Lamb of God’s Mark Morton designed the DiMarzio Dominion pickups in his signature Jackson guitars. He started with the EVO as a base model and made his own tweaks for “a smooth, even breakup on rhythm.” Photo by Atlas Icons / Chris Schwegler
Mark and Willie, what effects do you use? Morton: I use a lot of MXR stuff—the Carbon Copy, Phase 90, and a new overdrive pedal called the Il Torino, which I used a lot on the new album. I love that pedal—it’s currently my favorite overdrive. Before that, I was using the GT-OD—not for rhythm stuff, but for a little more cut on leads, almost like a line boost.
With the gain set low?
Morton: Yeah, because there’s so much gain coming from those Boogie amps anyway.
Adler: Live, I run straight off the head I’m using. At home, I use the Mesa Five-Band Graphic on the Royal Atlantic.
Are you setting the EQ with a scooped “V” shape like many players do?
Adler: I actually up the mids, which is crazy for me. I haven’t really gone that route before, but lately I find myself adding a bit more mids. The Royal Atlantic’s low end is unbeatable.
Morton: Yeah, both Willie and I tend to add midrange frequencies to our tones. The guitar is a midrange-oriented instrument. If you suck all that out, you choke the natural sound of the instrument. There was a trend in the 2000s where people were sucking all the mids out to get that silky, smooth breakup I was talking about earlier, but you lose clarity. For me, it’s a balance to find the right spot.
Willie, why don’t you take the Royal Atlantic on the road?
Adler: I don’t know. Maybe it’s just one of those things, like keeping my favorite guitars at home [laughs].
Can’t you just ask Mesa/Boogie to send you another for the road? Adler: I’m working on it. There are definitely going to be some changes in my rig. But I don’t want to give anything away.
With a system like the Axe-Fx, you’d save a ton by not having to lug amps around. Morton: You sound like my tour manager [laughs].
Final question: How will VII: Sturm und Drang figure in the Lamb of God lineage?
Morton: We’ve had so many albums, and it would be silly to say this is our heaviest, our best, or whatever. It’s really just a snapshot of what we sound like right now, and I’m pretty excited about that.
Campbell: That question makes me wonder something for the first time: “What if we had three more records, and I was looking back at this one?” I guess it partly depends on how it’s received by the public. I think it’s our most focused, well written, and produced record. Some old fans may be bummed by some aspects of our development, but I think more people will be shocked, surprised, and pleased.
Lamb of God whips the crowd into a frenzy with “Walk with Me in Hell” at Bloodstock 2013. Mark Morton takes a hellacious, Randy Rhoads-inspired solo starting at 3:37.