We recently caught up with Nashville based guitarist, songwriter and producer Stu Garrard. As the former guitarist of British band Delirious?, Stu G doesn’t mess around when it comes to pedals. He took some time from his busy schedule, which includes working on a new documentary film called A View From The Hill, to talk with us about his current live setup (which includes 2 H9s!).
Your most recent album was Beatitudes, and you’re currently on tour — could you tell us about that?
Beatitudes came out in 2017 and is a pretty amazing collaborative project. One of the artists that wrote and recorded with me on a song called “Carry On” is Michael W. Smith and that’s who I’m on tour with right now.
What does your live pedalboard consist of?
My live board is a Pedaltrain PT-Pro. At the heart of my rig is TheGigRig G2 switching system, and the power distribution system is also by TheGigRig. I swear by their stuff and I’ve been using Dan Steinhardt’s designs for well over 10 years. The first thing my guitar signal sees is a Humdinger, also by TheGigrig. This acts as a buffer for my signal but also splits the signal—one side going to the input on G2, the other going to my tuner, which is the Sonic Research Turbo tuner. The G2 has 10 effect loops.
My setup looks like this:
- JHS Pulp n Peel V4 Compressor
- Zvex Box Of Rock
- Fulltone Full-Drive 2
- The Kilt V2 (for Distortion and Fuzz via the Red Remote)
- Jackson Audio Prism (Live, I use this predominantly for “tone shaping” and is on all the time)
- EHX Pitchfork
- Loopy-2 to expand or experiment with extra pedals
- JHS Pink Panther Delay
- Eventide H9 predominantly for modulation and reverb fx
- Eventide H9 predominantly for delay fx
- Boss FV-50 Volume pedal inserted between after loop 5
- Boss EV-5 Expression pedal inserted in to second H9 to tweak parameters
I come out of the H9’s and G2 outputs in Stereo via a Gigrig Cinco Cinco into two amps.
- 3rdPower Majestic 40 (my own signature amp Inspired by my favorite vintage Park Combo)
- 3rdPower Dual Citizen using the AC30 side
- Two identical 3rd Power 2 x 12 Cabinets each with a Vintage 30 and a Celestion Gold
What types of algorithms do you use most of the time?
The 2 H9s are in the last two loops in the chain. These are stereo loops but I would always have reverb and delay last in the chain regardless of any switcher layout. The first H9 I use for modulation and reverb. Eg. Chorus, flanging, harmonizer and reverb. The second H9 I use for Delays of all sorts…Slap back, to lush stereo trails that never end.
How many presets do you use in a typical show?
I probably use 10 – 15 different presets in a show. I select them via MIDI on the G2. I map the presets on the H9 itself. I do double up presets on some songs depending who I’m playing with. I would say that in a typical set 50%-75% of the songs use different H9 presets. Sometimes they are similar or derivatives of an existing preset with different tempos.
What led you to have two H9s on your pedalboard?
I like the sound of it first and foremost. For several years I used the TimeFactor and ModFactor when the H9 came out it was a natural progression. There are other amazing pedals on the market but nothing that has the same quality of algorithms. I just prefer it and I absolutely love how H9 Control works, it’s so easy to use. Oftentimes, first using a new pedal is all about figuring out what it can do.
Do you prefer pedals that are utility-oriented or pedals that allow for unexpected results?
I love the unexpected and “happy accidents” but I do like to know a little of what to expect or at least feel there’s a little control there. Music creation should never be predictable though and I love the journey of sonic discovery when you get something out of the box for the first time.
2018 looks like it’ll be a busy year for you. You have a new documentary on the way; could you tell us about it?
In 2018 I will be releasing a documentary film called A View From The Hill which is part of The Beatitudes Project. The film documents the recording of the album and tells the stories of some amazing people. One story worth mentioning is that I wrote a song with Audrey Assad, a brilliant artist, and producer. It’s a song inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis. I met a Syrian refugee family freshly arrived in Nashville and the son Hassan is a musician. He came into the studio and played percussion and Oud, and sang on the track. It’s truly stunning. I’ll also be touring with Michael W Smith this year. He’s an incredible artist that I’m proud to be on the stage with.
Find Stu G on social media!