Super Wolves Matt Sweeney and Emmett Kelly Guitar Rig Preview
A particular pair of selectors show lite setups that swirl, rumble, and speak!
Matt Sweeney doesn’t want to dazzle you with a rock guitar. It’s boring. It’s lazy. At least to him. He wants hypnotize you.
“Really, that’s the point of music: to take people’s attention away from anything and hypnotize them a little bit,” Sweeney said. PG in 2021. After starting its Superwolves collaboration with Will Oldham, “that’s when I thought, ‘Cool, I did the thing I wanted to do. I can play with a touch now and I can play with a really good singer who works in an idiom in which I had never worked before.
“I started playing with Will and it gave me the opportunity to continue to develop my way of playing, because it went well with his singing. After a few years, it led to Will suggesting that we write songs whole.
The audible opiate provided by Sweeney has also bewitched the works of Rick Rubin, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Adele, Cat Power, Run the Jewels, Chavez, John Legend, Zwan (collaboration with Billy Corgan), Tinariwen, “Cowboy” Jack Clement, Billy Gibbons and Margo Price. And with every episode of hypnosis comes a trance-breaking snapback. Providing that rhythmic kickback is Sweeney’s current foil, Emmett Kelly. Both have worked with Oldham, but so far, in the current Superwolves roster, never together.
Kelly enters the fold with an independent Rolodex and strangers filled with names like Ty Segall, Angel Olson, Azita, Cairo Gang, Mikal Cronin, The CIA, Earth Girl Helen Brown, Magic Trick, Doug Paisley and Joan of Arc. Sweeney sums up their love of the guitar with his typical dry, snarky snark: “What’s important about the way Emmett and I play together is that we never talk about it. [laughs]. It’s true! He’s like the best guitarist. He’s a master at making everything sound better. We both worked together, but mostly separately, with our singer Will Oldham, and it was his suggestion that we should all date [without bass and drums] because he should be wise. But really, we never had to talk about it, and we just cheek. It was great fun.
So when PGChris Kies recently hooked up with Sweeney and Kelly, they provided guitar backdrop for a headlining set led by Bonnie “Prince” Billy Oldham at Mercy Lounge in Nashville, supporting Sweeney and Billy’s release. in 2021, super wolves. Although the conversation with the two covers their Spartan setups, the heart of the message is how the gear is a tool for storytelling, humility, and liberation. Oh…but Kelly reveals a Japanese gem that takes a guitar cue and reanimates it into anime-speech-like phrases!
[Brought to you by D’Addario XS Electric Strings.]
The lonely wolf
Matt Sweeney is a simple man. He runs with just one guitar: the 1976 Gibson ES-335TD shown above. He favored flat strings (La Bella Jazz Flats or D’Addario ECG25 Chromes calibrated .012–.052) for nearly two decades. And he let the choice go for almost as long. Sweeney had an interesting take on fingerstyle playing with flats in an interview with PG in 2021: “I don’t know of any other way to get sound other than through your amp and your fingers. Otherwise you are not obtain your tone; you are beautiful Processing uncle. That’s another thing fingerpicking brought out: your right hand is your mouth. This is what makes the sound come out. But again, speaking of tone, we seem to largely agree that the guitar recordings that everyone freaks out about are usually pre-60s. They use flat strings, they don’t use pedals, and it sounds really good.
Silver Panel Stunner
“I recommend the crap out of these Fender recreations,” concedes gear novice Sweeney. “This [the above Fender ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb] sounds great and I frequently use its reverb and tremolo.
Sweeney said PG “I love pedals. Pedals are really cool and fun,” he says. “But I established the way I sound without relying on pedals at all.” And then Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal) dropped a bit of science.” He emphasized, ‘Get any kind of pedal that will make the sound wave a little bit different.’ Pedals that phase things out and make them stand out a bit are cool. Well, Sweeney’s current waveform-changing budget pedalboard includes a few EarthQuaker devices (Grand Orbiter Phase Machine – “I love using the phaser because people hate it” – and Dispatch Master delay & reverb), a Blackstrap Eletrik Company Greenleaf (based on the 1960s John Hornby Skewes Zonk Machine fuzz) and a Crowther Audio Hotcake. A Voodoo Lab Pedal Power ISO-5 brings everything to life.
Not your father’s TV, but Donahue’s TV
Emmett Kelly’s only touring companion is this 1990s Fender (MIJ) Jerry Donahue Signature Telecaster which is based on an early 60s model, aside from the 50s V-neck profile, per the specs of jerry.
“I never liked a Tele until I found this one, and now I absolutely love it,” Kelly gushed. “To the point that I’m modifying my Strat to be electronically identical to this guitar.”
It’s stock, including unique pickup pairing (an alnico Tele in the bridge and an alnico Strat in the neck) and versatile 5-position switching. (Learn more about wiring and how to implement it into your T-style with this helpful guide from Mod Garage.) Kelly uses different brands of strings (.011s) and plucks the Tele with Herco picks.
A pedal board
Kelly normally plays in more aggressive, louder bands, but for this gig, the Fender ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb is the perfect platform to unveil crisp, clear tones and a terrace for the twisted goodies on his board.
talk about the devil
“I like to have movement. I like for things to transform, for things to be constantly imagery,” says Kelly. The pedal party begins with the always-on (albeit subtly slow) MXR Phase 90. Next is his favorite pedal, the Crowther Audio Double Hotcake. (“It’s the clearest distortion and I love being able to get overdriven notes and crystal clear. “) Next is a trio of Fredric effects: a New Super Unpleasant Companion (a combined clone of Shin-Ei FY-2 and FY-6 Superfuzz), a Verzerrer (a recreation of Germany’s only distortion effect from the ‘Est, the Bohm Trickverzerrer) and a Regent 150 preamp (a revamped reproduction of a 1970s East German preamp that strips off the EQ circuitry of the Vermona Regent 150K amplifier). The Boss TR-2 tremolo is there when it backs opener (and Nashville production icon) Dave Ferguson, who actually provided Kelly with the pedal. Perhaps the most bizarre pedal Rig Rundown has come across is this Korg Miku Stomp which uses 11 lyrical patterns that essentially transform your guitar (or whatever it is, as Kelly explains in the video about her own exploration with the effect) into a Japanese anime for teenage girls. personage. You have to hear it to believe it, so tune in! And finally, Kelly lights it all up with the MXR M238 ISO-Brick.
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