|Posted 01-11-2012 0:27 by spectre
Hop, ff gezocht voor Wim
Thomas Gabriel Fischer provided H2CF with the complete rundown of the equipment used during the existence of Celtic Frost:
My main guitar during the early years was the Ibanez Iceman. As you know, there were two main series of that guitar, the expensive one with all inlays, mirror, heavy wood, etc. and the stripped-down model made of cheaper, lightweight wood, without most of the decorations. I first received the budget model during the very early days of CF. Our then-roadie Dinosaur bought it off the wall at a music store and handed it to me as a gift. And even though it was the budget model, it was a treasure to me - we were completely broke, and, as stupid as it sounds, we could hardly afford the instruments necessary to get closer to a professional standard. That cheap guitar sounded so unbelievably good and aggressive that I later bought a second one, once we had negotiated a deal with our main suppliers. This time, it was the elaborate model, but it didn't sound half as good as the cheap one (which nobody had on sale anymore)! It was also much heavier and therefore uncomfortable, and it went out of tune easily. It also didn't have the bolted-on neck of the budget model. Even though I didn't have a tremolo system at that time (and therefore none of the associated string retainer screws at the machine head), the cheap model still stayed in tune extremely well, in spite of me giving it quite a beating when playing (onstage and in rehearsals). I also used to bend the neck for tremolo effects, but the cheap Iceman always held the tuning for at least several songs, in the heat of the stage lights, until a roadie had to retune it. After the positive experience with Ibanez guitars (and I had already played an Ibanez Les Paul copy during the early HH days), I bought an Ibanez Sharkfin for the "To Mega Therion" sessions. You can see that guitar on the large promo poster for that album. It was a piece of shit, though, and I only used it for the solos on that album (it was my first guitar with a tremolo unit, I wanted to have that on the album). All other guitar tracks in CF up to that point had been played on the (budget) Iceman.
Just like the upgrading of the equipment from HH to CF had been a step towards being more professional, the same still applied when we grew more professional during CF's existence. When Reed, Martin and me became increasingly annoyed at the attitude of some of the underground and hardcore scene (which was a large part of our audience in the early days) and decided to move into a more mature and "commercial" direction for the album after "To Mega Therion", we knew that we needed to upgrade to be on an equal level with our contemporary "competition". This decision took place in the course of our first US tour in 1986.
We returned home with a total urge to buy up-to-date equipment. We also finally had enough success to achieve some significant deals here and there. Being left-handed, Martin had his old Music Man jazz bass backed up by a custom-made Gibson "Flying V" bass (can't remember whether active or not). Warwick then got him some additional custom-converted left-handed basses. Reed had played an old Pearl kit (which was/is also Stephen Priestly's choice of kit), but now changed to Sonor, who supplied a new double-bass kit after he visited their headquarters in Germany. He also got a Paiste deal. The giant drum sticks were not acqurired under a deal, but collected from all over the world. Reed's super heavy drumming was a big problem. We went through drum heads daily, through cymbals weekly, and even the strong Sonor metal stands and connections broke or shifted frequently to become a major financial and musical headache. My then guitar tech, Tommy of Coroner, who had been there during our decision to move forward, suggested I try St. Blues Strats. These were handcrafted guitars from Memphis. I tried and was hooked for life. They were expensive, but I still managed to obtain three (two red, one black), through deals and by buying at least one of them second-hand from my main guitar supplier. These guitars were/are perfect for me. They fit my hand tailor-made, are light yet solid, sound killer and have bolted-on necks(which I love). These guitars all but replaced my previous guitars. I also owned two B.C. Rich guitars, one of which I occasionally played live as a back-up. They looked good but sounded crap with my sound, and they were extremely neck-heavy. I sold both, but not before using one in the "Cherry Orchards" video.
From the writing sessions for "...Pandemonium" to the end of CF (and today), the St.Blues guitars remained my main instruments. All my other guitars simply became decorations in my house or emergency back-ups on the road. All of "...Pandemonium" was recorded with my first one, which I still own (the red one in the pictures on the AS website), and which you can hear on all of my recordings (CD and demo) since then. Unfortunately, after the termination of CF, I sold two of my three St. Blues guitars, since I had no future project in my mind. I regret that very much now - the company is long out of the business, and I will have to try and trace down some St. Blues guitars from specialist second-hand music stores in coming years. Which probably makes them even more expensive! With my first St. Blues came my first Kahler tremolo, which I found to be the only trem unit that stayed in tune with my playing (again, it had to be able to take a total beating). So I had most of my guitars converted to old Kahler trems. I still love them to this day.
Around the time of 'Cold Lake', we also landed a Charvel endorsement deal, and therefore all owned a bunch of Charvel Strats. Curt played them, and I think Ron had played them, too, of course before we even had the deal. I played them occasionally at home or as a back-up on the road. I found them quite alright, and they sounded good, but they couldn't compete with the St. Blues Strats. We got the Charvels cheap and plenty and therefore used them when we hacked guitars to pieces on stage! Charvel must have loved, too, that we wrote on the album that we were playing Charvel, and then I went on the road with something else...
From "Cold Lake" on, we switched guitars around in the studio in order to achieve a more diverse sound. We would play many different models on each album, each song, even each individual guitar track and riff! The exact same procedure also applied to who would play a particular take. Often, one riff was played by me, the next by Curt. Rigid rules were thrown out. This remained CF practice until the end. Quite a difference to the early albums, where everything was played with one guitar (which had its charm, too), and I was the only one to play this instrument! In AS, we have calmed down somewhat, but still do not limit ourselves to strict one-instrument or one-player procedures. The outcome of the song is the important thing, not the "who's who".
I used to use D'Addario strings during the first years, then switched to Ernie Ball.
My stack of choice was always the Marshall JCM 800 100 watt amp with two standard cabinets. I owned two, one at the rehearsal studio, and one at home in the guitar room, where we wrote and demoed much material for ourselves (and, NO, I didn't keep those demos until today - they were just basic drum machine/guitar/bass affairs). The only effects I used/use were/are Ibanez Tube Screamers (always on) and the Roland Rocker Wah (solos). This was/is so potent, that it requires a noise gate. This combination really is the CF sound. Ron Marks, like most accomplished guitarists, initially played a rack with various equipment, but I seem to remember that he later switched to the same set-up as me. So did Curt.
I also always had/have a bass around, either one of my own, or one loaned by the bass player. I like to write on the bass, and recently, in AS, have written more on the bass than on the guitar.
On the road and in the studio, CF always rented additional equipment. On tour, this was mainly Marshall amps and cabinets (many of the latter being fakes), as well as back-up copies of our other equipment and noise gates etc. In the studio, we utilized a wide variety of additional amps and effects, even additional borrowed guitars, to achieve a multi-colored sound. This practice began during the "...Pandemonium" sessions and went almost too far during "Vanity/Nemesis" and especially when AS recorded "Sub".
As far as microphones are concerned, I mostly used Shures. I now use Shure SM 58 cordless radio microphones.
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