Chris Shiflett on his decision to switch to amp modellers: “Having the Iridium, it’s like your amp is beamed into your brain”

Shiflett has been using the Strymon Iridium for his smaller solo shows, and it seems he’s well and truly sold…

Chris Shiflett on stage with a Telecaster in hand. He is smiling and singing into a mic.

Images: Jim Bennett / Getty

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Chris Shiflett says he’s gone to “the dark side” and he’s not coming back, and by the dark side he means the land of amp modellers.

Shiflett, who’s recently been on the road in support of his latest solo album, Lost At Sea, says he’s been using the Strymon Iridium in place of his usual choice of tube amplifiers. Though he still opts for the more classic amp setup when on stage with the Foo Fighters, it seems he’s not going back when it comes to his smaller solo shows.

During an appearance on The Zak Kuhn Show, Shiflett says (via Ultimate Guitar):“I had some people build me an Ableton Rig for live, because I got to do proper solo shows — just me with an acoustic guitar — from time to time. I was getting a little bored with those because I can’t really play guitar solos and stuff, so I just wanted to have something to play against.

“So, we stemmed out all of my records and loaded this thing up. I was just messing with it at my studio, thinking, ‘What can I use from my records to play against?’, trying to figure out a way to make that cool and work.”

He adds, “There were some times [when] my bass player was busy with something else, and me and the drummer would rehearse. We’d be like, ‘Let’s just turn on the track rig, and see how [it goes].’ And then, I was in the middle of doing shows in December, and my bass player and my pedal steel player both got COVID-19. Halfway through the shows, I lost half the band, so we just jumped into it, and went, ‘Well, this wasn’t exactly what we planned on doing’, but you either cancel the shows or figure it out real quick. So we just did it.

“After a couple of shows, I was like, ‘You know what? If I’m already on the in-ears, and I’ve got to be on the click with the Ableton, let’s see how this works. And we don’t have a bassist on stage or a pedal steel player, so let’s see how it works if I don’t have an amp.’”

He later explains that when playing smaller venues, his amp never sounded great in his in-ears. The Iridium changed this for good: “Having the Iridium, it’s like your amp is beamed into your brain [laughs]. It’s so good! I went to the dark side, and I’m not coming back, man. On a van tour, it’s [also] nice to have that extra space.”

Catch Chris Shiflett live this September, or find out where the Foo Fighters are heading next.

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