With extended-range, low-tuned, riff riders from Aristides, ESP, and PRS, these deathcore-dealing Tennesseans ain’t playing country.
Tennessee has a rich tradition that has helped shape American music. Memphis was a big contributor to blues, soul, and early rock ’n’ roll thanks to Sun, Stax, and the influx of Delta musicians. Nashville has been the long-standing capital of country music, and more recently, has developed as a hotbed of Americana storytellers. The Smokies and the surrounding Appalachian areas have given us bluegrass and undeniable icon Dolly Parton. However, while metal has eluded the Volunteer State’s thumbprint, Whitechapel’s six roughriders from Knoxville are looking to change that by showing off something a little harder than peepaw’s moonshine.
Since 2006, the three-guitar stampede has dished out eight devastating albums that combine death metal, hardcore, and melodic black metal, proving the Smokies can slay. This spring, Whitechapel took to the road, playing their seventh album The Valley in its entirety, along with favorites from their earlier work. Originally, their final stop was slated to be Nashville’s Basement East, but after it quickly sold out, their promoters elevated them to Marathon Music Works (which, once again, sold out). And that’s where the Rig Rundown crew caught up with them to talk gear.
Whitechapel’s guitarists Zach Householder, Ben Savage, and Alex Wade and bassist Gabe Crisp invited PG ’s Chris Kies sidestage to cover their signature guitars, the inner workings of their unusual Kemper profiles, and how flip-flopping DiMarzio humbuckers made all the difference.
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Evil and Angelic
The silhouette of Zach Householder’s Arisitides 070 gives his main 7-string the turbo appeal of a Porsche 911. The futuristic guitar is made from the company’s proprietary Arium material and cast from a one-piece mold that is initially liquid, then hardens to give the instrument its final shape. Householder comments during the Rundown that the Arium-built 7-string is “designed to mimic the porousness of wood without the imperfections, so its resonance is just angelic. It’s the most gorgeous-sounding guitar.” It features a multi-scale setup (25.7"–27"), Hipshot hardware, and Lundgren Black Heaven humbuckers.
Another positive of having a non-traditional electric guitar is the fact that it lacks tonewoods. Householder believes it’s the best instrument to test pickups because “you get the truest form of their sound without any coloration from the composite material.” This sleek machine takes a custom set of D’Addario EXL157 Medium Baritone strings (.011–.068) and it rocks drop-G tuning (G–D–G–C–F–A–D).
Zach’s signature ESP baritone 7-string has a 26.5" scale length on a set-neck construction that pairs a mahogany neck with a maple fretboard into a thick-bodied chunk of mahogany, capped by a quilted maple top. He originally had DiMarzio D-Activator 7 pickups in it, but found the set to be too dark and low-end rich to stand out among the band’s other two guitarists. He experimented with a batch of DiMarzio bridge humbuckers, but nothing was cutting it, so he tried putting a neck D-Activator 7 into the bridge slot. Presto change-o, the low-end fog was lifted: The neck model had decreased output, mids, and lows, but a higher top end compared to the bridge D-Activator 7. He then put the bridge humbucker into the neck slot, and it evened out the guitar.
The ZH sig handles drop-A tuning and is laced up with D’Addario EXL140-8 XL Nickel Wound strings (.010–.074).
Kemper with a Temper
Everyone in Whitechapel with a stringed instrument is running through a Kemper. Householder pulled back the veil and explained that both Ben and Alex are using a patch he created with a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Rev G, but the preamp section going into the power section of a Diezel Herbert. The Shure SM57 capturing this setup was placed in front of a Marshall-voiced Celestion Vintage 30 speaker. Zach’s core patch is based around an EVH 5150 III 50-Watt 6L6 that was modded with old Mullard EL37 tubes. He ran that through a 16-ohm Marshall 1960AV 4x12 that had a pair of 8-ohm Mesa/Boogie Vintage 30s and used the Fredman miking technique (two 57s with one head-on and another 45 degrees off-axis of the cone).
