INTERVIEW: Steph Carter – The Ghost Riders in the Sky


INTERVIEW: Steph Carter – The Ghost Riders in the Sky

Catching up with the ex-Gallows man on life, music and amps.

What age did you first pick up the guitar?

I got my first guitar when I was 13. I fell in love with music and my Dad told me that if I wanted a guitar I’d need to learn to play the piano first. I spent my time grafting and manage to get Pachelbel’s Canon down and the rest is history…

If you weren’t playing music for a living, what would be your day job?

I actually run a Higher Education qualification in music and music technology at West Herts College in Watford. Aside from teaching I do a lot of studio recording and production work. If I’m not playing I’m constantly surrounding myself with music and musicians.

Who influenced you musically growing up?

My parents were big influences on me growing up and I guess my older brother. When it came to bands… A big one for me was Oasis. Growing up in the 90’s indie rock bands were the one. As I got more into music I developed a love for Mogwai, Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Sabbath.

How does your rig differ from being in the studio to being on the road?

In the studio I tend to use my JMP’s and just turn them up. Minimal pedals and a lot of volume. On the road I have an elaborate pedal board running in and out of the FX loop. I tend to blend multiple amps both in the studio and live, but recently I’ve been sticking to one amp at a time in the studio. Record multiple takes with different guitars and heads and layering them up.

Is there any riff or song you wish you had written?

Anything from dark side of the moon. Or Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath. Such an iconic riff!

What Marshall amps do you currently have, and what do you like most about them?

Currently I have a 2555X Silver Jubilee with a matching 2 x 12″ and I have two JMP’s with a 1960B cab. The first is a 1976 50 Watt MKII and the second is 1979 100 Watt MKII. Both JMP’s are Master Volume models. The ’76 is the first year production of the 50 Watt Master Volume MKII and, the ’79 is still wrapped in the original factory red tolex. The JMP’s are incredible! Complete workhorses and just full of that classic Marshall sound. As soon as they get above volume 5 they really open up. Being the older brother to the JCM800 they pack quite a punch and have so much clarity even when you’re maxing them out.

As much as I love the two single channel heads, the 2555X gives me an amazing clean sound and a very powerful drive that works for any genre! The dual channels and FX loop on the 2555X definitely give me more versatility when playing live. I used to have a 2553 small box Jubilee but I found it to be quite temperamental and a battle to use! This has been incredible straight out of the box.

Do you have any advice to a guitarist starting out?

Buy a Marshall. Turn it up. Riff.