SOULMOTOR - Revolution Calling!
By Martin Popoff

Soulmotor are a stomping, slightly industrialized low-frequency power trio situation out of Northern California, now onto their second album (a follow-up to '99's self-titled), called Revolution Wheel. The Northern California home is no coincidence, the band featuring Tesla's Brian Wheat on bass and keyboards, with the record's drum attack being provided by Tesla's Troy Luccketta. On (very versatile) vocals we've got Darin Wood, and on guitars, Tommy McClendon, who did an album and a half with UFO, his bass player, none other than Paul Gray of The Damned!

It is with Tommy that Hardradio spoke, the axeman giving us a quick tour of the album and a few words on band plans. "For me this one's a step in a heavier direction, but it's a natural progression," begins McClendon. "It's just more what I wanted to do it and I think all of us wanted to focus on exactly what Soulmotor was all about. I think we did exactly what we wanted to do this time."

Heavier indeed. A sediment sentiment that emanates forth from the pervasive down-tuning of the album. "For sure," agrees Tommy. "First of all, everything is tuned down a whole step. And then the low strings are tuned down another whole step in pitch. For example, a low C tuning... so if you play a D chord shape on the guitar it's like a C chord. That's only one of the aspects. Another thing is that I do a lot of unison strings, meaning like a couple of the strings are the same pitch so you get like a 12 string effect on certain strings, like a chimey sound. I used that a couple of times. And I have another tuning. So I have like four different tuning on the record. One I call the Omega Son tuning, which I used on the first record on a song called that. So this involves regular guitars, like six strings, and seven strings as well. I use Baker and ESP seven strings. The album as a whole is a little industrial. I've always liked synthesizers and stuff; I've always use synthesizers in solo things I've done experimenting by myself. I like incorporating that. And I think it helped create the vibe we were after. Musically, being the guitar player and the note assembler, I'm pretty involved in the writing. But I would say it depends on the songs. It's split three ways, but we let get into the lyrics and if here and there we think Darin needs a little help, we give him little tips. Brian, being the producer/ear, he'll also create riffs. So I'll take those riffs and turn them into chords."

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