For this installment of Gear and Beer, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the guys from Scanlines, purveyors of tasty instrumental music. Joining me at Greenwood’s Mashcraft Brewing was Drew Mallott, Dan Zender and Bryan Unruh.
I tried everything, but the Roadie was a personal favorite. The fellas ordered a few of the Mashcraft IPAs while we had a lively discussion about borrowed gear and recording their latest album at home. They'll release that album, named Figure of Speech, on July 25 at the White Rabbit Cabaret.
NUVO: What are you using for bass gear?
Drew Malott: We’re not particularly gearhead-y. I play bass, but I don’t own a bass. This is the third band I’ve played bass in and I’ve used three different basses. The bass I play actually belongs to Bryan. It’s a red Squier P-bass. I like P-basses and it’s the right sound for Scanlines. Dan and I play a lot of interweaving parts sometimes, so I need a clear tone. My bass amp is a Fender Rumble. I’m not a big fan of that amp. I got it spur of the moment on the day of a show when the amp I was using was out of town. I had to go the guitar store and get an amp right then. I went down to Sam Ash and just “eenie-meanie-minie-moe'd.”
Every time I think about getting a bass, there’s always something I can get instead. We record at home, so, “I can get a microphone. The P-bass is working.” I play bass in Bonesetters, and that bass belongs to the band. They had it when I joined, so I just play that bass.
NUVO: Let’s talk about drums. Bryan, what are you using?
Bryan Unruh: As far as my drum kit, I have assembled it from various things that I like. It’s mostly a Pearl Forum that I’ve had since I was 12. I have other drum sets for parts. It’s been reconfigured over the years. I didn’t like the [Pearl’s] high toms, so I don’t even know what that red kit is, it’s some off-brand. I bought that so we could have an extra floor tom in jascha. I have a Gibraltar kick pedal that I like, with a lambskin beater. It gives it that old Motown kick sound. Zildjian cymbals. What’s that A Custom Dark Ride?
Dan Zender: I think that’s a K series. Hand-hammered.
Unruh: It’s not even mine. It’s [Zender]’s friend’s. I’m borrowing it. I don’t own it, but if I did own it, it would be the best cymbal I’ve ever owned. I love that cymbal. It changed everything. It’s just a kick-ass cymbal. And I have some Sabian hi-hats. I forget one kind.
Malott: There’s a lot of that “I forget what kind it is.”
NUVO: What is your keyboard rig like?
Unruh: The one on the EP is a Yamaha I bought from Best Buy in high school. Since Christmas, when I got my family to buy me [a keyboard]. Now I have a Roland Juno DI. That’s all over the new album. I run that through pedals and a Fender 212 amp. I use the Electro Harmonix Holy Grail reverb, an Ibanez delay/echo pedal, which I like. What’s the Ibanez Tube Screamer?
Zender: You have a TS9.
Malott: It’s Dan’s. Bryan's [Boss] Loop Station died, so he is now using Dan's.
Unruh: I just thought of this: the common theme for us, gear-wise is none of us own what we play and we’re all borrowing something from each other. [Malott]s playing my bass, I’m borrowing [Zender]’s Tube Screamer …
NUVO: What’s your guitar rig like, Dan?
Zender: My guitar is a G&L Legacy. Drew’s amp is a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. … I usually play on a Peavey Classic 50 410. I’m limited on the pedals. I use a delay pedal and compression, an MXR pedal. The delay is Boss DD-6.
Malott: I’ve played guitar for about 15 years and I have a pretty nice guitar. That guitar appears on the EP, which Dan played in a few spots and on the new album. It’s a Hamer Newport Custom Jazz Hollowbody. I played that in jascha a few years ago.
NUVO: What can you tell me about recording the new album? Did you record live or track individual parts?
Malott: I had some gear built up and in the Fall I picked up some more things because, “let’s record this one at home since Queensize is gone.” We started doing demos in December and January. Then in February/March we started recording. This one’s done.
We recorded the EP live. For this one, because we’re recording at home and it’s not a great room; the ceilings aren’t high, there’s no separation, I knew we were going to get ideas later on in the process. I wanted the freedom of moving things around. You can’t do that with too much bleed. There’s a million different ways to make an album. I wanted flexibility.
NUVO: Has the new album meant any rig changes for live shows?
Malott: I've added a [Boss] LS-2 line selector, which belongs to Bryan, naturally, and an Ernie Ball VP Jr. volume pedal. I built a pedal board to hold it all. I'm also playing Bryan’s old Yamaha keyboard on "Constantly Replaying the Past" and bell kit on "Filament.” I just bought a [TC Electronic] Ditto X2. I was borrowing my roommate’s Ditto [but felt] that I still need two switches. Huzzah.
Scanlines with Manners, Please, Wooves + Moor Hound
Saturday, July 25th
The White Rabbit, 1116 Prospect St, Indianapolis, IN 46203
8 p.m., $5, 21+