Thursday, November 10, 2011

four: jon phillip's 115th dream: electric boogaloo

Jon Phillip has been at it for over a decade. His most prominent roles have been with alt-country heroes Limbeck and Drive-Thru Records alumni The Benjamins, but he has also been seen behind the kit with everyone from pop punk veteran Ben Weasel to ex-Replacement Tommy Stinson (he even managed to get some coverage in DRUM! a few years back). Lately he's been busy with his label, Good Land Records as well as playing with Milwaukee's Trapper Schoepp & the Shades. Jon and I chatted a few weeks back, where we talked about his drums and the stories behind them.

Sahan: Alright, I guess for starters, tell me about the kit (s) that you currently use.

Jon: I have two vintage Ludwig kits. One I use with Limbeck, which is currently in California. It's a 1967 in gold sparkle, 22/13/16. I bought it about eight years ago for $300 from Nick, the drummer of Trolley. I was flat broke at the time so my mother and grandmother bought it for me as a Christmas Gift. At the time I was playing this 99 Sonor Maple Kit. I stopped using it because I was looking for a different sound. I actually borrowed the Ludwig kit for a practice with my band at the time and fell in love within the first two minutes of playing it. I straight up talked Nick into selling it to me.

S: Haha that’s pretty impressive. I’ve had so many failed attempts at that.

JP: Isn't it weird w
hen you find that one kit you're totally in love with? It takes me back to being 14 years old and playing in my first band all over again. I never want to stop playing it. Also I thought that having a great kit made me sound like a better drummer than I actually was.

S: Honestly, I firmly believe that playing on a kit that feels and sounds great makes you play better. What about the other one?

JP: The second one is also a three piece Ludwig, a 66 in Black Oyster Pearl, kind of like the one Ringo used. Same sizes as the other kit, 22/13/16. That kick drum is definitely up there as one of the best 22s I’ve ever played. It was used as a house kit at Smart Studios for quite some time until I bought it. Funny, I got it from this guy Don who used to play with Trolley as well. Where would I be without the two nice dudes that were in Trolley? Haha.

S: Haha that’s awesome. You owe it all to Trolley it seems.

JP: I actually still own Don $150 for the kit and I bought it from him three years ago. He moved to Illinois, but before he left he took me out to eat and told me that I didn’t need to pay the rest, just as long as I kept it in the family.

S: Wow that’s way nice of him.

JP: Yeah. I'm very fortunate and blessed for everyone I've met and who's helped me out along the way.

S: Absolutely. So from what I know, you pretty much only play Zildjian cymbals, right?

JP: Yes sir, since 2001. I even got offered a Sabian endorsement, but I turned it down. I tend to mainly use vintage ones for the most part, with the exception of my top hi hat, which is a newer K top hat. I cracked my original top one and had to replace it before a show in Vegas. I like the sound of the old and new hats together and have yet to cracked either one. If I ever crack the K hat, I’ll probably replace it with a vintage top hat again.

S: There's such a range with
the older Zildjian As, but when you find the good ones, they're real good.

JP: So true! Some of it's trial and error, but I really like the ones I’ve currently got-14" hats, 2 20" crashes and a 22" ride. I’m constantly going back and forth between playing with one or two crashes. If I'm doing more rockin' stuff it's fun to have two crashes. I think I started using just a ride and crash because of Ringo. I figured if it’s good enough for him, then it’s good enough for me.

S: Right on. So youre obviously into vintage sounds, drums and cymbals at least. Do you use vintage Ludwig snare drums too?

JP: I’ve never owned a Ludwig snare, actually. Kinda strange.

S: Intresting. Supraphonic snares are amazing. I decided to get one after seeing this Ben Folds Five live dvd. The drum sound on there was damn near perfect.

JP: Oh definitely. Especially in that huge room with Darren hitting them. For sure.

One of my snares is a 14x5" brass Slingerland snare. I bought it off this dude on the street outside the Globe [currently Hotel Foster] on Father’s Day back in 2002.

