Satchel on using plugins instead of ‘real’ amps for his solos on Steel Panther’s new album

“I don’t think people can tell the difference.”

Satchel of Steel Panther

Image: Neil Lupin / Getty Images

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Satchel has opened up about using plugins instead of ‘real’ amps for a good number of his guitar solos on Steel Panther’s latest album On The Prowl.

The guitarist was speaking on the June issue of Guitar World, where he explained the decision to shift away from the EVH 5150 heads he typically uses when recording solos on the band’s record this time.

“For leads, a lot of the time it wasn’t a real amp — there’s no need,” Satchel said. “I don’t think people can tell the difference, plus you can always change your tone later if you want, so I used the Neural DSP [Archetype] Gojira plugin. But I like to commit to sounds, too. I still use the second and third versions of the 5150s — they’ve been on every record, particularly for rhythms.”

He added that a focus on music writing is more important than obsession over tech, saying: “Guitar players by nature are gearheads – which is actually dangerous. It’s better paying more attention to being musical. If you keep fucking around, you won’t write a song, let alone a record. And if you don’t write a record, you can’t have any solos!”

More importantly, Satchel said that he doesn’t care about ‘impressing other players’, a sentiment that certainly helps given how divided the rock community is when it comes to the use of modellers over the traditional amp.

“I don’t care about impressing other guitar players,” the rocker said. “Because they’re so fuckin’ hard to please anyway, especially with all those 6-year-olds shredding on Instagram.”

Instead, Satchel defers to the wisdom of ZZ Top frontman and guitar legend Billy Gibbons: “I remember Billy Gibbons saying something, back before I was born, when he was probably 100,” Satchel recalled.

“He said… ‘When I practice, I practice sounding the way I want to sound.’ That makes sense to me.”

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