17. El Conjunto Nueva Ola’s Luzio Nava
This six-piece hails from Mexico City, Mexico, and its members are self-proclaimed “disrespectful musical wrestlers.” Where most masked bands prefer to be mysterious, gloomy characters (we’re looking at you Ghost B.C. and Gwar), El Conjunto Nueva Ola—or ECNO—look to unite people through their high-energy performances that encourage people to dance to the rhythm of cumbia (a traditional group dance done mainly in Latin and South America). They routinely entice bystanders to drop their inhibitions and lose themselves thanks to their clever mashing of new wave, rock, and disco, all delivered with Latin splash.
“My main guitar is an American Standard Fender Telecaster. I’m always trying new guitars from all sorts of companies to see how I feel about different bodies, neck shapes, and pickup configurations, but there’s something about Teles that keeps bringing me back. I had my main Tele modded with a push-volume knob that gives me an extra boost to add punch to my leads and work the tubes harder so they overdrive the amp.
I almost always have my MXR Micro Amp pedal on as it makes a perfect tone-bridge between my Tele and my Fender Hot Rod DeVille combo. After that, comes a Dunlop Cry Baby wah and a Fulltone OCD—this pedal has been on my board for the longest time as it’s just an amazing-sounding distortion. Then I have a Line 6 M9 for all my filters, phaser, vibe, flange, and chorus effects. I also have a NoSe expression knob connected to it so you can tweak and bend the pitch or change the parameters of the effects on the fly. Sometimes we let people in the front of the audience turn the knob(s) and mess around with it to create mayhem. I have a Boss DD-7 Digital Delay for my short delay needs and a Boss DD-5 Digital Delay for the longer, trailing ones. I have the DD-5 set up to give me triplets if I have them both on and the tempo is controlled by a dual tap switch that lets me control both pedals simultaneously—total trip! And my last pedal is a Boss RV-5. My power supply is a Cioks and my pedalboard is a Monkey Dream Board. One effect that isn’t on my board is a Boss RC-3 Loop Station that goes straight to a DI box and it only triggers samples like vocals, animal sounds, and just funny special effects we use between songs or breaks. I use Lava patch cables, Everly Yellow Star (.73 mm) picks, D’Addario strings, DiMarzio locking straps, I drink green tea, and believe in science.”
18. Buffalo Sunn
Any rock band that calls Ireland home automatically gets compared to U2. It’s not right, it’s not fair, but it’s how things work. You can hear hints of Edge’s distinctively delayed guitar parts in some of Sunn’s jams, but the band’s influences go much further than the Irish Sea. The quintet actually tips their cap to the likes of Band of Horses and Iron & Wine more than anyone from their homeland. They put their stamp on Americana by adding whispered harmonized vocals and weaving Peter Buck-inspired licks into their songs. Buffalo Sunn’s music could be the perfect soundtrack for traveling winding roads in the Smoky Mountains.
Daniel Paxton’s Gear
“For most shows, I normally use two guitars: a 1974 Guild G37 acoustic for slower songs and ballads, and a 1967 Fender Coronado II for the heavier, louder electric stuff. I put a L.R. Baggs pickup in the Guild so I can run it through my Fender Pro Reverb. It sounds pretty great. The Coronado II is such a beautiful guitar to play. Its clean tones are sweet and blooming, and when I kick in an overdrive, it handles it very well.
“For pedals, I really only use a Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb, an Ibanez AD9 Analog Delay, and an old Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer. I’m a simple kind of guitar man.”
Patrick McHugh’s Gear
“For this tour I’ve been using a 2007 Gibson ES-335. I’m a pretty straightforward gear guy, so I only carry what I absolutely need.
"I currently use an Electro-Harmonix Soul Food for a general overdrive, a Moog Minifooger MF Boost, which I use more as a tone shaper than a standard boost because I like how it colors my sound, a TC Electronic Mini Spark Boost for solos, a Boss DD-5 Digital Delay for simple delays, a TC Electronic Hall of Fame Mini Reverb, and an Eventide Space for pretty much everything else.”
Conor Paxton’s Gear
“On this tour I’m using a ’94 USA Fender Precision Bass. The P bass is definitely my favorite—it just has the growl and body that I believe a good bass should have."
"I don’t use many pedals, but my secret weapon is the Moog Minifooger MF Boost. It gives the setup a real set of balls! I actually use a lot of Moog stuff—I also play pedal steel—and I enlist them for anything that needs a bit of low end. In the Minifooger range, I have had both the MF Drive and MF Boost, and in the standard Moogerfooger range I have the MF-107 FreqBox, the MF-103 Phaser, and the MF-105 MIDI Murf. Honestly, nothing sounds like them.”