Foo Fighters Guitarist: Grohl Ordered Us NOT to Bring Normal Gear for New Album. Here's What I Brought

"For me, I normally do a lot of Les Paul through a Friedman. I don't think I played that at all."

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Foo Fighters Guitarist: Grohl Ordered Us NOT to Bring Normal Gear for New Album. Here's What I Brought
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Guitarist Chris Shiflett discussed the gear used on Foo Fighters' latest album "Concrete & Gold," telling Guitar World:

"Dave said, 'Just don't bring your normal gear. Bring something different.

"So everybody showed up with their wacky stuff that they don't normally play - that was kind of the spirit of the record.

"For me, I normally do a lot of Les Paul through a Friedman. I don't think I played that at all.

"It was all guitars with P-90s, little combo amps, shit like that. I got a hand-wired Vox AC15 right when we were doing the demos, and that was kind of the magic amp for me throughout this thing.

"I had my little '50s tweed [Fender] Champ. I had a bitchin' tweed Vibrolux, and I'm sure there was a Deluxe Reverb, maybe a Super Reverb.

"Then I have a '68 non-reverse [Gibson] Firebird that I played probably on most of the record. That was kind of my go-to guitar.

"I also played my signature [Fender Tele Deluxe] model when I needed something with a little more crunch, and I had a couple Teles and a 12-string Rickenbacker that I put on some stuff as well.

Guitarist Pat Smear chimed in:

"I brought in some Les Pauls and other big, cumbersome weird guitars. And I fell in love. Like, 'I get it! These are great guitars!'

"And then for my amp, I was using this weird combo that Dave's guitar tech came up with, which was basically an old '70s vocal mixing board that you might have in your rehearsal place, and that we ran into an old transistor bass head.

"And that became my sound for most of the record, along with some other things, like an Orange, which I had never used before."

Focusing on the effects, Shiflett said:

"There's a lot of warbly things like phasers and flangers, an [Electro-Harmonix] Memory Man, that kind of stuff.

"And there's some fuzz - I think I used that Jack White pedal, the Bumble Buzz, and there's a [JHS Pedals] Muffuletta on 'The Sky Is a Neighborhood.'"

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Dave Grohl explained:

"The way [producer] Greg [Kurstin] records, we knew there was this opportunity to branch out and get some different sounds.

"So one of the ideas before we even went in to make the record was that we'd use equipment that we don't normally use.

"There were a few times where I used my number one [Gibson] Trini [Lopez] and Fender Tone-Master amps, but typically for the more jangly stuff we would lean toward a vintage Gibson or Tele.

"And we were literally grabbing old PA systems and keyboard amps and things that were just on the verge of exploding and piling them up. We were throwing stuff together to try to find the coolest sounds we could."

"Concrete & Gold" was released on September 15 as the band's ninth studio album, you can stream it in full below.

