Booze, Babes, and Bad Guys - EMusician

Booze, Babes, and Bad Guys

LOCATION: “BFE,” AR KEY CREW: Riggs
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CONSOLES: Digidesign Digi 002 control surface; Mackie 1202-VLZ Pro

INTERFACES: Digidesign Digi 002 Rack

COMPUTERS: Macintosh G4, G5 Quad

SOFTWARE: Digidesign Pro Tools LE 7, Producer Pro plug-ins, Bomb Factory plug-ins; Waves Diamond Bundle

RECORDERS: Alesis HD24

MONITORING: Event 20/20

MICS: Audix i5 (4), OM5, OM6; Neumann TLM 49; Shure KSM44 (2), SM57 (4)

OUTBOARD: Chameleon Labs CPS-1; Palmer PGA-04 ADIG-LB

INSTRUMENTS: ESP Explorer w/ EMG pickups; Fernandes Vertigos w/ Bill Lawrence hand-made Keystone pickups, Seymour Duncan Full Shred pickups, Invader pickups (5); Custom-made blood-filled guitar, Custom-made human skin guitar; Korg Trinity; Warwick 5-string thumb, 5-string Corvette $$ (Double Buck)

AMPLIFICATION: Ampeg SVT-5 Pro w/ 8x10 cabinet; Diezel VH4; Line 6 Spider III; Marshall G100R CD; Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier; Randall Isolation Cabinet

NOTES: You know the old saying—you just can’t judge a corpse by its coffin. And the same goes for home studios. Sure, great gear that costs a ghastly amount of money is always nice to have (and it certainly won’t hurt your sound to have a big old SSL console to mix on), but you can do a whole lot with very little these days.

Scum of the Earth frontman Riggs knows this all too well. The former Rob Zombie guitarist is no stranger to spending hours and fortunes in sterile professional recording facilities, and doing such left him with a bad taste in his mouth. “I’ve been in studios where we’d spend $3,000 a day to have 20 engineers and a bunch of people running around serving coffee and donuts,” the grisly guitar ghoul says. “It can be completely ridiculous and uninspiring.” In order to write and record songs such as “Bombshell from Hell,” “Macabro Expectaculo,” and “Corpse Grinders” for his latest album Sleaze Freaks, the vocalist/guitarist/producer needed an environment that would exhume and exude inspiration everywhere he looked.

Enter Riggs’ modest personal project studio—a place where his blood-spewing and skin-covered guitars can be wielded to execute tracks of decapitating solos just as soon as they pop into his head. Appropriately decorated with monsters and other macabre accents, this little shop of horrors is fully customized to meet the rigorous demands of a rock legend (Riggs is quick to point out that “the most important part of the whole studio is the Jagermeister tap machine”). With all this motivation at his disposal, Riggs recorded everything on his newest release (except the drums) entirely into his Pro Tools LE system whenever he felt most possessed.

Riggs’ home recording philosophy is, to say the least, simple and pragmatic. “Home studios are popping up all over the place. Anyone with a couple of bucks can throw one together,” he says. “I can’t even tell the difference anymore between something that was recorded in an expensive studio and something done in somebody’s bedroom. That’s what prompted me to put together this little place. I figured that I might as well build my own studio for the day when the record companies die and turn to dust. That was just a few years ago. I can’t help but think that I made the right choice.”

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