Document 70189

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®
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
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
Triangle Printers Inc.
On Tour with Shure is published three times yearly by
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Each separate contribution to Volume 7, Issue 2 and the issue
as a collective work, is copyright ©2006 by Shure Incorporated.
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AL1560 06/06 65K
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…
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.
Kirk Franklin
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
—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
exclusive album on the iTunes music store.
Do you think the increasing popularity of
digital music has helped to broaden your
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
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
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
On A Budget
Lead Vocals
Acoustic Guitar
VP88, SM7B, Beta 98D/S
Bass Amp
PSM 700
PSM 200
On Tour with Shure
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
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
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
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
On A Budget
Lead Vocals
Backing Vocals
Beta 87C
Beta 52®A
Beta 98D/S
PSM® 700
PSM 200
*wireless system
On Tour with Shure
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.
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
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
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.
On A Budget
Lead Vocals
Beta 58 A
Backing Vocals
Beta 58A
Beta 52 A
Guitar Amp
PSM® 600
PSM 200
*wireless system
On Tour with Shure
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
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.
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.
On A Budget
Lead Vocals
Backing Vocals
U24D/Beta 87C *
PSM® 700
PSM 200
*wireless system
On Tour with Shure
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
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?
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
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
On A Budget
Lead Vocals
Backing Vocals
Beta 91 & Beta 52®A
Beta 98D/S
Guitar Amp
Bass Amp
Beta 52A
PSM® 700
PSM 200
*wireless system
On Tour with Shure
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
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
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
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.
Hawthorne Heights
On A Budget
Lead Vocals
U24D/Beta 58 *
Backing Vocals
U24D/Beta 58*
PSM® 700
PSM 200
*wireless system
On Tour with Shure
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.
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.
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
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
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
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!
On A Budget
Lead Vocals
UR24D/Beta 58 *
Backing Vocals
Beta 58A
Beta 98D/S
Guitar Amp
PGX14/Beta 98H*
PSM® 700
PSM 200
* wireless system
On Tour with Shure
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?
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
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
BRIAN CHASE: Yeah. [Makes an earmuff
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?
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
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
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
On A Budget
Lead Vocals
Backing Vocals
Beta 91 & Beta 52®
Beta 98D/S
PSM® 700
PSM 200
On Tour with Shure
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.
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
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
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.
On A Budget
Lead Vocals
U24D/58* & SM58
PGX24/SM58* & PG58
Backing Vocals
Studio Vocals
PSM 700
PSM 200
* wireless system
On Tour with Shure
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.
It’s striking that on the heels of your
most fragile period, you forged a groundbreaking relationship with a new record
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
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.
On A Budget
Lead Vocals
Backing Vocals
Beta 58®A
Beta 56A® & SM57
Beta 98D/S
Guitar Amp
KSM32, Beta 52®A, Beta 56A
* wireless system
On Tour with Shure
Children of the Korn
Mixing The Loudest Rock Band In The World
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
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
Bill Sheppell (left) and Scott Tatter while on tour in Australia
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
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.
On A Budget
Lead Vocals
Beta 52
On Tour with Shure