56 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The_Crank3
    For album that is supposed to be so experimental... it doesn't sound like it. This band needs to take even more and bigger risks.
    The_Crank3
    For an album* wish we could edit
    Glass_Ceiling
    Why can't you edit ? The edit function works fine
    HardAttack
    No option to edit on Android.
    Glass_Ceiling
    I have it on android Try 'desktop mode' or something like that
    The_Crank3
    I don't see a desktop mode button either. Only time I seen that is when visiting porn sites!
    Glass_Ceiling
    It's an option in your browser, there's no button. On chrome you can choose between 'phone view' or 'desktop view'. I don't know the exact terms in English but it should be something like that. On chrome it's right beside the address bar, the 3 dots. Then you have some options available. It must be there and it's very useful. Edit : See, it works. Desktop mode and the magical edit button appears. Edit 2 : haha keep downvoting me people. At least you can do that obviously :
    The_Crank3
    Ok thanks for the advice but im still not going to use the desktop option (this phone blows). So hope i didn't waste your time but thank you.
    ulisessram
    Remember what happened when linkin park went experimental?
    The_Crank3
    Two different bands. Apples to oranges. Taking more risks does not necessarily mean going more mainstream. I meant the opposite
    Hungry_Hameds
    They took a big risk with Sonic Highways, and look how that turned out...
    The_Crank3
    I wouldn't call that a big risk. All they did differently was record in different studios and in different cities. They were still high end studios and their sound didn't change much.
    Dr.Cheese
    What's the point of using slightly different gear to usual if they're going the over-produce the shit out of the sound anyway?
    vikkyvik
    I don't have anything against FF per se, but it just seems that they talk up doing something crazy or different on each record, and it doesn't really end up sounding that different.
    The_Crank3
    Yes yes yes. Agreed. Dave is good at hyping things up too much. They need to come up with a new formula, the polished turd scenerio can only be done so many times.
    negativefx
    "Don't bring normal gear."  - Ok, I'll bring les pauls, fender champs, and fucking EHX memory mans.   How novel
    AfroFox
    Pat Smear is just there in the background isn't he, I never got the impression that he's actually any good on the guitar...
    skyturnedred
    He does the best FF solos.
    AfroFox
    My eyes and ears are literally bleeding.....figuratively speaking 
    djr5899
    As someone that has followed the band off an on for awhile, he can definitely play.  He was the main touring guitarist for the 1st two albums.  Once he came back, after Shiflett was already in the band, it seems most of his guitar parts are either a duplication of Dave or Chris's parts to add some thickness, or just very minor, simple parts.  He doesn't seem to play anything overly complex anymore, but maybe that is by design.
    Syn166
    The Sky is a Neighborhood sounds like it was written by one of those modern one hit wonder rock bands. Very bland and unoriginal for me.
    smittyanthrax
    He won't take the risk of making something different now that they are extremly popular incase he alienates some of their fans.Expect the same radio friendly pop rock until they disband.Not having a pop as i quite like them but i cant seem them ever doing something as heavy as the color and the shape ever again.
    Amito
    really wasn't a fan of the new album 
    gabe600
    I have mixed feelings. Run really made me think the whole album would be thrasher, and it turned out to be different.
    Amito
    Yup I felt the same, when I heard run I was like yup this will be great, but not so much 
    BjarnedeGraaf
    I kinda sad that they have all these guitars amps and other stuff laying around that "they never used" or that they find out that they are "great guitars". Why even buy it at all if you don't even know if it works for you.
    The_Crank3
    I think it's the perfect example of more money than brains. When people have too much money at their disposal, they tend to buy junk they will never use.
    james1210
    Not a huge fan of Foo Fighters, but "The Sky is a Neighborhood" is a really good song.  I may just have to give this new album a chance.....
    The_Crank3
    Its funny you say that. Because before hearing that song I was going to take a risk and buy a foos album for a change, but once I heard that song I decided against it. I thought the song was awful and too generic sounding. To each their own though.
    Minivirus2
    Jesus, the negativity >.> I rather enjoyed the new album. Sky's a straightforward radio song, because they HAVE to include one, but the rest has some interesting stuff going on. Listenable if nothing else.
    GR84
    But, as a Foo fan, i just dont like the album - it feels (at least now) like the opposite of essential
    XEKoND
    I had a bitchin' tweed Vibrolux
    The first time the term "bitchin" has been used since 1999.
    cactusman1
    The Risk that should be taken from this band is just going grunge again.  They're too fancy nowadays.  They're worried about amps and blah blah blah, what about just music for musics sake?  The arena rock approach is fine and all but its overdriven at this point.  
    Blew1
    Different gear doesn’t necessarily mean different songwriting, and tbh, I don’t think Foo Fighters have enough left in the tank to topple ‘Wasting Light.’ This new album is boring and very uninspired and ‘Sonic Highways‘ was plain crap! Retire!
    Anjohl
    ...and yet it will still all sound like safe, forgettable Diet Nickelback. Go back to drumming, the food fighters are LAME man.
    st017
    sounds like another St Anger experiment lol 
    kiskja2004
    I think artist should have fun and experiment. He has already proved everything he needs to prove, let the guy do what he wants. 
    metalme31
    Damn, when I read the title I got excited and thought this would be a great idea for something new and exciting. Something to make up for the lack luster piece of shit they turned out this last time. Then I opened the article and found out he was talking about Concrete & Gold. So fucking let down now.