Big and dark hardcore outfit Struckout have some new tunes coming out soon. It’s very exciting times. One of those tunes, more specifically, is this spooky soul “Don’t Translate; Adapt”. Do yourself a favor and get lost in this one, because it’s 100% worth your three minutes. The band was also kind enough to show off what it took to make this weirdness in this special text version of Rigged! Read on, dear, uh, reader!
Daniel Speer (bass/vocals):
Modified Squier P-Bass
I swapped out the stock pickups for Seymour Duncans to get a high gain tone. I also swapped out the stock bridge for a Babicz to get slightly better sustain. I use a flat LEGO piece taped near the pickups because I, stupidly, wrote a song where I pressed the G string against the pickup on my old J-Bass to get a squeally harmonic tone; then, when I switched to the P-Bass, I had to duct tape that on where the pickup used to be so I could play that one song.
Ampeg SVT 410 Half-Cab 500w Orange Terror Bass Head
I had an SVT head for a while, but the Orange Terror sounds almost the same and weighs a tenth as much. The screen on the Ampeg is broken pretty bad, but it usually hangs on with some duct tape.
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer Fuzzrocious Cat King Distortion
I use the Freeze to hold tones and occasionally play stuff over those tones, creating a deep matrix of distortion and noise. The Cat King sounds like a Rat, but it lets me get more diverse distortion out of it.
Josue Quiquivix (guitar):
Modified Mexican Fender Jazzmaster Modified Gibson Les Paul Standard
Les Paul has Seymnor Duncan humbuckers (JB in the bridge, jazz in the neck); Jazzmaster has the Seymour Duncan Antiquity II set and a mastery bridge. The Jazzmaster is the noise guitar and the Les Paul is for just a good, heavy sound.
Mesa Boogie 2×12 Speaker Cabinet
Mesa Boogie 50w Single Rectifier Solo Head
I really enjoy the Mesa Boogie stuff because it’ll give you a pretty good “rock” sound and take a good beating, too.
Earthquaker Devices Palisades Earthquaker Devices Hood fuzz Boss PS-3
Empress Super delay
MXR Phase 90 (analog man modded) Earthquaker Devices Dispatch Master Line 6 DL4 Delay Modifier (painted pink)
I mostly use the Palisades and Hoof to get most of the drive sounds featured on the new album. The Superdelay and the DL4 are my go-to ‘make my guitar not sound like a guitar’ kinda effects.
Garrett La Bonte (guitar):
Gibson SG Special
Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster
Ampeg Dan Armstrong Lucite (custom built)
The Gibson SG was the first guitar I bought with my own money, and still my favorite instrument I own. The pickups have been switched out for a Seymour Duncan Jazz in the neck and DiMarzio Super Distortion in the bridge. I’m personally not a fan of Jazzmaster Jaguars, and most “offset” guitars in general, but I bought the J Mascis Jazzmaster on a whim after seeing it on Craiglist for $200. I’ve beat this thing to hell through shows and touring, yet it still plays and sounds great. I modified the electronics to support two volume knobs, one for each pickup (a la Les Paul / SG setup). I had always wanted a Dan Armstrong since one of my favorite guitarists, Justin Trosper of Unwound, played one back in the day, but never had enough money to drop on one. I found this guitar in terrible shape on eBay for a little over $200 – cracked neck and missing electronics, but the body was in good shape. It took me about a year to source the rest of the original parts, but it is now almost completely original. The only thing I couldn’t find was a reasonably-priced bridge, so I ended up throiwing a Telecaster bridge with brass saddles on it.
Bassman-style 2×12 Cabinet
1990 Fender Twin Reverb ’65 Reissue
I bought the Twin Reverb when I was 16, and though I’ve tried out a few different amps over the years, this is the amp I have played in every band I’ve been in. Like my SG, this amp has aged with me and feels the most natural to play. It’s been a blank but dependable canvas painted with my pedals. I will never get rid of it. Also, I recently discovered that, based on the serial number, it is 2 months younger than I am. As for the cab, combo amps always just blast at my feet, and being the rather tall person I am, I could never really hear myself with just a combo. I bought the 2×12 from my friend Clayton, who used it in previous recording sessions and tours with his bands Touché Amoré and Entry, to use as an extension to the Twin Reverb.
