baritone

Loathe Rig Rundown
Rig Rundown: Loathe's Erik Bickerstaffe

Guitarist Erik Bickerstaffe exquisitely executes a tightwire act that contrasts and fuses brutality and beauty using a bargain baritone Gretsch and stock Tele.

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Rig Rundown: Microwave

Carefully chosen pedals and a vintage laptop become "a poor-man's Kemper," enabling the Atlanta quartet to bridge psychedelia, post-hardcore, and four-on-the-floor rock.

Music—and guitar—are therapeutic. The songs we write and riffs we play help reduce the pain, alleviate the stress, and produce some positivity in our lives. Microwave's singer/guitarist/lyricist Nathan Hardy has been using the studio and stage as his leather couch for nearly 10 years.

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Rocco DeLuca says his favorite instrument is his baritone lap steel, but he frequently plays 12-string pedal steel as well. He says that, while it lacks the bottom end of the baritone, he can "achieve a lot of the same things, but it'll give me other colors or textures that I like and want to explore."

Photo by Teresa Critchlow

Hopping between 6-string, baritone lap steel, and pedal steel, the SoCal guitarist has collaborated with the legendary producer on everything from cosmic guitar soundscapes to the dub-infused gospel of the new Heavy Sun.

Rocco DeLuca has learned to hear the complexity within simple musical gestures. "An orchestra tuning up at the beginning [of a concert] … that's the most exciting part for me," he says, deep into our conversation. "How's it gonna get better than that? Everybody's reaching for the note, right? It's exotic because they've abandoned the Western philosophy when they're tuning up and they're pulling everything. There's all this microtonal information. Things are rubbing and harmonizing all over the place, there's a billion worlds, and then they're gone as they achieve it."

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