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Y eah! It’s summer! Yeah! Greetings faithful subscribers and newbies to the latest episode of On Tour with Shure, we hope it serves thee well. By now, you’ve probably got a few summer shows and fests under your belts, with plans to up the ante with a few more. That being said, we promise not to take up too much of your time, we just want to get you up to speed on a few things. Since we last spoke, there was an abundance of excitement for the new year and the music that lie ahead of us. So, here we are and I guess things have kind of just been all over the place… It looks like we’ve finally traded in the excessive amounts of boy bands for our beloved mall punk rockers, like our cover boys, Hawthorne Heights. And then there’s that whole taking a break to have a kid… or two, get divorced, and just consume the tabloids with every bit of your personal life that doesn’t have anything to do with music. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the Paris Hilton album to come out and finally save music for all of us (SARCASM!). But I digress, thankfully all of us at On Tour with Shure offer only the finest in music news and other rumblings from people that are still busy actually making music for us to enjoy. In this action-packed, thirty-two page installment, we engaged ourselves in a question/answer session with rap duo Blackalicious, met up with J.D. Fortune and the second coming of INXS, searched high and low to get a few words out of Dave Mustaine from Megadeth, and even got a little insight about Korn, the new and improved version. Be sure to also enjoy the editorial masterpieces on Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kirk Franklin, Third Day and the Donnas. I think that about covers it… Aside from the always intriguing artist news, we also released a new microphone for singing (that is what we’re famous for anyway)! Check out the article on the KSM9 and then go and check one out at your favorite music store. Everyone else is using one, so why shouldn’t you? Okay, that’s all I know for right now. As always, enjoy your reading and visual experience and feel free to drop us a line anytime or send us stuff in the mail. Until next time, enjoy your summer and be good! Rock Out, On Tour with Shure® Editor Terri Johnson Managing Editor Cory Lorentz Associate Editor Mike Lohman Artist Relations Tom Krajecki, Bill Oakley, Richard Sandrok, Ryan Smith Art Director/Designer Kate Moss Writers Jack Campbell, Louis R. Carlozo, Gregory DeTogne, Steven Frisbie, Mike Lohman, Cory Lorentz Contributing Photographers Steve Jennings, Stephen Jensen, Seth Kendall, Paul Natkin, Randi Radcliff, Rahav Segev, John Stewart Printing Triangle Printers Inc. On Tour with Shure is published three times yearly by Shure Incorporated, 5800 W. Touhy Avenue, Niles, IL 60714-4608. Each separate contribution to Volume 7, Issue 2 and the issue as a collective work, is copyright ©2006 by Shure Incorporated. All rights reserved. All trademarks are property of their respective owners. All product specifications and appearances are subject to change without notice. Use of an artist’s name in this publication does not constitute an official endorsement of Shure products. Free Subscription! To receive your free copy of On Tour with Shure, please: • Go to • Fill out the enclosed postage-paid subscription card. • Send a note to On Tour with Shure, 5800 W. Touhy Ave., Niles, IL 60714-4608. Cory Lorentz Managing Editor, On Tour with Shure [email protected] We are not responsible for unsolicited material, which must be accompanied by return postage. All mail will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and subject to Shure Incorporated’s unrestricted right to edit and comment. Shure Incorporated assumes no responsibility for errors in articles or advertisements. Opinions expressed by authors are not necessarily those of Shure Incorporated. 2 AL1560 06/06 65K 18 4 Mic Check We really want you to just slow down and catch up on your rock industry news, but if right now isn’t a good time, we offer these simple ramblings to hold you over for now. Who’s on tour? Who’s new to the Shure family? Why are you still reading this? Go read all about it already! 6 Every Song Tells A Story It’s been about 14 years since singer/songwriter Aimee Mann ventured off from 80’s pop group Til Tuesday to seek out a solo career. From the recognition and credibility she continually receives, she followed the right instincts. 8 One Step Closer With Third Day Coming up as a Christian act, you tend to trade the smoky bars and clubs for churches and youth group meetings. According to singer Mac Powell though, Christian rockers run on a typical musician’s schedule of late nights and exhaustion, but business is good. 10 Breathing Mega-Life Into Megadeth Always the busy thrasher, Dave Mustaine was a little difficult to locate and hold down for our brief exchange of words. Nonetheless, we got our opportunity and Dave had a lot to say about a lot of things. 12 Still Breaking Ground With His Gospel Sound Kirk Franklin is everywhere and amazingly still has time for family, friends and even his favorite microphone company. We caught Kirk in between days, during his busy touring schedule and got caught up on all things that are Kirk Franklin and his gospel sound. 14 Proof That Rock & Roll Is Not Dead Not too many bands still refer to their sound as rock n’ roll, creating some catchy sub-genre or flavor of the week lingo that the kids are all talking about. For the Donnas, rock n’ roll is all they know and they know it well. 16 It’s For Real When People Hate Your Guts Yes, the band does get verbally whipped on websites and message boards across the internet, but they must be doing something right… at least for the screaming masses that fill arenas and TRL studios when the boys from Hawthorne Heights come to town. We’ll let them tell you the rest… 20 INXS On Fame, Fortune, And The Mics They Won’t Switch When the smoke cleared and the rest of the rock star hopefuls got sent packing, J.D. Fortune emerged as the only one to fill the vacant shoes of the late Michael Hutchence. And so, the second coming of INXS begins… 20 table ofcontents 22 Whatever You Want It To Be Once again, Yeah Yeah Yeahs have expanded the range of their musical style with their latest release, Show Your Bones, but what does it all mean? Read on, and you try and figure it out. 24 Soulful & Spiritual A message of positivity flows from the microphone and turntables of rap duo Blackalicious, and compared to the norm, this is a bit left of center. Still, their music speaks volumes and their minds are relieved of the heavy pressure of worrying about where they fit in; that’s just not what it’s about. 26 From Ultimate Loss To Ultimate Opportunity The sky was falling for the loudest band in the world, and the world wondered when and if Korn would emerge ever again, once the smoke cleared. Well, they’re back and according to guitarist Munky, the band feels like it’s been given a new beginning. 29 Shure Introduces Listen Safe In an effort to further school you on our corporate cause of hearing conservation and general hearing safety, we decided to bring some hip-ness to the table and re-introduce the whole project with a new name and a new face. 30 Live From The Music Capital With a musical style that simply blows people away, Monte Montgomery has made a name for himself, although his guitar does most of the talking. Read about it here, but words may not be enough… 18 Product Spotlight: KSM9 The KSM9 was first introduced to us as a wireless version accompanying Shure’s latest UHF-R™ Wireless Systems. The mic got rave reviews from engineers and artists alike, so we decided to put a wire on it and make it a little more affordable! 28 Engineered Wisdom: Children Of The Korn Bill Sheppell and Scott Tatter have seen things from the other side for years now… almost since the beginning of it all. As the sound engineering duo for Korn, everything stays pretty comfortable, and the Shure gear they travel with helps to keep that comfort level ideal. 29 12 Kirk Franklin Î Kirk Franklin Gospel Music superstar Kirk Franklin took to the road in May and June to support his new release Hero. The multi-faceted Franklin seems to be everywhere, from hosting the GMA Dove Awards, to raising much-needed funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and somehow still found the time to record and release the new album. Check out Hero, which features Stevie Wonder and Shure endorser Yolanda Adams. ÎBonnaroo Tours & Fests: Î Kelly Clarkson American Idol turned America’s sweetheart, double GRAMMY® winner, and now Shure endorser Kelly Clarkson will support a yet-tobe-released new album with a tour this summer. Kicking off June 30th, the “Addicted” tour will cover over 20 cities and kick a career that is already in high gear into overdrive. Something this good just can’t be bad for you, and addicted seems to be the right word. Fans can’t get enough, and we’re fans too! Jam band and rock fans will meet, mingle and groove at the 5th Annual Bonnaroo festival near Manchester, TN, June 16th-18th. Between the main stages and various side stages and cafes, approximately 100 acts will perform including Shure endorsers Ben Folds, Les Claypool, and Blues Traveler. This year’s festival has moved beyond the jam-band roots of Bonaroo, featuring alt-rock headliners Beck and Radiohead. But we predict there will still be plenty of stretched out instrumental jams for the faithful. Fast becoming one of the most popular music festivals in the country, this year’s event promises to be a bigger and better Bonnaroo. See you there… Ben Folds Kelly Clarkson 4 Lollapalooza Chicago’s Grant Park is again home to Lollapalooza, the brainchild of Jane’s Addiction front man Perry Farrell. No longer a rolling juggernaut, Lollapalooza has traded mobility for sheer size. The festival is now a sprawling, three day event, featuring over 120 artists spread out over 69 acres, and scheduled for August 4th-6th. Hometown heroes Wilco will perform, as will endorsers Blues Traveler, and a slew of greats including Kanye West, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Flaming Lips, and Ryan Adams. Chicago is the perfect American city to host a music event of this scope, always supportive of great music artists. Maybe that’s why Shure has always felt so at home here… Vincent Makes Shure Part of New Studio and Album Rhonda Vincent’s new release, All American Bluegrass Girl