Saturnworks Volume Pedal (for cutting to dialed-down, “cleaner” sounds quickly on the Dan Armstrong) Loud Button Electronics WTF Distortion/ Low-Frequency Oscillator
MXR Carbon Copy Delay
Earthquaker Devices Palisades
Boss OD-20 Distortion/Overdrive
Boss DD-6 Digital Delay
Old Blood Noise Endeavors Dark Star Reverb Electro-Harmonix Cathedral Stereo Reverb Line 6 DL4 Delay Modifier
Overall, I love delay and distortion. Those are the two effects that I always have to have on my board in some shape or form. In recent years I’ve been getting into more modulation/synth pedals, but my core is still based on delay and distortion sounds. ‘Time and energy” is what I call it.
James Goldmann (percussion):
Pearl MCX Masters 6-ply Maple 5-piece 6.5×14″ snare
8×10″ rack tom
10×12″ rack tom
16×16″ floor tom 20×22″ kick drum Remo drum heads
I’ve always been a massive fan of Pearl. The MCX Masters shells provide a solid, wooden crack, coupled with balanced resonance and pretty extreme durability (thanks to the lovely diecast hoops). I tune my snare pretty high to keep it snappy and responsive, while doing the opposite to the rest of the drums for a deep, punchy kick and fat toms. The resonant kick head was custom printed by Vintage Logos using the art from our upcoming record, created by the incredibly talented Carina Taylor.
Cymbals (left to right from the top):
14″ Sabian AAXplosion Top Hat (as top)
14″ Sabian AA Medium Top Hat (as bottom)
16″ Meinl Trash Crash / 19″ Sabian Holy China (stack) 21″ Zildjian Sweet Ride (as a crash)
22″ Sabian Legacy Ride
22″ Meinl Medium Jazz Ride (as a crash) 19″ Sabian Holy China
So I like cymbals. A lot. I like ’em big and I like ’em dark. The biggest problem I ran into when picking my gear was I couldn’t find crash cymbals big and washy enough for my taste. My solution: use rides! All three of my rides are super crashable, and I do wack ’em all pretty hard to get that fat, dark resonance I so deeply crave. I also don’t believe in sticking to one particular cymbal company, as every one has their own benefits and can synergize well with each other if used properly. The variety of tones and timbres adds an entire dynamic level to the instrument that I find essential. Also, I recognize that using two top hi hats is dumb, but I couldn’t get the same crispiness with any other combination. If it’s stupid and it works, it’s not stupid, right?
Custom DW “Frankenstein” Cymbal Stand Pearl Cymbal Stand + additional clamps Ludwig Atlas Pro Double Bass Pedal
Mapex Armory Series S800 Snare Drum Stand Tama Iron Cobra 600 Hi-Hat Stand
I created an absolute monster of a cymbal stand using the DW 9934 coupled with two cymbal clamp arms on each of the tom mounts, allowing three cymbals simultaneously. This accounts for the Sabian Legacy, the Meinl and the Holy China, while the other stand holds both toms, the Sweet Ride and the stack via an additional hi hat clamp. My buddy Matt calls it the “spider” setup. The Ludwig Atlas Pros are, from what I’ve seen, a relatively uncommon choice, but I like the heaviness of the boards and the very beefy cam. I mostly use the double for accents – I’m not huge on extended double kick lines, so I sacrificed speed for power.
Whew. That’s a lot of stuff. But the commentary that the group gives is great and really gives insight on how different bands do things. Thumbs up all around!
Struckout has a new, self-titled album coming out soon. You can preorder the thing here on their site. Find them on Facebook if you want to know more about your new pals. And while you’re at it, be a good person. Just a thought. Later.