One of the most recorded guitar players in history takes us behind the scenes while on tour with Stevie Nicks for a look at his bare-bones setup.

Unless you’ve been raised in a cave with your fingers in your ears and no electricity, you’ve heard Waddy Wachtel. He’s recorded and toured with Stevie Nicks, Neil Young, Joe Walsh, Bob Dylan, The Everly Brothers, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, James Taylor and pretty much every other great artist of the ’70s and ’80s. Wachtel met with Premier Guitar’s John Bohlinger before the sold-out Stevie Nicks show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena where he gave the story behind some of rock’s most listened-to guitars.

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It’s ok for a guitar to not sound like a guitar.

As much as we all love juicy, organic guitar tones, it can be just as inspiring to go the opposite way. Combining various modulation effects, envelope filters, oscillators, and more can result in sounds that owe more to Kraftwerk than Led Zeppelin.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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