was released on May 23rd, and will be supported by a tour that lasts almost through the end of the year. Rhonda played and sang, and even produced the 12 songs for the album in her brand new facility, Adventure Studio in Nashville. We’re proud to announce that the recording was completed using all Shure micro- Award Winning Endorsers phones, and we hope the results speak The GMA Dove Awards were held at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on April 5th. Known as Gospel music’s biggest night, this 37th Annual show proved no exception. Kirk Franklin and Rebecca St. James co-hosted the show, and both also gave performances. St. James was backed up by Shure endorsers and female rockers BarlowGirl. Congratulations to Shure endorsers Alison Krauss & Union Station, who added a Dove Award to their crowded mantelpieces. Also to Carrie Underwood, already earning honors so soon after her discovery on American Idol. Other winners included, Chris Tomlin, Natalie Grant, Casting Crowns, Christa Wells and The Afters. Spirits were running high, and the diversity and talent on display were an inspiration to us all. for themselves. Look for the album in stores now, and catch Rhonda on tour! Shure Gets Idolized The 5th season of American Idol was brought to you by in part by Shure. Well, at least as far as mics and wireless equipment is concerned! The KSM9 is the latest wireless handheld from Shure, and works flawlessly with our UHF-R™ Wireless System. Both were chosen for the show this season and have given performances that even Simon Cowell can’t criticize! We are proud to be a part of the #1 rated show in America, and we appreciate the vote of confidence. Toto Capture New Sound With Shure In The Studio Î Coachella Indio, CA is Mecca for modern rockers every year during the Coachella festival. April 29th and 30th were two days of sound from the entire spectrum of new music. From the strums of Seu Jorge to the stomp of newly signed Shure endorsers Yeah Yeah Yeahs, from the purr of Cat Power to the howl of Wolfmother, Coachella gives the very latest in new music a chance to stretch out and find its’ audience. Like the Shure technology that captures the sound, Coachella celebrates music’s cutting edge. The choice of Madonna as headliner was in keeping with this spirit, which seems to say,“innovate or stay home.” We say Amen to that. Î Rhonday Vincent and Dolly Parton sing through a KSM44 Shure endorser Simon Phillips and supergroup Toto have recorded and released a new album made with a host of Shure microphones! Falling In Between is being hailed in the press as a return to Toto’s songwriting roots. As mainly session players, Toto made history by releasing a debut in 1979 that raced to the top of the charts with “Hold the Line”, “I’ll Supply the Love” and others. With the addition of longtime friend Greg Phillinganes on keyboards and vocals, Toto will hit the road this summer. Great record guys, and thanks for believing in Shure! On Tour with Shure 5 GRAMMY® and Oscar® nominated singer-songwriter Aimee Mann has always had a knack for storytelling in song. Ever since the release of her solo debut, Whatever, in 1993, Mann’s records have always had a certain literary quality. Her most recent release, The Forgotten Arm, is essentially a novel of song that tells the sad story of two people who fall in and out of love as they travel across America. On Tour with Shure sat down with her recently to talk about songwriting, storytelling and the origin of her first concept album. 6 ON TOUR WITH SHURE: What did you listen to when you were growing up? Who do you consider some of your main influences? AIMEE MANN: Basic singer songwriters of late 60s and early 70s. I was a huge Elton John fan…Badfinger, the Beatles, more melodic stuff. OTWS: What about now…who are you listening to these days? MANN: I’m not listening to anything right now. I think that being on the road, well, there’s not really a lot of opportunity—I have to pack light and I can’t carry much. An iPod is small but it’s still one extra thing to have to carry. So it comes down to a choice…the Sonic Care toothbrush or an iPod…and the toothbrush wins at this point. OTWS: I read that you started writing songs on the piano for this record. How was that experience different from your previous process? MANN: I’ve just started to try and play the piano a little bit. I didn’t really write that many songs on piano, but I wanted to try a different approach—try a different instrument and see if it would lend itself to a different approach. I think that I tend to fall into certain patterns automatically on guitar. I thought a different instrument might lend itself to creating a different thing. And, I think it does. Even making mistakes, it has a different, interesting sound and it can lead you someplace else. OTWS: When did you decide you wanted to do an album that told a single story over the course of 10-12 songs? MANN: I sort of wanted to have a concept album. I like the idea of being able to go more in-depth on a single topic. I’m not interested in a lot of different things. It’s not like I have twelve totally different interests. So, if I’m on to something that interests me enough to want to write a song about it… I’m going to want to write more than one song about it. And, I’d just written this song called “King of the Jailhouse,” which really painted a vivid picture of these two people running off together. After that, it starts to become like writing songs to a soundtrack or a movie because I could really picture it clearly. OTWS: What was your inspiration for doing The Forgotten Arm? MANN: Most of the inspiration is just the dynamic of this relationship with drug addiction and people trying to have a relationship where drug addiction really comes into it, or really comes in between the two people…sort of how that goes down. So, the simple plot of people running away together and going on the road together is just a frame to discuss that dynamic. “People who aren’t musicians don’t know what it’s like to not be able to hear yourself sing. I mean, suppose you were a painter and had to do that in the dark. Wouldn’t that be sort of an impediment?” —Aimee Mann I’ve heard you do some pretty amazing covers in concert. Have you ever considered making an entire record of just cover songs? MANN: Not really. I think I’d wonder if that would be that interesting to people. I sort of think that its more interesting to the person singing it than to the person listening to it. Usually when I hear people sing, I want to hear their songs—not hear them interpret other people’s songs. OTWS: I noticed you’ve got an iTunes OTWS: exclusive album on the iTunes music store. Do you think the increasing popularity of digital music has helped to broaden your audience? MANN: I have no idea. I just can’t tell what’s going to happen with music, the music business, the internet, downloading, cd burning, people not buying cds, the major labels. It’s just in such a major state of flux. It’s going to be really interesting. OTWS: You’re using in-ear personal monitors now, the PSM® 700. How long have you been using in-ears and how do you like the system? MANN: Since I started the tour for the new record, and I like the sound with the in-ear monitors. I sing really softly and they’ve completely been a lifesaver. I’ve never been able to hear myself, so doing sound check has always been this grim enterprise where we’re like… ’Oh, what kind of horrible monitors are we going to get now?’ So, it’s really nice to have something consistent where you know you’re going to be able to hear yourself sing. People who aren’t musicians don’t know what it’s like to not be able to hear yourself sing. I mean, suppose you were a painter and had to do that in the dark. Wouldn’t that be sort of an impediment? OTWS: What prompted the switch from wedges to in-ears? MANN: I just was sick of it [wedges]. I thought it would be awkward to have something in my ears, but then whatever monitor engineer we were using at the time said why don’t we just try it for a while. I think you have to trust the guy doing monitors… trust that he’s going to give you a nice mix. OTWS: Can you give our readers any hint as to what you’re planning for the next record? MANN: I’m currently doing this acoustic tour and…it’s actually been really, really fun to have a completely different set. I’m pretty excited about that. I’ll probably do another chunk of that sometime this summer. I’m just working on writing some more songs and there are a couple of movies that want me to write songs for them. Aimee Mann Theirs On A Budget Lead Vocals SM58® PG58 Acoustic Guitar KSM137 PG81 Piano VP88, SM7B, Beta 98D/S PG81 Bass Amp KSM27 PG52 Audience KSM137 PG81 Monitors PSM 700 PSM 200 On Tour with Shure 7 eeting the challenges of life’s trying circumstances requires no small amount of faith, and it is from within this emotionally charged atmosphere that Third Day drew a breath of inspiration for Wherever You Are, the Atlanta-based band’s eighth major album. A creative endeavor that looks deep into the soul and comes back with a reason to carry on in the face of adversity, the record moves along a reflective arc relying upon compositions ranging from scorching rockers to contemplative ballads to deliver its message of hope. With over 15 years logged in the studio and on the road, Third Day unites the talents of singer Mac Powell, the driving guitar work of Brad Avery and Mark Lee, bassist Tai Anderson, and drummer David Carr. Holding fast to their worship roots while reaching out to a wider audience as well over the course of their collective careers, today the band members shine brightly as some of Christian rock’s best musicians. For some within the secular community, Christian music is either M 8 a complete mystery, or a world wrongly stereotyped as a repository for “bliss ninnies” and B-level talent and production. Third Day seeks to enlighten the former group, and is living proof in no uncertain terms that the latter image is false. Looking beyond their personal convictions, they are as devoted to their craft as any other musician, having crawled their way up from garage band status through early hardscrabble tour dates, playing for anyone just about anywhere and anytime until landing a record deal. Third Day also demonstrates that Christian rockers run on a typical musician’s schedule. Usually hitting his pillow in the dark morning hours between 2 and 3 A.M., frontman Mac Powell got up an hour early not long ago so he could speak