the part. If the odd
time signature is really characteristic of the
part, the click will change with it. But if it’s
an underlying thing that just creates more
syncopation, the click will stay in 4/4.
Waterhouse: The click track is intense—all
the accents, subdivisions, and time signatures are there. Evan actually plays the click
Harvey: It’s on a sampler, and Evan’s got
headphones on. One reason we do that is
because there’s so much atmospheric stuff
on the backing track—synth layers, different
oscillators, distorted synth tones—that goes
in sync with the music and comes in different parts throughout. The other reason is
because it keeps the tempo consistent.
This would be a good time to talk about
the rest of your gear.
Harvey: I have a new Ibanez S7320 7-string
loaded with EMG 707s that I play through
a Peavey 6505. I also push it with an Ibanez
Tube Screamer. Venue to venue, the rig
will have more or less gain for some reason
or another, so the Tube Screamer’s drive
is changed night to night, but it’s usually
between 1 o’clock and 3 o’clock, while the
level is between 12 o’clock and 3 o’clock.
Waterhouse: I have an old Ibanez RG7321
7-string that also has EMG 707s—but my
neck pickup is tappable. I have a borrowed
Carvin DC747 that is unbelievable, and
an Eastman El Rey hollowbody too. I use
a stock Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier with a
Mesa oversized 4x12 cab, and I have the controls pretty much all in the middle. I also use
a Tube Screamer to boost it a little bit and
tighten up the low end of the oversized cab.
Corey: I play a Carvin BB76P Bunny
Brunel signature 6-string. My B string has
a Hipshot Xtender that tunes it down a
whole step to A, and I use that on “Taking
Control” and “The Linear.” My amp is
an Ampeg SVT-3PRO head, and I run it
through Avatar B410NEO and B212NEO
cabs, which have speakers with neodymium
magnets so it’s light on the lifting. I like
them, but I’m looking to upgrade soon.
Your music obviously demands incredible precision, but, live, there’s no margin
of error. If somebody gets off by even a
sixteenth-note, you could have a train
wreck. Has that happened? And if so,
how did you recover?
Waterhouse: It’s happened maybe once in
the past year. If we fall off that badly, Evan
can turn off the click track and continue. It
takes a lot of listening to everybody else and
making sure you’re right in the pocket. The
jazz background helps in always knowing
how to get out of it as quickly as possible.
I’ve seen the scores to some of your songs,
and they’re as complex as The Rite of
Spring. But, unlike orchestral players,
you guys play everything from memory.
How do you balance the showmanship
aspect of a concert with trying to keep
the music together?
Waterhouse: We do as much as we can
onstage, but it’s really important to us to
play the stuff correctly.
Harvey: At this point, we move to the
rhythms and look like we’re feeling it, but
not to such an extreme extent. We still try
to keep some ounce of showmanship in
there. We headbang, but we aren’t doing
guitar whips—they’re not as conducive to
Are the song tempos also preprogrammed
into your delay units?
Harvey: Yeah. For example, it’s 150 BPM
for the solo in “Upload Complete.” Then
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