Before Mark Holcomb and his SVN signature took over the 7-string ranks for PRS, the Maryland outfit offered a standard SVN 7-string guitar. Ben Savage’s main squeeze for The Valley tour was this custom iteration. For the model, he requested an eye-catching white pearl finish, an official Floyd Rose bridge, and a set of DiMarzio D-Activator 7 humbuckers. While recording the band’s 2012 self-titled album, Savage A/B’d a bunch of humbuckers and found the D-Activator 7 pair to have the most brutal yet retained string-to-string, note-to-note definition. So, he’s stayed loyal to them for over a decade. He upgraded the bridge and locking-nut components with titanium pieces from FU-Tone. It does come with a coil tap for the bridge D-Activator that gets pulled out for the opening of “Black Bear.” Similar to Householder, he goes with D’Addario EXL157 Medium Baritone strings (.011–.068).
Here’s Savage’s second PRS SVN that has a matte black finish and a standard PRS string-through, plate-style bridge. It also has the DiMarzio D-Activator 7s.
Alex Wade trusted this ESP E-II M-II 7B Baritone EverTune model for the bulk of their Valley set. It’s formed with alder wings around a 3-piece, neck-through maple neck that’s matched with an ebony fretboard. It has a 27" scale length, 24 stainless-steel frets, a bone nut, Gotoh locking tuners, an EverTune bridge, and DiMarzio D-Activator 7 ’buckers. It handles all the drop-G material.
For all the material not on The Valley , Wade enlists his ESP LTD AW-7 Alex Wade Signature. Key specs include a swamp ash body, a 5-piece maple-walnut-paduak neck with bolt-on configuration, Macassar ebony fretboard, 24 extra-jumbo, stainless-steel frets, DiMarzio D-Activator 7s that are direct mounted to the body, and a striking open-grain, black-satin finish set off with gold hardware and pole pieces. He loved playing the previous E-II M-II 7B so much, he sent his namesake 7 to EverTune so they could retrofit it with its patented bridge system.
Shop Whitechapel's Rig
Wolf Van Halen and longtime master builder Chip Ellis discuss prototypes for EVH’s SA-126 and Wolfgang bass. Plus, the rest of the band show off their rockin’ wares.
Following in a parent’s professional footsteps is daunting. Imagine re-treading that ground in the public eye. Now conceptualize walking in the footsteps of one of the greatest guitarists to ever live. Succeeding on any level seems impossible. So where do you start when trying to find your own voice on an instrument your dad basically reconstructed?
“The main thing, when I started doing this, was that I wanted to find my own sort of sound and not do everything dad did,” says Wolfgang Van Halen. “When it came to guitar, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I just wanted to sound like myself.”
After 15 years in the family band (and working alongside Mark Tremonti for his solo project), that’s what Wolf did when he wrote and tracked all the instruments on the 15 songs for his debut album, Mammoth WVH , released last year. (The title is a nod to the original name of his father’s and uncle’s iconic band during 1972-’74.)
Things have changed since we last checked out Wolf’s setup. Back in 2012, when PG got the special treat of swooping into Bridgestone Arena to check out the rigs of Eddie and Wolf. We got to see the various Wolfgang models dad brought out, and Wolf’s custom-made one-off basses constructed by master builder Chip Ellis.
Now Wolf is playing guitar and singing lead. He’s flanked by two additional guitarists (Frank Sidoris and Jon Jourdan), while bass and drums are handled by Ronnie Ficarro and Garrett Whitlock (respectively). There’s still a lot of his dad’s thumbprint on the band’s setup, but there’s two new things afoot. This tour saw two new prototypes unveiled: a signature semi-hollow for Wolf and beefy, humbucker-loaded basses were being road-tested (or, as the Van Halens say, in the “crash-testing phase”).
“Through writing and recording that first album, and having fun, I ended up tracking most with a 335 and that semi-hollowbody sound became the baseline for all of Mammoth WVH ,” says Wolf. So, he and Ellis sought to combine reverence for the EVH legacy with something fresh for not only Wolf’s sound but to expand the company’s appeal. “I want to make something that has the DNA of the EVH brand, but something that they don’t offer.”
Before a headlining show at the Signal in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on May 17th, PG traveled south down I-24 to see what was percolating in the EVH and WVH camps. We were fortunate enough to be joined by Ellis and Van Halen, who talked about the development of the new SA-126 semi-hollow guitar and then focused on the new thunder-stick 4-string prototype that’s being “crash tested” by bandmate Ronnie Ficarro. Additionally, we cover the setups of riff warriors Sidoris (also of Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators) and Jourdan (To Whom It May), who fly the EVH flag but bring their own shine.
