Having released their first full length only last year, Hodera has built up quite a following in a short time. Having recently toured the US as well a UK, Hodera has been spreading their catchy choruses and weaving guitar work across the world. Today we talk to Doug about the gear he uses with Hodera.
Gear Metropolis: So let’s start with guitars. What do you use and how does it contribute to your sound? Have you used anything different in the studio?
Doug Gallo: I (Doug, Lead Guitar) use a custom Fender Telecaster primarily. It was actually a gift from two of my close friends and it is honestly the smoothest guitar I’ve ever played. It has a Seymour Duncan JB humbucker pickup in the neck, a stock fender pickup in the middle, and a Seymour Duncan single coil in the bridge. I had it modified to coil tap the neck pickup, which I use quite often. I use this guitar live and in the studio. The pickup options on this guitar give me ability to create different sounding leads sonically to layer and compliment each song individually, instead of having a “set lead tone.”
Matthew smith (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) uses a Standard Fender Telecaster primarily live and in studio. This guitar is very clean and natural sounding which allows us to use the amplifiers primarily to contour the tone. The low action helps to accommodate partial capos which he uses on a few tracks.
In the studio we have used our telecasters along with an Epiphone Sheraton II hollow body. Live, we use Mexican modified Telecasters and a custom Fender jaguar as backups.
GM: Let’s move on to amps? have you always used the same thing? What kind of sounds were you going for on the record?
DG: We currently use and are sponsored by Louis Electric Amps. They are handmade boutique amps from northern New Jersey. We have had the endorsement for less than a year but we will be proudly using these amps on tours and when we hit the studio in May to record our 2nd full length album.
My tone differs from Matthews for both in-studio and live. We have similar amp models but he plays with a scooped, bright tone. I play my amp with a punchy tone, pushing the mid range and surprisingly blends extremely well with matthew’s amp and our bass tones.
GM: Never heard of Louis Electric Amps but I am looking at them now and they look great. What models do you have?
DG: Yeah we are super grateful to be able to work with these guys. We both us the KR12 series heads with matching combos- although the head I play is the original and Matthews is the newer version.
Here is a review of the KR 12 on Premier Guitar – http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Louis_Electric_KR_12_Amp_Head_Cabinet_Review
GM: So what kind of pedals do you use? any favorites?
DG: Pedals are definitely the most intricate part of our setup. I’ll start with Matthew’s rig. He uses an Em Drive and Paramount Overdrive from Emerson Custom effects pedals for a preamp/overdrive tone. Along with a TC Electronic Arena reverb and a Boss DD20 delay set for short, slap type analog echos to thicken clean riffs.
My rig consists primarily of an older TC Electronic Nova multi effect system where I can program each song and save effect settings without messing with knobs during our set. It is the only multi effect pedal I’ve ever used simply because it features an analog drive and delay circuit, which keeps things sounding natural and responsive to volume and tonal changes. I use a Dunlop expression pedal that I route into the Nova System to control reverb trails and delay response to create ambient swells. On top of the Nova System I use a Freeze and a #1 Echo from Electro-Harmonix to add thickening layers to lead riffs. Both of us use TC Electronic Polytune tuner pedals for precision with the various tunings we use during the set.
GM: I’ve seen a couple people run the Novas and if you know what you’re doing, you can really get a lot out of them. Do you use it in the studio? You mentioned different turnings, what are you switching between during a set?
DG: Yeah I’ve spent a few months programming the Nova before I actually started using it live. I’m really happy with the presets i have loaded. I have not used it in the studio yet, and as of now, not sure if I’ll be using it for the May recording session.
I switch between three tunings – D major open tuning, Open G, and Standard.
Matthew used mainly standard and drop D along with partial capos. Some of the newer music will consist of F major and Emaj7 tunings.
Hodera just completed a month long tour including a stop at SXSW and recently released their an Audiotree Live session. Their full length, United By Birdcalls is available through All Sounds