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Suge is a “tech’s tech.” He knows guitars and amps inside and out. Enjoy his interview!
What’s your hometown?
Orange County, CA
How long have you been a guitar tech?
I started touring in 2001, and started teching in 2002, so about roughly 11 years.
Who are you currently working with and how has that been?
Working for both The Used and Panic! At The Disco have been great. Both groups are amazingly talented and such good people, personally. Very fortunate to have gotten this opportunity to work for good people the last few years.
Have you been enjoying Warped Tour?
Warped Tour has been awesome. The cliche answer is that it’s a punk rock summer camp, which it really is. There’s always familiar faces as well as good friends always on Warped. The weather is always unpredictable, though, but that’s entertainment, right?
Who have you worked with in the past that played Orange?
How did you get into working as a guitar tech?
I was THAT kid who took apart his guitars NOT to figure it out, but just to take it apart, but then had to learn to put it all back together in order to play it. I learned the world of electronics and soldering (which I’ll say I still have no idea about a lot of things) by watching my father (who was an engineer) and kind of went from there.
What is a typical day on tour for you?
Usually I’m the first one up, but that’s because I don’t sleep well. I’ll brew a pot of coffee or find a coffee shop, wait until the venue opens up, then go in to assess the upcoming day. Then we load all the gear in and setup the stage, getting it “show ready” for the band to come in and sound check. Depending on time I do my everyday maintenance/setup of guitars/basses before (and) after soundcheck. Then show time and pack up and load the gear back into the trailer/truck. After that I usually pass out. I’m old so I pass out. Hehehe.
What’s your favorite thing about being a guitar tech?
I love that I can say I get paid to fiddle with gear. I love the guitar/bass/amplifier. I was never an “Office Job” kind of person. I tried them, and hated it. I got lucky, because touring/teching was a career path I never planned on or even intended to take on for this long. It just kind of happened. In a way, it’s not fair that I am where I am, when there’s people who go to school to do what I do now. So I’m real fortunate to get to do what I do, and it’s still weird to even call it a career for me, because I love what I do.
Any notable artists who use Orange that you are a fan of?
Sergio Vega of Deftones, but when he was in Quicksand; they were a part of my upbringing. That era of music. He came from the world of music that defined my youth. And Jimmy Page. For obvious reasons. I mean, Jimmy Page, right?
With your current artist you’re working with what Orange amplifiers and cabinets are being used?
Quinn Almann uses…
Europe Gear: Rocker 30 (discontinued) and a Tiny Terror Jim Root Signature
What is it about these amplifies & cabinets that you like?
The construction has a lot to do with the sound as well as the electronics. It’s solid, and gives it a real tight sound and quick attack.
The currents Orange amps you are working on, are the tubes the stock or do you have a preferred brand? If so, which?
I just retubed Quinn’s Rockerverb 50 with JJs (both preamp and power) and it’s pretty solid so far. The Jim Root Terror is stock and sounds tight.
Are the Orange amps you are working on stock or have they been modified in any way? If modified how?
No mods at all. Although Quinn’s Rockerverb 50 IS a prototype. The Serial # is PT001. Serious.
Any stand out products from Orange which you would choose over all the rest?
The PPC212 with the V30s (closed back) is the MOST SOLID CAB EVER. Such a rich, solid and tight sound.
Do you remember the first time you saw an Orange?
The first time I saw an Orange was from the band Quicksand. Growing up in early/mid 90s Hardcore and Post Hardcore music, I wanted what all my hardcore heroes used: Gibson for guitars, Orange/Marshall for amps, Fender for bass. That was IT. No effects, straight plug in. Tuner, maybe…
You spend a lot of time on the road, do you have a favorite tour recipe or anything you like to make/eat?
I HATE Starbucks. They are NEVER consistent AND it’s like they are trained to purposely misspell or write gibberish instead of your name on your cup, and they’re everywhere. That being said, as long as there is a Starbucks within reasonable walking distance (when I’m outside of CA/home), I’m good to go.