Rigged: Empress AD Guitarist Ollie Loring

We’ve given you a lot of Empress AD: a playthrough video, a Rigged feature with guitarist Tom Meadon. Two heapings of Empress AD is a lot of heavy to handle for any mere mortal. Buy you? I think you can handle one last slab. So carry the crushing weight of one last Rigged with the band’s second guitarist, Ollie Loring. Just remember to lift with your back and bend at the knees.

The new Empress AD LP CD, Still Life Moving Fast, is out now via The End Records. Pick up a physical copy from The End at this location, or get it digitally from your virtualized mega-retailer of choice.

Alright! I’m Ollie Loring and I sing and play guitar in Empress AD. This is my current live rig  –

empress-ad-rigged-ollie-live

The main guitar I’m using live at the moment is my 2012 Gibson Firebird that’s in CGCFAD. I used it mostly for clean bits on the album when it had the stock mini-humber pickups in but they didn’t sound big enough in a live situation, so I swapped them out for some Bareknuckle Emeralds, which sound sick. I also put the vibrola on around the same time as the pickups. It doesn’t get used but I love the way it looks on the guitar.

The other guitar I’m using live is my ’76 Gibson Les Paul Custom in black which is tuned to CGCD#GD (awesome tuning if you haven’t tried it out!) which replaced my ’76 LP Custom tobacco sunburst because it stays in tune much more. The guy who I bought the guitar off put Seymour Duncan JB’s in it and I’ve always thought they sounded pretty decent so I kept them in. I put a bigsby on this guitar too.

 empress-ad-rigged-ollie-guitar

I’m a big fan of effects pedals so I’ve got a pretty big pedalboard ladies. If I see a pedal that does something new that can inspire me to write a new riff, or be used for a weird overdub part in a song, even for 10 seconds, I have to get it! I change what pedals I have on my board depending on what songs we play but at the moment I’ve got these pedals in something like this order –

  • Black Arts Toneworks Black Forest (Insane pedal)
  • EHX POG 2
  • EHX Holy Grail Plus
  • EHX Neo Clone
  • EHX Small Stone
  • BOSS RT-20 Rotary Ensemble
  • Sweetsound Mojo Vibe
  • EHX Superego
  • Voodoo Labs Tremolo
  • Empress Vintage Superdelay
  • Line 6 G50
  • Korg Pitchblack tuner

empress-ad-rigged-ollie-pedalboard

 These all go through the Gigrig Pro 14 controller which is a full-on lifesaver because it means I can change between any pedal combination and also change channels on my amp, all at the same time with one preset switch. It’s got fourteen presets and ten loops, one loop for each pedal. Another good thing about the Pro 14 is that if a pedal(s) isn’t on a certain pre set that I’ve selected, it won’t be in the signal path. All the pedals have their own separate fx loop so the overall sound is much cleaner rather than having a long signal path. I could be playing on my clean channel with the Mojo Vibe and Reverb on Preset 1, then change to Preset 2 which could switch to my overdrive channel with the Black Forest and Rotary Ensemble. It’s an awesome pedal and makes it a lot easier to change pedals when I’m singing too.

I’ve just started using the Orange OR100 which is pretty much the perfect amp for me. I was using the 5150 III before, which is a good amp but I found it was too modern sounding. I’m not keen on the fizzy gain that a lot of ‘high-gain’ amps have either. The OR100 is the opposite of that, it has a really nice natural, vintage sounding, growly overdrive. The clean channel sounds warm and just really, nice, cliche I know! It’s what I want a clean to sound like though, not clinical and nasally like a lot of amps.

 empress-ad-rigged-ollie-pedalboard2

The overdrive channel has a vintage style voicing but also a lot of gain if you need it, but still the sound is really clear. I don’t use a load of gain on this channel, it’s at about 10/11 o’clock, just enough for my crunch sound. For the heavier fuzz riffs I use the Black Forest on the overdrive channel. My playing style is quite dynamic with how hard and soft I play and the amp is really responsive to these dynamic changes.

I use a Mesa Boogie 4×12 oversized recto cab which is hands down the best cab I’ve ever played on. It’s got so much low end without being muddy, it just sounds BIG.

That’s my current live rig. Nice one!

Written by

Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.