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Knocked Loose Rig Rundown [2024]

Rig Rundown: Knocked Loose 2024

Ungodly, sinister, and maliciously menacing guitar tones erupt from the Kentucky hardcore band’s 7-string Ibanez guitars, providing the soundtrack to the summer’s biggest mosh pits and nastiest break downs.

If hell had a guitar tone, it’d be what Knocked Loose’s Isaac Hale and Nicko Calderon conjure up from their Ibanez 7-string beasts. The band’s mission since day one has been to pummel listeners with the most extreme form of hardcore music. Over the past decade they’ve throttled through all limits, making each breakdown, each riff, each scream, and each performance outdone by the next. A more recent (and seemingly) conflicting goal has been to infect the mainstream with their brutality. Their brand-new third album, You Won't Go Before You're Supposed To, paired them with pop producer Drew Fulk (Kevin Gates, NLE Choppa, Disturbed, Lil Wayne), and over the last two years, they’ve played Coachella and Bonnaroo, partnered with hip-hop duo $uicideboy$ for a sold-out tour, and were announced as direct support for Slipknot’s 25th anniversary tour. Both of the band’s goals are being accomplished, as their sound has never been more punishing orpopular.

Before Knocked Loose’s sold-out show at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works, guitarists Isaac Hale and Nick Calderon invited PG’s Perry Bean onstage for a fresh conversation about their updated mercenary squad. During our time with the Hale and Calderon, we learn about their custom 7-string Ibanez doom brooms, Hale explains moving on from tube amps and pedalboards to Quad Cortex units and MIDI switching, and Calderon details finding his place in the band and adjusting to an extra low-B string.

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Isaac's Iceman

When we spoke with the Oldham County crew five years ago, cofounding guitarist Isaac Hale was using an Ibanez RGDIX7MPB. He’s still in the Ibanez family and strictly uses 7-string instruments, but he’s gravitated to the iconic Iceman shape for his pit-provoking duties. This white custom configuration features a lighter nyatoh body, DiMarzio Fusion Edge 7 ceramic humbuckers, a single master volume knob, and a smaller neck profile. If all goes well, he uses this guitar onstage all night. He uses a custom set of D’Addario NYXL strings with the current low-B string a thick .070 gauge.

Nicko's No.1

Before joining Knocked Loose in 2020, guitarist Nicko Calderon had never played a 7-string guitar. (“It was a huge learning curve for me,” he says.) Like Isaac, if all goes as planned, Nicko will only play the above Ibanez Prestige AZ24047 all set. One of the requests Nicko had for Ibanez was to keep it simple with a single Seymour Duncan Nazgul Bridge 7-string humbucker and a lone volume knob. He goes with a D’Addario NYXL (.011–.064) 7-string set.

Beautiful Backups

If things go sideways, both Isaac and Nicko have safety nets: Hale has a custom-painted Ibanez Iron Label Iceman ICTB721, and Calderon goes with another single-pickup Ibanez Prestige AZ24047.

Less Is More

Both guitarists have downsized to the Neural DSP Quad Cortex, and they have a pair of mirrored setups for both on and offstage. Hale and Calderon are both modeling 5150 III heads, but Calderon is going with the EL34 flavoring for a slightly different sonic distinction. Core sounds are built off the 5150 IIIs and other ingredients sprinkled in throughout the set include some slight chorus, heavily modulated “evil chorus” with an added semitone above the base sound, and each has an Electro-Harmonix (in the rack) that provides a layered octave sound for pure chaos. The EHX Freeze pedal onstage is put in place so they can hold a note and tune underneath it. They roam the stage untethered thanks to the Shure GLXD16+ digital wireless guitar pedal system.

Bring the Pain

The two Quad Cortex units work with Seymour Duncan PowerStage 200 amps to hit Orange PPC412-C cabs onstage that are loaded with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.