S: Hahaha wow. That sounds about right.

JP: He wanted $40 for it. I only had $5 but he took it and bought a beer. It sounds pretty snappy because it's brass. I use the super wide 42 strand snares on it. Funny story, actually. The throwoff broke on it a few months ago. I took it to three different drum shops to get it fixed and no one could help me so I had to settle with going to Mr. Faust. I'm still afraid of him after all these years.

S: Hahaha. Ive been to Faust once. I understand what you mean exactly.

JP: Yeah, totally. So I brought it down there and he gave me a bunch of shit as usual. He yelled at me for not taking care of it or cleaning it properly, and he bitched about me having the extra wide snares on it, saying that I didn't need that many. Then he calmed down and said "You like that bubblegum sound, hey?" He fixed it in like 2 minutes and sent me on my way.

S: I've heard so many…really crazy stories about the dude. Now I know one more, haha. What about the other snare?

JP: The other snare is a custom C&C, which I got through my endorsement. Its 14"x7" which is a cool size. It’s a 1 ply mahogany shell with a bright gold sparkle wrap. With a Trick throw off. I love those Trick throw offs so much!

S: Yeah those things are rad. What a great design. How’s it sound?

JP: It sounds great. Really low and warm. Moon gels usually are cut up on it. It makes it a little more birthday cake-y sounding

S: Haha. Birthday cake-y?

J: That's what Ed Rose told me it sounded like when he first heard how it sounded through the studio monitors for the last Limbeck record. Thought it was a suitable term

S: Hah
a. Ill take his word for it. So you primarily play vintage drums and cymbals. Are most of your reference points from the 60s and 70s?

JP: Actually the first time I ever heard drums as a reference point for tone is when I strated listening to Weezer's Pinkerton. Or I guess when I started noticing actual drum sounds was when I first started listening to how boomy Pinkerton was.

S: Yeah, those drums are super abrasive.

JP: I guess they got that sound from listening to a ton of the Flaming Lips records.

S: Interesting. My guess w
ould have been In Utero, but it makes sense if you think about the drums on like....Transmissions from the Satellite Heart.

JP: Yeah. After I got over Pinkerton, I became obsessed with what drums and tone meant to a song. I would listen to the Zombies' Odessey and Oracle and The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds on repeat, just reassessing how drums should sound and be played in a song.

S: Is that where your taste for vintage drums comes from?

JP: Definetly, and obviously Ringo was responsible for a big part of that, too. Those Beatles records are so important to me in many ways. Those records made me experiment with dampening drums too. I’d drape pieces of t-shirts over the snare and toms. I guess Ringo would sometimes get that cool dead snare tone by setting his soft pack of Camels on the head.

Big Star also really changed my mind on how drums should sound too. I realized that drums recorded to tape are my favorite. It's too bad that tape has kinda fallen by the wayside. It gives you such a warm sound.

S: Absolutely. I especially love the drums on Radio City. They sound so huge, especially considering it was made at a time where it wasn’t super common to hear drum sounds like that on a record.

JP: Isn’t it unique? I'd so love to track a record to tape at Ardent Studios. That's a dream of mine.

S: You’re not alone in that dream, that’s for sure. What else?

JP: Superdrag. When they put out Head Trip in Every Key, that record they did with Jerry Finn, it blew my mind once I dissected how it sounded and how tight the rhythm section was. Hearing that record was when I realized how the kick drum should lock on with the bass.

S: Yeah! That record really showcases every member at their best i think.

JP: I couldn't agree more. Whenever I'm with a younger band that looks to me for advice I always throw that record on.

S: That sounds about right. Do you tend to use your own stuff when tracking, or do you like to try stuff that you wouldn't otherwise have access to?

JP: I like to try out stuff for sure. The snare that I used on the The Art of Disappointment was the one Dave Grohl used on Nevermind. I felt a bit nervous to be playing the thing, but then I sat back and realized that if Dave Grohl used it, he probably beat the shit of it.

