RIGGED: MACHINE HEAD’S PHIL DEMMEL TAKES YOU THROUGH HIS CURRENT ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAYHEM FESTIVAL GEAR SETUP
(Photo by Fiaz Farrelly)
Greetings to all you MetalSuckahs from Reno, Nevada where Machine Head are doing a warm-up show before the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival starts in two days. My name’s Phil Demmel, I’ve been playing guitar with these guys for the past nine years and I’m stoked to share with you gear-heads the rig that I’m currently using.
As of two days ago we’ve switched to using an amp/tone/effects processor called the Fractal Axe-FX.
We’ve been able to program our Peavey 5150/6505 settings into it and interface it with our Custom Audio Electronics effects unit so we have access to all our presets, and also manual moves if need be. Included in my CAE unit is: Rocktron Prophecy 2 for some clean tones (it will be weeded out after I get more familiar with the Fractal), MXR Zakk Wylde Overdrive, MXR Super Fuzz, BOSS CE-5 Chorus, MXR EVH Phase-90, BOSS NS-2 Noise Suppressor, Voodoo Lab pedal power, Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress.In the effects loop- BOSS DD-7 delay, CE-5 chorus and a compressor for that Neil Schon sustain. Depending on the venue I’ll use the rack mounted Dunlop Wah or a Zakk Wylde wah (in polka dot Buddy guy casing tributing Randy Rhoads).
It’s controlled by a footswitch that I have onstage and my tech has back with him. I do most of my own moves now but soon he will be making them for me off-stage.
My tribute to Randy Rhoads:
and my newest Boondock Saint 27 inch scale baritone;
From there my wireless signal gets transmitted to the Sennheiser receiver, then to a Boss tuner and then to the Fractal. We’ve switched over to In-Ear Monitors so there are no cabinets on stage.
I also take my inspiration with me everywhere we play:
We play in drop B tuning +40 cents for most songs and C# standard +40 cents for a handful of others. For a few songs (“Ten Ton Hammer” and “Left Unfinished”) we tune the 3rd string up a half-step for an evil 5th fret harmonic.
So that’s about it. Machine Head has a new record coming out this September called Unto the Locust and we’ll be playing on the Rockstar Mayhem Tour this summer. Come check us out!
– Phil Demmel / Machine Head