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The basis for Mammoth WVH ’s core guitar tone was formed around a Gibson ES-335. Wolf tracked with that guitar the most and it helped him find his own sound, separate from his father’s. But wanting to keep things in the family, he and longtime Fender/EVH master builder Chip Ellis aimed to put the 335 heartbeat into a Wolfgang package.
Some notable Easter eggs in the guitar’s design are fret inlays that appear as M (looking down the neck) but also work as W— or E— depending on your eye angle. The SA-126 model name honors Eddie’s birthday (1/26/55). The f-hole is actually a subtle e-hole, and these guitars feature eye-hook strap buttons. (The first prototype had standard strap buttons and a side-mounted input jack, but has since been changed.)
Each one of the guitars you’ll see have different neck profiles, pickup voicings with varying heat levels (although all are humbuckers), tonewoods, and finishes. It’s worth noting that the pickups Wolf and Chip are enjoying the most are not the hottest. They said in the video that dialing back the output allowed the instrument to have a fuller, wider sound. Additional known specs (which could change at any minute) include quilted maple tops (but standard maple on this one), ebony fretboards, brass harmonica-style bridges, and 24.75" scale lengths, and for this run all the prototypes took EVH Premium Strings (.009 –.042). (D’Addario manufactures all EVH-brand guitar strings.)
This guitar is the third prototype and was special for Wolf and Chip to put together. Eddie’s main live axe during Van Halen’s last tour was a white relic’d Wolfgang model, so they wanted to do something honoring his legacy. “It was emotional, and it felt great to build this guitar,” declares Ellis. “It was a full-circle kind of moment for me.”
Old But New
Here’s a close-up of the relic’d body for Wolf’s third SA-126 prototype, showing off the e-hole.
A look around back reveals some impressive scars.
A shot of the SA-126 headstock.
This is Wolf’s first SA-126 prototype. It originally came with a side-mounted input jack and standard strap buttons. However, they’ve since moved the jack to the top (like an offset Fender or ES-style guitar) and opted for the eye-hook strap buttons made famous by Eddie.
And here’s the second prototype Chip Ellis built for Wolf, featuring a crisp ’burst glowing like a campfire all night and day.
Keeping It in the Family
It’s no surprise that Wolf is plugging into an EVH stack. His amp of choice for Mammoth is the EVH 5150III 50W 6L6 head matched with a EVH 5150III 4x12 loaded with Celestion G12 EVH 20W speakers. He mentions in the video that he normally lives in the blue channel and only hits the red one for solos.
“There’s not too much I need from pedals, but it’s more for fun,” concedes Van Halen. He enlisted every EVH pedal (aside from the 5150 Overdrive that will show up later) for this run, plus a few extras. The Dunlop EVH95 Eddie Van Halen Signature EVH Cry Baby gets worked out for the solo of “You’ll Be the One.” (The recorded solo is through a talk box, but Wolf thought the wah was a simpler stand-in for live performances.) The MXR EVH 5150 Chorus and the MXR Eddie Van Halen Phase 90 have become interchangeable for him. The song “Think It Over” has become a testing ground between the two modulation effects. The MXR EVH117 Flanger gets sprinkled in for select moments, like during “Mr. Ed.” For the solo in “Distance,” he always uses the Boss DD-3 Digital Delay and the EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath.
Can’t Put It Down
“Chip did all the relic’ing, aging, and sanding of the neck and it just feels amazing. It’s hard to put that guitar down,” says Jon Jourdan. The above EVH Wolfgang is a discontinued offering, but he can’t deviate from it because of his connection to this instrument and the sturdiness of the stop-tail bridge that allows him to really dig in with his picking hand. Jourdan plays this guitar for all the standard-tuned songs.
Here’s Jourdan’s PRS Custom 24 Platinum model that is decked out in an anniversary-year-only finish and boasts a 5-way rotary knob in lieu of a standard pickup selector. It comes with the company’s 58/15 humbuckers and is completely stock. Both of his guitars take Dunlop Performance+ strings (.011–.052).
