Dave Kilminster Scales The Wall

March 22, 2011

DAVE KILMINSTER HAS BEEN A mainstay of Roger Waters’ touring band since 2006. Currently, he is covering Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s parts (along with guitarist Snowy White and guitarist/bassist G.E. Smith) for Waters’ live presentation of Floyd’s The Wall. “I decided to completely update my rig from the last tour, starting with the amps,” says Kilminster. “I’m now using a pair of 50-watt Brunetti Mercury EL34 halfstacks on the main stage, and a pair of 50-watt Mercury EL34 2x12 combos for my smaller setup in front of the wall after it is constructed. The Brunettis, which are built in Italy, have a really sweet clean sound, which is important for this gig, as well as a ridiculously good overdrive sound. They are without a doubt the best amps I have ever used.”

When tasked with assembling a rig to recreate the sounds on The Wall, Kilminster had to decide how far to go. “I researched what Dave was using on the recordings and what he used live to replicate that, and when I saw all the refrigerator-sized racks of stuff I said there’s no way I’m doing that,” says Kilminster. “Just give me one good chorus, one good flanger, and a few other pedals and I’ll be fine. I settled on a Boss CE-5 chorus, an MXR EVH-117 flanger, a Top Ten Drive- Gate DG-2 overdrive, a Suhr Riot distortion that I use for the big solos, an Ernie Ball volume pedal, and an Eventide TimeFactor delay, which is absolutely incredible. I also use a Boss RT-20 Rotary pedal for the highstrung part at the beginning of “Hey You,” and I’m experimenting with some new Dunlop wah pedals.”

Kilminster’s main guitars are Tele-style instruments constructed of swamp ash with maple necks and Gotoh 510 bridges “knocked together” for him by John Suhr. “My Suhrs have SSH, SSS, and HSH pickup configurations, using Suhr Fletcher-Landau single-coils and usually Seymour Duncan humbuckers, my current favorites being the Custom Custom models,” say Kilminster. “I use a Godin ACS-SA, which is wonderful, for the nylon-string guitar parts.” The guitarist uses D’Addario EXL110 strings on all of his electrics, and plays with signature 2mm Dunlop Tortex picks.

One of the literally high points of the show is when Kilminster performs the solos on “Comfortably Numb” from atop the 40- foot-high wall. “I’m up there alone without a harness or anything, but to be honest the most daunting thing is meeting the expectations of the 20,000 or so people who are watching,” he explains. “It is one of the highlights of the show, and if the wireless goes out or I break a string or lose concentration, I know how much it affects people, because the show is more like a religious experience than a rock concert for many people. That pressure really got to me in the beginning, and I’d come down from the wall shaking.”

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