S: Haha, you’re absolutely right. That sounds like fun, though.

JP: Actually that whole session for me was super nerve racking. Being in that studio, using that snare, recording with Nick Raskulinecz, being in LA making a record and learning how to play to a click track. I felt like the shittiest drummer on the planet. I think it broke me and made me the drummer that I am today. It was kind of like drum boot camp in a way.

S: Interesting. What else have you used on sessions?

JP: The other drums on The Art of Disappointment were from an 80s Tama set. On the Obsoletes record I used this really nice DW snare that Eric at Simple Studios had. On the last Limbeck record I used my C&C snare and cymbals and borrowed everything else from [Get Up Kids drummer] Ryan Pope. He had tons of stuff-70s Slingerland kits, a 50s Gretsch kick, a Zickos acrylic kit…and what are those funny looking drums that are from the 80s that swoop down and open wide at the bottom?

S: Haha, North drums?

JP: Yeah I did a fill in the first verse of “Big Drag” with those. It sounded so goofy.

S: Haha I can totally hear that fill in my head now. You’ve got some good stuff. Is there anything you'd like? A kit with different sizes maybe?

JP: I would love a C&C with a 24" kick but not deep at all, 13" rack tom, 16" & 19" floor toms. All 1 ply shells would be great too.

Jon Phillip will be playing with Trapper Schoepp & The Shades on November 25th at Milwaukee's Turner Hall Ballroom with .357 String Band & Those Poor Bastards, celebrating the release of their new album Run Engine Run. Check the video below. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

three: mustang mania with archie powell

photos courtesy of Archie Powell & the Exports Facebook

Hello everyone. Apologies for the lack of updates. I've been busy with turning 26 and getting awesome birthday presents from my girlfriend. Anyway, if you've been paying attention to what's been happening in Chicago music scene as of late, you're probably familiar with Archie Powell & The Exports. The Wicker Park based four-piece has been at it for the last few years, gigging extensively in support of their debut full length, the hooky-as-all-hell "Skip Work". I got the chance to chat with Mr. Powell himself a few weeks ago, where we talked about our mutual love for a classic guitar, the Fender Mustang.

Sahan: Tell me about how you first got into Mustangs.

Archie: I had been aware of Mustangs since I was a kid because I was a total Nirvana nerd and Kurt [Cobain] was a well-known poster child for them at the time. Back then though they were still discontinued. This was like the late 90's I think. Really bizarre. They didn't sell them for a while although had they, they could have made a mint. I never came across one until I started using eBay in high school. I think I landed my first one in 2002 or 2003. It was a Japanese reissue, Sonic Blue with a red swirl pickguard. The proper red kind, not the tortoise shell looking one. That got stolen from our van during the first tour I ever embarked upon.

S: Hard times. If memory serves, that should hav
e been one of the 1969 reissues they did around 94 or 95.

AP: Yeah, exactly right. I don't remember if it played well at all or even sounded good, I was just psyched to finally have one. I did enjoy the feel of the thinner neck, though it took some adjustment. Those guitars kind of feel like a toy if you're playing one for the first time.

S: Absolutely. Thats kind of why I love them. The Univox Hi-Fliers too...just like...yardstick thin neck, but in the best way possible.

AP: I've never had the pleasure of playing a Univox of any kind. Would definitely like to. I've been curious about them for years.

S: They are awesome and definitely worth checking out, but I digress. How long until you replaced that first Mustang?

AP: I replaced it with a Jaguar, which I picked up for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who's read this far. I
tried to make that work, but I can't deal with the string saddle situation. I play hard, and the low E would constantly come out of its groove.I've had tons of different guitars over the years - a couple Strats, an SG, Teles. I keep coming back to Mustangs. They just feel right and look so retro and cute. I think I'll go on record as saying they're the cutest body shape Fender has ever produced.