Like Wolf, Jourdan is running an 50W EVH 5150 head. His tube flavor (EL34) brings a little British bluster to the band’s sound. “We all use the 50-watt heads, so even when everything is straight up the middle everything fits in the mix and everyone has a lane,” he observes. Similar to his guitar-playing bandmates, Jourdan’s 5150 head hits an EVH 5150III 4x12 loaded with Celestion G12 EVH 20W speakers.
In the video, Jourdan admits the style and design of his board makes pedal swaps a bit more work, but that doesn’t stop him from testing out new tone treats. Before this run, he traded in the Frost Giant Electronics Yama for another boost and is already looking to find a nastier, wilder fuzz in place of the Walrus Audio Iron Horse V3. The rest of the stable includes an Electronic Audio Experiments Halberd (used for “Stone”), MXR EVH117 Flanger, and Eventide H9. A Fortin Mini Zuul Noise Gate cleans up the amp and a Peterson StroboStomp HD keeps his guitars in check. A Boss ES-8 Effects Switching System is the reins for the whole system.
I’m the One
“This has actually been a longstanding project with the EVH line and it was something Ed was very passionate about when he was still with us. He was a closet bass player and loved chasing bass tones,” says Chip Ellis.
EVH has hinted at production bass models ever since Chip built several prototypes for Wolf during his run as VH bassist from 2005 to 2020. But no matter the level of buzz generated by public interest, nothing materialized. Then, in early February, they teased the upcoming tour by posting a photo of bassist Ronnie Ficarro rocking a 4-string with the caption: “Check out that sweet Wolfgang bass prototype.”
The current evolution of the company’s bass design dives off the EVH striped basses built for Wolfgang in the 2010s. The pickups are big, hot, monster-rock humbuckers that weigh about a half-pound each. “One of the earliest prototypes had a swimming-pool route and Ed kept wanting to move the pickups further and further apart because we kept getting a bigger variety of tones,” said Ellis.
Both prototypes have mahogany bodies, maple necks, and rosewood fretboards. The neck profiles are pretty close to the ones played by Wolf with Van Halen. A big-mass bridge anchors the strings and there’s actually a blend control between the pickups rather than a standard selector. (There’s a detent that lets you know when you’re in the middle, engaging both pickups.) The volume is push-pull, to coil-tap the pickups, too. Ronnie’s been riding this one during standard or drop-D tunings, since it comes equipped with a handy Hipshot Bass Xtender Key.
In a pinch, the bass’ headstock could double as a bottle opener.
Burst into Burst
The finish on prototype No. 2 almost has a Magic-Eye effect, with the opposing bursts rushing in towards each other. Another difference between No. 1 is the inclusion of a standard pickup selector (removing the blend control for a tone knob). Outfitted again with a Hipshot Bass Xtender Key, Ronnie jams on this for D-standard and drop-C songs.
Familiar and Loud
Ronnie Ficarro has been plugging the prototype Wolfgang basses into this Fender Super Bassman 300W head. The coolest part of this rig is that fact is that it’s the exact one Wolf used on the final Van Halen tour with his pops. The numbers you see above the knobs are Wolf’s settings from that VH run, and Ronnie thought it’d be a cool tip of the cap to leave those on the faceplate. In the video, Ficarro admits to being a Rig Rundown fanatic. When he’s feeling a Green Day, uh, day, he’ll open his phone and reference a screen shot of Mike Dirnt’s settings from the Rig Rundown we did in 2013.
Monsters of Rock
The Fender Super Bassman smashes into a Fender Bassman Pro 8x10.
Fundamental for Ficarro
Here’s Ronnie’s pretty basic stomp station: a trio of EVH-inspired pedals—MXR EVH 5150 Chorus, MXR EVH 5150 Overdrive, and the MXR Eddie Van Halen Phase 90—plus an Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork for approximating the low B roar that Wolf recorded on the song “Epiphany.” The non-descript silver box is a channel switcher for the Fender Super Bassman, and Ronnie’s basses are centered by the Peterson StroboStomp HD.
The Green Giant
“I never thought I’d become the green guitar guy, but it’s just become my thing over the last few years,” states Sidoris. Frank had his eye on this Gibson Custom 1964 SG Standard reissue for some time. He originally fell for its olive-drab cloak when he saw it on display during the 2020 NAMM Show in Anaheim. Fast forward through two years and Sidoris re-encounters the SG while visiting Nashville, when he sees it listed on Rumble Seat Music ’s website. He went to the store and demo’d the guitar, and it was even better than he could imagine. He uses Ernie Ball 2020 Power Slinky Paradigms (.011–.048) across all his axes.
