Dean Pleasants - Gear from early Suicidal Tendencies Songs

Messages
689
I really like the lead tone of Dean Pleasants, the lead guitarist from Suicidal Tendencies. I am trying to figure out how to get his tone. Does anyone know what gear he used in his early days? I know these days he uses Fernandes guitars with sustainers.

In the clips below, I can hear obviously a high-powered amp (about all I could find was that he used Marshall and VHT, could not find which models). I can hear some sort of Wah Pedal and Delay. He also seems to play a lot of pinch harmonics and then sustains them with excellent bravado.






Thanks for any knowledge you can give me.
 

mtayl339

Member
Messages
968
Dean Pleasants joined the band in 1996 I think, so he never played on the classic stuff. The two tracks you posted had Rocky George on lead and Mike Clark on rhythm, and even EARLIER S.T. had Grant Estes on guitar. But it looks like you're chasing Rocky's guitar tone, which should be easier to find info on than Dean since Rocky is, I would say, their most iconic guitarist.

(edit: found this after a quick search, from a Guitar World interview with Rocky...)

"I was using a rack mounted Dual Rectifier a bit. In Suicidal, I had a rack with a Tri-Axis and a 290 power amp. I used the Dual Rectifier for rhythms and I switched to the Tri-Axis for my clean and rhythm sounds. Before the Rectifiers, I had a Mark III."
 
Last edited:
Messages
689
Dean Pleasants joined the band in 1996 I think, so he never played on the classic stuff. The two tracks you posted had Rocky George on lead and Mike Clark on rhythm, and even EARLIER S.T. had Grant Estes on guitar. But it looks like you're chasing Rocky's guitar tone, which should be easier to find info on than Dean since Rocky is, I would say, their most iconic guitarist.

(edit: found this after a quick search, from a Guitar World interview with Rocky...)

"I was using a rack mounted Dual Rectifier a bit. In Suicidal, I had a rack with a Tri-Axis and a 290 power amp. I used the Dual Rectifier for rhythms and I switched to the Tri-Axis for my clean and rhythm sounds. Before the Rectifiers, I had a Mark III."

Wow! Thanks for the history lesson! I was barking up the wrong tree, indeed.

Thanks for the story on Rocky George. I am going to have to see what happened to him. I love that "Behind the Music" stuff on bands. Wikipedia, here I come.
 

pepperco

Member
Messages
1,013
I tech'd for Rocky on a couple of ST tours. 1990.

Steel guitar pick!
IBANEZ guitars with EMG's.
Wireless.
One pedal taped to the stage,
TC Electronics Booster Line Driver, solos only.
Rack mount Boogies.
Yamaha SPX90 in stereo to 2 amps, one side dry, the other side all wet with a really short slap/doubler.

Huge sound, my ears are still ringing.
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,605
Saw them live a few times in the early 80's, they tore it up.
The Huntington Park riot was truly insane and these guys(and other bands)were trying to get their gear out and loaded while the cops were flooding the venue with tear gas and batoning everyone they could hit. Spilled out into the streets where it turned into a full scale riot.
It was an all out war with the police and punk rock in the 80s in Los Angeles.
Most of that tapered off when consumer grade handheld videocams became available, and recorded what was really going on.
What a crazy time, and lots of great music came out that every radio station refused to play except KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer.
The point I'm trying to make, is all of this, and the cold war rhetoric really produced some great original music that is often dismissed as "crappy musicians who can't play". Yeah, lots sucked, just like the Sunset Strip metal bands had lots that sucked, but there was some fantastic playing and songs going on that got dismissed because it didn't sound like Journey.
 
Messages
689
I watched a few live concert videos of Rocky and ST. I have got to tell you that while it still sounded good, it illustrated to me how hard it is to recreate the tone that gets recorded on albums.

What I like about Rocky's Solos is that, at least to my ears, they sound like he used a lot of pinch harmonics and feedback. I love how that sounds combined with a good vibrato. A single note sounds so full of life with all the overtones, and second and third order harmonics, getting thrown out.

I can imagine how loud that was! Playing on the edge of feedback in normally not a quite proposition and takes great control.
 

CactusJack13

Member
Messages
55
In the live video for War Inside My Head, you can see some Carvin stacks in the background that Mike was using, and Rocky using a rack mount with Mesa 4x12's. That was around 89. In the same year, you can see Rocky using a rack mount with Marshall 4x12's. In 1992, you can see Mesa 4x12's with the rack mount.
 

kowalski440

Member
Messages
1,708
Saw them live a few times in the early 80's, they tore it up.
The Huntington Park riot was truly insane and these guys(and other bands)were trying to get their gear out and loaded while the cops were flooding the venue with tear gas and batoning everyone they could hit. Spilled out into the streets where it turned into a full scale riot.
It was an all out war with the police and punk rock in the 80s in Los Angeles.
Most of that tapered off when consumer grade handheld videocams became available, and recorded what was really going on.
What a crazy time, and lots of great music came out that every radio station refused to play except KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer.
The point I'm trying to make, is all of this, and the cold war rhetoric really produced some great original music that is often dismissed as "crappy musicians who can't play". Yeah, lots sucked, just like the Sunset Strip metal bands had lots that sucked, but there was some fantastic playing and songs going on that got dismissed because it didn't sound like Journey.

Brother, that was my era too(and my world). What a f*cking great time to be alive. Well said!!! :beer
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,605
Brother, that was my era too(and my world). What a f*cking great time to be alive. Well said!!! :beer

Too bad all the gang and Police violence destroyed a great scene. By 85 everything was such a bloodbath it wasn't worth it going to shows. If the gangs didn't get you inside the clubs, the cops were outside in full riot gear beating the tar of anyone they could catch.
Some seriously crazy times people still can't publicly talk about due to "Statutes of limitations"
"Understand, we're fighting a war we can't win. They hate us, we hate them, we can't win!"-Black Flag.
Sorry TGP, back to Klons and Dumbles now.
 

Curt1902

Member
Messages
1
If it helps anyone out here, in the earlier days of ST...Both Mike Clark and Rocky George were using CARVIN amps. They used the Carvin X -100B heads and two Carvin 4x12 cabinets. Ok, now with that said...let's remember we are dealing with PRO's here. The Carvin X-100B head came with a 5 band built in EQ....and it had a sizzle that wouldn't go away that just ruined the tone of the amp. I saw ST several times on the above mentioned albums, and they were running CARVIN'S, but the annoying "sizzle" wasn't there. I'd safely assume they had the heads modified and had the 5 band EQ disconnected or bypassed internally. I read Rocky George was using the rack mount Mesa Boogie's , but used the power section of the CARVIN. He eventually went to the Mesa Boogie Tri-Axis on everything after the "Lights, Camera, Revolution" album. I owned a Carvin X-100B back then, and I was young and stupid...and it never even crossed my mind that ST would have modified their heads. Carvin is out of business now, but if you can find a X-100B head and have it modified to fix that EQ sizzle...then you now have your classic sound that ST used. If you have any doubts of what I'm saying...go to YouTube and watch their "War inside my head" video...and you can SEE the Carvin X-100B heads behind Mike Clark.
 




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