1. How would you describe your band’s sound.
We are trying to bridge spaghetti Western music with aggressive garage-rock and slight hints of surf. The lyrics all take place in some dying desert trailer-park town…our modern-day version of ghost towns. It’s pretty dark, lyrically… almost pulp/noir. Imagine Breaking Bad meets The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. We have experimented with calling it “Doom Western”… not settled on that yet.
2. Tell me about the stuff in your photos: Is there anything you’re not stoked on that you might be replacing soon? Anything that will always be a fixture in your rig?
My ADINEKO from Catalinbread is not the most used effect I have, but it is my favorite… a beautiful soupy analog delay. It was modeled after the old oilcan delay tech from the ‘70s. It modulates in sync with the delay rate and has multiple “delay heads” that allow you to have a mix of reverb and delay in the same effect. Very unique sounding and I don’t think I could ever live without it.
The SPARK BOOST is a great all-purpose boost. Want a Tubescreamer? Flip the switch up and cut your bass and treble. Want just a straight boost? Switch in the middle, giant taste and it will sound just like your straight signal but louder. I have even gotten a setting or two that hint at Vox cleans. Stupid amounts of signal boost on tap and a nice light overdrive.
FENDER VIBRO KING: I wanted this amp for so long it isn’t even funny. I like 10-inch speakers. They just seem more focused in a multi-guitar band.
I used to have a Twin and it was too heavy and I never could get it past two on the volume. This amp is still ungodly loud, but it is manageable and has a nice tonal balance.
The Zoom ME-100 is a great little all-purpose noisemaker. I use it for tremolo, acoustic, and when I want to push the reverb over the top.
I have a homemade phaser from B.Y.O.C. – it sometimes is a little finicky…I need to get in there one day and reflow solder.
The Greenhouse NoBrainer is an interesting high gain pedal. Lots of control over shaping of the mids and highs, but it always felt not as tight in the bass as I’d like. I don’t use this much in the current material, so it is prolly going to leave the board soon.
3. I’ve gotta ask: What’s the little button on the Tele by the pickup?
A kill switch I put in from my ‘60s freakbeat phase.. I still use it on occasion. That guitar has taken 10 years of my obsession with tinkering and mods. Including a new neck from USA Custom guitars.
I also have a small switch by my volume that taps my custom-wound bridge pickup from Cavalier Pickups. He makes fantastic pickups at a very reasonable price and quick turnaround for a custom winder. It gives me the all-important twang.
4. If you had to point someone to a song of yours that showcased your sound/style the best, what would it be?
“Johnny Law,” an instrumental and “Left Behind,” a murder ballad about a town sheriff who’s lost his hope and sanity. We are currently finishing mixes on these and they should be up on our pages in a few weeks.
“Cowtown” is an early demo we have that also shows where we are headed. It’s about a midnight robbery gone horribly wrong.
5. If money was no object, what is the one “holy grail” piece of gear you’d get?
Holy Grail… Hmm… I guess if we are talking big-ticket items, the only thing I’d really pine for is a Fender “White Chicken”. It’s when you merge a Gretsch White Falcon and a Telecaster. Tele shape with a carved top. White paint, gold hardware, Bigsby Tremelo, etc. It’s not an official Fender thing, although the custom shop has made a few.
A 3×10 bandmaster wouldn’t suck either. And a pony…I want a pony.
6. What’s coming up for The Lowland Drifters?
We are finishing mixing work on a 5-song EP and gearing up for more gigs in the San Diego area.
The Lowland Drifters play The Merrow on Tuesday, July 26 with Bighorn Run and Corina Rose. RSVP here to get in for free.