Features One Question Interviews What's That Noise? The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

What's That Noise?

One Question Interviews: The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

James Woodard (The Grasshopper Lies Heavy – guitar)

SPB: I have two #1 guitars; one for stage; and one that stays home for recording and practice.

Woodward: My old #1 is my 1982 Gibson Les Paul Standard in a tobacco burst finish. It came into a guitar store I worked at about a decade ago and instantly knew I had to have it. When you work in a guitar shop, you get to try out a lot of guitars day to day, and some of them have an intangible quality to them that makes them special. Well, this one's got it. It's such a great instrument, and I've written a ton of music on it and have played countless gigs with it. I've even used it as a weapon once or twice.

It's been gigged and toured with a ton, and I am pretty aggressive when I play live, so this guitar has a lot of scars from being either thrown into the drums or the crowd, or stuck into the ceiling at venues. One of the knobs is missing. It broke off at some point and I never replaced it because no one needs tone knobs. In terms of hardware it's all stock. It just sounds perfect through my old Marshall heads. It's truly The Sound Of Rock And Roll™.

That being said, I don't gig with this guitar anymore. It's become too sentimental to me, and I would hate having it stolen on tour. Plus, the value of these old Gibsons has skyrocketed, so it stays home.

My "new" #1 is an Electric Guitar Company TB1000 I bought from a friend secondhand. It's an aluminum neck-thru design with a clear acrylic body. It's got a woodgrain formica pickguard, which is a nod to the original acrylic Dan Armstrong guitars, but has the classic Travis Bean TB1000 body style. It's heavy and very angry, like me. And because of its materials, it can take a lot of abuse. It's been with me on several US tours and one Japan tour at this point. On the first night of the Japan tour I threw it across the stage and broke two tuning pegs (basically the only parts you can break on the thing). That experience made for a great manic scavenger hunt across Tokyo to find tuning pegs before the gig the next day. All the knobs are long gone, and one of the potentiometers has been snapped off at the base. I purposefully removed the switch tips on both guitars to ensure that I don't accidentally switch pickups while playing.

The EGC is a fantastic instrument; the neck is incredibly thin, the body balances perfectly (because of its absurd weight, which I enjoy), and its voicing is so pissed off. It's like someone took an old Les Paul and turned it up to 11. It has a bit more tonal bandwidth as my LP; more biting highs and deep lows. With a fresh set of strings, it’s chimey, chorus-y, piano-like qualities come through and the tone is very clear and cutting. The ultra-thin neck took a while to get used to, and I found it very hard to see the fret markers on the metal neck on dark stages so I had to put dummy markers on it until I got completely comfortable with the neck, but it's just a magical instrument and I love playing it. It also simply looks amazing; I think it's a gorgeous guitar. 

The Grasshopper Lies Heavy - What's That Noise? (6 photos)


Words by Loren on Jan. 11, 2021, 8:45 p.m.

KFAI - Undead
Leave a comment
The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

Posted by Loren on Jan. 11, 2021, 8:45 p.m.

Share this content
Related news

Records New from The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

Posted May 27, 2021, 6:10 p.m.

Post-hardcore band The Grasshopper Lies Heavy have shared a new song, "The Act of Buying Groceries" from a new album -- which we'll get on July 16 via Learning Curve ...

Labels The Grasshopper Lies Heavy ink with Learning Curve

Posted June 23, 2014, 8:59 p.m.

San Antonio, TX band The Grasshopper Lies Heavy will release their next record on Learning Curve Records. On July 8 the band will officially release All Sadness, Grinning Into Flow ...

KFAI - Root Of All Evil

Series: What's That Noise?

One-question interviews with artists where we find out about the gear and equipment they use to achieve their sound.

More like this


One Question Interviews Dead

Posted May 26, 2021, 7:53 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Jace (DEAD – bass) SPB: What type of bass do you play and how did you choose it? Jace: For live shows I have 2 Fender ...

Broken Record

One Question Interviews Broken Record

Posted May 19, 2021, 9:39 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Lauren (Broken Record) SPB: What is your guitar/amp combo and how did you choose it? Lauren says:

Black Sheep Wall

One Question Interviews Black Sheep Wall

Posted April 12, 2021, 8:30 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Scott Turner (Black Sheep Wall) SPB: What’s the most MacGyver-esque workaround you’ve made to connect different bits of equipment? Turner: Using a $5 ...


One Question Interviews Ploho

Posted April 7, 2021, 8:39 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Igor Starshinov (Ploho) SPB: What make/model of synth did you primarily use on the new record? How did you choose this model? Starshinov: We ...

Pinned in Place

One Question Interviews Pinned in Place

Posted April 2, 2021, 5:31 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Sean Arenas (Pinned in Place – guitar) SPB: What guitar do you play (and how did you choose it)? Arenas: I've only ever owned one ...


One Question Interviews Vincas

Posted March 31, 2021, 8:17 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Gene Woolfolk III (Vincas - guitar) SPB: What type of guitar do you play for live gigs and how/why did you choose it? Woolfolk: I ...


One Question Interviews Bummer

Posted March 22, 2021, 7:08 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Matt P. (Bummer) What is your amp setup and how did you choose to pair that with your guitar? Matt says:


One Question Interviews Kaada

Posted March 5, 2021, 6:43 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Kaada SPB: For Misinterpretations, you used a grand piano that was (as I understand it) modified with something called Putty Kit, which leads to a ...


One Question Interviews Hiram-Maxim

Posted March 4, 2021, 8:20 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Fred Gunn (Hiram-Maxim – vocals) SPB: From when you were starting out to now, what parts of your setup have really helped voice your sound over ...

Mikey Erg

One Question Interviews Mikey Erg

Posted March 2, 2021, 8:45 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Mikey Erg SPB: Walk our readers through your kit and offer insight as to how you arrived at your sizes (shells and cymbals)?  Mikey: My ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.