Tom Morello proclaims "gear doesn't matter"

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by hellbender, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Member

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    From a guy who built a fair chunk of his career around a Whammy pedal....

    Love Tom Morello as a player...and I think his message is a valid one...but this seems like a little intellectual dishonesty from a very smart dude.
     
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  2. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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    It seems kind of incoherent.
     
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  3. rreiser

    rreiser Supporting Member

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    In fairness, I didn't read the article. If he was playing a 100 watt Hiwatt versus his current amp he might change his mind. LOL . I understand the basic idea but even Clapton would probably be uncomfortable with the naked unforgiving power of a Hiwatt or Blackface Twin Reverb.
     
  4. lestera34

    lestera34 Member

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    wire-n-wood and NamaEnsou like this.
  5. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Member

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    I think the thrust of the message is "if you are creative, you'll find a way. Start with the idea, and let the gear (whatever it is) help the idea come out. If you buy a bunch of gear because you think it will get you the idea, you are doing it backward."

    If you were a famous, successful rock star what would your message about gear be to the masses?

    "You need a custom shop Gibson with boutique conflict-zone handwound PAFs otherwise good luck ever writing a song, ever."

    That'll get the kids playing!
     
  6. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon

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    Tom has been playing essentially the same gear for the past 20 years. I think his points are valid. Hell, Prince played Boss pedals and never gave it a second thought.
     
  7. LaceSensor1

    LaceSensor1 Member

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    I agree to a point, mostly in a studio.

    A good mixing engineer and player can take some really bad tones and inject them into the song just right. Now a whole band of that tone in a live setting would be truly awful.

    I keep thinking of The Roots when they do their cheap kid instrument songs in between sets for the Fallon show. In all honesty they do make it sound pretty good lol.
     
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  8. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Member

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    I'm with you, but Prince had a state of the art recording complex at his disposal. He just had different priorities in terms of his live show, when it came to pedals.

    Tom Morello built a lot of signature guitar playing around one of the most nerdy gear head pedals of all time in the Whammy. How interesting would his guitar playing have been if you took that element out his signal chain?

    The message is a valid one, but who edited that article for Reverb (ironically enough, where they sell gear) probably took out the nuance in what he was trying to say.
     
  9. Bogner

    Bogner Member

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    Not a Morello fan in any way from his playing to his opinions on anything. Overrated to say the least in my opinion.
     
  10. skronker

    skronker 2010/2013/2015 S.C. Champions

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    good for Tom
    It's good that he is able to articulate his opinion on the subject of whether or not gear matters when making music
     
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  11. Brad8008135

    Brad8008135 Member

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    Interpretation: Now that I've accumulated all the gear I need, it doesn't matter. If the gear fails, I will make those Pac-man sounds using my mouth and a rubber band.

     
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  12. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon

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    Well I think what he's saying is that instead of chasing endless gear for tone, get the most out of what you have. And there's no denying he has gotten a TON out of that Whammy, wouldn't you agree?
     
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  13. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Member

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    Totally agree. Which is why I think the message in that article was twisted.

    For me, most of whatever his contribution to rock/metal/pop music guitar playing is based around his use of the Whammy pedal. Creating new and interesting sounds and all that. Most of his riffs...are downright rudimentary. His singing...not really that great. (*I'll admit there are some leads on at least that first album that show is chops..Know Your Enemy comes to mind). To say that the gear matters "0%" is disingenuous. Without the Whammy pedal, I'm not sure we all know much about Tom Morello.
     
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  14. Gotham City Blues

    Gotham City Blues Member

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    Hmmm.... I can agree that gear is often over-emphasized at the expense of practice/talent/songs/etc. However, Morello kinda owes a sizable chunk of his style to the Whammy pedal! In fact, I don't know if he put the Whammy pedal on the map, or if the Whammy pedal put Morrello on. To his defense, he has been using pretty much the same stuff at least since the 90's, so there's that.
     
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  15. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    Morello needs to pipe down. Between him and Grohl telling us that we all need to sit in a garage and bang out tunes into a SSL console, I have had my fill of these "let them eat cake" nuggets of wisdom.

    Sure, music can be made on passable gear. And yeah taking a year to craft the next C#minor to E Magor masterpiece, altogether in a room is a better way to make music....but we live in the real world.

    The Boss isn't tapping me on the shoulder to go on tour, nor did I play drums on arguably the most important band of the 1990's.

    I work for my money. It takes up a lot of my time. If I choose to reward myself with a R9 (which I haven't) to compensate for whatever I do to pay the rent, F you if you judge me.

    I know a partscaster will do. No need for a millionaire to tell me so.
     
  16. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon

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    We are basically on the same page. I really like those first two Rage records, especially alot of the non-album tracks (Know Your Enemy, Sleep Now in the Fire, Wake Up, etc.)
     
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  17. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    Charo has been saying "couchie couchie" since the 70's, it's part of her gimmick. Sticking with what people recognize is part of what makes you different/special is not unique.

    I'm not saying it's exactly same for Morello but...I get tired quickly when being preached at by rockstars or actors.
     
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  18. mojocaster.com

    mojocaster.com Member

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    Well, I'm gonna go there... There's nothing I need to listen to about tone and gear from Morello. That guy has one of the very worst tones I've ever heard. Period, the end.
     
  19. DustyRhodesJr

    DustyRhodesJr Supporting Member

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    One thing that is not exactly accurate is the fact that he has changed or added new gear
    in the last twenty years.

    On one tour he was using a Les Paul, and that was less than 10 years ago. And the soul
    power strat has come along in the last 10-15 years also.
     

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