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R30: 30th Anniversary World TourTour Book
The "Feedback / 30th Anniversary Tour (R30)" Tour spanned from May 26th through October 1st, 2004
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didn't know if I should write some sort of story, or tell a joke, or list my equipment like Ged and Neil did, but in the end, I chose to go the gear route. It's like two weeks before the tour and, as always, we're down to the wire.
I did ask my wife to help me with it, though, and she was a terrific help, as usual. She's always been into amps and delay units and string gauges, and never lacks giving some sort of helpful advice.
The conversation went something like this:
"So honey, I'm thinking of using the Hughes & Kettner Zentera modeling amps and the Triamps again this year, as I was very happy with them on the last tour."
"It's just that the Audio Technica AEW R5200 wireless system sounds so good through the Behringer MX602 mixers. It helps make the T.C. Electronics G Force sound great and really widens the T.C. Electronics Spatial Expander."
"The spatula what?"
"Now, if it wasn't for the Custom Audio Japan power supply and VCA units connected with the Ground Control Audio Switcher, I don't know what I'd do. I'd have no Cry Baby Wah Wah."
"Wah what? That's how a grown man talks, wah wah? Where are my cigarettes?"
"I'm also taking out a bunch of guitars again. Four Paul Reed Smith CE Bolt Ons, 3 Gibson Les Pauls, 2 Fender Telecasters, a Gibson double-neck, ES 355 and SG, Taylor and Gibson J150 acoustics and my trusty Ovation Nylon."
"You wear nylons now? Where's that stupid corkscrew when I need it?"
"Here it is. So where was I? Oh yeah, here's the schematic layout Rick drew of the routing, post radio via Axces splitter pre effects, and if you notice here at the?Honey? Honey?"
ust about everything in my workshop is new and different this tour - everything but the drummer, really. (And the equally aging, but invaluable, drum tech, Lorne "Gump" Wheaton.) Even the drum riser had to be rebuilt, after it was demolished during loadout after the Rio de Janeiro show (fortunately the last show of the Vapor Trails tour). Upended on a flatbed truck, the riser was being ferried to the semi-trailers outside the stadium, when the driver failed to notice that his load was higher than the exit. Just like in a cartoon, the whole big assembly flew off the back and went "boom."
After that Rio show (I've been dying to tell this story somewhere), we also had to leave behind the carpet that covered the stage (40' by 24', with the Vapor Trails logo in the middle). It had absorbed so much rain over those three shows in Brazil, it was too heavy to ship back to Canada. Apparently it finally dried out, decorated a Brazilian home awhile, then appeared on eBay.
But I digress.
The biggest news is the cymbals. In September of 2003, I had the fascinating experience of visiting the Sabian factory in Meductic, New Brunswick, and working with cymbal master Mark Love on the design of my own line of cymbals, called Paragon. The results have been extremely gratifying, first in how well they work for me, and second in how well they've been received by other musicians. I play a 22" ride, 20", 18", and two 16" crashes, 13" high-hats, 14" "x-hats," 8" and 10" splashes, and 19" and 20" China types.
The drums are also brand, spanking new, a special "30th Anniversary" kit created for me by the good people at DW. As we worked together on the design, we aimed to create the drum-set equivalent of the "dream cars" displayed at auto shows, a showpiece that was also the ultimate expression of craftsmanship. John Good carefully selected the woods and laminates, even the grain direction, for maximum tonality, and the shells, as always, were timbre-matched to complement - and compliment - each other musically. Additional thanks to Don and Garrison for their overview and detail work, and the finish was developed with master painter Louie and transfer-designer Javier, partly inspired by Keith Moon's "Pictures of Lily" kit, to represent the "dream drums" of my youth.
The sizes are the same as the old red sparkle kit, 22" bass drum, toms 8", 10", 12", 13", two 15", 16", and 18". I have been favoring either the DW "Edge" model snare drum (indoors) or the DW "Solid Shell" (outdoors). The hardware is plated in 24-karat gold this time, rather than brass, and the heads are DW's own design, which have lovely feel and resonance.
DW also put together custom shells for the Roland V-drums, to give a nice completion to the electronic side of the shop, which also includes a MalletKAT, K.A.T. trigger pedals, and a Dauz pad, all running through a Roland XV5080 sampler and Project X Glyph hard drives.
Bringing it all back to basics, and keeping it real (not to say primitive), I continue to beat on all that with Promark signature model drumsticks.
ell, it's time for me to list my equipment for this here 30th Anniversary Tour. So I guess I should start with what seems to be the single most popular piece of gear I own - the Maytags. (Geez, you'd think I'd have a sponsorship by now!)
