Before APC’s gig at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, bassist Matt McJunkins and guitarists James Iha and Billy Howerdel spend some time with PG’s Chris Kies cataloging the guitars, basses, amps, and digital gear they require to pull off material from all three of their studio albums and beyond.
As part of the Smashing Pumpkins from the start, James Iha originally was a Fender guy in the Gish-era of the band, but slowly made his way to humbuckers and Gibsons. Here is a 1984 Gibson Les Paul Custom he’s had since the mid-’90s. The only thing he’s done to the guitar was swap in Tom Anderson H3 (bridge) and H1 (neck) humbuckers to match the sound Billy achieved on APC’s recordings. Following suit even further, Iha tunes this LP to C# and uses a custom set of Ernie Ball Slinkys (.056–.044–.032–.020P–.017–.012) that Billy came up with. He prefers to play with Jim Dunlop Tortex .73 mm picks.
Back for his second Rig Rundown is bassist Matt McJunkins (check out our Eagles of Death Metal episode where Matt shows off some different gear. Link: https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/23198-rig-rundown-eagles-of-death-metal) who is still favoring Fender P basses. During his time in EODM, he rolled with a 2010 Fender American Deluxe Precision bass, but he recent upgraded to a new go-to—a 2017 Fender American Elite P. He rocks Ernie Ball Power Slinkys .055–.110 and Jim Dunlop Tortex .88 mm picks.
This is Billy Howerdel’s main squeeze—a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Classic Reissue that is actually two guitars he put together from his days as Trent Reznor’s tech for Nine Inch Nails. The guitar has been upgraded with Tom Anderson H3 (bridge) and H1 (neck) humbuckers, is tuned to C#, and has a custom set of Ernie Ball Slinkys (.056–.044–.032–.020P–.017–.012). All of his guitars, including this beast, has an added cap so when he rolls off the volume he doesn’t lose any of the guitar’s tone.