Rig Rundown: Queens of the Stone Age's Troy Van Leeuwen

Guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen chats about his upcoming signature Fender Jazzmaster and his go-to amps and pedals. Plus! Photos of Josh Homme's and bassist Michael Shuman's main gear.

Premier Guitar's Shawn Hammond is on location in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he sits down for a green-room chat with Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen before this stop on the band's Like Clockwork tour. Van Leeuwen chats at length about his favorite Vox AC30s, his upcoming signature Fender Jazzmaster, his new Echopark guitar, and his multiple pedalboards.


Although bandleader Josh Homme (who's famously elusive when it comes to talking shop about his gear) declined to take part in the Rig Rundown, we did shoot photos of his main guitars and amps (his crew asked us not to show his pedalboard). Pics of Homme's gear, as well as bassist Michael Shuman's main rig, appear after the shots of Van Leeuwen's setup.

Troy Van Leeuwen's Gear

The former Perfect Circle guitarist's QOTSA rig consists of three main guitars—an Echopark T-style, his signature Fender Jazzmaster with a Mastery bridge, and a Burns 12-string (not shown). He plays through two Vox AC30s, a combo and a head driving Vox and Marshall cabs.

Van Leeuwen's Effects

Van Leeuwen's main QOTSA pedalboard has a Voodoo Lab Ground Control Pro MIDI controller, a Custom Audio Electronics tap-tempo switch (for his Axe-Fx II, which is primarily used for reverb and delay), a Morley wah, Way Huge Supa-Puss and Pork Loin stomps, what appears to be a fourth-generation DigiTech Whammy, a Dunlop volume pedal, and a Korg tuner.

He also has a rack with two drawers holding Way Huge Green Rhino and Aqua-Puss pedals, an EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master, a Fuzzrocious Demon, and an MXR Q Zone, among other stomps.

Josh Homme's Gear

Longtime QOTSA fans will no doubt be bummed, though unsurprised, to hear that Homme didn't take part in our interview—he almost never gives guitar-oriented interviews. We did shoot pics of his guitars and amps, though. His main stage guitar these days is a MotorAve semi-hollowbody nicknamed Ryder. Another MotorAve semi-hollowbody that gets used quite a bit is Camille. He also recently acquired this Echopark guitar that we wrote about here.

Homme's crew asked us not to show his pedalboard, but to be honest, the old adage about tone being in the hands was largely supported by what we saw: There really wasn't much there that wasn't current-production gear from mainstream manufacturers. We did, however, get a shot of his four vintage Ampeg VT-40 combos, which he connects to via a Little Labs distribution box mounted to the back of one.

Michael Shuman's Gear

Though we didn't speak to QOTSA bassist Michael Shuman in our Rig Rundown, we did get some shots of his gear. His rig consists of two main basses, Fender American Vintage series J and P basses, each with thin custom finishes and pickups wound to '60s specs.

Shuman's Amps

He cranked through two Fender Super Bassman heads, one driving a 1x15 cab and one driving an 8x10.

Shuman's Effects

Shuman's pedalboard features a Palmer Triage amp selector, a Radial Engineering JDI direct box, a Korg tuner, three Way Huge stomps—an Angry Troll, a Swollen Pickle, and a Supa-Puss—a Jim Dunlop volume pedal, and a footswitch to activate an offstage Moog unit.

[Updated 10/7/21]

A chambered body and enhanced switching make this affordable Revstar light and loaded with tones.

Scads of cool tone combinations. Articulate pickups. Relatively light. Balanced and comfortable. Well built.

Some P-90 players might miss the extra grit the Revstar trades for articulation.

Yamaha Revstar Standard RSS02T
usa.yamaha.com

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4.5

While the Yamaha name is famous in circles beyond the guitar world, they’ve made first-class guitars since the 1960s. And while they don’t unleash new releases with the frequency of some larger guitar brands, every now and then they come down the mountain with a new axe that reminds us of their capacity to build great electric 6-strings. In 2015, Yamaha introduced the first generation Revstar. With a handsome aesthetic inspired by the company’s motorcycle racing heritage, the Revstar combined sweet playability and vintage style touchstones. This year, Yamaha gave the Revstar an overhaul—including body chambering, updated pickups, and new switching. What’s impressive is how these alterations enhance the already impressive playability and versatility of the original.

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See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

My years-long search for the “right” Bigsby-outfitted box finally paid off. Now how do I make this sumbitch work in my band?

Considering the amount of time I’ve spent (here and elsewhere) talking about and lusting after Gretsch hollowbody guitars, it’s taken me a remarkably long time to end up with a big Bigsby-outfitted box I truly love. High-end Gretsches are pricey enough that, for a long time, I just couldn’t swing it. Years ago I had an Electromatic for a while, and it looked and played lovely, but didn’t have the open, blooming acoustic resonance I hoped for. A while later, I reviewed the stellar Players Edition Broadkaster semi-hollow, and it was so great in so many ways that I set my sights on it, eventually got one, and adore it to this day. Yet the full-hollowbody lust remained.

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