Sidoris also plugs into an EVH head. His flavor is the sleek EVH 5150III 50S 6L6. And, similar to the band’s other riffers, he’s relying on Celestion G12 EVH 20W speakers, but he opts for the matching EVH 5150III 100S cabinet.
Stompin’ with Sidoris
Along with his pals, Sidoris has an MXR Eddie Van Halen Phase 90, but changes it up with the inclusion of a DigiTech Whammy Ricochet, Walrus Audio Ages, MXR Carbon Copy, and a Dunlop Volume (X) DVP3. A Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner keeps his Gibsons in check and a MXR Smart Gate tames the EVH.
Metalheads Diamond Rowe and Josh Fore keep it old school, with EMG-outfitted ESP speedsters hitting primed-and-dimed 5150s.
To most people, WWJD spells out “What Would Jesus Do?” But in the case of sworn shred disciple Diamond Rowe of Tetrarch, it stands for “What Would James (Hetfield) Do?”
“The longer you talk to me, you’re going to find out that I’m super old school with my rig,” admits Rowe. “We’ll go on tours and play festivals and people will approach us and ask, ‘why aren’t you doing this’ or ‘why aren’t you doing that’ and I’m just like, I don’t know … because Metallica did it this way [ laughs ].”
Tetrarch was founded in Atlanta during 2007 by friends (and guitarists) Diamond Rowe and Josh Fore. (Fore is also the band’s lead singer and handled drums for their 2013 EP Relentless ). Ryan Lerner has been locked in at bass since 2009 and drummer Ruben Limas has been onboard since 2015.
The band hustled and self-released three EPs and their debut album Freak over the course of 10 grinding years. During that time, their thrashy roots broadened to incorporate nu-metal sounds delivered in a polished, more melodic, hook-laden package. That growth resulted in a deal with Napalm Records, where they released a LP ( Unstable ) and EP ( Addicted ) last year. The evolution of their sound and songcraft also saw a progression in gear.
“On the [early] EPs, I never did anything with delay pedals, phasers, or whammys—nothing—and I really wanted to try it,” Rowe told PG in 2017 , around the recording of Freak . “Some of my all-time favorite bands have textural stuff like that. A lot of it came out sounding cool and we kept it. I was pretty happy about that. It’s fun to do live, too.”
Ironically, as the size of stages they played grew, Rowe’s gear footprint decreased. “I am one of those types of people,” she told PG . “I get emotional connections to my gear. The idea of switching my rig around gives me so much anxiety.”
The simplification of their rigs has only helped sharpened Tetrarch’s collective blade. And, specifically, Rowe’s reduction in pedals onstage has allowed the young flamethrower to torch crowds with a more immediate, powerful, direct punch to the gut.
Before Tetrarch’s opening slot for Sevendust at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon, PG ’s Perry Bean stopped by to inspect the condensed-but-crushing setups of guitarists Rowe and Fore. Rowe shows off a sneaky upgrade—you’ll get plenty of clues in these captions—to her ESPs, allowing them to handle severely dropped tunings. Fore reveals how straight-forward his setup is so he can pull off riffing and singing. And both pile on the praise for their EVH bedrocks of gain.
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Diamond Rowe has been a longtime endorsee of ESP guitars . She typically locks in with their single-cut 6-string models, but for Freak she went even heavier.
“The 7-string I liked was the Carpenter,” Rowe told PG in 2017 . “It’s a beautiful guitar. It has a big body. It is heavy weighted like I like guitars to be. It’s a perfect fit for me. I love that guitar.” Since then, the band has evolved into using drop-A and drop-B tunings while shifting back to the standard 6-string format. The above shred machine (ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000ET) helps facilitate familiar tension thanks to its EverTune bridge. Its voice comes to life with a set of EMG 81/60 active pickups. She puts on either Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom (.010–.052) or EB Skinny Top/Beefy Bottom (.010–.054) strings. She attacks the strings with Dunlop Jazz III and Tortex 1.14 mm picks.
