Guitarists Josh Rand, Christian Martucci, and bassist Johny Chow spent over an hour with PG’s Chris Kies before the band’s gig at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium. Josh and Christian show off a whole new lineup of gear including cherry axes making their live debut and revamps on their boards, while Johny proves you don’t need amps to rock out the low-end rumble.
Meet Shandy, Stone Sour guitarist Christian Martucci’s main baby—a 1980 Gibson Les Paul Custom that actually came to his quiver by way of Nashville guitarist RJ Ronquillo. He’s updated it with a DiMarzio Super Distortion in the bridge, an Air Norton in the neck, and increased its playability with jumbo frets. This is his go-to for songs that are tuned down a half-step to Eb. All of his Eb axes use D’Addario NYXL .010–.046 strings.
Bassist Johny Chow covers the low end with just two Warwick basses. His main one for drop-C and drop-B songs is this Warwick Custom Shop Streamer Stage II model that has a few Chow-approved tweaks like different tonewoods (bubinga, wenge, rosewood) and a neck-through design he went with because he feels it upholds the note definition when played in dropped tunings.
Co-founding guitarist Josh Rand started with Ibanez, dabbled with some other brands, but came back home to Ibanez a few years ago. His main C# guitar is this Ibanez Custom Shop Talman that was painted by hot-rod mastermind Dan Lawrence. This one he calls Rizzo 2.0. (Rizzo 1.0 was an RG and was busted on ShipRocked a few years ago—it’s named after the character in Grease, not the Chicago Cubs first baseman.) After being a longtime user of EMGs, Rand outfitted all his guitars with DiMarzio pickups (this one features Steve Vai Evolution humbuckers) and all his guitars have been upgraded with Gotoh locking tuners. All his shred machines, regardless of tunings, use D’Addario NYXL .011–056 strings.