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August Issue
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Interview: Umphrey's McGee - Group Therapy

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Interview: Umphrey's McGee - Group Therapy

Your live mashups are pretty legendary. How did those start?

Jake Cinninger: From hearing other DJs mash things together. We thought we could do the same thing since we have enough personnel in the band to pull it off. Half the band could be playing Tears for Fears and the rest of the band could be playing a Michael Jackson tune. The chemistry has to work as far as the chord progression, tempo, and melody, but if they are relatively close as far as chord progression, you can insert the melody. We do the homework, get 50 different possibilities together, and then we narrow them down by picking the best ones.



What was the most difficult one?

Jake Cinninger: The Rush/Journey mashup. “Spirit of Radio” and “Don't Stop Believin’” are pretty much the same chord progression in the verse. It was just so difficult to sing.

Brendan Bayliss: I still think it was good. It came off well. Sometimes it's really hard for us because it’s not like we are working on this stuff all year. We have enough on our plate that we can’t even think about the Halloween show until the leaves start changing. We start working on them a week or two out and we drill them. The hardest thing is to figure out what is going to work and then just committing to it.



What tune on the new album would you give to someone who has never heard Umphrey’s before?

Jake Cinninger: I would say “Conduit.” It has some cool little figures, along with some reggae and some rock, with a great melody that just sticks in your head. The vocal melody has a real earworm thing going on.

Brendan Bayliss: Just because it covers a lot of ground, I would say “The Floor.” It has an acoustic breakdown, it’s very dynamic, and there are some harmonies in there too. What we do can’t really be caught in one song, but between “Conduit” and “The Floor,” you get a pretty good example of what you can get from us.

Jake Cinninger’s Gearbox

Guitars
’90s G&L Legacy
Mid-’80s Kramer American Special Series

Effects
Pedal-Racks True Bypass Strip
Source Audio Soundblox Multiwave Distortion
Source Audio Hot Hand Phaser/Flanger
Tonebone Classic
Marion-Henry Electric Fuzz Bucket
BBE Free Fuzz
BBE Mind Bender
Moogerfooger Analog Delay
Boss PS-5 Super Shifter
Boss FZ-2 Hyper Fuzz
Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter
Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner
Guyatone MD-2 Micro Digital Delay
Steel Guitar Black Box
MXR Distortion III
Fuchs Plush Drive
Morley ABY
Morley EVO-1
Morley Bad Horsie Wah

Amps
Marshall 50-watt Vintage Modern 2266
Fuchs Overdrive Supreme ODS-100
Hard Truckers cab with Eminence Patriots
Silvertone Twin 12

Strings
D’Addario .010s
Brendan Bayliss’ Gearbox

Guitars
PRS Singlecut (nicknamed “Felica”)

Effects
Steel Guitar Black Box
Morley ABY
Morley Bad Horsie Wah
Custom Audio Electronics Boost/Line Driver
MXR Flanger
MXR Phase 90
Cusack Tap-A-Whirl
2 Cusack Screamers
Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner
Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
Boss OC-3 Super Octave
Boss DD-20 Giga Delay
Pro Co Rat
Source Audio Soundblox Envelope Filter
Stigtronics Delay
Stigtronics Overdrive

Amps and Cabs
Mesa/Boogie Electra Dyne
Oldfield Club 80
Hard Truckers cabinet
Silvertone Twin 12
Bogner Shiva
Bogner Ecstasy
Vox AC30
Fender Twin

Strings and Picks
D’Addario .010s
Telefunken 2mm graphite picks

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