Before Manchester Orchestra’s headlining Sunday night show at the prestigious Ryman Auditorium, PG’s Chris Kies swooped in to hang with guitarist Robert McDowell who showed off his meat-and-potatoes setup (and guitarist/vocalist Andy Hull’s gear), while bassist Andy Prince explained his move towards an all-tube amp sound that pushed him away from low-end-sucking pedals.
Guitarist Robert McDowell’s main squeeze for the last few years has been the “Sheriff”—a Fender ’72 Telecaster Deluxe reissue. It originally belonged to bandmate Andy Hull, but McDowell really gravitated towards it at the same time Hull was falling out of love with it. Both Robert and Andy use Ernie Ball Power Slinky .011–.048 strings.
At first glance, Andy Hull’s longtime No. 1 (a Fender Telecaster) has nothing going on in it, but it does have a single Seymour Duncan Little ’59 Tele bridge pickup. All the other wiring, switches, and pots have been removed so the signal is as pure as possible. And for what it’s worth, Hull has said that the surgery has resulted in making the Tele 25 percent louder.
Bassist Andy Prince’s longtime go-to is this custom-built P that centers around a lighter body from the ’80s and ’50s-style P neck. The vibrant red color and anodized-gold pickguard are a nod to his grandfather’s favorite instrument. The 4-string is loaded with a set of Seymour Duncan Basslines SPB-3 Quarter Pound P pickups.