with On Tour with Shure at 10 A.M. Having not quite shaken the sleep out of his deep baritone voice yet, he nonetheless spoke affably and intelligently about the band’s latest record and much more. Now, On Tour with Shure is pleased to be able to offer you a chance to listen in. Much has already appeared in the press since the release of Wherever You Are late last year about the personal tragedies that inspired the album’s message of hope. Was the creative process leading to that album a healing one? MAC POWELL: I think so, but I have to be frank: We honestly didn’t sit down and say to ourselves, ‘let’s make an album about faith and hope in the face of trying adversity’. It was quite the opposite actually. Last year when we decided to make the record, the plan was for each of us to write some songs individually, and then in the spring we’d get together and develop them as a group. When we all got together, we discovered that there was this thread of commonality that linked all of the songs together based upon the experiences we had all been going through. In retrospect, it was a bit of a therapeutic process, all of us getting together as brothers in the band, and sharing our stories and burdens with one another. OTWS: Again, much has been written about Wherever You Are. Has the press overlooked anything? POWELL: That’s a good question, and therefore I’m going to have to think about it…If anything’s been overlooked, it’s that there are some really good rock songs on there in terms of sheer musicianship. OTWS: In the world of mainstream rock, musicians pay their dues on the way up by playing in dive nightclubs and smoky bars. What are the rites of passage like for Christian rockers? POWELL: It’s a similar path, only without all the beer and smoke. Instead of bars you play churches, youth group meetings, and church-sponsored talent contests. Beyond that, if there’s any real inherent difference, in my estimation it’s probably a little easier to make it as a Christian band, because ours is a much smaller market—it’s easier to get noticed and doesn’t take as long. OTWS: You’re at a point in your career where ON TOUR WITH SHURE: Pictured (clockwise, from above): Guitarist Brad Avery, drummer David Carr, and singer/ guitarist Mac Powell. 50% of your music is sold in the mainstream, and the other 50% is sold in stores catering exclusively to the Christian market. Is the notion of becoming a crossover band even something you want to entertain? POWELL: We always want to make music that reaches a broader audience, but we’ve been doing this so long, and we’ve built up such a great fan base within the Christian community… I suppose it’s possible, but we just wouldn’t want to change who we are and the things we say, and how we approach our music. Even if we have a crossover hit, we’ll remain the same. OTWS: Something else that has remained the same over the years for Third Day is your reliance on Shure products. POWELL: That’s right. When we were a very young band back in 1993, we bought a pretty good assortment of SM58®s and SM57s—the standards of our trade. We still use those same mics in the studio today, both on our own records and with new bands we’re working with. OTWS: Earlier this year you took delivery of a new UHF-R™ Wireless System with a KSM9 equipped handheld transmitter. How is that working? POWELL: On a wireless level, we play in a lot of difficult venues around the country where there is a high potential for dropouts thanks to interference from other RF systems. We have yet to experience a problem with my UHF-R rig, knock-on-wood. The KSM9, now that’s a great looking mic. Performs just as well or better too—it captures all of the lows, mids, and highs with amazing accuracy, yet still allows my voice to standout. As a singer, what more could I ask for? OTWS: You’ve literally grown up personally and professionally with Christian music. How is the health of the business today? POWELL: The mainstream music industry is hurting a little right now because there are so many different entertainment options out there vying for people’s attention. The Christian market, however, is still doing well. We’re growing and getting stronger. OTWS: A case could be made that some artists deliberately use Christian music merely as a temporary stepping stone to the mainstream. They aren’t as sincere about the calling as you are. Does this kind of crossover hurt the business? POWELL: There are negative sides to it, but that sort of thing is going to happen as the business grows. Bottom line, there’s more money being spent on Christian rock, artists are hiring better engineers and producers, and we’re making better records. I’m just thankful we can be a part of it all, and help bring those who haven’t discovered the music one step closer to hearing what we have to say and finding out who we are as musicians. Third Day Theirs On A Budget Lead Vocals UR24D/KSM9/BK* PGX24/SM86* Backing Vocals Beta 87C SM58 Kick Beta 52®A PG52 Snare SM57 PG57 Toms Beta 98D/S PG56 Hi-Hat KSM137 PG81 Overheads KSM32 PG81 Monitors PSM® 700 PSM 200 *wireless system On Tour with Shure 9 If for some reason you’d forgotten all about Dave Mustaine—and you’d have to be a thrash-metal hermit to be that out of the loop—his unforgettable turn in Metallica’s movie “Some Kind of Monster” might be just what the doctor ordered. For those who haven’t seen it, Mustaine finally gets to talk to his former band mate, drummer Lars Ullrich, after years of not hearing from him. The setting is an unlikely one-in a therapist’s office-and Mustaine more than holds his own as he talks about his hurt, anger and lonely healing process after getting the boot from the band. Not that Mustaine’s Megadeth is by any means a slouch outfit. The band he formed after departing Metallica is ranked by many as part of thrash metal’s most fearsome foursome, alongside Anthrax and Slayer. What’s more, Mustaine is coming off the road trip of a lifetime—last summer’s Gigantour tour—that proved he’s still got a place in the hearts of thousands of metal fans. 10 These days, Mustaine is very hard to get a hold of, as he shuttles between recording sessions and preparing for his next big thrash, whenever that may be. On Tour with Shure finally caught up with him via cell phone to talk about his old band, future plans and the microphone that has remained a constant through all the craziness. ON TOUR WITH SHURE: You’ve been spending a lot of time in Nashville these days. That seems like an unlikely place for a thrash metal guitarist and vocalist to do some recording. DAVE MUSTAINE: I’ve been going to Nashville to record for a few albums now. I wanted to work with Jeff Balding; he had engineered Cryptic Writings and Risk. He did the engineering and the co-production on The System Has Failed. One may argue that it’s a bit too much production for a heavy-metal band album. But they have no idea what’s left on the cutting room floor. OTWS: After all this time, how does a musician as established as you are get ready to make a new record? MUSTAINE: For me the process of going into the studio goes way beyond the studio-and even goes back to my childhood. I’m trying to process things to the point where the feeling is just right. The studio is a lot of fun and some people say, ’What’s more fun, the stage or the studio?’ I enjoy both, though it’s different for everyone. Some guys are great onstage and they get into the studio and it’s all mush. OTWS: Some bands would rather preserve a live feel in the studio, cutting everything to tape. Others are into using every computerized tool at their disposal. Where do you stand? MUSTAINE: If you want to be this bohemian musician and just want to capture what is on the first take, you’ll be limited to what you get on that take. When your music gets up to an intensity or speed that I play at, it would be flattering if I could get it on the first or second take. But as for cutting and pasting songs together? I don’t do that either. OTWS: Your appearance in “Some Kind of Monster” is a highlight of the movie. When you spoke, I could almost feel Lars Ullrich shrinking in his chair. What kind of contact have you had with your former band mates since the movie? MUSTAINE: Have I heard from them since? No. Did I realize that was going to happen when I got pulled in by Lars? No. I think it finally put validity into my role in Metallica—and I would’ve loved to have had James [lead singer James Hetfield] there. That way, we could’ve gotten it all out in the open. The problems in Metallica were between the three of us, not between me and Lars. But I wish the best for the guys. OTWS: Metallica may have its sound, but Megadeth certainly has put its stamp on heavy metal, too. Care to talk to us about how Shure has played a part? MUSTAINE: I’ve never on my own picked a vocal mic that was anything other than a Shure. It’s what I’ve used on the vocals, the guitars—and as far as Megadeth is concerned, Shure’s the mic for us. And as far as the inears are concerned, I’ve never used anybody else, ever. It’s been Shure from day one. OTWS: The music business is in a bit of turmoil, what with downloading running rampant and the future of some record companies in doubt. What do you make of all this? MUSTAINE: The mentality of the kids now, even the older kids, is that you download stuff for free on the Internet. As far as record companies blowing up—if they don’t have good product, that’s what’s going to happen. OTWS: And as for the state of heavy metal today? MUSTAINE: It’s definitely an underground movement that had to go back underground and catch its breath. That’s why I was excited by Gigantour and the response to it last year. People were tired of watching singers stare at their shoes. You could probably tell me 10 different bands that sound all the same, but try finding a band that sounds like AC/DC. Songs need to go back to the drawing board more-and speaking for me, I’m still learning. Megadeth Theirs On A Budget Lead Vocals Beta 58 A SM58® Backing Vocals Beta 58A SM58 Kick Beta 52 A PG52 Snare SM57 PG57 Toms KSM27 SM57 Hi-Hat KSM137 PG81 Overheads KSM32 PG81 ® ® Guitar Amp KSM32 SM57 Guitar ULXP14D* PGX14* Monitors PSM® 600 PSM 200 *wireless system On Tour with Shure 11 12 hen Kirk Franklin first emerged on the gospel music scene in 1993, no one was prepared— not the mainstream market, gospel radio and least of all the Christian church, often the source of his toughest critics. But after years of plugging away at the forefront of the modern gospel movement, Franklin