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My Gear: Declan Martens [Amyl and The Sniffers]

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Amyl and the Sniffers are well on the way to joining a select group of Aussie rockers who’s making a big global impact with their ugly whatever-comes punk rock aesthetic. If AC/DC and The Stooges had dinner with Dolly Parton, Amyl and the Sniffers would be the ones coming over to cook for them and give them all a proper mullet. Declan from the Sniffers gave us a little insight into their sound and gear:

What do you attribute the sound of Amyl and The Sniffers? How has it evolved?

Probably a bit of Motörhead I guess, when I think of what we sound like it’s a bit like Motörhead with Wendy O Williams singing and some punk influence. We started out a bit garage sounding because I didn’t have anything to make enough distortion .

What pieces of gear are essential to the Amyl and The Sniffers sound? Do you gravitate towards single bits of gear for long periods of time (why/why not)?

Yeah, I’ve got a Stratocaster with a humbucker in the bridge and now these Blackstar amps, (HT-Stage 100 MK2) getting all my dirt from the amp. I just have a delay pedal and a boost solo for leads. I’ve been running three pedals on board for nearly 2 years now probably which is a long time considering we’ve only been a band three and a half years. 

How does your live rig differ from your what you use in the studio? 

The studio we recorded the album at had a couple of extra amps that I wouldn’t normally use, but apart from that, it’s all the same, proudly. We put my guitar through a synthesiser at one point to get cool noises. But other than that, all those tracks were my live setup.

My Gear Amyl and The Sniffers

Do you hoard gear, is there an emotional connection to some instruments/music technology or hardware?

I absolutely love my boost pedal, it’s irreplaceable because it was made from a kit and it’s second hand and I have no clue what is inside it, I would jump in front of a bullet for that pedal. But in terms of hoarding not really, to be honest, I’ve not ever had enough money to afford new pedals or amps, and there’s nothing better than having a bit of extra cash after offloading some gear.

If you could create your ultimate instrument or piece of music gear, what would it be what would it do, how would it work? 

I’ve got no clue, I think all the best instruments are invented already, maybe a guitar that I could ride like a skateboard home, that’s probably already out there though right? 

Who would be one artist/producer you haven’t worked with (alive or dead) that you’d love to work with and why?

Rick Rubin seems to have the Midas touch with bands, so maybe if I wanted to retire at 30 he’d be good to work with. George Young and Harry Vanda are cool too, they’ve produced and written some of my favourite Australian albums and probably have some really cool stories! 

Amy and the Sniffers are on tour in the UK and check ‘em out during summer in Australia: 

UK shows: 

Nov 30    Club Ifor Bach – Cardiff – SOLD OUT 

Dec 1      Gorilla – Manchester – SOLD OUT 

Dec 2      The Garage – Glasgow – Selling Fast 

Dec 3      Hare and Hounds – Birmingham – SOLD OUT 

Dec 5      Underworld – London – SOLD OUT 

Dec 6      Studio 9294 – London – Selling Fast ( 3rd and final show)  

Dec 7      Studio 9294 – London – SOLD OUT 

Australia 

Dec 13   Festival Of The Sun – Port Macquarie 

Dec 14   Meredith Music Festival – Meredith Victoria 

Dec 30   Falls Festival – Marion Bay Tasmania 

Dec 31   Falls Festival – Lorne Victoria 

Jan 1     Falls Festival – Byron Bay NSW 

Jan 5     Falls Festival – Fremantle WA 

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