therigs

Interview with Donavon Frankenreiter

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm
Donavon Frankenreiter Pedal Board

Donavon Frankenreiter Pedal Board

The Rigs: What guitarists’ sound influences you the most, both past and present, both acoustic and electric?  Feel free to name numerous players.

Donavon Frankenreiter:  I guess overall it would be Dylan, Hendrix, Clapton, Jimmy Page, Mark Ford, he was in the Black Crowes, Dan Auerback from the Black Keys, Craig Ross who is Lenny Kravitz Guitar player, Warren Haynes….

The Rigs: What musicians’ setups (guitar, pedals and amp setup) would you like to know about?

DF:  If I could go back in time and go to Jimi Hendrix sound check and play thru his stuff that would be ideal.  To see what volumes he played at and get the vibe of his sound

TR:  Two part Question: What is the direct of your sound as a band at present where does your sounds as a guitarist fit into that.

DF: Well I’m a Hendrix fanatic, I have a Custom Fender ’68 remake. I had it made custom by fender.  It’s a left- handed guitar strung righty.

TR:  So you have the low E on top?

DF:  yea, it’s a mirror image of what Hendrix played at Woodstock…and with the band I use a Fender Super Sonic.

For shows…I mainly go with the electric… I don’t pick up the acoustic sometimes (during shows)…I have a 62 Martin Triple L…sometimes I don’t use the acoustic that much it all, it depends.

I don’t have too much in my wedges except vocals and acoustic so I like to keep simple.

Those two guitars are my workhorse guitars.  I never change my strings unless they break.

I have a bunch of guitars at home and in my restaurant in Laguna from the 1940’s to the 2000’s

As far as pedals I have an old Ibanez tube screamer and if I want to push it up to another level I can hit the Animal on….I really only use the wah for beginning and ends of songs or just bits and pieces

TR:   I noticed you have one output from your acoustic that goes to two lines, does that combined the bridge pickup and the LR Baggs pickup you have in the sound whole? Is it a Fishman in the bridge pick up?

DF: Yea, Fishman in the bridge. Yea, it’s a stereo out so the John my front of house can get the vibe and true tone of the acoustic.

TR: Where do you see your sound going in the future as a guitarist or do you not think about that and just let it happen on it own

DF:    Well In a perfect world, if I were better with my guitar volume, I would just use a guitar, plugged strait into an amp.  I think that’s what Derek trucks does that and he is in so good controlling his volumes.  I like to just keep it simple with a guitar going strait into an amp with a great tone.

But, ya know, I don’t write with the electric.  Acoustics is how I write songs so….

TR: What is the lineage of your guitar sound? In other words, when you started playing guitar, who did your sound most resemble and how did that sound evolve to your guitar setup today?

DF:  I really liked Clapton’s and (Mike Cambell’s) sound.  I don’t know, maybe I could be wrong but it always seemed like they didn’t have a lot of pedals just a great sound.

I like a warm great tone, a good guitar with a true tone

I never used to have a pedal board before, my tour Manager (John Hagler) said man we got to get you a pedal board.  I just used to throw whatever pedals I had up there and, you know, go for it. …. I just used to buy 9 volts like crazy

TR:   Have you gotten any custom work done on your guitars besides the fender 68 you had built?

DF:  No, not really…John does a lot of my custom work on the road.  I really just buy guitars on the road.

When I lived in Laguna I used to go to The Guitar Shoppe as a kid

Photo by SUTHERLAND604

Donavon with the '68 Strat. Photo by SUTHERLAND604

Donavon's Stage Set up

Donavon's Stage Set up (Guitar in picture not part of his rig)

Pedal board Photo

Pedal board Photo

Super Sonic Amp

Fender Super Sonic Amp

Interview with Jack Johnson

In Uncategorized on June 10, 2011 at 6:31 am
Jack's Pedal Board

Jack's Pedal Board

The Rigs: What guitarists’ sound influences you the most, both past and present, both acoustic and electric?  Feel free to name numerous players.

