February 2017
more... ArtistsJune 2009Greg Koch

Greg Koch: Meeting the Gristle-Man

Do you have some general things, tricks, etc., you would like to share with our readers when it comes to practicing and developing their own style and unique tone?

Never stop listening and expanding your horizons. Never stop practicing. If you think you’re pretty good, think again!

Is there anyone you would like to have the chance to play, record or jam with?

I’ve always wanted to jam with the Allman Brothers, but I would love to jam with Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Paul McCartney… [John] Scofield, Mike Stern… too many to mention.

Do you have any endorsements running?

I am a Fender guy: Fender guitars, amps, strings, cords, picks, underwear, etc. I have some pedals that I have championed for years that my friend Tim Jauernig makes: the Gristle King and the DGTM [Diabolical Gristle Tone Manipulator]. I love my BSM pedals; I have some excellent pickups in my Tele that are German-made by a guy named Ray Gerold. That’s all I’ve been using lately. But I am a Fender guy first and foremost.

Do you have a favorite guitar, amp and effect? Why are they your favorites?

I have been using a couple of Teles for the last year, a Fender American Deluxe Ash Tele and a Fender Baja Tele. My two favorite Fender Custom Shop guitars—which I have been seen with the most—may be made into a limited edition signature model through a local dealer here in Milwaukee via the Fender Custom Shop. They both are a weird greenish blue. The Tele has a B-bender and the Strat has been my main guitar for over 15 years. It’s pretty much a hot-rodded ’56 Strat.

Amp-wise, I go between a Fender Super- Sonic Combo with a 2x12 extension cab, a Super Reverb and a Custom Vibrolux, but lately I have been plugging straight into a ’57 Tweed Deluxe reissue… I may do the next record entirely with it… it’s pure!

What is the secret of your signature Telecaster tone, gear-wise?

I use my Gristle King pedal for some gain, but most of the sounds are a result of continually refining my playing… it never ends. The amps may change but the sound remains.

What do you think about vintage equipment?

It’s great, but it’s getting way too expensive, so it’s not practical to use live… the studio is another matter. I usually borrow what I need in the studio!

Is there a general setup for your instruments (string gauge, action, pickups...)?

I play a Fender Stainless Steel .011 set with the action pretty low. My pickups vary from guitar to guitar.

Are there private friendships with other players or artists you played with?

I’m pretty good buddies with Paul Barrere, Fred Tackett and the rest of the Little Feat gang. T Lavitz from the [Dixie] Dregs has been a long-standing buddy of mine. I like to hang out with Joe Bonamassa when he comes to town… I recently met and hung out with Robben Ford, Guthrie Govan and David Grissom, and I enjoyed their company quite a bit… not to mention their playing!

What are your plans for the future?

Finishing a record with Malford Milligan to come out Spring of ’09, then a tour of Europe from April to May of ’09. I’m going to do a record with Reggie Hamilton and Tom Brechtlein this year and some gigs with them. I’m doing some tracks on T Lavitz’s new record, and we’re going to do some gigs with Tom Brechtlein and Jeff Berlin.

Greg's Gear Box
American Deluxe Ash Tele
American Deluxe Strat

Fender Super Reverb
Fender Vibro King

Gator Pedal Tote
Fender cables and strings
Blues Bottle slides
Kyser capos
Fender medium picks.
T. Jauernig “Gristle King” overdrive/clean
boost (now by T-Rex) BSM Spectrum Fuzz-Booster
BSM Fuzz Bender
DigiTech The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Boss DD-3 Delay
Boss TU-12 Tuner
T-Rex Reptile
Dunlop Octavia
Magnavibe pedal (Bigfoot Effects)
BSM Fuzzbender

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