Tour and Gear Update from Mark McMillon of The Story Changes
Since my last post, I finished up the last week of shows on the "You Are Not Alone Tour" with Hawthorne Heights. My favorite show on the last leg was a college date at Iowa State University, great crowd and fun show. Here are a few of the highlights of the 60-date tour overall:
• Favorite show of tour: Key Club - Hollywood, CA
• Best pizza: Pizza Luce - Minneapolis, MN
• Favorite record store: Vertigo Records - Grand Rapids, MI
• Best grilled cheese: Sputnik - Denver, CO
• Best day off ever: Big Sky, Montana
• Worst moment of tour: Someone stealing my iPhone off of my amp in Canoga Park, California. (They returned it an hour later after the venue figured out who did it.)
I've included some fun and random photos from the tour below!
After being a workhorse through this last long tour, in addition to a large chunk of touring earlier this year, my Framus Dragon head was in dire need of new tubes. I took the amp in to my repair guy, C. Wright, at Wrightfield to have the amp looked over and biased properly. We put a matched set of the reissue Mullards in it. It sounds great again!
Since getting home, I've been busy working on writing and finishing up a new batch of songs with The Story Changes. I'm super excited about how they are turning out. I feel that they are some of the best we have ever written. I've also squeezed in some really fun shows over the last two weekends with both TSC and HH.
The Story Changes was up in Buffalo, NY and Pittsburgh, PA right after getting home from tour. It felt great to play with TSC after taking a break to write and do the HH tour. I was out with Hawthorne this past weekend for four shows up in the Northeast U.S. It was good to see a lot of friends!
As promised last time, here's a quick look at what I'm running on the floor these days in my rig. I've never been a fan of running too much on the floor. I love playing around with effects in the studio but have typically opted against bringing out a lot of effects on tour because I don't like having an overly complicated setup with a million patch cables.
I've been using the Line 6 M13 for a couple of years now and absolutely love it. It sounds great, is easy to dial in changes on the fly, and playing around with each control feels like tweaking a normal stomp-box. It has really helped me get a lot of the sounds I need without hauling around a giant board to toe tap on while trying to sing and play guitar. I'll include some photos, but my rig right now consists of a Boss tuner into a Ernie Ball volume pedal into the M13 on a Pedal Train board. I also run a Framus foot-switch on the ground to switch between master volumes and channels on my amp.
Just one more show in the States this week, then heading to Europe and the U.K. with Hawthorne for a co-headlining tour with the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. I'll be sure to post lots of updates. Cheers!
The amp doctor
Big Sky, Montana