Steve Stevens [Billy Idol] Runs Through his Stage Rig...
Billy Idol 2013 summer tour.
Stevens discusses his new signature gear from Knaggs Guitars and Friedman Amplification, as well as his go-to Gibsons, Suhrs, and Roland synth-equipped Godins. We also get the straight story on how he got the ray-gun sound in the original studio version of “Rebel Yell”— and see the modified toy ray gun he uses onstage.
Guitars: Stevens’ “main rock ’n’ roll” guitar—the second prototype of his Knaggs signature model—weighs about 8.6 pounds and features a maple-topped mahogany body, a solid-aluminum bridge, and custom, vintage-voiced Bare Knuckle pickups. His main recording axe for the last few years has been this goldtop Les Paul, which has the same aluminum wraparound bridge and Motor City PAF-style pickups.
Amps: For most of his dirty and semi-clean tones, Stevens relies on his 2-channel, EL34-powered signature Friedman Amplification head (top). One channel is based on his ’69 Marshall plexi, while the other is voiced to respond like a Fender Twin Reverb. Stevens uses the first prototype of his signature Friedman (second from top), which doesn’t have the clean channel, as a backup for dirty sounds. For super-clean tones, like on the verses in “Flesh for Fantasy,” he brings along two Custom Audio Amplifiers PT100s, one for backup.
Effects: Stevens has a single fridge-sized rack that includes Egnater and Axess switchers, Line 6 Mod Pro and Echo Pro units, a TC Electronic D-Two, an Eventide H7600 Ultra-Harmonizer, and a couple of drawers stocked with pedals from Moog, Source Audio, MXR, Joemeek, Boss, and more.