Garvey and Schnier strap on a McInturff Sport-
ster and a thinline Tele, respectively, to launch
into a 14-minute, trop-rock song complemented
by mood-enhancing lasers, fog, and lights.
You Tube search term: moe. “Buster”
Powered by an opening bass groove reminiscent
of Rush’s “Cygnus X- 1,” moe. rocks the Gelston
Castle Estate in Mohawk, New York, at this
September 2010 gig.
You Tube search term: moe. “Billy Goat”
In honor of Apple’s visionary late cofounder,
chairman, and CEO, the members of moe. play
a surprisingly great version of one of their tunes
entirely on iPad apps.
You Tube search term: moe. plays “Crab Eyes”
Live on iPads. Video dedicated in memory of
with. I really need something that has a more organic quality to
it. I use so much of it in the mix that I get hung up on the actual
tone of the delayed signal. The tone of the part that’s trailing
off needs to be good to me, too, because if it starts to sound too
glitchy or too digital, it starts to bum me out.
Garvey: I’ve used Echoplexes for years. I have an EP- 3 and a Fulltone
Tube Tape Echo. I still use that occasionally, but for a long time
I’ve been using a couple of digital and analog days. I use a bunch of
Analog Man stuff, including the Dual Analog Delay—which is really
cool because you can set up two different delays and toggle between
them. It also has this little sidecar pedal called the AMAZEO that you
can use to add tap tempo and modulation. The Dual Analog Delay is
similar to the Memory Lane, but it sounds different—they just have a
different voice, especially if you crank up the feedback. I used that, set
for Stun, for the crazy oscillating stuff on “Suck a Lemon.”
Is that an electric 12-string driving the rhythms on “Haze”?
Schnier: It is. That’s my Gibson EDS-1275 doubleneck.
“Downward Facing Dog” has some really nice slide parts. Who
Schnier: Both of us play slide on that song, which is sort of a rare
thing. I’m playing a ’ 59 Les Paul Junior through my AC30. I also
used a wah, the Memory Lane delay, and an Analog Man Sun Face
as my fuzz pedal.
Do you set the Junior’s action higher for slide playing?
Schnier: Most of my guitars are a little bit on the high side, just
because I really like to dig in and bend notes a lot. I don’t like my
action too low, and I like to have some meat on my frets, too. With
strings, I use a light top and a heavy bottom, and I like to have enough
there to grab onto and get under the strings and really work the neck.
I’ve never been comfortable with light strings and low action. I’ve never
been able to put a set of .009s on a guitar and play delicately [laughs].
Which other guitars are you guys using?
Garvey: I used two Dan Becker guitars. One is a Retro-Grad with
humbuckers and coil taps, and it’s kind of an in-between [Strat and
Les Paul] scale. I used that a little bit, and I used another one with
P-90s. I used that quite a bit on this album. I also used a pink-spar-
kle ’ 96 Custom Shop Strat with a Seymour Duncan Twang Banger
bridge pickup a little, and I used Al’s Les Paul Junior for one song.
That guitar has a great pickup, and it’s really nice and resonant. I
also have a Terry McInturff Sportster that I used for a couple of the
heavier parts. That one started out with a 5-way switch, but now it
has a 3-way switch, because some guitars get weird with germanium
effects—you can get these weird ghost notes when you turn your vol-
ume down. I use the Analog Man Beano Boost, which is germanium,
so I changed the pickups and the guts quite a bit [to avoid that].
Schnier: I have a few different Gibsons on the road with me: I
have a Les Paul Junior, I have the EDS-1275, I have a Les Paul
with humbuckers, and another one with P-90s.
Okay, you’ve given us some pretty good insights on gear usage.
Do you have any other, more general, advice on big mistakes or
oversights to avoid when you’re playing in a band with two or
Schnier: I guess the biggest oversight or mistake you could make
would be to not use all of the players to their full potential.
Y’know, relegating one of the guitarists to merely strumming
chords when there could be so much cool interplay. Even in a band
like Radiohead, for example, Thom Yorke isn’t necessarily a lead
guitar player, but there’s so much cool guitar interplay going on
between him and Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien. The same
thing happens in the Grateful Dead. Bob Weir isn’t a lead guitarist,
but there’s so much great interplay.
Garvey: I think the biggest one is having three guitar players—there’s
just too much ego and baggage for anyone’s good [laughs]. I’m just
kidding. The main thing—and this goes for any kind of musician—is
that you really have to be a team player and look at the song, not just
what you, personally, are trying to accomplish as a guitar player. So,
if you want to sound like Jimi Hendrix or Pete Townshend on Live at
Leeds, you have to be conscious of what the rest of the band is doing.
You should not constantly be trying to get tones that power-trio guitarists use, for example. It really comes down to doing what’s right for
the song, and complementing whoever is singing and the rest of the
band. If you do that, the whole thing will work a lot better and, hopefully, everyone will be happy with it—including the audience.
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