Talking Gear with Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria

Asking Alexandria’s latest studio album, 2013’s “From Death to Destiny,” offers a heavy, duel-guitar mix of metal and hard rock. This summer, the U.K.-based group is taking songs off the Joey Sturgis-produced release to the main stage of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. The trek sees guitarists Ben Bruce and Cameron Liddell playing their signature Ibanez models, the BBM1 and CLM, through 120-watt Peavey 6534 amps.

While Bruce and Liddell provide most of the guitar fury in Asking Alexandria, vocalist Danny Worsnop also makes the guitar a significant part of his routine. Prior to a soundcheck on the road, Reverb.com sat down with Worsnop to discuss Mayhem, what makes a good rock song and the direction of Asking Alexandria’s new music.

Reverb: You recently started playing guitar live again with Asking Alexandria, right?

Danny Worsnop: Yes, I have! I pulled my ol’ six-string.

R: What’s Asking Alexandria’s onstage setup?

DW: Amp-wise, I’m personally a Marshall guy, but I also love EVH. Live, we actually usually use a Peavey 6534 Plus Head and a Peavey cab.

R: How about guitars?

The guys have custom Ibanez guitars, and I play an ESP right now, but I might start whipping out a Taylor. I personally don’t use a pedalboard. I like to plug right in and keep it real!

R: Mayhem is such an intense tour. Bands play more than two dozen shows across the U.S. in five weeks. How are you guys holding up?

DW: Really well! It’s very intense, but compared to a lot of the other tours we’ve been on, it’s almost like a vacation, because of the people. We’re with our friends, and then we play for 35 minutes, and then we go back to hanging out with our buddies. It’s different from other tours we’ve done in that there are never usually this many bands on our tours, and we aren’t headlining. It’s all outside, which is nice.

Asking Alexandria performing live in Europe, 2013

R: What special complications arise from the shows being outdoors?

DW: It’s definitely nice doing indoor shows, because we have all our fireworks and more control and all that good stuff. Outdoor sound is temperamental, because of wind and other factors that are out of our control. But outside, we can fit a whole lot more people, and I enjoy that. Playing to 8,000 people is all fun and games, but when you’re playing to 18,000, that’s awesome.

R: “From Death to Destiny” is a more focused and mature album than previous Asking Alexandria releases.

DW: It was about us maturing musically as songwriters. It was the first step in the direction of where Asking Alexandria are going. We’re working on new music right now, as well, and it’s definitely more refined but still a similar sound for Asking Alexandria. We structure professional songs now; good songs. The other thing is we’re exploring. I think we have come to the point of making music that represents us as opposed to music that people want us to sound like. There’s definitely more rock ‘n’ roll in there, which I love. It’s honest music.

R: How do you use the guitar for songwriting?

DW: It’s usually just me and an acoustic, or I’ll run through a Vox AC30 with one of my electrics.

R: What makes a good rock song?

DW: A good rock song should make someone want to do something enough to the point that they just do it. A good rock song moves you in some direction.

R: What’s your gear that got away story?

DW: I don’t know where my Les Paul is right now! (Laughs) I think it was taken by a friend, who will remain unnamed, and he was keeping it in storage for me. He brought back all of my guitars, except that one! Hmmm.

R: Do you have any tone tips for our readers?

DW: Play around with it for your entire life and never actually be happy with your tone. Or, pretend to be happy with your tone at one point in your life, but then, find another approach and never be satisfied. Nobody can ever be satisfied with their tone. It can always be better.

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