Here’s another one of Diamond’s ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000ETs. This one is rocking a pair of EMG (57/66) active pickups, too. It rides in drop-B [B–F#–B–E–G#–C#] for the song “Take a Look Inside.”
Go for the Gold
Diamond started her playing career on a Gibson Les Paul Standard. All the guitars that followed had to pass her “toy test.”
“It’s probably because my first main guitar was a Gibson Les Paul Standard and it’s a heavy-weighted guitar,” Rowe admitted to PG . “Anytime I pick up anything lightweight I feel like I’m playing with a toy. It’s just a preference. I like feeling like I have something around my neck.”
The above ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000T CTM is the heaviest , mightiest single-cut on tour with her. The gold-capped EMGs are still her preferred 81/60 combo. This sees the stage for songs from the band’s earlier EPs, when they lived in drop-C or D-standard tunings.
Rowe’s latest acquisition is this ESP E-II Eclipse Full Thickness that came to her stock with a set of EMGs (57TW/66TW) that offer coil-splitting for each pickup with individual push-pull controls on each volume knob.
Rowe had done several tours with her reliable Mesa/Boogie Triple Rec. However, whenever the band hit the studio, they’d track with a Peavey 6505.
“[For Freak ] we used a Peavey 6505, and that’s the secret to studio tone for metal,” stated Rowe. “That or an EVH. That’s the tone that’s flawless for metal records and that’s predominantly what we used on this record. I think that’s on every recording we’ve ever done.”
So, when she was approached by EVH/Fender to try out some amps, she already knew things would get cooking. She tested the 50W EVH 5150 III alongside her Boogie for a few tours. But her world got rocked once introduced to the 100W EVH 5150 III 100S EL34. “I started playing it and immediately loved it,” said Rowe. “It has a smooth, saturated, high-gain tone that just meshes with Josh’s 50W 5150 III.”
Dirt and Dive Bombs
Diamond keeps things succinct on her pedalboard. For now, she only has two effects living in her stage setup: an always-on Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer and a DigiTech Whammy for pure fun and note obliterating. A pair of Boss utilitarian stomps—NS-2 Noise Suppressor and TU-3 Chromatic Tuner—keep the guitars clean. Voodoo Lab has her pedals running and organized with a Pedal Power ISO-5 and Ground Control Pro MIDI switcher.
Diamond has a rack that holds the pieces that make up her “freak tone” patch. It engages a Boss RV-6 Reverb, Boss DD-7 Digital Delay, Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble, and a MXR Uni-Vibe. Around back she has a pair of MXR Carbon Copy delays, too. The rack goodies are juiced with a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus.
Simple Screamin’ Demon
“I’m so simple as a guitarist, man” concedes Tetrarch frontman Josh Fore. “I never use the neck pickup and I might have tried the coil-split once [ laughs ].” Josh Fore’s go-to stage ace is an ESP LTD Deluxe TE-1000 EverTune that has a duo of EMGs (60TW-R and 81) and is finished with stealthy charcoal metallic satin. This one stays in drop-A tuning. All of Fore’s instruments take Ernie Ball Mammoth Slinkys (.012 –.062).
The Bee’s Knees
His first T-style from ESP was this honeycomb burst LTD Deluxe TE-1000 EverTune that barks with EMGs (57/66) and typically lives in drop-B tuning.
Bonded in Blood
Fore’s newest score is this slick ESP E-II Eclipse EverTune that is loaded with passive Seymour Duncans—Pegasus (bridge) and Sentient (neck)—and decked out with 22 jumbo frets, Dunlop Straploks, Gotoh locking tuners, and a graphite nut. If you look closely down by the controls, you’ll notice a darkened smudge on the binding that’s actually Josh’s blood from a rowdy show in Santa Ana. He sliced his finger during the second song of the set and, with a true showman’s attitude, continued playing while also personalizing his new prize. The bloody bomber hunkers down in drop-C tuning for Tetrarch’s earliest material.
Take Your Pick
Matching Rowe’s sonic swarm, Fore totes around a couple of EVH heads. Currently, he’s been preferring the 50W EVH 5150 III, but when additional sting is needed, he’s got the 100W down below. The only pedals in his entire chain are a duet of Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressors—one in front of the amp and one after—that kills any unwanted buzz and hiss.