has a proven track record as an innovator and an inspiration. His music seems capable of moving mountains, though in an interview he sounds as soft-spoken and humble as an artist just completing his debut effort. On Tour with Shure caught up with Franklin just as he was rising from a few hours of well-deserved sleep—and not long before a San Diego show in support of his new album Hero. Here he shares his views on the gospel, the music game and the microphone that helps him take his message to the masses with power and precision. ON TOUR WITH SHURE: You recently celebrated an incredible milestone for a man in showbiz—a renewal of your vows on your tenth wedding anniversary. How did it feel to have the service performed by Bishop T.D. Jakes and be serenaded by India.Arie? KIRK FRANKLIN: It had nothing to do with the hype and the pump. It was a very intimate night, such a humbling, spiritual moment. Being a black man from a family that never saw marriage, never saw fidelity, it was such a testimony of God’s grace, you know what I mean? OTWS: You’re a married man, a father of four, an artist, a music business leader, a mentor to young artists, an artistic visionary. How on Earth do you do it all and keep it balanced? FRANKLIN: I just want to believe that I’ve learned what’s important. When you want to be faithful to God’s way of doing things—when you want to honor what He honors—then He multiplies the time. He gives you the people to help you get organized. The other day, my daughter Kennedy wanted some daddy time, and I wanted to say ’Daddy doesn’t have the time, Daddy has to work.’ But she’s a little girl. So I played with her, and stopped working. And afterwards, God gave me the music—and the music flowed like water. OTWS: Three GRAMMY®s, nine Dove awards, and musical guest appearances by artists as diverse as Bono, Steve Wonder, Sheila E, Yolanda Adams and R. Kelly—yet you still refer to yourself as a Church Boy. How do you stay that grounded? FRANKLIN: You know, God really put in me this sincere reverence for Him—fear in terms of respect. Even though I was a little boy acting the fool, at the age of 15 I decided to be a light before God. It was an eye-opener; it just revolutionized my life. Getting to know Christ was the best thing that ever happened to me: that and marriage and my kids. OTWS: We’ve caught you in the middle of your tour. How is it going? What have the audiences been like? FRANKLIN: It’s been great, you know? It’s an honor to see people just come out and want to hear the message—and that they still come out. OTWS: Onstage, you’re trying to communicate the Gospel to an audience. But how do you personally experience the Gospel while performing? FRANKLIN: What happens publicly is just an overflow of what’s going on privately. When you stand in front of the people, you’re just giving the residue of what’s going on behind closed doors. OTWS: What’s a “Hero” to you? FRANKLIN: Oh man. You know, God loved the world so much that He gave us someone who could save us, dwell among us and Kirk Franklin take us from the pain of this world. We’ve looked up to pseudoheroes—but to me, that’s what a hero is. OTWS: It is one thing to preach the Gospel, another to walk it. In a general sense, how has your faith walk as a modern gospel artist been these days? FRANKLIN: I’m hungry; it’s like I’ve been locked up and haven’t eaten. It has nothing to do with me or the music industry, though my appetite for the industry is slowly fading. It’s always who’s hot, who’s not. My desire is to be a light, to be a servant. Right now I’m just thirsty for God. OTWS: When you started out doing music, you met a lot of resistance from the church, of all places, for what you were trying to do with the gospel sound. Looking back, how would you assess those struggles—and looking ahead, where do you see your sound headed? FRANKLIN: I can be honest and say that I just have decided not to focus on the good or the bad. I don’t want to get distracted. My vision is vertical. I try not to read my press! As for the future, I’m just very open to whatever inspires me. I don’t like things contrived. I’m all about the moment— wherever God leads me in the moment. I’m grateful for it and I just want to see where God takes me. OTWS: How about where Shure takes you? How has the microphone been for you? FRANKLIN: Shure microphones? Oh man! Just as a gospel artist, to have Shure interested in us—it’s groundbreaking. It’s been a great honor to have a company of their magnitude and their [history] work with me. OTWS: So you’re happy with how the Shure products perform? FRANKLIN: On a scale of 1 to 10? It’s a 20, 30, 40, 50 … The microphones. The monitors. Everything. OTWS: One last question—of all the aspects of the music business you’re involved in, from mentoring artists to creating to leading worship to recording, where do you find your greatest joy? FRANKLIN: My children. My children are my greatest joy. My children, my children. Seeing them in love with God and in love with me? Oh man. Theirs On A Budget Lead Vocals UR24D/KSM9/BK * PGX24/SM86* Backing Vocals U24D/Beta 87C * PGX24/SM58* Monitors PSM® 700 PSM 200 *wireless system On Tour with Shure 13 When you first started playing together, you called yourselves Raggedy Anne and then The Electrocutes. What was the inspiration for the name, The Donnas? Where did that come from? BRETT ANDERSON: Well, we had met this guy, Darin Raffaelli, who had a couple of songs that he wanted us to record. We thought that would be fun, but the songs sounded like oldies and we were like, ’Hmm…we don’t think that’s gonna work under our name so we need a new one.’ That’s where the Donna’s came from. We were choosing OTWS: 14 from things like The Cherries, which was too provocative for us. OTWS: And, isn’t there some kind of McDonald’s connection? ANDERSON: Our first logo was sort of rearranged letters from the McDonald’s Happy Meal Logo. Then for years we were known as Donna A, Donna B, Donna C. On the last record we just wanted to make a change. We were sick of doing interviews and being asked, ’What are we gonna call you…Donna A or Brett?’ We had answered that question enough. You’ve all been playing together for more than 10 years, since you all were in junior high. Has it been tough to stay together for that long? ANDERSON: No, not at all. It’s not like we’ve had better offers come up that we’ve had to turn down. This is the best thing going… for all of us. We’re all friends. And after a while, too…after you go through so many of these experiences with these people, you can’t really relate to other people in the same way. Like…it’s hard when you meet a new guy and you’re trying to explain things to him. It doesn’t really register and every story ends with, ’Uh…I guess you had to be there.’ OTWS: Your early music had more of a punk sound than it does now on Gold Medal, which has more of a rock sound. How do you think your music has changed or evolved since you first started playing together? ANDERSON: Well, we got better equipment. And, we’ve had a lot more practice… experience. We learned how to get the sounds we wanted… sounds we heard in our heads… instead of just having an idea, playing it and being like, ’That’s not bad.’ And, just playing live…you get a lot tighter. We are able to play different songs and different tempos. When we started, we just played everything fast as we could because the faster you played the tighter we were. Also, our equipment was so bad that the faster we played, the louder we sounded. OTWS: I’m not a particularly big fan of “labels,” but I think it’s interesting to hear what people think about their music. So, if you could only use one or two words to describe your sound, what would it be? ANDERSON: Rock and roll. OTWS: I’ve read that your influences include bands like AC/DC, Kiss and Motley Crue, among others. Are there any other bands who you feel had a strong influence on your music? OTWS: Yeah. We listen to a lot of hiphop, ’80s music and pop. Anything that has a good beat or good songwriting, we appreciate it and we listen to it OTWS: What about now? Who are you listenANDERSON: ing to these days and how does that influence you? Or, does it influence you at all? ANDERSON: We DJ’d at a bar in New York last night and we played everything… Young MC, Tone Loc, Salt-n-Pepa, Cinderella, Def Leppard. I think certain things have an influence, but not in a way that people can tell. We’ll pay attention to how the Neptunes format their songs and what elements they’ll bring in the second verse—the backbone and how it lays out. It’s about the way you pace the song and the structure of the song…how it pulls people in. We pay attention to the weird parts that everyone sings along to that aren’t the hook or the chorus. OTWS: You guys just started using Shure mics pretty recently. What do you like about them? ANDERSON: We’ve always used Shure mics… in the studio, too. Like, if I can’t get something to sound energetic enough, I’ll just hold an SM57—just to have another track to mix in with my lead track. And, every club and practice space in the world has SM58®s. When I got a Beta I was like, ’Oh my God! The blue stripe is so luxurious.’ They’re all standard so you know how to mix them. They’re not going to freak out on you or have some weird tone on it. And, I know how to work it so that it’s not going to pop. I don’t need the pantyhose. OTWS: You’ve also just started using in-ear personal monitors. How do you like them and have they changed your performance at all? ANDERSON: For the first six years, I could never hear myself so I just screamed the whole time. It was frustrating and I never felt like I was getting any better because I had no reference and anything to work off. Now I feel like I’m actually singing instead of just getting by. OTWS: What’s next for you guys? More touring? A new record? ANDERSON: We’re writing for a new record, which is going to be totally ass kicking. There will be a lot of anthems…battle anthems, party anthems. It’s gonna rock. The Donnas Theirs On A Budget Lead Vocals U24D/58* PGX24/SM86* Backing Vocals SM58 PG58 Kick Beta 91 & Beta 52®A PG52 Snare SM57 PG57 Toms Beta 98D/S PG56 Hi-Hat SM81 PG81 Overheads VP88 PG81 Guitar Amp SM57 PG57 Bass Amp Beta 52A PG52 Monitors PSM® 700 PSM 200 *wireless system On Tour with Shure 15 coverstory 16 ove ’em or hate ’em, Hawthorne Heights has the mall punks talking. Their sophomore release If Only You Were Lonely (Victory) may not reinvent the wheel, but the band tells On Tour with Shure how they’re innovating Shure products on the road. ON TOUR WITH SHURE: Do you consciously choose to write about relationships, or is that just what comes out of you? JT WOODRUFF: A lot of people hear the songs and think they’re about a girl, but three songs on the new album are about my father being an alcoholic, so it’s all about how people interpret the lyrics. Pretty much the only things that matter in people’s lives are their girlfriend or boyfriend and their family members, so I tend to stick that in there. I’m not really political, and we’re not a rap group, so I can’t sing about cars and stuff. OTWS: Well, a lot of great rock songs were written about cars. Do you think it’s your subject matter or the sound that resonates with your audience? MATT RIDENOUR: It’s probably the Shure microphones we’re using. [Laughter all round.] OTWS: You guys are a flashpoint for people. Some people really love you, and some really love to hate you. Why do you think that is? RIDENOUR: Well, I’m not saying we’ve ‘made it,’ but you know it’s for real when people hate your guts. When there’s a post on the internet, and 500 people take that five minutes to beat up your band, that’s pretty awesome. OTWS: When it’s time for record number two, everybody says, ‘We’re gonna make the record that we want, and if people like it, great.’ But did you honestly ever think, ‘What if this record bombs?’ MICAH CARLI: Of course there’s some hesitation, like can you follow up something that was such an out-of-leftfield success? We catered to that somewhat, in that we didn’t deviate too much from the original sound. But at the same time, we didn’t re-write the first album. It’s different; it has developed. RIDENOUR: I think we’ve gotten better at what we do, so why change what you do? Why say, ‘Now that we have some success, let’s sound like the Beatles and throw everybody for a loop?’ It makes you cool for about three minutes. OTWS: On the way up, I presume you played punk venues—VFW halls, church basements. [Everyone nods.] Compare those experiences with the venues you play now. CARLI: Of course, it’s surreal and amazing to play to 10,000 people. We’re very thankful. At the same time, coming from smaller clubs, where the kids are two feet away from you, where they can get onstage and stage dive—that feels more natural to us right now. This is our first arena tour, so we’re kind of new to the whole thing. RIDENOUR: And people are watching your back! They fill up the whole arena, so there are people behind us. WOODRUFF: And when you look up, there are four tiers. You’re used to looking straight ahead, but once in a while you have to look up—way up. OTWS: When you sing, “I hate playing games with the industry,” are you talking about the music industry? WOODRUFF: Definitely. A lot of situations are beyond our control. A radio station might say, ‘That was Hawthorne Heights. Next up, Alice in Chains.’ Alice in Chains hasn’t been a band in ten years! So we’re competing with the hottest songs right now, and the hottest songs from ten, fifteen years ago. So it’s kind of frustrating. OTWS: Your genre is strong right now, just like grunge was when Alice in Chains had hits. So ten years from now, someone new might be competing with you. WOODRUFF: I don’t think that’s going to happen. CARLI: That would be awesome, but we’re not really banking on any longevity to this kind of music. OTWS: Then why are bands like you and Fall Out Boy doing well right now? WOODRUFF: I don’t know. I think catchy, melodic rock is in right now, and some of it has to do with the lyrics. But also, there’s not a big rock star vibe right now. People see us or Fall Out Boy onstage and think, ‘I could be them.’ OTWS: ‘They look like me.’ WOODRUFF: Right. But when Quiet Riot or Guns N’ Roses were popular, they looked like rock stars. RIDENOUR: If we were going to write songs right now, we would still go to Micah’s Mom’s basement. OTWS: And you would not wear codpieces. [Laughter] I understand that someone pulled too hard on a Beta 91 the other day and yanked out the capsule. What happened there? CARLI: It ended up on my amp. The 91 was ruined, and Mo [Russel, F.O.H. engineer] was about to throw it away. But he decided to rig up a combination condenser/dynamic mic. So he taped the innards of the 91 onto a [SM] 57 and plugged them both in. We tried it out at a club first, and then last night we tried it in an arena, and he was just blown away by it. ERON BUCIARELLI: It’s called the Mo-crophone. RIDENOUR: The SM Fifty-MO. Hawthorne Heights Theirs On A Budget Lead Vocals U24D/Beta 58 * PGX24/SM58®* Backing Vocals U24D/Beta 58* PGX24/SM58* Monitors PSM® 700 PSM 200 ® *wireless system On Tour with Shure 17 productspotlight KSM9 Wired: Because there are no second chances when you’re live he KSM series has long been known as a leader in the recording microphone industry. Adding to that line is the new KSM9. Up until now, the series has been devoted to studio microphones— but this changes everything! The new dual-diaphragm microphone is made for live performances with the same flexibility and sensitivity as its studio cousins. The KSM9 is unique in that it projects a cardioid or supercardioid pattern—an industry first for live handheld microphones. With such versatility, you’re able to do what you want while you’re onstage. There’s no need to worry about your monitors, just switch it to cardioid when your monitors have to be in front and supercardioid when they’re on the side. Of course, if you go with an in-ear monitoring system by Shure, there’s no need to worry about either. Pick your pattern of choice. T The sound from this microphone is so natural you won’t feel like you’re even using one. With higher gain before feedback, there’s no need to worry about putting your fans through the excruciating sounds of unexpected feedback. Standing up to Shure standards, the KSM9 has extraordinary vocal reproduction. The sound from this microphone is so natural you won’t feel like you’re even using one. With higher gain before feedback, there’s no need to worry about putting your fans through the excruciating sounds of unexpected feedback. Add to that Shure’s advanced two-stage shock mount suspension, stabilized horizontally and vertically, and you can rest assured that handling noise will not be an issue. Of course the KSM9 undergoes Shure’s extensive product testing so you can be assured it will have unparalleled durability. With dual gold layered, low-mass Mylar diaphragms, class-A electronic components, gold-plated connectors, a five-stage hardened grill, and all metal die-cast construction, this is one tough mic! Our state-of-the art industrial design and construction will give you more than just a microphone—it will give you the ability to express yourself—even if that means an accidental drop or two. 18 One of the features of the new microphone is it’s minimized proximity effect for more accurate low frequency response. Now you can get close to the mic without your voice sounding too low, and you can back off with the assurance that you will still sound natural. Shure’s engineers worked hard to ensure consistency in the microphone across all frequencies—so whether you’re a coloratura soprano or a bass, you know the microphone will respond the way you want it to and with a clean, clear audio signal. Shure knows that in live performance it has to be right the first time, so we work hard to ensure that you don’t have to worry about any microphone problems. See for yourself why LeAnn Rimes claims, “My new Shure mic is the best yet. It sounds so clear in my ears and is comfortable to hold.” You’ll never want anything less! For more information on the new KSM9 and to see for yourself the incredible clarity and performance of this mic, contact your local Shure dealer or go to N 20 N ot very many rock bands survive 25 years in the business, let alone the death of a lead singer, and emerge revitalized. But with the completion of their CBS reality TV show, INXS has located a new frontman to replace the late Michael Hutchence, Canadian singer J.D. Fortune. INXS members old and new—Fortune and saxophonist Kirk Pengilly—stopped to chat with us moments before their sold-out show at the Windy City’s Chicago Theatre in support of their new album, Switch. Here’s the lowdown on rock stardom, the band’s fresh start and the microphones and wireless gear that stand behind INXS, every note of the way. ON TOUR WITH SHURE: We promise not to ask any cheesy questions about your days as a young Elvis impersonator. Does it bother you that some folks have fixated on that? J.D. FORTUNE: I was, like, 19—we’re going back 13 years and that’s a long time. It’s like getting arrested and someone goes, ’You stole gum when you were 12, so I can’t trust you now as an employee.’ When I did the impersonation thing, I was just paying the rent—and I was a huge Elvis fan. …Plus there are no impersonations in this show: It’s purely INXS and me, you know? OTWS: How welcome have you been in terms of the creative side of INXS? FORTUNE: To set the record straight, I’m really honored about how much of the reins I’ve been given and that I’m treated as one equal sixth. My vote counts as much as the rest of the guys. I got to co-write three of the songs on the record and that evolved naturally; [guitarist] Andrew Farriss and I are writing and that’s what we do. OTWS: And now, J.D., the question you’ve been waiting for: How did Shure mics make you the INXS rock star you are today? FORTUNE: Oh my God! The very first time I sang on stage—my very first professional gig—somebody had taped a Shure micro- phone onto a broomstick and stuck it into a pylon! Honest to God, dude. They put me on a stage with that mic, and now every time I see Shure, I’m sure. I’m sure it’s going to be a great show. OTWS: And the shows, we hope, will go on for you and INXS. We promise to do our part. FORTUNE: An SM58®, you could throw it out of a plane and it would still survive: You “THE VERY FIRST TIME I SANG ON STAGE— MY VERY FIRST PROFESSIONAL GIG— SOMEBODY HAD TAPED A SHURE MICROPHONE ONTO A BROOMSTICK AND STUCK IT INTO A PYLON!...” —J.D. FORTUNE could pick it up start singing into it. I’ve sung into Shure mics that have had so many dents and dings, the mic looks like a roadmap to the world. It was like every singer and his brother got a chance to hold onto that thing and tried to strive for their hopes and dreams. It’s nice right now to have a brand new one! OTWS: Kirk, how are guys going to dispel the naysayers who dismiss the “Rock Star: INXS” experience? KIRK PENGILLY: I don’t think we need to dispel it—and I don’t think we need to prove anything to anyone. As far as the TV show, we’re proud of it. It was a great show, it was really well done. The biggest compliment I get is when parents come up to me and say, ’Thank God you guys did that TV show and took hip-hop out of our house and put rock and roll back into it.’ OTWS: All this, we understand, thanks to a brainstorm from a certain saxophonist. PENGILLY: Back in ’98, in the year following Michael’s death, we met regularly and were still a band. We went through a lot, trying to decide if we should still continue, whether anyone cared, whether we wanted to. But during those periodic meetings we chucked around a lot of ideas. One day I said, ’Why don’t we do a worldwide search for a singer on TV?’ It was way before reality TV or any of that. It got put on the backburner until the beginning 2004 …then we took it to a bunch of people and that’s where Mark Burnett came in—and he loved the idea. Plus, why not go with the best in the business? OTWS: Speaking of the best: How has Shure been for INXS? PENGILLY: Right from the beginning of time, right from the beginning of this band, their vocal mics have always been the only vocal mics we’ve used. There’s a relationship that goes way back. Now we have the wireless systems, and all sorts of special things that we put on our instruments, such as the saxophone. The sax is especially a hard instrument to mic, because the sound not only comes out of the bell, it comes out of all the pads. It’s one of those things where it’s great to record in the studio, but to actually find a mic that can handle it live, Shure has done a hell of a lot. No one does it better. They are gods! INXS Theirs On A Budget Lead Vocals UR24D/Beta 58 * Backing Vocals Beta 58A SM58 Toms Beta 98D/S PG56 Snare SM57 PG57 ® PGX24/SM58* Guitar Amp SM57 PG57 Guitar ULXP14* PGX14* Saxophone ULXP14/98H* PGX14/Beta 98H* Monitors PSM® 700 PSM 200 * wireless system On Tour with Shure 21 With the release of Show Your Bones, glitzy art punks Yeah Yeah Yeahs have expanded their range. And while their hearts are not exactly on their sleeves (singer Karen O. rarely wears them), Nick Zinner (guitar) and Brian Chase (drums) tell On Tour with Shure that their musical world is open to their fans. I love the CD art for Show Your Bones. Was it your concept to include the flags submitted by your fans? BRIAN CHASE: I think it was Karen’s idea to have a flag, an iconic image that represented the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And we thought it would be fun to open it up to our fans and see what kind of submissions we’d get. OTWS: It’s an inclusive thing to do, drawing on the creativity of the people who draw off of yours. Is that part of your philosophy, so to speak? ON TOUR WITH SHURE: 22 Live, it definitely works that way. There needs to be a symbiosis there. But creatively speaking, everything we do has a D.I.Y. approach. We’re inspired by our fans, so it was a way to incorporate that. OTWS: In the live setting, you are the part of the palette that changes the most. Do you feel a big sense of responsibility? ZINNER: Yeah, totally. If I make little mistakes, I chastise myself. I guess I just try to think more about working with Brian, creating a support that’s rock solid that can move anywhere at anytime time. OTWS: Playing without a bass player, do you find that your right hand is tighter, since you’re actually a part of the rhythm section? ZINNER: Well, I used to play metal... OTWS: your right hand’s pretty tight. ZINNER: [Laughing] Yeah, it’s pretty solid. OTWS: Your guitar runs through so many different effects; when writing, does the discovery of a sound inform a song, or do you write a melody and find the sound to serve it? ZINNER: It’s usually the sound after, but it depends. You hope for things to evolve until they arrive at the right place. I never try to drag anything out that shouldn’t be there, or have anything be too ostentatious. OTWS: Are you playing to backing tracks on this tour? ZINNER: No, but I have three sample pedals that make loops for a few songs. OTWS: So Brian, you have a click coming to you? BRIAN CHASE: Yeah. [Makes an earmuff gesture] OTWS: You’re wearing cans? CHASE: Yeah. OTWS: That’s hot! No little earbuds for you. I’ve seen people use duct tape to keep them on. CHASE: Nah. I don’t head bang too much when I play. OTWS: You guys have Shure mics on everything; are you using any special configurations? NICK ZINNER: Our soundman has discovered a nice kick drum combination. I’m playing with a full front resonant head, but we placed a Beta 91 on the inside to get the CHASE: attack, and then we have a [Beta] 52® on the front head for the low resonance. OTWS: So you do not have a hole cut in your front head? CHASE: Right. We run the cord through the air vent in the top of the drum, and we tape the flat mic inside the drum. OTWS: The musical chemistry among the three of you is evident. Does it feel that way to you? ZINNER: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We definitely realize how special it is with the three of us. When I play with other people, it’s a whole other world, and I consider this a sacred world where there’s endless freedom on one hand and this very specific interplay on the other hand. I haven’t really found that with anyone else. At the same time, [with] anyone you play with, it’s a unique experience, and it always takes time to find how you’ll speak to each other. OTWS: Did the tracking of Show Your Bones force you to become better players, since you tried things you hadn’t tried before? CHASE: It was challenging musically, especially mapping out the drum parts to complement the vocal melody and guitar parts. When it came time to record, there were some tricky coordination things happening. OTWS: You mean physical coordination? CHASE: Yeah. It was a challenge to learn those parts. OTWS: Karen’s look and energy in performance draw a lot of attention. I think that people want rock stars to stir them up, to bother them a bit. Do you experience that? ZINNER: Yeah. People like to fetishise and gain power over you by painting you into a corner and dismissing you with a definition. There’s that kind of negativity in some people’s projections. At the same time, the world needs a really strong girl to look up to, so it’s kind of a necessary thing as I see it. OTWS: Your lyrics are impressionistic, as if their sound is more important than their meaning. Is Karen seeking to reveal something, or are the lyrics more a stylistic element of the music? ZINNER: She doesn’t really talk about the lyrics; it’s meant to be vague and ambiguous. A lot of it is [about] what words sound good and feel right. Beyond that, it’s all open to interpretation. Yeah Yeah Yeahs Theirs On A Budget Lead Vocals SM58 PG58 Backing Vocals SM58 PG58 Kick Beta 91 & Beta 52® PG52 Toms Beta 98D/S PG56 Hi-Hat KSM137 PG81 Overheads KSM137 PG81 Monitors PSM® 700 PSM 200 ® On Tour with Shure 23 While hardcore and gangsta rap, with it’s glorification of urban violence and misogyny, may be the most commercially successful form of hip-hop over the past decade, the two founders of Blackalicious have chosen to advocate a more positive message. Gift of Gab (Timothy Parker) and Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley) formed Blackalicious in the early 90s to create rap music that’s soulful, spiritual and uplifting. Their intelligent lyrics, blended with elements of jazz, funk, blues and other musical styles, create a rich, complex sonic collage. On Tour with Shure sat down with Blackalicious’ MC Gift of Gab and DJ Chief Xcel during a recent tour stop in Chicago to support their recent release, The Craft. 24 ON TOUR WITH SHURE: Spirituality has been a big part of your music. Where does that come from and why is it important to you guys to include that in your music? XCEL: I don’t think we set out to make spiritual records…the only thing we set out to do is make music that reflects us. It’s who we are as people. So, whatever journey we’re on in life, that’s what’s going to be reflected in the songs that we make. GAB: It’s just everyday life to me…it’s not separate. I think it’s connected. It’s not like a big ritual thing where we’re getting deep and talking philosophy all the time. OTWS: When you guys write—how does that process work? trying new ideas, and seeing what fit within the body of work that The Craft was to become. GAB: With this record, X definitely took it to the next level. One of the musical things on this record is you really can’t tell what’s been sampled and what’s live ’cause we’ve got so many musicians in there playing. He just put it all together and made it sound like one. OTWS: How does that change the performance when you guys do that? GAB: I’ve always felt that it’s different when you rhyme with a musician. It’s more electric. It’s almost like two MC’s bouncing off of each other. But when you have a person and I think the thing that comes out…I’m starting to realize now more…I realized last night, damn I really enjoyed that. We give our best shows when we’re really into it. One of the things about us is we’re doing this ’cause we do really love to do it. And, we’re enjoying it. I think when an artist is on stage and they’re really into what they’re doing, you can tell, and really enjoying it rather than just going through the motions…I think that the audience picks up on that. We LOVE to rhyme and we love to perform. OTWS: When did you guys start using Shure microphones? XCEL: Wow…probably ’99, maybe 2000, was For me, it really just starts working sort of free form with the MPC…using that as my sketch pad to map out my ideas. And then, once I have something that I think I can develop even more, I build it to a certain point, then I give it to Gab and really just leave it up to him to take it in whatever direction he’s gonna take it lyrically. Once I see where he’s going, then I can continue to develop it musically even more. OTWS: Where do you guys get the inspiration for such dense rapping and is it hard to get all those words out? GAB: Just studying lyrical style. All of the great lyricists who really put a lot of thought and energy into their rhyme patterns, their rhyme structure…just taking those influences and giving it our interpretation. OTWS: The recording process for The Craft was pretty long and involved and you guys sampled something like 150 different tracks. Was that copyright driven or