S: Haha I think that’s something most people can agree upon. The Jaguar move makes sense, obviously, bu
t did it take a long time before you decided to revisit the Mustang? Did you ever try a Jag-Stang?

AP: I think I'll go on record as saying that the Jag-Stang is the ugliest body shape Fender has ever produced.

S: Haha, truth. Ive always wanted one for...just kinda collectorish reasons.

AP: Yeah man, I hear ya. That's real
ly the only reason I can imagine. It's kinda like someone decided that they like chocolate but also like lasagna. So obviously we should pour chocolate all over this lasagna, right? It kind of ends up having the worst parts of both its parents. I dunno. Maybe I'm just a Mustang purist. It needed no alteration.

My second Mustang [Daphne Blue with White Pearl pickguard], I won on eBay from a legit Fender Japan dealer - you know, since they stopped exporting to the states. I go that in 2005 and it's been on the front lines ever since. Plays like absolute shit and sounds
kinda poorly too. I put a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder in the bridge position. But I still love it. One of my favorite guitars. Sometimes its about more than how "good" it actually is. It's kind of like how everyone has that one idiot friend. He's an idiot, but he's MY idiot.

S: Haha absolutely. What about your most current Mustang?

AP: Its actually the best guitar I've ever owned. 70s with the competition stripe. '72 I believe. It's real beat up. Plays like a dream.

S: That’s awesome. Where’d you get that one from?

AP: eBay. I buy virtually everything on eBay. I love it.

S: Haha, I can get behind that. So besides Nirvana, were there other bands from that era that influenced your gear choices, past or present? I know that you're a Boss DS-1 and Electro Harmonix Big Muff user, both of which just reek of like…Sub Pop Records circa 1993.

A: That's the foundation, I guess. I never got sick of that sound even once it fell out of fashion in the 00's. I don't really like most 90's rock, though. I like Nirvana a lot, obviously. Mudhoney was great. Tad. Jimi Hendrix is the best example of what the Big Muff can do, in my opinion. I'm mainly talking about the harsh noise he had going on. That's to
ugh to beat.

S: Oh totally. Whats about the DS-1? I think a lot of people see that as like a.....”my first distortion pedal when i was 13” kinda thing.

AP: Me too, but I think it's great for that reason. It's classic and affordable.

S: What are your settings on it?

AP: Tone is usually at 10 o clock and distortion is usually around 2 o clock. Depends on the room I'm playing. Level is usually totally goosed.

S: Something I ask everyone-what are you currently thinking about adding to the rig?

AP: I'm pretty set as of late, I just got a Boss OC-3 octave pedal. I might like an analog delay, the old school kind. Those are great for making a horrible racket.

S: Haha yeah, those Boss DM-2s are great. MXR’s Carbon Copy too. So do you tend to stick to the same gear when recording or do you use that as an opportunity to use stuff that you wouldn't usually have access to?

AP: I kinda record using whatever we've got in the room that sounds good. Don't care what it is. It's usually a scramble to find the best tone as quickly as possible, since time is money in that situation.

S: Yeah totally. Did you use anything special on Skip Work?

AP: I used all of my own guitars. Fender Tele '72 Custom Reissue, the blue Mustang we spoke of, and my Martin for acoustic parts. I think we used a Marshall JCM-900 for most of the record.

S: Anyone in particular who’s tone you’re into?

AP: Hard question. I'm not much of a tone nerd, though I suppose I can say that I love what Jack White does when he goes totally mental and his guitar sounds like a dying porpoise.

S: Yeah. you're not the first person i've talked to who's mentioned Jack White.

AP: I think it's a Big Muff and a Whammy.

S: Yeah thats pretty much it. He's pretty minimal when it comes to effects.

AP: That's kinda how it is for me. I can't be bothered.

S: Absolutely. So whats next for the Exports? a new ep or full length? tour dates?

AP: We're hitting the studio in early September to record LP #2. Very stoked. My pre-game impression is that it's gonna bury the last one. We'll be on the road for most of October as well. Those are the two biggies we're concentrating on as of late.

