Rigged: Kowloon Walled City Guitarist Scott Evans
Kowloon Walled City’s new album Container Ships is out now on Brutal Panda Records (order). Stream the entire album right now at Lambgoat to hear what all the fuss about this sludgy, wonky, San Francisco-based quartet is about. Meanwhile, here’s guitarist Scott Evans breaking down his live rig piece by piece:
There’s not much to it, but I don’t want “options” in a guitar rig.
My guitar is an Edwards Les Paul — the John Sykes model, made in Japan. I love this guitar. (John Sykes was in Whitesnake, but it was the crappy late ’80s Whitesnake, not the awesome earlier one. He was in Thin Lizzy too. Same story. But dude can play the shit out of a guitar and has excellent taste in Les Paul cosmetics.) My backup guitar is a beat-up ’80s Washburn Falcon, which is another great Japanese guitar. $250 well spent.
Like other guitarists, I use strings. I use the bottom six strings from an Ernie Ball Power Slinky 7-string set. (Call me if you need a pile of high E strings.) At our tuning (drop A#), the .14-.58 string tension is pretty close to standard-tuned .11’s.
The quest for tone has caused me to change pickups now and then. On Gambling on the Richter Scale, I think I had a DiMarzio Air Zone in the bridge. Now the bridge pickup is a Duncan Phat Cat. I never use the neck pickup, but I put a Duncan ’59 in the neck because I like zebra pickups and The Gear Page is basically a non-stop pickup closeout bin. “Barely used.” You don’t say! Don’t buy pickups new. Really, don’t buy any gear new.
My most signifcant rig change of late may be THE PLECTRUM. I’ve played green Dunlop Tortex picks forever, but a few months ago my buddy Max gave me a few green Dunlop TIII‘s and everything changed. Well, I can still barely play guitar, but I really like the pointier TIII. Standard Tortex picks feel useless now.
I changed amps recently too. I played a Peavey VTM60 for years ($75!) but last year I switched to this old Traynor Mark 3. Great amp. Simple Twin-inspired circuit, clean with tons of headroom, and loud as balls. Thanks, Canada.
The cab is a ’79 Marshall 4×12, loaded with Weber speakers. Our old guitarist thought the grillcloth was ugly and I think he’s an asshole for that. True story: last year, when I opened up this cab to rewire it, I found an entire spool of solder. I’d left it in there two years earlier.
And here’s my custom-designed, hand-built, artisan pedalboard.
From right to left:
Boss TU-3 tuner. I don’t like this pedal much. I keep meaning to switch back to my old TU-2. For sale: Boss TU-3.
Boss BD-2. I bought this from Ian, our bass player. He had modded it, but neither of us can remember what mods he did. I use this pedal once in a while when I want extra dirt.
Ben Adrian KWB. This pedal does all the work. I used to play an amazing old MXR Distortion+. It turns out it was broken, and that’s why I liked it. So my friend Ben built a short run of pedals with the broken circuit. This one is the prototype. Ben sold his soul and works at Line 6 now (I think his title is “Associate Tone Ruiner”) so you can’t get his pedals anymore.
And that’s about it. I’ve changed little things over the years, but my rig’s always been pretty much this. Les Paul, pedal, amp.