The ZAVALAZ tour with Dot Hacker just wrapped after two weeks of shows, and I just wanted to thank everyone who came out to see us perform during this California run. It was very exciting for us to play unreleased music to fans who had only heard about the tour via social media. The support we got from the new ZAVALAZ fans, hardcore Mars Volta fans, Dot Hacker fans, and PedalsAndEffects fans made it a very special experience for both bands, and we’re hoping to bring this lineup to the East Coast and other parts of the world very soon.
From the get go, both bands jumped on the tour bus with jokes and laughs. Even though we already knew each other well, I think you get to see how people really are when tossed together in such close quarters. Clint Walsh, guitarist for Dot Hacker, is hilarious and is a virtual encyclopedia of film and TV music knowledge; he can tell you what songs are on just about any soundtrack. Cedric, on the other hand, has always been the funniest guy on tour and that title still holds true. He had the entire bus in tears so many times, and if it wasn’t for his French accents, I don’t know if we could have made it through all the downtime during the tour.
I have to thank Ampeg for supplying our band with not only the best bass amplification, but also hooking up Cedric Bixler and Dan Elkan with guitar amps! The new Ampeg GVT52-212 Guitar Combo sounded great throughout the whole tour, and was the best choice for both guys. Cedric ran acoustic, electric and 12 string guitars with one Ampeg GVT52-212 without any problem because of how versatile the different channels were. Dan not only used multiple guitars, but also ran a pretty sizable pedalboard and the Ampeg GVT52-212 Guitar Combo held up to the challenge!
The bass amplifiers used on this tour were Ampeg’s new PF-800 bass amplifiers through a 2×10 and 1×15 cabinet. Jonathan Hischke and I both used this rig (it saved a ton of space on stage and in the trailer) and we both were able to get a lot of wild sounds out of them. Whether it was Jonathan running heavy fuzz and sub bass lines, or me running glitchy noise or heavy tremolo’d soundscapes, the PF-800’s stood strong. Once again, Ampeg never fails to be the best amplifier for bass and effected bass.
ZAVALAZ would also like to thank Earthquaker Devices for supplying us with some of their pedals. The Rainbow Machine, Dispatch Master, Sea Machine, and Disaster Transport were already on some of our pedalboards before the tour, but once we got the box of pedals in San Francisco, everyone had a Rainbow Machine at their feet. A big part of the sound coming through the PA at these shows was inspired by Earthquaker Devices.
With such heavy support from awesome companies like Ampeg and Earthquaker Devices, the loyal fans, and the bands we played with, ZAVALAZ had a great first tour and look forward to what lies ahead. We’re in the midst of mixing our first album and are excited for its release, and hope to play in your town someday soon!