It must be awesome to be in Rival Sons right now. After years of hitting the road hard and putting out three solid records, they seem to finally be getting the attention and praise they deserve. I met the band a few years back when I was interning at Earache and they had first gotten signed – there were such good feelings about the band, what they could do, and how great the tunes were. They may not be cut from the same musical cloth as most of the bands we cover on Gear Gods, but like, they rock. Isn’t that what we all care about, in the end?
One of the things that drew me to the band’s sound was guitarist Scott Holiday’s tonal range. Where many guitarists who try to pull off the style of music that Rival Sons play begin and end by just picking an old fuzz pedal and running it through a vintage Orange or Marshall, it was evident to me just by listening to Holiday’s tones on record that the dude went a bit further, in the same way that guys like Jack White do. So I was interested to learn more about Holiday’s rig, which is a pretty even combination of vintage gear, custom instruments and electronics, and new pedals.
Of particular note are Holiday’s custom Banshee guitars, built by a brotha named Doug Kauer, who I hadn’t heard of but am now fascinated by. One of them has something I’ve never seen before, which must have been an insane bit of Luthier work – a full binding, all the way around the neck and body, of Gretsch-style sparkle. So there’s style to go with the substance.