Queens of the Stone Age are on an epic international tour and FOH engineer Jay Rigby (The War on Drugs, The 1975, Cage The Elephant) has specified a Solid State Logic L500 console supplied by Eighth Day Sound.
The most recent QOTSA tour started last June with an SSL L500 console already specified. Rigby and the monitor engineer Francois Pare joined the tour in April this year, and Rigby decided to stick with the SSL console. “I haven’t looked back,” he says. “I absolutely love it.”
Choosing to start from scratch rather than try to adapt himself to the previous set-up, Rigby used multitracks from earlier shows to build a new show file. “I was able to go into the Eighth Day Sound warehouse and prepare as much as possible.
“The first show I did with Queens of the Stone Age, and the first time I met the band, was headlining at a festival in Mexico in front of 50,000 people.”
Rigby describes the Queens of the Stone Age set up as a standard rock band, with drums, bass, three guitars (including lead vocalist Josh Homme), and keyboards. The drum kit does use some triggers, but there are absolutely no tracks, clicks or anything else that might limit the band’s choices once on stage. “With these guys, you’re hanging on by the seat of your pants,” says Rigby. “You never know what’s going to happen; you get the set list five minutes before the show starts, and that can change at any time during the show.”
The biggest challenge – and pleasure – of the tour might be the band’s signature sound. The three guitars come together in what Rigby describes as a ‘mid-range, gnarly sound’ that in most contexts shouldn’t work. “The first thing most people would do is start pulling that mid-range out and try to smooth it off,” he says. “But the first thing Josh said to me was “embrace the mid-range and really get it out there.” I am pushing and pulling the mix the entire time during a show, bringing it together into a crazy wall of sound. This console lends itself to that – I have everything at my fingertips.”