The best time saver in our hustle bustle modern world is when a band does the work for you. Usually in an introduction I have to take the time to describe, let’s say, hypothetically, Biblical‘s layers upon layers of oppressive psychedelia. But the band already wrote their own introduction to this Rigged feature, in which they describe each of their setups as “Tone Castles.” So I think that tells you what you need to know. These guys take tone seriously.
I will, however, link to their new video for the track “All Justice, No Peace” which can be heard on Biblical’s new album Monsoon Season. Just in case. I’ve heard that some people like to judge music by how it sounds. Weird, right?
BIBLICAL: Tone Castle
If you’re going to play in a heavy, tripped out space rock band like Biblical, you’re going to have to build what we like to call a ‘Tone Castle’.
A Tone Castle is your personalized sonic fortress. It’s walls are carved out of majestic fuzz. It’s mighty towers of gain are the pillars of any Front of House mix. And it’s shimmering effects chains are raised to the heavens like a medieval standard, billowing in the wind! There is no right or wrong way to construction your stronghold, for it is a highly personal affair and can consist of any number of sounds. Biblical has three distinct Tone Castles and we humbly submit them for your approval, presented in ascending order of complexity.
Nick Sewell: Vocals/Bass
Along with drummer Jay Anderson’s thunderous stomp, Nick’s bludgeoning bass lines are the foundation of the Biblical sound. The Les Paul’s high output pickups paired with heavy gauge strings mean there’s already a ton of signal arriving at the amp. But this is Biblical and we go the extra mile: the input preamp of his solid state 1974 Traynor Mono Bloc has been modded to include an extra gain stage that kicks in when the input volume knob climbs above 9. It’s so dramatic that you can actually have the master volume all the way off and sound will still come out of the cabinet! The resulting tone is heavily overdriven with lots of attack and sustain. Rolling off the tone knob on the bass itself keeps everything even, eliminating string noise and taming any extreme hi-end frequencies.
-2004 Gibson Les Paul Standard Bass
-1974 Custom Mod – Traynor Mono Bloc ‘B’
-Traynor YC-6×10 Cabinet with Eminence Legend BP102 10”s
Boss TU- 2
Matt Mclaren: Lead Guitar
Matt’s rig is geared towards a variety of lead and rhythm sounds to cover the many levels of dynamic present in a given Biblical show. The Les Paul Jr.’s original P-90 single coil has a great ability to cut through and stay on top of the mix. The SG Systems 2×12 is a fantastic and little known gem from the 70s. Equipped with 8417 power tubes that were usually found in hi-fi systems back then, this amp has a character all it’s own. The EH Hot Tubes serves as Matt’s default ‘loud’ tone for rhythm duties, with the Tone Lab being reserved for high gain lead work. Spacey delay is a big part of the Biblical sound for the psych parts, so for those moments Matt turns to the venerable MXR Carbon Copy.
-1962 Gibson Les Paul Jr.
-1974 SG Systems Model 209 2×12 Combo
– ElectroHarmonics HotTubes
– MXR Carbon Copy Delay
– Tonelab – Treble Trouble
– AMT ‘Japanize Girl’ WAH
– Boss TU-2 Tuner
Andrew Scott: Guitar / Organ
Andrew is Biblical’s man of many tones and as such, his rig is stately and diverse. Responsible for both guitar and organ duties, he frequently deploys both in tandem, using a 2 channel line mixer to send both instruments through his signal chain. While most people would use a DI for keys, Andrew prefers to send it out of his amp for both tone and on-stage monitoring purposes. The full-range Altec 417s offer a lot wider frequency response than your average guitar speaker, so it works out well. Guitar-wise, his customized SG Special has been fitted with a floating Jazzmaster bridge—perfect for adding surf vibrato without sacrificing the authority of humbuckers. Andrew employs no less than four separate fuzz/distortion pedals that are used in various combinations across both the guitar and organ. When it’s time to trip out, Andrew calls upon the Mooer Ana Echo as a self-oscillating delay and the tried and true Small Stone for phaser duties.
-2000 Gibson SG Special
-Customized w/ Mastery Bridge, Fender Floating Jazzmaster Vibrato & Lollar Mini-Humbuckers
-1977 Traynor YRM-1 Reverb Master 50 Watt EL34 Tube Head
-Avatar 2×12 cab w/Altec 417 Drivers
-TC Electronics Polytune Mini
-KO-Amps KOi Drive
-Mooer Black Secret
-Mooer Triangle Buff
-Dog Is Blue MKC-1 Fuzz
-Mooer Ana Echo
-EHX Small Stone Nano
-Dog Is Blue 2 Channel line mixer/buffer
-Nord Electro 4D