Rigged: Whores Guitarist/Vocalist Christian Lembach



Whores just released their new EP Clean, an absolute ball-buster of a record. To quote our own Vince Neilstein in his write-up of the record last month: “It’s noise rock rooted in hardcore that’s filtered through a metal prism, and you’d be crazy not to like it. Those riffs, those hooks! So catchy, so headbangable.” Stream the whole record right here on Spotify if you know what’s right for you, order it via Brutal Panda Records, and check the band out on Facebook to stay up to date.

To celebrate the ass-kikcitude contained on Clean we asked guitarist/vocalist Christian Lembach to tell us just how he accomplishes such gnarly tones live and in the flesh. Here’s Christian: 

There are lots of factors that go into my rig, but I think every part of it is important. It’s sort of complicated, but I’m a total gear nerd so here goes:

My main guitar in the band is a reissue MIM 1952 Fender Esquire, and the pickup is a really hot single coil that is wound one way for half of the turns and reverse-wound for the second half.  I’m not entirely sure what this means, but I know that it sounds incredible. The forward position on the selector switch on the Esquire (the equivalent of the neck position on a Telecaster) pulls the tone control out of the circuit and also adds a bass boost.  I use this position a lot.


My pedalboard is set up in two loops with a Loop-Master switcher to choose which loop is active. Loop one has a Zvex Fuzz Factory, a Zvex Mastotron, a Malekko Omicrom Fuzz, an Xotic Effects AC Booster, a Keeley Nova wah (a fixed or “cocked” wah), and my tuner.  I also have a Freekshow FX Digilog delay in that loop, but I rarely use it. In this first loop I also used to have a Hummingbird trem from Earthquaker Devices, a U.S. Fuzz from Devi Ever, a Snowdrift fuzz from Secret Seasons, an Algal Bloom fuzz from Fuzzhugger(fx), a Morley Bad Horsie wah, and an Electro Harmonix v.1 P.O.G., but I’ve obviously downsized since then.


Loop two has a green Russian “bubble font” Big Muff and an Earthquaker Devices Black Eye clean boost.  They are both on all the time, so when I hit the Loop-Master switcher it flips from whatever I have selected in loop one to both pedals in loop two.  This is the crush/kill/destroy sound when we hit the heavy-heavies.

Both of my amps are 100-watt Marshall Super Lead heads.  One is a late-sixties model and one is a reissue.  I use Svetlana EL34s for the output tubes and varying brands of 12AX7s, 12AT7s and 12AU7s in the preamp sections.  Both cabinets are Marshall JCM 800 4x12s.  I have a slant and a straight, but both cabs have 75-watt Celestions in them, which are the stock speakers.

It’s important to note that I plug into the low input of the amps, and lower the gain in the preamp sections of the amp by using the 12AT7s and 12AU7s.

I use really light picks (.60) and really heavy strings (13-56 with a wound 3rd). We tune to dropped C (CGCFAD).



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