Tools For The Road: Matt Scannell of Vertical Horizon Shares His Tour Gear Setup
Touring for me is a test of endurance. I keep myself fit, eat well, sleep, and rest my voice when possible. It's not very rock 'n roll, but touring when you're sick is pretty miserable, so I try to avoid that.
I keep voice lessons on my phone, and I run through them before (and sometimes after) every show for about 20 minutes or so. I generally play scales and exercises on my guitar at the same time. This helps me work on my independence, but it's also out of necessity - our schedules are pretty full, so warming up needs to be approached methodically and efficiently.
I've played my Taylor 910CE on the road for years. It's extremely consistent in different environments, which is so important - nobody likes temperamental acoustics on the road. I really like the Fishman Aura Spectrum D.I. and I've also used the Fishman Pro-EQ Platinum Preamp/EQ/D.I. quite a bit.
My PRS Hollowbody II's have an L.R. Baggs piezo bridge that allows me to blend a convincing acoustic sound in with my electric tone. I love what that added element brings to a live performance. I first saw Alex Lifeson use that type of system and it blew my mind - I kept looking for the other guitarist!
Acoustic strings are GHS Phosphor Bronze light gauge and electrics are custom sets of GHS Nickel Rockers, .10-.50. Picks are Dunlop Delrin 1.14mm.
My pedalboard was wired by Dave Phillips at LA Sound Design. The signal path is: Dunlop switchless 95Q wah, Ernie Ball Volume Pedal JR, MXR Custom Shop Phase 90, Vemuram Jan Ray (or Lovepedal COT 50), Lazy J Cruiser Deuce, Boss VB-2 Vibrato, and Kaden Flutter Tone tremolo. The Line 6 M9 and MXR CAE Boost/Line Driver are in the effects loop of my amp. Cables are by MyStar Sound. Power comes from a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power. Tuner is a TC Electronics Polytune.
My amp is a Divided by 13 JJN 50/100 into a Lopo Line straight 4x12 with Celestion G12-65 speakers. I mic the cab with a Telefunken M-81.
Thanks for reading my blogs for Guitar World's Acoustic Nation - what an awesome site to be a part of! Matt
Vertical Horizon was founded in the early 1990s, but it was seven years before lead singer Matt Scannell’s songs became the radio hits that brought the popular grass roots band to national attention. Vertical Horizon released three albums independently (There and Back Again, Running on Ice, and Live Stages) and toured extensively before signing with RCA Records in 1998. In 1999, they released their breakout album, Everything You Want, which went on to sell more than two million copies. The second single off the CD, the title track “Everything You Want,” captured the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 and Adult Top 40 charts, and became Billboard’s Most Played Single of 2000. Having carved out a page in the annals of music history the band garnered further radio attention with “You’re a God” (#4 on Billboard’s Adult Chart) and “Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning).” Vertical Horizon continues to tour extensively and this fall the band released Echoes from the Underground, the second album Vertical Horizon has released on their own label. The album is available on all major digital platforms and select Brick & Mortar retailers.
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