I have to confess that I don't even know what their model number is, or even what vintage they are! I really have to get onto that - I mean, a professional musician should know everything about every piece of gear he or she uses on stage. Like, we're only as good as our tools, right?
I've been lucky with some of my gear. I found my Fender Jazz Bass in a pawn shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and I found my Maytags in a used appliance store in the outskirts of Toronto. Even luckier because they were in such good shape - and three of them to boot!
But lately I have been pondering whether or not to carry on with them for this tour, or to try something else. Something, er?different. You know, keep evolving, so to speak, looking for that perfect setup. The ultimate piece of gear, know what I mean? I think I owe it to my craft to keep searching for perfection in technology.
I know, I know, what you're going to say - "Don't mess with a perfect thing, man!" "People love them, man!"
Well you could be right, but I just can't give in to the vox populi, as it were, tempting as it may be to keep up with the status quo (hey, not bad - two Latin references in one sentence!). I just gotta be me and keep looking for the certain, special, something that will make my little corner of the stage a little more special.
As I write this, I am looking at alternatives. Other appliances? Perhaps. Speaker cabinets? Nah, never.
Hmm...Hey, wait a minute! Maybe I can pay my respects to the past, and still move forward!
Just give me a few days to work this out. Why, that's so crazy it just might work...
Anyway, see you out there somewhere!
Oh, right...I also use a few other bits of stuff. Like a few Fender Jazz Basses with maple necks and Badd-Ass bridges. An Avalon Tube direct box, a Sans Amp R.B.I. bass preamp, and a Palmer speaker simulator. For keyboard noises, and sounds that you can hear and wonder where the come from, we use Roland XV-5080 sampler-synthesizers, either played on keyboards or triggered my me, Alex, or Neil via footpedals or drum triggers.
All very scientific stuff, you know...
bass guitar, vocals, synthesizers
guitars, vocals, synthesizers
drums, cymbals, electronic percussion
Management by Ray Danniels, SRO Management Inc. Toronto
Tour Manager & Tour Accountant · Liam Birt
Production Manager · Craig Blazier
Production Assistant · Karin Blazier
Road Manager · Donovan Lundstrom
Artist Liaison · Shelley Nott
Concert Sound Engineer · Brad Madix
Lighting Director · Howard Ungerleider
Keyboard Technician · Tony Geranios
Drum Technician · Lorne Wheaton
Bass Technician · Russ Ryan
Guitar Technician · Rick Britton
Stage Monitor Engineer · Brent Carpenter
Carpenter · George Steinert
Security Director · Michaei Mosbach
Nutritionist · Bruce French
Derivative VJ · Marcus Heckmann
Concert Rigging · Brian Collins, Frank Aguirre, Jr.
Concert Sound by MD Clair Bros. · Jo Ravitch, Beau Alexander
Lighting by Premier Global Productions · Rich Vinyard, Andy Garanyi, Keith Hoagiand, Jamie Grossenkemper
Video by BCC Screenworks · David Davidian, Bob Larkin, Adrian Brister, Greg Frederick
Rear Screen Projection by Spin Production · Norm Stangi, Lisa Batke, Mikkel Groesland, Paristu Rezaie · Nick Perks, Steven Lewis, Luis Torres
Live 3D Animation by Derivative · Greg Hermanovic, Ben Voight, Farah Yusuf, Garrett Smith, Rob Bairos
Lasers by Production Design · Scott Wilson
Pyrotechnics by Pyrotek · Kevin Hughes
Director of Visuai Production · Allan Weinrib
Trucking by Ego Trips · Arthur (Mac) McLear, Tom Hartmann, Jon Cordes, Michael Gibney, Don Johnson, Jeff Wiesner
Buses by Hemphiii Brothers · David Burnette, Lashawn Lundstrom, Marty Beeler, Sam Mitchell
Tour Merchandise · Pat and Kelly McLoughiin, Alex Mahood
Booking Agencies · Writer & Artist Group International, NYC, / The Agency Group, London, / S. L. Feldman & Associates, Toronto
Art Direction, Tour Book Design and Digitai Illustrations · Hugh Syme
Photo research, Editing and Archiving · Andrew MacNaughtan
Assistant Editor · Jeff Harris
Photographers · Fin Costello, Andrew MacNaughtan, Deborah Samuel, Dimo Safari, Carrie Nuttall, Philip Kamin, Bruce Coie, MRossi, and Yousuf Karsh
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