S: Are you gonna be working with Justin Perkins again?

AP: Indeed. He's a wizard. Can't wait!

Archie Powell & The Exports are currently touring the East Coast. Check the video as well as remaining tour dates, and as always, thanks for reading.

Archie Powell & The Exports On Tour::
October 20 | Wilmington, DE | Kelly Logan's House
October 21 | Summit,NJ | Party at Steve Wolf's House
October 22 | New York City | Arlene's Grocery (CMJ Day Party)
October 23 | Madison, WI | The Frequency (21+)
October 28 | Chicago, IL | The Elbo Room

Friday, August 5, 2011

two: young, loud & fuzzy: talkin' gear with tenement

photo courtesy of Tenement Facebook page

This summer I’ve been jamming a lot of records, but none quite as hard as Tenement's debut full length, “Napalm Dream”. It’s punk rock the way it outta be -- loud, energetic, and incredibly catchy, bringing to mind everyone from the Descendents to Hüsker. Singer and guitarist Amos was cool enough to chat with me a bit about all the gear they use, both live and on record.

Sahan: Let's start off with drums.

Amos: The drum kit pictured is the one I use on most of the Tenement recordings, and when playing live with other projects I'm involved with. It's kind of just thrown together, and pieces are replaced from time to time.

I have a 20” Zildjian ride cymbal, which I think is a late 60s / early 70s Zilco cymbal. It was given to me by a friend who moved to Alaska. For hi hats, I have a pair of 14” Zildjian New Beats-one of my only conscious drum purchases as I prefer the way they sound to others I've owned. The kick drum is from a 60's Dixie drum kit, which were low end Japanese drums made by Pearl. It's part of my first kit that I got when I was like six or seven. The snare drum is also a low end Japanese made Pearl called Maxwin. The floor tom is a no name drum that I got from a pawn shop for nine dollars. I got it using store credit from this vintage Ampeg bass amp that was totaled when I brought it home. The rack tom is part of a Ludwig Standard set I found in the basement of BFG [Appleton punk house/DIY show space]. Its not even mine.

S: Very cool. Is your hardware random Japanese stuff as well then?

A: All of the hardware is garbage I've found and fixed. I usually play with the butt-end of my drumsticks so I like to find broken sticks on the floor of clubs or wherever we play, and use them. It cuts costs. However, if possible I prefer 5B. I'm of the opinion that if you hit it hard enough, you can make it sound good no matter what it is. It's percussion…be creative!

Also, for a while I was using a vintage Rogers drum stool and I would love to get a hold of one of those again. It beat the hell out of whatever garbage I use these days.

S: Haha. What about your guitar and amp rig? What do you play?

A: Most of the time I play a Gibson SG Faded, but it’s been in the shop for quite some time now due to the neck snapping at a recent show, and some electrical problems that are probably related. It's been through a lot, which is evident by the mismatch replacement parts. In the meantime, I've been using a vintage Epiphone, which I think is a variation of their Coronet model, but I might be wrong. I'm partial to humbuckers…they can make the guitar squeal and moan, so both of these guitars suit me well. For home recordings I've often used a Gretsch Electromatic Corvette. For a lot of the tracks on Napalm Dream, I used an early 60s Gibson SG that was borrowed from [Napalm Dream engineer] Justin Perkins. All of these are usually strung with Ernie Ball Regular Slinky strings.

As far as guitar amplifiers and cabinets go, I use a Sunn Model T reissue, which is really loud and can sound really heavy. I spent my entire life savings on this thing when I was 19, rather than buying a car that I had my eye on as well. I bought it from a friend of mine for $800 It's accompanied by a 6X12 Peavey cabinet with a horn, which I've found little to no information on and the only other two of the same model I've found were in Green Bay and Australia. Over time, it's been totalled by touring and wear and tear, but the condition it's in pictured is the condition it was in when we recorded "Napalm Dream"-that's the cabinet you hear. For home recording, I like to use a Crate GX15 practice amp for both guitar and bass, and either a Pro Co Turbo Rat or a Zvex Fuzz Factory.

