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On March 21, 2014, Premier Guitar’s Perry Bean met with Mike Hranica, Jeremy DePoyster, and Chris Rubey of The Devil Wears Prada before their show at Rocketown in Nashville. The metal-core band’s three guitarists mix heavy, drop-tuned, overdriven guitars with trippy, soundscape effects. Carrying about as many pedals as a well-stocked guitar store, they skillfully combine their three distinct tones to create a wall of sound.
Chris Rubey's GearGuitars
Rubey’s “most played” guitar is a well-worn Ibanez RG Prestige Series with a lone EMG 81 active humbucker. Stringing the RG with a D’Addario EXL158 set (.013-.062), he tunes it down to B. Ibanez also made him two hefty ARZ models—one mahogany, one swamp ash. Both have thin necks and maple fretboards, and each rocks a decorative DWP logo and sports two EMG 81s. Guitar tech Kyle Sipress strings one with a custom D’Addario set (.013, .017, .026, .044, .056, .068) and tunes it A-A. The other is tuned to dropped-D and strung with a D’Addario EXL116 set (.011-.052). Rubey carries two more modified production model ARZs as backups. For picks, he likes Dunlop .88 mm Tortex Sharps.
For his dirty tone, Rubey goes with two 120-watt Peavey 6534 heads (one to play, one as a backup). Each 6534 runs into a standard Mesa/Boogie 4x12 cabinet loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s. For his clean tone, he uses an Orange TH30 1x12 combo that’s dialed for just a tiny bit of grit.
Rubey uses a separate Sennheiser EW 500 G3 wireless system for each guitar. From there, the signal flows into a Whirlwind MultiSelector 4x, and then into a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor Pedal, an Ibanez TS9DX for more dirt, an Electro-Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator, a Boss TR-2 Tremolo, and Boss DD-20 Giga Delay. From there, the signal flows into a DigiTech Whammy and finally into the head via an ISP Decimator II Noise Reduction pedal. An Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Plus runs through the amp’s effects loop. Rubey runs a Boss NS-2 and an Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Nano Reverb into the effects loop of his Orange TH30.
Mike Hranica’s GearGuitars
Hranica tours with just one guitar—a custom First Act that features a Jazzmaster-inspired body, a single volume knob, and a Gibson 498T bridge humbucker. He tunes the guitar down to B and strings it with a D’Addario EJ22 set (.013-.056), which has a wound 3rd. His picks are Dunlop .73 mm Tortex Sharps.
Hranica plugs into a 100-watt Verellen Skyhammer head driving a Janice 4x12 cabinet. The cab features offset speakers: a pair of Eminence Wizards and a pair of Eminence Man O Wars.
Hranica admits he frequently changes up his pedalboard, but currently his board starts with an Ernie Ball volume pedal. Its tuner out connects to a Boss TU-3. The volume pedal’s output runs into a MXR Noise Clamp then into a Reuss RSH-02 that he uses as a boost. From there the signal flows into a Fuzzrocious Oh See Demon, which features a feedback booster. From there it goes to an Earthquaker Hoof, a TC Electronic Ditto Looper, an Empress Effects Tape Delay, and a MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay. From there, he goes to a TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb and a JHS Honey Comb tremolo. The last bit of the pedal puzzle is a proprietary channel switcher for the Verellen Skyhammer amp.
Jeremy DePoyster’s GearGuitars
DePoyster’s main guitars are a pair of modified MIM Fender Jazzmasters, both equipped with a Seymour Duncan JB humbucker in the bridge position and an unused, stock neck pickup. The Jazzmasters are tuned B-B and strung with D’Addario EJ22s. DePoyster has made a few other mods: These guitars now have Tune-o-matic-style bridges and the switches have all been taped down to ensure that the bridge pickup always stays on. Next is a custom First Act with a Duncan JB in the bridge and a stock neck pickup. The First Act is tuned down to A and also strung with D’Addario EJ22s. Then there’s a 2002 Gibson Les Paul Custom with a Duncan JB in the bridge and stock neck pickup, again tuned down to A and strung with D’Addario EJ22s. Last up is a modified Fender Mustang with a Duncan JB in the bridge, a stock neck pickup, and a Tune-o-matic-style bridge. DePoyster strings this bad boy with D’Addario EXL116s, and tunes it to dropped D. He plays with Dunlop .73 mm Tortex Standard picks.
A full-on Orange man, DePoyster relies on two Orange Rockerverb 100 MKII heads (one is a back-up) for his dirty tone. The Rockerverb runs into an Orange 4x12 cab loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s. Like his bandmate Rubey, Jeremy uses an Orange TH30 combo for his clean sounds.
DePoyster’s signal runs from his guitars into three separate Sennheiser EW 500 G3 Pros Wireless systems and then into a Whirlwind MultiSelector 4x. The board starts with a tried-and-true Boss TU-3 tuner, which then connects to a Moen GEC9 loop station. DePoyster’s loop system is a bit complicated, so you’ll want to watch the video for full details, but the simplified version goes like this:
Loop 1: Boss NS-2 into Fulltone OCD
Loop 2: Electro-Harmonix Small Stone
Loop 3: Electro-Harmonix Micro POG
Loop 4: DigiTech Whammy
Loop 5: Electro-Harmonix Memory Boy
Loop 6: Boss OD-1 into Electro-Harmonix Neo Clone into MXR Carbon Copy (direct to clean combo only)
Loop 7: Boss NS-2 into Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Nano (via the Rockerverb FX loop)
DePoyster has a separate small pedalboard for his TH30 that includes an Electro-Harmonix Soul Preacher Compressor connected to the amp’s input and an Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Nano Reverb into a Boss NS-2, which runs in the TH30’s effects loop.
PG would like to give a shout out to wonder-techs Chris "Wiggly" Danson and Kyle Sipress for helping us with so many gear details.