Premier Guitar met up with Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs at Marathon Music Works in Nashville. Granduciel described how he builds moody, swirling walls of sounds through a Bradshaw pedalboard, two Hiwatt amps and a full-time spinning Leslie.
Through a serendipitous amp breakdown at a show in Phoenix, Granduciel began a relationship with Fender. It started with a new Japanese-made Gretsch White Falcon.
The Falcon was soon followed by this American Vintage ’56 Reissue Strat.
Although his array of Fender-related axes skews towards the modern side, Granduciel’s goes vintage for his collection of Gibsons. The oldest one is a totally stock ’64 Gibson SG Jr.
A previous owner loaded up his ’66 non-reverse Firebird with a pair of Lollar P-90s, but Granduciel added the Bigsby.
Finally, a stock ’72 Les Paul Deluxe rounds out the trio.
Granduciel travels with an impressive arsenal of vintage amps. He runs a 1974 Hiwatt Custom 50 into a Matchless 2x12 cabinet loaded with Celestion Heritage speakers.
He combines this amp with another Hiwatt, a ’72 Custom 100, that goes into a funky, old Earth Sound Research 2x15 cab.
Finally, Granduciel add a swirly vibe with a constantly running Leslie cabinet that’s driven by a Fender ’65 Princeton Reverb reissue.
A long time lover of the stomp, Granduciel recently took his board to the next level and employed Bob Bradshaw to bring his vision to life with a loop-based pedalboard. The heart of the rig is a Custom Audio Electronics RS-T MIDI Foot Controller. Sitting next to his RS-T is a Custom Audio Electronics Line Driver—which feeds the Princeton—a Boss TU-3 tuner, and an Ernie Ball volume pedal.
The pedalboard includes a JHS Bun Runner, Wren and Cuff Tall Font Russian, Mountainking Electronics Loud Box, Blackstone Appliances MOSFET Overdrive, a vintage MXR Flanger, Moog Minifooger Tremolo, a vintage Electra Phase Shifter, Wren and Cuff Phat Phuk, Hardwire DL-8 Delay/Looper, Hardwire RV-7 Stereo Reverb, Auralux King Trem, Ibanez Echo Shifter, and finally, two vintage Electro-Harmonix Memory Man Delays (one sits on the floor next to the board).