S: Awesome! I love how heavy the guitars sound on the record. What about bass gear?

A: For live and sometimes recording,
Jesse uses a Peavey 400 Series Bass Amplifier and a Kasino 200 2X15 Cabinet. We originally got this stuff because it was really cheap, but we soon realized that it was really loud and sounded great for a punchy and fuzzy bass sound. He uses a Mexican Fender P-Bass which was also really cheap. He’s got a really old Globe SG bass at home, which sounds great and looks even better, but he has constant problems with its intonation and setup so he never uses it live.

S: Sometimes the most random and inexpensive stuff can sound great. Is there any gear that you’re looking for at the moment?

A: I aim to purchase a Sunn Beta Lead solid state guitar amp in the near future.

S:Those things rule! So loud…which is what you should expect from pretty much anything Sunn. I understand that you also have a pretty old piano?

Yeah. The piano sound we get on tape is from a turn of the century Price and Teeple upright cabinet grand piano that I got from a farmer who moved it to our house in a pickup truck with a crane in tow. He lifted the thing with his crane a good fifteen feet off the ground and on to our front lawn. As a result, it's a little warped in shape now and sounds kinda funny. I guess the fact that we live in a punk house that does shows on a regular basis doesn't help the fact much, either. Drunks love pianos. And being violent.

S:Haha, I think at any house that does shows, things are bound to get tampered with. Is there anyone’s guitar tone that you dig?

Greg Ginn. My obsession with his guitar sound goes back to the first time I heard [Black Flag’s] "Damaged" in its entirety...and he always favored solid state amps, specifically stuff from the Peavey 400 Series.

A band who’s guitar sound has really thrilled me in recent time is a band from Minneapolis called Varix. They play d-beat punk with buzzy, fuzzed out guitars. I'm pretty sure the guitarist, Ashley, uses some sort of 400 Series Peavey. Which makes complete sense.

Tenement’s debut full length “Napalm Dream” is available now on CD through Hangup Records and vinyl through Mandible Records. Check the video and give the record a listen.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

one: tim schweiger & some serious fender loveage

photo: David Forcier

Tim Schweiger is everywhere these days it seems. When not playing with his band the Middlemen (and every once in a great while his previous band the Obsoletes), he can be found playing guitar with everyone from power pop icon Paul Collins to legendary Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson. Tim was kind enough to chat with me about his guitar and amp setup.

Sahan:Lets start out with guitars.

Tim: I've used countless guitars over the years when tracking. The last session I did I used a 2007 Epiphone Casino (bought in 2008 from Cream City Music, to replace a stolen 76 Fender Telecaster Deluxe)

For the Middlemen and Tommy Stinson live shows, I use a 2008 Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster Special (Bought in 2008 from Island Music to replace a stolen 2005 Fender Stratocaster). I tried it out and loved how hot the pick-ups [single coil p90s] were and loved how it felt. I liked the bigger body and longer scale. It's my favorite guitar that I've owned so far.

For the Paul Collins Beat live shows, I use a 1994 Fender Stratocaster (Wayne’s World 2 Model!) and a 2004 Fender Telecaster, both of which were given to me as gifts from friends. I prefer the Strat because it has a warmer tone and the action is fantastic. I also have the option of playing out of phase, which I use a lot for the rhythm position. However, that Tele is the best sounding Tele I've ever played. Not a big fan of the slab body, though. The ‘76 Tele Deluxe that got stolen had a contoured body. It fit me like a glove.

photo: Renate Winter

For solo acoustic shows I have a 2006 Epiphone EJ200. I bought it cheap at a pawn shop on a whim. It’s got a cool jumbo body with a nice dark tone.

