“Tell me about Joe's guitar setup! I'm mainly curious about his amps/cabs and effects. Little stuff like string gauge and commonly-used tunings would be good too.”
Joe is a guitar nut. He has lots of guitars. He either buys them, or has them made, or is given them, or finds them. If any of you read our Japanese blogs from the recording sessions, you will see pictures of tons of guitars. Let me try and remember what he has off the top of my head:
-Two ESP custom tele-likes, one black and one red (used for lives and sub)
-an old brown Fender tele
-an old, apparently ‘broken’ black Fender strat that plays beautifully
-cream-colored Gibson Les Paul
…I know I am forgetting some because there were at least 7. And not a single tremolo bar among the lot!
Not sure what string gauge he likes, but he uses D’Addario strings.
As for tunings, we play tuned a half-step down, Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-eb for him and (Bb)-Eb-Ab-Db-Gb for me (depending on if I’m using the 5-string or not). For Harlot, Artbreaker, Bellamy, Yamu Sora, Planetarium, Tsubasa, and Kyokaisen, we play in drop D, so Db-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-eb / (Bb)-Db-Ab-Db-Gb.
A couple of strange examples:
On Memento Mori, Joe plays in half-step down/drop tuning, but with a capo on the first fret. On the same song, I play in half-step down but don’t drop and no capo.
On Bellamy, I played in A-Db-Ab-Db-Gb.
On to amps and stuff.
Joe has tons of pedals. Blues drivers, custom tweaked pedals, 2 different Line 6 delays/loops/effects simulators, volume pedal, wah pedal, octave/harmony pedal, and more, including power source of course. He has a giant board and then another big board because he can’t fit it all.
He used to run his distortion/effects through a Marshall and his clean through a Fender twin tube amp on loan from Velo (ex-Moran), but he didn’t take a liking to the Marshall so it’s all Fender amps.
Hope that’s okay!
“"On Memento Mori, Joe plays in half-step down/drop tuning, but with a capo on the first fret."
Trying to wrap my head around that...so he plays it in standard tuning then? o_0”
Memento Mori is a song from before Chemical Pictures was formed that Tenten had, and they played one whole step down. He didn’t want us to change the key when we re-arranged it, and the guitars Joe came up with needed the drop, but in order to play it in the original key, he used the capo. I don’t need the drop in my part, but I don’t need a capo either, so I play it in the awkward key of Bb (not taking the half-step-down tuning into consideration).