WE ASSOCIATE ANDY JOHNS WITH SOME
of the best guitar tones of all time, tracked with the most
sought-after gear on the planet. It turns out, though, that he
doesn’t always need—or even want—to plug a ’59 Les Paul
into a plexi Marshall to work his magic. He spoke to GP about
some of the newer toys in his arsenal. —Matt Blackett
“Back in the day, when I was a child, people would
always bring their gear into the studio,” recalls Johns.
“Sometimes it just wouldn’t work. It might sound
okay in their bedroom, but it won’t accept a microphone,
and I can hear through that. I remember the
first time I worked with Joe Satriani. He had these
Ibanez guitars and I said, ‘Oh good lord, dear boy.
We’re not using any of this modern rubbish. Tomorrow
I’m going to bring some real guitars.’ I went to
Andy Brauer’s and I came back with a stunningly gorgeous
Les Paul and some other bits and pieces. The
funny thing was, Joe’s stuff sounded better. I had to
eat some humble pie—which is always good—and I
stopped worrying about all that crap around then.
“Lately I’ve been using these Schecter guitars, especially
this one model with three pickups and a Bigsby.
It sounds fabulous. I have one of their 12-strings, and
I’ve never had a 12-string that could intonate like this.
I’ve got this 30-watt amp from Hayden with a single
12" speaker that’s just amazing. I have a 4x12 of theirs
that sounds even better. I’m also using a lot more pedals
than I used to. Pigtronix sent me a bunch of pedals,
and they’re incredibly well made. You practically need
to be a blasted scientist to use some of them. One is
a ring modulator, which is an effect I thought I’d never
see again and that sounds absolutely wonderful. The
Echolution has 12 toggle switches. It sounds gorgeous.
I really like the MXR Carbon Copy analog delay. It just
sounds really, really nice. I used a lot of this gear on a
record I did with
Frank Infante from
Blondie, and it all