I string up all my electrics with Ernie Ball 11 gauge Power Slinkys. I like the thickness because I tend to press much harder on the fretboard live than I would in the studio or at home. I like to use Fender Phospher Bronze 13s on my acoustic for the same reason.

S:Very nice variety there. Those newer Jazzmasters are really impressive and totally affordable. What about your amp and cab?

TS: For the Middlemen and Tommy Stinson shows, I use a stock Silverface Fender Bassman 70 head. I found it 10 years ago at a Mars Music in Brown Deer, WI for $140. I picked it up randomly not knowing anything about it and have played out of it in one way or another ever since. My theory with amps is the less knobs, the better. This has two channels with volume, treble and bass knobs with a master volume. It sounds great. I have the channel volume at about 8ish. The master volume differs each time. Every show, I start with the treble and bass at 5 and then adjust them depending on the sound of the venue.

My cab is an oversized Fender 2x12 bass cab that I bought 7 or 8 years ago for a tour. I replaced whatever speakers were in there with two Celestion Greenbacks. I blew the bottom one and replaced it with a Celestion Rocket 50, which added a warm low end to perfectly compliment the crisp mids of the Greenback. I lucked out on that one because I only bought the Rocket 50 because it was the cheapest Celestion I could find with the best reviews.

For the Paul Collins Beat, we generally fly out to shows, so the backline is supplied for us. I usually get a Vox AC30, a Fender Deluxe/Twin Reverb, or a Marshall JCM 900.

S: Awesome. I have a Silverface Bassman 50 head that I love to death. What about effects? I understand that you’re a fan of the Pro Co Rat distortion.

TS: Yep. A vintage Pro Co Rat [with the infamous LM308N chip] switched on. I control the gain with master volume on my guitar. I have the gain set at about 11 o'clock, the filter at about 10 o'clock and the volume at about 2 o'clock. I traded it for something I can't remember from Simple Studios during the making of the first Obsoletes EP.

Also, I always have my own Shure SM57 mic for live gigs. I love how it sounds and the fact that there is no one else's spit all over it.

S: Haha, I don’t blame you. Mic grills are a breeding ground for all sorts of gnarly stuff. This is an interesting and unique setup you’ve got. What is it about your setup that you love?

TS: The simplicity of it all. It gives me the ability to play chords where people can hear every note I'm playing without being lost in my gain. I think a lot of players crank up the gain when what they are really looking for is sustain. It's a trap that results in a lot of really good players having really bad tone.

S: I couldn’t agree more. You can get so much more out of having lower gain at a higher volume. Are there any additions you would like to have?

TS: A Fender Twin Reverb amp or a 1970s Fender Bass.

S:Very cool. Finally, anyone else's setup and/or tone that you dig?

TS: Paul Westerberg’s tone for his solo stuff. He tends to use a lot of hollowbodies through [Marshall] JCM 800 heads. Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead. Jack White's White Stripes tone. Pete Donnelly's [The Figgs] bass tone. Pretty much any late 60's/70's Fender Jazz Bass through an Ampeg. [Paul] McCartney's bass tone has always been one of my faves. Geddy Lee, too. The best tone is always dictated by what is best for each performance of the song. I could go on and on, so I'll just leave it at that.

Tim Schweiger is currently on tour with the Paul Collins Beat. Check the video and tour dates below.

Paul Collins Beat On Tour::
July 04 | Sacramento, CA | Sol Arts Collective
July 05 | San Francisco, CA | Thee Parkside
July 06 | Chico, CA | Cafe Cody
July 07 | Redding, CA | Maxwell's
July 08 | Portland, OR | Slabtown
July 09 | Seattle, WA | The Funhouse
July 13 | Mobile, AL | Alabama Music Box
July 14 | New Orleans, LA | Siberia
July 15 | Jackson, MS | Ole Town
July 16 | Memphis, TN | Hi-Tone Cafe
July 18 | Chattanooga, TN | JJ's Bohemia
July 19 | East Atlanta, GA | The Earl
July 21 | New York, NY | Bowery Electric