creative driven or both? XCEL: Completely creative. I just had a lot of music that I kinda wanted to get out of my system…a lot of things I wanted to explore. For me, it was about trying new things… whose playing an instrument and you’re bouncing off each other it creates a greater range for you as an MC. OTWS: Where do you guys think you fit in the world of hip-hop right now? XCEL: We’ve been in this game for so long, you know…that I think we’ve carved out our own particular niche. I kinda feel like we hold down our own end of the spectrum and don’t fit into anyone’s particular box. GAB: Where we fit in…if we fit in. I think that we definitely have our own sound. Our whole crew at Quannum…Latyrx, Lyrics Born, DJ Shadow…I think we share a more traditional outlook in terms of hip-hop, but at the same time we represent the evolution of it. Looking at what’s been done and looking at what we’ve done in particular…we’re really artists that try to push ourselves. We’re very artistically based, rather than pop. There’s nothing wrong with pop music, ’cause it’s all music…we’re just a lot more skill based. OTWS: What do you feel elevates your performance…one above the other, in terms of blowing the door off a joint? What makes that happen? GAB: I think we’ve been doing it for so long when I first started using the [SM]58® and the [SM]57, in the studio, but I’ve been using the needles forever. Early on, I went through a lot of different needles and I couldn’t find anything to stick. Then, when I started using the [M]44-7s, there was pretty much no turning back. I’ve been using them ever since. OTWS: What about PSM®, are you guys using in-ear personal monitors at all? XCEL: Yeah, I love it. I started using it about halfway through the tour…and I love it because I don’t have to scream. GAB: It’s dope because it’s like being in a mic booth on stage. It takes you into that world where it’s like, ‘Wow, I actually feel like I’m in the studio.’ I think that’s the best way to record live shows. If you’re gonna do a live album…record it and sell it, then I think the best way to do those is to use in-ears because…it’s like being in a studio and doing a live show at the same time. OTWS: Has it changed your performance at all? XCEL: I don’t have to yell. I can actually hear myself…the tonality and inflections in my voice, and I think it just makes for a better all around performance. XCEL: Blackalicious Theirs On A Budget Lead Vocals U24D/58* & SM58 PGX24/SM58* & PG58 Backing Vocals SM86 SM58 Studio Vocals SM57 PG57 Turntables M44-7 M25C Monitors PSM 700 PSM 200 * wireless system On Tour with Shure 25 26 orn has earned the right to call their new record See You On The Other Side (Virgin). With a founding member gone and an unprecedented new record deal, these nu metal soldiers have truly broken on through. We sat down with Munky [guitarist] to find out how life has been on the other side. ON TOUR WITH SHURE: When Head (Brian Welch) left Korn, the guitar duties fell on your shoulders. How did you feel? MUNKY: There was a lot of fear running through me. Am I gonna be able to do it? Will they want to bring someone else on? [But] the real question was whether I could write the next record on my own. That’s where the real panic and paranoia came in. We worked with a producer named Dallas Austin—great guy, and he’s also a drummer. So we’d kick back, sip on some Hennessy, he’d play the drums and I’d jam. I wouldn’t worry about what I’m gonna do; I just played in the moment. At one point, he stopped me, and said ’That’s it Munk. That’s where you need to be. You’re not worried about anybody else, you’re just playing what’s in your heart right now.’ We had a lot of fun, and after two nights of that, he helped me find that in-the-moment feeling, and I turned and used it when we started working with The Matrix and Atticus [Ross, NIN producer] in the studio. Everyone was really stoked about the riffs I was turning out. OTWS: So it starts there? MUNKY: This record really did start with the evolution of my creativity. It was a difficult hump to get over. But once I got there, riffs just started flowing out of me. They actually had to pull me aside and say, ’Look dude, we’ve compiled over two hours of stuff that you’ve done. We can cut this up in Pro Tools and make twenty or thirty songs out of what you’ve given us, so you need to stop!’ OTWS: So as a songwriter, those riffs don’t flow one to the other? MUNKY: As songs? No, not initially. The Matrix would cut and paste something together. Maybe I’d like the chorus but not the verse, so I’d write something new. OTWS: How mindful are you of what Jonathan might be singing? MUNKY: Oh, I’m not even thinking about that. I’m thinking only about the chord progression and the guitar melody. OTWS: So you’re not composing other people’s parts; you’re putting down the building blocks for them to expand on. MUNKY: That’s right. OTWS: Are you aware, then, of how much you need each other? MUNKY: Once Brian (Head) left the band, it was quite apparent how much we really do need each other. It shook our world, and showed us how fragile this really is, maybe how much of it we’re taking for granted. We were just limping around, like this wounded band that could just fall apart! But once I started turning out these riffs, everybody got excited. Our management was like, ’If you guys want a career to last another ten years, you’re on the right path.’ It turned itself around; the ultimate loss turned into the ultimate opportunity. Korn It’s striking that on the heels of your most fragile period, you forged a groundbreaking relationship with a new record company. MUNKY: I’m telling you, timing is everything. We finished our contract with Sony, then Brian left the band. So we’ve got no label, and our band feels like it’s falling apart. But we started writing these amazing songs, and then this artwork started coming back from David Stoupakis. So we funded the record and the artwork ourselves. But we began to realize that we’d have to reach into our own pockets for millions of dollars to release this worldwide, distribute it, promote it... we believed in the album, [laughing] but why reach into your own pocket when you can get someone else to dig into theirs? So they [Virgin Records] own thirty percent of our company, and we retain seventy, which is really unheard of. OTWS: On See You on The Other Side, Jonathan sings, “I don’t wanna talk about politics.” I think we all feel that way sometimes, not wanting to get into... MUNKY: A debate. If you’re going to talk about politics, you better be ready to hold your ground and know what you’re talking about. OTWS: And a debate of ideas can be invigorating. But, for example, since Brian left, everyone wants to talk about your band politics. And do you really want to talk about his departure as much as you have? MUNKY: No, I don’t. I don’t want to, but people want to know about it. OTWS: That’s what I’m wondering—do you resent that they’re more interested in that than the music? MUNKY: No, no. It doesn’t bother me at all. I honestly go into more detail about him leaving, and the sadness and the anger… it really gave this band new life. We felt lost and abandoned by him, but now we have a new record company, a new album, and an outlook for another ten years. We want to be remembered as the Metallica of our era. That’s our dream. OTWS: Theirs On A Budget Lead Vocals UR24D/KSM9/BK* PGX24/SM86* Backing Vocals Beta 58®A SM58® Snare Beta 56A® & SM57 PG57 Toms Beta 98D/S PG56 Overheads VP88 PG81 Guitar Amp KSM32, Beta 52®A, Beta 56A PG57 * wireless system On Tour with Shure 27 engineered wisdom Children of the Korn Mixing The Loudest Rock Band In The World F or years now, Bill Sheppell and Scott Tatter have seen Korn from the other side—of the mixing board, that is. Now they tell On Tour with Shure what it’s like to be totally dialed in. ON TOUR WITH SHURE: What’s the last challenge to present itself that made you say, “Uh oh!” BILL SHEPPELL: Y’know, we’re so comfortable with this that there really hasn’t been anything to throw us for a loop in a while. The biggest thing, when you travel to so many different continents, is trying to duplicate the quality of sound. Here, we carry a huge Prism rig, but you go to Jakarta… OTWS: A Prism rig? SCOTT TATTER: It’s the big ol’ rock-n-roll P.A., and you don’t have that all over the world, so you’ve got to make due with what you get. OTWS: So you don’t haul a system everywhere you go? SHEPPELL: Not everywhere. Like Jakarta— no way. When we go to Australia, we use the same company throughout; in Europe, we generally do the same thing. But you do the weird one-offs, and those are the biggest challenges. Usually, we carry all of our onstage stuff with us, and it’s been dialed. We have two complete sets, and we’re putting together a third ’C’ rig, so we can always have a rig moving somewhere around the world. OTWS: Give me your professional opinions of Shure gear. TATTER: I don’t even need to try other products at this point; Shure does everything I need it to do. It’s as simple as that. SHEPPELL: I used the Neumann KM on Billy Corgan when I was doing Zwan. It’s a topend mic, but the Shure KSM9 is right there. And the dynamic stuff on the drums, the [Beta]98s—they’re the best in my opinion. OTWS: Any particular vocal challenges when mixing Korn? “It’s range of picking up crap, for lack of a better term, is smaller. It picks up less of the backline…I can leave it up a bit, and I don’t want to pull him down too much, because it really changes the sound of the stage.” — Scott Tatter, on the virtues of the KSM9 [Laughing] It’s the loudest rock band in the world right now and [speaking very softly] this is about how loud he sings. It’s a hell of a challenge. He doesn’t move much air, but he’s extremely consistent pitch-wise, and he always sounds like John Davis. But he’s aware of that, and we work together on it. SHEPPELL: So the challenge is to get that vocal over the loud guitars and drums onstage. We had a hybrid mic; it was a Shure, but a hot-rodded version. But the KSM is a smoother, calmer TATTER: Bill Sheppell (left) and Scott Tatter while on tour in Australia 28 by Steven Frisbie low end with more presence, which puts his vocal right in your face. OTWS: I understand that KSM9 has also helped with monitoring. TATTER: Absolutely. It’s range of [laughing] picking up crap, for lack of a better term, is smaller. It picks up less of the backline. I ride John’s vocal to cut all the crap out between words; I mean, I ride virtually every word. But with this new mic, I can leave it up a bit, and I don’t want to pull him down too much, because it really changes the sound of the stage. It’s like you’re turning s*!