Rob talks guitar and bass
Rob told us how he got started in music, about his favourite kit and how he formed Sulpher with Monti in 2000 after they’d both been playing in Curve.
Myself and Monti met while on tour in America. Once the tour was over we just started working together and then thought, well we have all this music now… Shit, we better put a band together and go play!
He says he likes music to have integrity and for bands to play together as a unit rather than showcasing just one member - a surprising opinion from someone who is revered for his amazing guitar talent.
I’ve never been into all this guitar solo show-off kind of playing, I’m totally not into that. I don’t really have any guitar heros, so to speak. I was always into the sound of a band as a whole collective more than listening to some annoying virtuoso wailing away on his knees with his guitar strapped up round his neck. Obviously guitarists like Dimebag Darrell ( R.I.P ) are a different story, that guy was a shredder in a good way.
Rob plays live guitar in The Prodigy, Gary Numan and Marilyn Manson and is always jetting around the world. He’s tested out plenty of gear in the process and has a lot of kit endorsements.
In the past I have used Marshall and some Mesa Boogie stuff - I have pretty much tried out or used every amplifier that’s out there - but for years now I’ve been using Laney amplifiers. They have looked after me so well now for many years. A fantastic bunch of people.
So much fat bottom end, I love it
Laney even made him a customised amp for a recent Prodigy gig.
They’ve just come out with this great new head called the Ironheart. It’s really heavy-sounding, it’s got so much fat bottom end, I love it.
Like many guitarists, he has quite a collection of instruments, which he treasures.
My living room seems to keep getting more and more guitars piling up all the time - I have no idea where they come from they just seem to appear! I’ve got a few old Gibson Les Paul customs that I’ve had for years; a 76 deep red one and a gold top that’s really hacked up, it’s great. It looks like it’s been through World War III. I have a few newer customs too - a silver sunburst and of course a black one!
Gibson Les Paul
Rob also has three ESP guitars, all Eclipse II models in black, sunburst and even a gold top.
I’ve got a bunch of ESP guitars too, they’re great guitars and based in Los Angeles.
ESP Eclipse II
They’re great guitars
Godin nylon string guitars also feature in Rob’s guitar vault.
One of his key Godin guitars is the Multiac Nylon SA which gives an acoustic sound with in-built electronics and also synth access.
Godin Multiac Nylon SA
Acoustic electric with synth access
Being a multi-instrumentalist means Rob plays bass, and again has a big collection. He has several Spector basses, NS-2 models and an Ian Hill signature bass.
Powerful curved-body bass
I use Spector bass guitars and I have a few old Fender Precision bass guitars that sound and play great.
Fender Precision Bass
Sound and play great
Rob says his kit has to have the right combination of sound and durability.
They’re solid great sounding pieces of equipment and instruments - they very rarely fail and can take a beating, I mean the amount of touring I have done, I do need that reliability
When it comes to effects, he is minimising his pedals, but has a few core favourites.
Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler
Line 6 effects I really rate
I’ve gone through using tons of effects and then gone to using not a lot of guitar effects at all. These days I just try to keep it as minimal as possible, I tend to like a guitar to sound either like a fat heavy dirty guitar or completely fucked up so you can’t even tell it’s a guitar at all. There’s no middle ground! I’ve used some Boss effects and Alesis stuff, Line 6 effects also I really rate .
As well as the Line 6 DL4, Rob uses the MM4 Stompbox Modeler. For Fuzz he uses Boss.
Boss Fuzz FZ-3
Good all-round fuzz
Rob also has a selection of classic Wah Wah pedals.
Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Wah Pedal
World’s best-selling pedal
Rob’s first instrument was a recorder, but he also dabbled in clarinet, saxophone, trumpet and drums. However, his first guitar was a Gibson SG copy just like Angus Young’s from AC/DC.
I started guitar at age 11 - took lessons for around 6 months but then got bored of that as I just wanted to play the music I was hearing on the radio. I ended up teaching myself by ear from my favourite records after that, I never learnt to read music ever .
Rob’s been inspired by bands like The Cure, Joy Division, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Killing Joke. When it comes to guitars the SG copy got him started but then he moved on.
About a year later my parents went and lined up all night at a music shop sale night to buy me a Gibson Les Paul copy for my birthday. I think I was 14. I will never forget that they did that for me.
Line 6 MM4 Modulation Modeler
Action-packed modulation stompbox