Rig Report

Billy Duffy

Billy Duffy of the Cult has one of the most unique and recognizable signature tones in the world-- Tone Report looks at the tools he uses to get it.

  • By Sarah FitzGerald @tonereport
  • December 20, 2013

As an army brat growing up in the 80s, my exposure to music was limited to whatever my older brothers were listening to. This meant earfuls of Journey, Rush, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Triumph, Def Leppard—my musical education started someplace between stadium rock and NWOBHM. It wasn’t radio that liberated me from my brothers’ taste in music—it was MTV. I spent nearly every Saturday night staying up late to watch Headbanger’s Ball—which is where I was first saw the Cult’s video for “Fire Woman” and was introduced, fatefully, to Billy Duffy (another of my favorite unassuming-guitar-heroes).

Based on the sizzling tunes off of Sonic Temple, I assumed the Cult was your garden-variety killer hard rock band (there were a bunch in those days, after all- or so it appeared to me as I was reading Metal Edge and Kerrang!)—but once I began to dig deep into their catalogue, I was amazed at the diversity and versatility the band showed throughout their career (and continue to show). From post-punk to goth to 80s alternative to bluesy hard rock to metal, Billy and the boys have done it all and done it well—with Duffy in particular making some inspired gear-choices along the way. Today, we’re looking at the tools that have allowed Billy Duffy to blaze his own sonic trail…

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