Artist Interviews

Ted O’Neill – Oblivion

#1 – From 1-10 what would you say is your interest in and/or experience with amp sims / plugins?

In reviewing the interview questions I’m afraid I may come across as the most boring guitarist ever.

Or, perhaps just a bit behind the times. I don’t have much to any experience with amp sims. For our first album I had a set up on ableton live with a number of sims. We used that for riff writing and practice to the backing tracks. After my DAW committed suicide I have been completely out of the loop with sims or even using a DAW. Now that we are about to go into writing mode again I would like to “modernize” and see if I can get a functioning DAW with proper sims up and running.

#2 – What was the first amp sim you ever tried and which was the first one you remember really enjoying?

While writing Called To Rise we used the LePou sims I believe. That is pretty much the extent of my experience.

#3 – Plugins can come and go for most of us, can you tell us about a few, amp sim or otherwise that always seem to stick around for you?

See above lol

#4 – In a band with two guitarists and very low tunings, a lot of things can be crucial when it comes to having the guitars work for and not against each other and the mix, how do you guys dial things in to retain clarity in the mix?

We tune to B Standard which is low but not insanely low. It is the standard tuning for a 7 string. For recording I like to use one of my guitars with a 27 inch scale and strings somewhere in the 10-60, 10-62 range. That gives us enough tension to have good clarity and snap on some of the faster riffs. In general we don’t use a ton of gain but do have pretty high output pickups.

#5 – 2018 was a huge year for amp sims and plugins alike, did anything happen to catch your attention?

Hoping I can answer this better next year!

#6 – Moving on to this year, Oblivion have a new self titled album out and all I can say is that it was worth the wait. Tell us about your signal chain on the album, from start to finish mics and pickups included.

First, thank you for the kind words on the album. For a bunch of guys who have been around heavy music for decades the recognition of the art and the love of the music is what sustains us. We are very happy with how the end product turned out.

So, for this album we went very basic. I am not certain what mics Zack Ohren ended up using but the guitars used were my KxK baritone 7 strings. The pickups were from Zead out of Italy (thanks to Enrico from Hideous Divinity for this tip!). Amp was a customized and hot rodded Marshall DSL100. I originally got the amp from Karl Sanders (Nile). It was one of the amps used on Those Whom The Gods Detest album so it has some history. My amp tech Eric Roach modded it to make it a bit hotter. And that was it, literally cable to the amp, fairly low gain on that fire breathing Marshall and it was run thru an Orange ppc4x12 cab.

#7 – The self-titled album sounds considerably more open and natural overall than your 2013 release “Call To Rise”. Did you do anything with the guitars to help create the additional depth in the mix?

We were definitely going for a bit more of an organic tone this time around, maybe even a more “classic” tone. For Called to Rise I used one of my KxKs loaded with BKP Warpigs, an 808 overdrive pedal into both a KSR (then Rhodes) amp and an Engl Fireball was also used. I think the mix has a lot to do with the difference as well.

#8 – If you had to capture your live tone with strictly plugins and impulses, how would you do it and what would you use?

How would I do it? I’d be up a creek. I’d likely message you and ask what to do lol.

#9 – Lastly, do you think amp sims will get to the point where everyone will be touring and gigging with a laptop? Would you consider it?

It makes for a great debate. The tube amp purists say “NEVER.” The sims guys say its inevitable. Who knows though. I’m open to whatever makes the process and sound better and more accessible. I had an Axe FX for a minute and decided it had “too many knobs” for me so I went all the way back to the Marshall DSL. I am open of the evolution of things, I’d just want to be more well versed before jumping into it.

Ted O’Neill’s tone and playing speak for themselves. Talking to any guitarist with incredible tone is always a pleasure and we thank Ted and Oblivion for their years of crushing riffs. Oblivion’s newest album is awesome and have some very cool merch available on their bandcamp now!


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