Dan O'Connor of Four Year Strong Discusses Gear and Recording New Album, 'In Some Way, Shape, or Form'

I’m a bit of a guitar gear head, always looking for some way to spruce up my setup, and I'm constantly searching for older vintage heads and guitars. I love trying new gear that I’ve seen before and finding out what other people are using.

We recorded our new album, In Some Way, Shape, or Form, at House of Loud Studios in New Jersey with producer David Bendeth, and from the moment we got there, I knew we were in the right place. The amount of amps, guitars, pedals and all-around knowledge they have is just insane. The engineers, Dan Korneff and Kato Kadawalla, are some of the most intense gear heads I’ve ever met. From Dan building his own gear and pedals and heads, to Kato with his arsenal of amazing guitars, I was in heaven.

One guitar we used a lot on the record was the Epiphone Special II with a Bareknuckle pickup setup. At first when I saw the guitar, to be honest I didn’t think much of it, but the moment I plugged it in, I was blown away. It was a monster! It’s thicker than any of the other insanely expensive guitars I’d tried. It always did the trick.

On our current headlining trek on The AP Tour, my live setup is fairly simple but powerful! My rig has been sounding better than ever lately. The heart of my setup in an '82 Marshall JCM 800 2203 with the most pure British tone I’ve ever found. Running right next to that is an Orange OR50, the anniversary reissue of the classic, with both of those running into Orange 4x12’s. I’m a sucker for British tone, and the combo of Marshall and Orange is perfect for me.

As far as guitars go, I’ve been a Gibson Les Paul Custom for a long time. I have a ’78 that I love, but recently I’ve been getting into Fender Blacktop Telecasters. I throw a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge spot and a Phat Cat in the neck spot, and these guitars scream.

The last thing in my gear chain is my pedal board. It’s a trailer trash board I’ve been slowly customizing the hell out of. In my pedal chain, my main pedals I can’t do without are my Ibanez Tube Screamer, which adds that perfect amount of punch; Boss Tuner and Noise Suppressor, an Electro-Harmonics Big Muff, Memory Man and Octave Multiplier.

Dan O'Connor is a member of Four Year Strong.

Universal Republic/Decaydance Records band Four Year Strong's new album, In Some Way, Shape, or Form, came out Tuesday, November 8. Four Year Strong are currently headlining The AP Tour. For more info, check out fouryearstrongmusic.com.

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