Jack Johnson: I started learning how to play folk songs when I started.  Cat Stevens , and Jimmy Buffett.   I was learning from my dad’s friend and you know some songs I learned cause I liked and some to learn the chords.  I also started learning when “…And Justice for All” came out and was into Kirk Hammett.  You know, “Master of Puppets” , “Ride the Lighting” and “…And Justice for All.”

When I was about 14 or 15 I was really into Hendrix and Fugazi…  And Minor Threat. My first band we did a lot of Minor Threat covers….I was also into the old soul sounds of  Steve Cropper…From my parents I was also listening to Neil Young, Hendrix and Otis Redding the old motown stuff.

The Rigs:  What musicians’ setups (guitar, pedals and amp setup) would you like to know about?

Jack Johnson:  Good Question,  I think the old Marley stuff.   I like listening to the different recordings of people who didn’t have their instrument’s they normally played on stage.  Old Marley from 72, 73 stuff is some of my favorite,  their guitar setup I would like to check out.

TR: This is a two part question, Part 1: What is the lineage of your guitar sound? In other words,  when you started playing guitar, who did your sound most resemble and how did that sound evolve to your guitar setup today? Part 2: Where do you see your sound going in the future as a guitarist?

JJ: Well I started playing electrics in punk bands, then when I was doing all the surf movies I was playing a lot of acoustic…then when I got my own studio I started playing electrics more again because it was around.

When I’m home, I’m all about the three kids.  I put the three kids to bed I find myself picking up a ukulele or acoustic guitar and you know playing very lightly

TR:  Can you list the guitars and amps you play and explain their setups?

JJ:  The Deluxe…. has more of a crunch and I like the electric for more of the soul skank… I have this Les Paul that I play thru a lot  and have an old Tele that I used.  But I was hangin out with Taj Mahal and he had a hollow body.   He said he needs to have the vibration of the guitar against his body.   You know, kind of like an acoustic.  So you can feel that vibration.  So I use hollow body Gibsons now…

I use the twin for the acoustic stuff because it’s a little bigger and can hold the acoustic. ….I put a little bit of the acoustic in my wedges…and some behind me… in the amp.

After playing a bunch of shows in Hawaii,  a bunch of charity shows, some smaller stuff, it was always wedges and I’ve gotten used to that.  I tried ears (ear monitors) for a while, then one ear but I’ve gotten back to wedges

Cole Clark makes a lot of the acoustic guitars that I play,  the austrailian guitar maker. They are my main acoustic guitars.

TR: What gauge strings do you use:

From Boogie Parlow: (Jack’s Guitar Tech): Acoustic Strings: D’Addario EJ-16, Electric Strings: D’Addario EXL 115

TR: Have you ever gotten any custom work done on your guitars?

JJ: Well Boogie lives in Hawaii now so I pretty much just drop my stuff off to him….

Jack's Guitars

Jack's Guitars

The Vault (Merlo's Basses pictured as well)- Photo by Frank Lavelle

Pedal Board (acoustic left, electric right) - Photo by Frank Lavelle

Full Set up (Start of show) - Photo by Frank Lavelle

The Amps. (Twin Left, Deluxe Right) - Photo by Frank Lavelle

Jack Johnson On stage (Hollow Body) - Photo by Brent Broza

Interview with Dan Lebowitz from ALO

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Lebo's Pedal Board - Taken 4/19/11 Updated from Pedal board pictured below.

The Rigs: What guitarists’ sound influences you the most, both past and present, both acoustic and electric? Feel free to name numerous players.

For me, it’s ever changing. Even the ones that are passing can leave a print on you that lasts forever. Some of the ones that have stuck with me are…

Dan Lebowitz: *Jimi Hendrix – Discovered him in high school, because as a guitarist, you’re supposed to love him. Honestly, I wasn’t knocked off of my feet at first. I appreciated him and liked the music, but it wasn’t until a few years later, that I saw the “Jimi plays Monterey” video and suddenly I got it. The rawness just kinda grabs your heart.

