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Papa Roach Guitarist Jerry Horton Offers Road Survival Tips

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Papa Roach surpassed the decade mark a while ago, and they’ve spent a lot of that time on the road. As the band loaded up to take part in the Carnival of Madness tour, Papa Roach guitarist Jerry Horton talked gear with Music Radar and shared some tips for surviving on the road.

Horton went over the top ten rules that he said helped keep them all sane and contributed to the band’s success. The first rule helped the band book shows they knew would do well in areas that they’d never been to before. They just traded shows with other bands. They found bands in southern California that were doing as well as they were, and then offered to book that band a show in Papa Roach’s hometown. Soon, they were playing at famous L.A. clubs like the Troubadour.

One of Horton’s tips suggested finding a fan to join the road crew. The Papa Roach lead guitarist also stressed the importance of paying attention to band and personal finances. “So we do whatever the budget permits. But at this point we’re focused on actually coming back with money from a tour,” he said. “We used to not be worried about it — and that came back to bite us in the ass later on.”

Several of Horton’s tips focused on gear. First off, he said it’s important to know how the gear being used sounds before committing to use it on tour. He was playing at home with a Fractal Axe-FX preamp, and really liked it. But the first time he played it live with the band, it wasn’t getting the sound he needed. So he had to rely solely on his backup.

The guitarist also advised other musicians to keep their rig simple. If the rig’s too complicated, he said a small problem could be more difficult to find and fix. As for guitars, he’s been playing his signature Schecters. Lately, he said, the band’s been playing fewer different tunings, sticking to drop-C and drop-C#. And Horton mentioned how important it is to bring backups, because something bad is bound to happen. “It’s not a question of ‘if’, it’s only a matter of ‘when’, so don’t get stuck,” said Horton.

To read the full article with all of Horton’s tips, check out Music Radar.

Next: 10 Gear Choices You Shouldn't Skimp On

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