Colin Shore is the guitarist of Albany-based band Mister F, which is currently on hiatus. Anyone who has ever seen Colin play knows that he is one of the most impressive guitarists on the scene, able to bust out ripping guitar solos and add interesting textures during jams. I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with him and Mister F a couple months back and I was just in awe the whole time by how tight his playing is.

Check out Mister F’s Disc Jam set from last year, video courtesy of  mkDevo. You can catch Colin playing with Adrian Tramontano & Chris DeAngelis of Kung Fu and Rob Compa of Dopapod at Grizzly’s in Stratton, VT at the Adrian Tramontano & Friends after- party for Twiddle’s March 10th show.

Guitar

2014 Paul Reed Smith Custom 24

Colin on his PRS, “It’s my favorite guitar in the world, and it just gets me. It’s lightweight, plays incredibly well and sounds great. It has the 59/09 pickups which are nice and versatile to cover the higher gain stuff I occasionally play, but also sound defined and transparent clean. The guitar has one F-hole and the other side of the guitar is solid. I like that compromise and what it does for my tone and the weight of the guitar. I have my guitars set up by Nesto from Nesto Guitars. He does incredible work. Recently Justin from Mungion played my guitar and told me I was “cheating,” which I think is a great reference for how well it plays.”

Amp

Dr. Z Z-Lux (w/ 4 6V6’s for power, and 4 12AX7’s for preamp)

Pedalboard

Signal Chain- Fulltone Clyde > TC PolyTune Mini > Xotic EP Booster > Wampler Ego Compressor > EHX POG2 > Strymon Mobius (1) > Coppersound Klone > Wampler Dual Fusion > Hardwire Valve Distortion > Strymon Mobius (2) > MXR Carbon Copy > DOD Rubberneck > Empress Superdelay > Strymon Blue Sky

Interview Photo credit to Brian Ferguson of But I Was There photography.

Behind the Gear: What is the one pedal on your board you couldn’t live without?

Colin Shore: Tough question! I have a couple answers. The first one is that orange mystery box. I know it’s by a maker called Copper Sound but can’t find any info on the pedal beyond that. It’s a fantastic little klone type pedal. Some nights I treat it like a boost, other nights like its own drive. I also couldn’t live without my Strymon Mobius. It’s a powerhouse for all my tremolos, phasers, filters, etc. and exploring its many sounds is crucial to how I like to improvise.

BTG: When was the first time you were exposed to the world of effects pedals?

CS: When I was just 13 I remember wanting to be able to go from clean to dirty without having to press a button with my fingers. I got my hands on a loveably terrible Boss DS-1 and that kicked off my never ending search for good tone. I think I’m about halfway there, maybe.

BTG: Did you take any inspiration from some of your favorite artists when you were building your current board? Who are some of your inspirations as a guitar player?

CS: I mostly kind of winged it, with regards to my pedalboard. I think I have a relatively unique set up. There are some things I take from the classics, like having a couple of lower drive pedals combined with a compressor for a nice Trey sound, but for the most part I just focused on what I thought felt good.

My inspirations as a player are almost too long to list. The short list would include Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Jimmy Herring, Al Di Meola, Django Reinhardt, Jerry Garcia, Steve Vai, K.K. Slider, and Jerry Seinfeld. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few names as well. I have recently discovered a player named Nir Felder who I think is incredible and I hope to steal some licks from soon.

BTG: What goes through your mind when you’re deciding which effects to turn on while you’re playing?

CS: Great question! To me there are two answers to this question. First, when playing composed sections of songs, I like to be very consistent from night to night. Usually I know exactly what drives and effects are going to be played in which parts. I rarely break from what I have in mind, unless the room I’m playing in feels better with a different combination of sounds. When improvising, I love exploring different options. I love to improvise texturally, so my mind floats first to the delay and mod side of things. For textural playing I love to use a nice spacey echo, and often a warm sounding tremolo as well. A lot of the time, the name of the game is “can I make my guitar sound more like a keyboard” because I think a lot of us guitar players secretly wish we could sound like a Rhodes or an organ.

BTG: Who are some of your favorite contemporaries on the scene currently?

Because I just got off of Mungion tour, I feel compelled to mention Justin Reckamp. He is an incredible player! As far as other players currently on the scene, names that come to mind are Tim Palmieri, Rob Compa, Mike Gantzer and Mark Lettieri. Again, definitely forgetting to mention a few names.

BTG: What made you decide to stick with your Dr. Z Z-Lux?

CS: I had wanted a new amp for quite a while. I went into a guitar store with a ton of nice amps. I probably played through about twenty amps before I got to the Z-Lux. I remember once I started playing through it, I just stopped trying other amps and kept playing that one. It just sounded so good. Before I got that amp, people never really complimented my tone. Now they do. So that’s a good sign that I should probably stick with it. It’s got an amazing clean sound, a no-nonsense design and accommodates pedals very well. It also has this really cool boost that bypasses the tone stack when turned on. I leave it on always, which gives me the most amazing sound.

BTG: Are there any big changes to your rig planned for the future?

CS: Planned? No. But I have a horrible gear addiction, like most of us, and it’s hard for me to sit on the same set up for too long. I haven’t bought a new guitar in over 2 years, so that might be my next purchase. Nothing will ever replace my PRS Cu24, but it’s always fun to mess around with new things.