*The three Kings (B.B., Albert, and Freddie) have also been a big influence on me. Tone! Tone! Tone! I love how their guitars help to tell the stories in their songs. Often, while they are singing, they use their guitars to answer their voices. Then, when it’s time to let it rip, it’s as if they’ve released the caged animal.

*Wes Montgomery really blew my mind when I first heard him, and I’ve spent some time digging deep into his thang.

Man, I could just keep going, but a few more would be David Gilmour, Charlie Christian, Eddie Van Halen, Mississippi John Hurt, and the great saxophonist Charlie Parker. All of those players have influenced me hugely.

TR: What 2 musicians’ setups (guitar, pedals and amp setup) would you like to know about?

Lebo: Of all the rigs out there, I’d love to spend some time with the the Edge’s rig . (U2)

TR: Two part question: What is the direction of your sound as a band at present and where does your guitar sound fit into that? How do your amps, individual pedals and guitars play their roll in that sound. (be specific to the each if possible)

Lebo: I like to think of it as rootsy-adventurism. I’m super into warm analog tones, but I like to go out on a limb with them. I always use tube amps. Mostly Victoria, Goodsell, and old Fenders. I dislike playing through amps that have too much power, as I rely heavily on amp breakup for my sound. For me, an amp can’t be over 40 watts. These days I’ve been enjoying the 15 to 20 watt amps. Even on big stages. You can turn em up without blowing people’s ears out. There’s such a rich compression that happens when an amp is working hard. In short, I like the sound of a suffering amp!

TR: Where do you see your sound going in the future as a guitarist?

Lebo: I have no idea. That’s the fun part for me. I’m really open to trying new things, and I find that I’m influenced by all kinds of music, so who knows!!!

TR: What is the lineage of your guitar sound? In other words, when you started playing guitar, who did your sound most resemble and how did that sound evolve to your guitar setup today?

Lebo: When I first started playing guitar, Pete Townsend was my guy. I loved The Who. In a sense, I’m still with those types of sounds. I like to experiment a bit more these days, but when it gets down to it, a nice creamy tube amp and a comfy guitar is where it all starts for me.

TR: Could you walk me thru the signal flow of you pedal board? In other words, which pedal is wired to the next?

Lebo: This is something that I change from time to time… right now it’s sort of a long chain….

Guitar > Jangletone II (CAE) > Analog man Bi Comp > WH-1 (original whammy) > Fulltone Clyde (wah) > Home Made Overdrive > Zen Drive > Q-Tron + > Line 6 Echo Park > mini Deja Vibe > Ernie Ball Volume Pedal (500k pot).

TR: List of Guitars and Amps you play? (be as specific as possible)

Lebo: Guitars: Takamine Cedar top acoustic/electric with a sunrise pickup wired straight to the jack, Santa Cruz Vintage Jumbo Custom, Gibson L-4 CES, Gibson ES 335 , Sierra 8 string Lap Steel, Carter u12 pedal steel guitar.

Amps: Victoria 20112, Victoria Golden Melody, Goodsell 33 Custom, 1967 Fender Pro Reverb

TR: What gauge and brand of strings do you use ?

Lebo: I’ve been usin DR strings lately. I like heavy strings… 12-54

TR: Have you ever gotten any custom work done on your guitars?

Lebo: I apprenticed with a guitar builder for a couple years, and then worked as a luthier for couple years after that. I love working on guitars, but I love playing them even more. So, as I got more recording/touring opportunities, I just let the playing take over. At any rate, i do all of my own guitar work and I like to experiment with my instruments. I mess with them often.

TR: Do you have a trusted person that works on your guitars for custom work and major repairs?

Lebo: As I said before, I work on my instruments myself, but if I have a really perplexing job, I take the guitar to Keith Holland’s Guitar Hospital in Los Gatos, California. Keith is the master luthier I apprenticed with. He does amazing work…. A real artisan.

Lebo in Soundcheck 10/13/10

Lebo's Victoria Golden Melody with speaker controls wired in between head and speakers

Lebo's Goodsell 33 Custom

Lebos' Pedal Board

Lebo's Pedal Board - Taken 10/13/10

 

Dan Lebowitz with Gibson SG

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