INTERVIEW – FLO DEHN
#1 – Where would you rate your interest in and experience with amp sims?
Hi HASR, thank you for the interview request! I am a bit torn with this topic. In a technical way I see things very pragmatic and as long you have a good tone, it doesn’t matter what kind of equipment you use. The digital amp simulations made a huge step forward in the last few years, especially since they started to use the impulse response technology. So, I am always interested in new amp sim products, especially for the live section and I always try those out whenever I have the chance to.
#2 – What was the first product that drew you to amp sims and did it hold up to your expectations?
When I started playing electric guitar, I used a cheap Behringer Vamp. I didn’t know much about guitar equipment, so it was an easy way to create lot of different sounds for a small price. I was fine with that for a short time, but when I first played with a Marshall stack, I had to get one of those tube amps.
#3 – We love thrash here at HASR and we might love thrash amps even more. What was the best thrash tone you heard coming from an amp sim?
I don’t think it makes a difference what kind of music you play. If you found a good way to copy for example a fender amp, this would work for a high gain amp, too.
#4 – Dust Bolt just released “Trapped In Chaos” on Napalm records and the tones on the album are incredible. Would you mind telling us about the rigs used on the album in detail?
We used an EVH 5150 50W on one stereo side and a Peary 6505+ on the other, boosted by a Tubescreamer. Both amps were connected to a Suhr load box, that went directly into the DAW. We simulated cabinet and mic with the standard Nuendo IR-reverb plugin, driven by a Mesa 4×12 and Beyerdynamic ribbon mic impulse. We only used analog effects in the effect loop of the amp or before the pre-amp. (reverb, delay, chorus, fuzz)
#5 – If you had to recreate your tone with only plugins, what would you use?
I would do the same thing, as we did for the speaker emulation with my amplifier, create an impulse profile from it and combine it with the speaker simulation . You would only need any IR plugin (and someone who knows how to create the profile), but the tone would be almost the same as you can hear on our latest record. If I had to use an all-in-one plugin, I would choose Amplitube, because I have heard very good simulation of a Peavey 6505.
#6 – In a lot of classic two-guitarist thrash bands, one guy goes scooped and the other has a boost in the mids, do you and Lenny B (Dust Bolt vocals/guitar) employ a similar formula to have the guitars work so well together?
I think the main reason is the characteristic of our amplifiers. The basic EVH sound is a bit shaper and more assertive, but the Peavey has a nice and smooth low mids in the high gain section. So, you don’t have to eq very much to get them separated in the mix, because the amps do it kind of naturally. Off course we also did some fine tuning, to enhance this effect.
#7 – What stands out as the most realistic or authentic amp sim you have ever heard?
As I am more into the live technics, Kemper and Line 6(Helix),… made some very good algorithms. They rebuilt the original stack to like 95%. If you don’t know it, it’s very hard to hear the difference out of a PA. But it is a different feeling playing those amp sims, especially when it comes to pinch harmonics, feedback, or other ways of making noise with your guitar, like holding it directly in front of the speaker.
#8 – With technology moving as quickly as it does, could you ever see a thrash band get away with gigging and touring with a laptop for an amp or would the Gods of metal and thrash tone enthusiasts strike them down?
Haha, no if the goods would crush them, they would have it already done, because a lot of bands use amp sims on stage. They sound very good and you can use the direct signal for the pa mix, without any beside noises. Actually, I haven’t seen anyone using a laptop, but Kemper or Helix are computers, too, somehow, they just look a bit different. Instead of having dozens of full stacks on stage, many bands bring more and more light and the guitar equip is just one small rack. All those digital solutions made it to a very good level, but don’t forget they are just simulating something. What would Jimi Hendrix do?
Thrash metal is alive and well across the globe these days and Dust Bolt is a band on the front lines of the revival bearing arms and ready to die fighting. For a fine example of what Dust Bolt brings to the fight, check out their brand new video for “The Fourth Strike” HERE!!
We would like to thank Flo for his time and wish Dust Bolt all the luck in the world moving into what’s likely to be a massive tour and a lot of fun in support of their newest release “Trapped in Chaos” out now on Napalm records!!
Check out the following Dust Bolt links!!