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Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea
PG's Rebecca Dirks is On Location in Rosemont, IL, at the Allstate Arena where she catches up with Tracy Robar, tech for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea. In this Rig Rundown, we get to see what Flea is currently using on the I'm With You Tour, which includes Modulus Basses, Gallien-Krueger amps and cabs, GHS Strings, and various pedals from MXR, Malekko, Moog, and Electro-Harmonix.
Flea relies on his main Modulus bass for the majority of the set. It's outfitted with a Modulus Lane Poor pickup, which is no longer in production, an Aguilar preamp, and a Leo Quan Badass bridge. He keeps his knobs taped at his preferred settings (bass almost full up, treble rolled off) and only uses his volume knob live. The Modulus has a graphite neck that allows Robar to set Flea's action very low and Flea uses his signature set of GHS Boomers (.105 - .145).
In addition, he uses (left to right) a Modulus bass with custom Aboriginal finish and a Seymour Duncan pickup that's tuned to Drop D for "By The Way," a Modulus bass with the Aboriginal national flag with the controls built into a cavity on the back (only an on/off switch on the face) tuned down a half-step for "Breaking the Girl," a Chinese-made Flea Bass with custom Damien Hirst spin-art finish, his main Modulus, a backup Damien Hirst-painted Flea Bass, and a Fender P-Bass that isn't used live. Far left is a Fender Bass VI used by Josh Klinghoffer on "Happiness Loves Company" while Flea plays piano. In the gig bag is a five-string Modulus used for "Funky Monks."
Flea uses three Gallien-Krueger 2001RB amps, one controls the other two as slaves. The amps run into three Gallien-Krueger 410 cabinets and three 115 cabs, all running. There are two additional 2001RB amps in the rack, one is used when Klinghoffer plays bass, and the other is simply a backup.
Flea doesn't use many effects, relying on these four for all of the tones he needs. Left-to-right he uses a Malekko Bassmaster for fuzz and distortion, MXR Micro Amp used as clean boost for slapping and leads, Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron used for "Sir Psycho Sexy," and a Moog Mooferfooger 12-Stage Phaser used just for fun. The board is powered by a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus.