Finally, I talk to the multi-faceted Richard Shaw, guitarist for veteran UK extreme metal band Cradle of Filth,who also maintains plenty of teaching and musical theatre gigs.
www.cradleoffilth.com / @richardshawguitarist
Could you outline the rig you’re using for Cradle of Filth, for the tours and recording?
Okay, so recording and touring are two completely different rigs. Live we’re using Mooer products at themoment.
Weirdly enough, Ashok [Marek “Ashok” Smerda, other Cradle guitarist] and I both stumbled across the Mooerpreamps that came out around a year ago, and bought the one based on the EVH 5150 III. They’re so small they don’t even fit a battery in them. I thought, “Oh my God, these are incredible!” They sound great DI’d andnow we use the Mooer Radar cab simulator too. So, we go from the preamp into the cab simulator, all in two pedals!
Firstly, we go into a Shure GL XD wireless unit, which is also a tuner, so that takes the tuner out the equation, into the Mooer preamp and cab emulator, then that goes straight into the mixing desk and everything goes into the in-ear mix, so everything’s kind of controlled for us by the monitor engineer. It’s just one high-gain tone that stays on for the whole night, which we get from that Mooer preamp, and even when we do a solo, ourfront-of-house sound guy will boost it and put a bit of delay on it.
Around 18 months ago we were using Kempers [high-end profiling amp-modeller] but they belong to our old tour manager, and when he went off with a bigger band, he took them with him. They’re very practical and sound great, but for Cradle of Filth, it’s about £1500 for one tone.
We moved to Mooers partly because my entire rig could fit in my guitar case, which is brilliant because flights, oversize baggage and extra luggage all cost money, and if you’re flying every day that adds up.
Mooer have been really supportive too. Once they’d cottoned onto the fact that we were using them, they sentus a couple of free ones for backups and to try out the latest models.
In the studio it’s a different story. We use heads and cabs and try out all kinds of effects and acoustic guitars. PRS, whose guitars I use, sent me an amp that they’d been working on, the PRS Archon, and they just wanted to know what I thought about it. We ended up using the Archon on pretty much all the rhythm tones and all ofmy lead tones on the last album [Cryptoniana – The Seductiveness of Decay]. I think the speaker cabinet wasa Mesa Boogie 4×12.
For my side of the rhythm tones, because we were double tracking, I used the PRS Archon and then Scott re- amped the same take with an original Peavey 5150. The 5150 is the go-to metal amp for good reason – they’re so good at blending. The PRS, blended with the 5150, creates this huge tone, just from one guitar part.
The Archon is one of the clearest distorted tones I’ve heard. When you play a chord, you can hear every singleindividual note in that chord. The 5150 has that low end and low-mid punch that gets you in your chest when you palm-mute.
You’ve done a lot of theatre work, which is about variety and matching so many requirements. How would you prepare for that?