Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Rig Rundown: The War on Drugs

The indie rocker combines’ vintage Gibsons and Hiwatts with modern Fenders and a Bradshaw system.

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).