# on and off. OTWS: Everyone’s a critic when it comes to live sound—do you ever get frustrated? SHEPPELL: I recently went through that, and it was horrible. But not with this band. I’ve been around them so long… TATTER: Fieldy [bass player] was telling the opening act that they should have us do their backline. He said, “Even if you don’t like the sound, it’ll be better than it was.” They [Korn] don’t even come in here. Bill and I decide if the backline sounds good. They walk up there when the show starts, put the guitar on, and off they go. We’ll go for days without talking with the band about how it sounds up there. I know we’re in the groove when that starts happening. Imagine for just a second that you can no longer hear what’s going on around you. Complete silence might be alright if you’re trying to go to sleep, but what if you couldn’t hear your husband or wife say “I love you,” your children’s laughter, your favorite song, or the dialogue to your favorite movie? It’s hard to imagine if you’ve never experienced it, but it could very well be you. Most people take their hearing health for granted, but currently, more than 28 million Americans already suffer from some degree of hearing loss. What’s worse is that this number is expected to rise to 78 million by 2030 if we don’t start taking precautions. Several years ago, Shure adopted hearing conservation as it’s corporate cause and introduced the Shure Bid For Hearing program, which was intended to raise money for hearing conservation organizations and increase awareness about healthy listening habits among musicians and members of the pro audio community. This program was reintroduced at the 2006 Winter NAMM Show as Listen Safe with the same mission. Listen Safe encourages people to take their hearing health seriously. The program promotes hearing conservation by providing free hearing screenings and earplugs to attendees at professional audio industry trade shows, music conferences and festivals, and even to Shure’s own employees. As part of the Listen Safe introduction, Shure donated $50,000 to Columbia College, (with Sensaphonics) Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (H.E.A.R.) and The House Ear Institute. The donated funds will be used to provide free hearing screenings, produce educational materials, continue public education initiatives and conduct a research project about hearing loss among musicians. According to Sandy LaMantia, President and CEO of Shure, “We are in the business of high-quality sound, which is why we feel it’s our responsibility to educate our customers, colleagues, and partners in the professional audio industry, about the importance of hearing conservation. We are grateful for the efforts of the organizations that are receiving this year’s donation and feel compelled to support them in these important endeavors.” What people should understand is that it’s not difficult to be exposed to dangerous sound levels—which are classified as 85 decibels and above. A lawn mower is roughly 85 decibels and a rock concert can get all the way up to 140 decibels! Experts also advise that it’s not only the decibel level to be aware of, but also how long you’re exposed. The higher the level, the less time you should be around it. Have you ever gone to a concert only to find that your ears were stuffy and maybe even kept ringing (called “tinnitus”) for the next day or two? Your ears can only tolerate those nights every so often, but please don’t make a habit of it because you will cause permanent damage. It’s not a painstaking process to ensure that your hearing is safe…you just need to take a few precautionary measures. And, if your hearing is already damaged, you can help yourself out by still following these guidelines: • Don’t be around excessive noises for any long period of time— and if you are, use earplugs. • Keep the volume on your portable music player turned down. If you can’t hear the music at a level that’s not more than 60% of the max, invest in some sound-isolating earphones. Shure’s E-Series, like the E3c, work exceptionally well! You’ll be able to hear your music with only a small amount of ambient noise. • And, make sure to have your hearing checked on a regular basis. It’s standard in the U.S. to visit an eye doctor and dentist once a year or so, but not an audiologist. So, this year when you make those annual visits, please schedule an appointment with an audiologist as well. Because Shure is in the business of sound, we understand the importance of good hearing health. Please remember to be responsible and listen safely. (left to right) Benjamin Kanters (Columbia College), Michael Santucci (Sensaphonics), Marilee Potthoff (House Ear Institute), Kathy Peck (H.E.A.R.) On Tour with Shure 29 30 On Tour with Shure tried its best to capture the full Monte recently, not long before Summer NAMM hit the Music Capital this year. Played with taste, precision, and a matchless sense of harmonic timing, his songs are built upon sturdy hooks and vocals containing both fortitude and a natural exuberance. Leading his own band, a power trio featuring bassist David Piggott and drummer Phil Bass, Montgomery’s trademark electrified acoustic guitar style will be showcased July 15th at Antone’s (213 W. 5th St., Austin, TX) at 10 P.M., right during the peak of Summer NAMM fever. ON TOUR WITH SHURE: Let’s take a look at the evolution of your music. You started playing acoustic guitar at the beginning of each set onstage once, and the response was so huge that the instrument kept getting used longer and longer during each show. Before you knew it, your show was all acoustic. While your performances are still that way today, you cite Fleetwood Mac, Mark Knopfler, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Steve Vai, and Eddie Van Halen as just some of your inspirations, all of whom are known for their virtuosity on electric guitar. How do the works of these greats translate to your acoustic sensibilities? MONTE MONTGOMERY: Yeah, I like all of those guys, and if you listen real close, you’ll hear all of them in my playing. Maybe not exactly in the same way you’d hear them themselves, but I’ve taken pieces of this and bits of that from here and there and wrapped it together with my own sound. I’m not a blues guy, but you may hear me play some bluesy kinds of grooves and riffs. I’m not a country guy, but you may discover some country signatures here and there in one of my songs. I’m not a balls-out rock guy either, but stick around long enough and some rock overtones will appear. What I really am is a little of all these things mixed together with a unique Austin vibe. OTWS: Harmonics certainly play a large role in your approach to the guitar... MONTGOMERY: Absolutely. I was first introduced to harmonics through Lindsey Buckingham and early Fleetwood Mac records like Rumours. I tend to place harmonics where you wouldn’t normally ex- pect to find them, like in the middle of solos, and structurally within the rhythm. Lindsey was the first guy I heard lay down cool little beds of harmonics. Then I heard Eddie [Van Halen] do some of that stuff a little differently with an innovative tapping style. Next came Michael Hedges, and he’s getting harmonics off of places on the neck I never thought of before. Everyone has a different approach, so I snatched what I could from all these guys, and now I have a tendency to place harmonics everywhere. I’m naturally drawn to that technique— some people strum a chord, I strum a chord filled with harmonics. OTWS: You’re regularly seen playing an old, badly-thrashed Alvarez DY62C, which word has it you bought in 1987 and have been trying to beat into the ground ever since. MONTGOMERY: That’s my main axe, I’ve been playing it for years, and will continue to play it for many more. I almost wore a hole through it, so I had a friend install a pick guard made from bird’s-eye maple to strengthen the spot that was getting thin. You can actually buy a Monte Montgomery signature model DY62C from Alvarez now that comes with that piece standard, plus a manufactured look featuring all of the nicks, dents, and distress I’ve been dishing out to my own guitar for decades. OTWS: And now seems to be a good time to Monte Montgomery note you’ve been a fan of Shure for a long time, right? MONTGOMERY: Ever since Day One. Up until a few years ago, I just toured around and used whatever mic was available at whatever venue I was in. Most places I’d find myself in front of an SM58®, or a Beta 57®. Then one night I tasted something on a mic that wasn’t mine, and at that point I started paying close attention to mics. Ultimately I decided to get a mic of my own, and basically went through a number of companies selling what was hip and hot, and I wasn’t happy with any of them. After going through all that, I was more convinced than ever that the SM58 and Beta 57 were indeed still the industry standards. OTWS: You were also selected by Shure to be one of the first to try the new KSM9 hardwired microphone, correct? MONTGOMERY: That’s right. My reaction thus far is that it’s the best mic I’ve ever sang into. I bought a Neumann KMS 105— paid really good money for it—and had a lot of problems. My sound engineer really struggled with it, spending so much time EQing that mic that we finally came to the conclusion it wasn’t worth the effort, it just wasn’t going to work for me. Once I got the KSM9 from Shure, it just made singing easier. I can hear my own voice back through the monitor without any struggle, I don’t have to sing as hard—it’s very sensitive to capturing the natural sound of my voice. There’s no coloration at all. I told Shure I wasn’t giving it back. I’ll buy it, whatever the cost. OTWS: Is the rest of your live stage dominated by Shure? MONTGOMERY: That’s a fair statement. My drummer Phil Bass won’t go anywhere without his Beta 52®, which he uses in the kick drum. We’ve always depended upon Shure, and they haven’t let us down. OTWS: You started out playing $50 gigs at a small Austin pub on a Tuesday night. What constitutes the big time? MONTGOMERY: Wherever I’ve been in my career, there’s always been one common factor: It’s really all about the music. If you lose sight of that, you may as well find something else to do. Theirs On A Budget Lead Vocals KSM9 SM58 Kick Beta 52 PG52 On Tour with Shure 31