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Rig Rundown: Sleep

The sultan of sludge illustrates that his first band is a shuttle for sonic exploration launching into orbit on the backs of triple-humbucker guitars, a sierra of Oranges, and two boards the size of Cape Canaveral.

In recent years, Sleep’s 6-string overlord Matt Pike has intensified and beefed up his sound by way of triple-humbucker guitars. His main choice for this run of shows is a Gibson Les Paul Artisan. During the tour, he made some pickup swaps, and this particular model has a pair of new Lollar dB Humbuckers (bridge and neck) surrounding his signature Lace Dragonaut. In addition, he’s rewired the Artisan so it has a volume knob for each pickup and a master tone control.

In a 2018 interview with PG, Pike explained the appeal of having three humbuckers: “Onstage I’ve really been using three-pickup Les Pauls a lot—I need them for Sleep, and I’ve started preferring them for High on Fire. I really enjoy the tonal diversity, power, and sustain I can get with three-pickup guitars.” All of his guitars take Dunlop .012–.056 strings, and he hammers away with Dunlop Tortex .73 mm picks.

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