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Review Zoo catch up with Danny Lambert, Guitar Tech for, Phil Anselmo, Paradise Lost, Shed Seven...

Hi Danny, Welcome to Review Zoo

Hi Lee. Thanks for asking me about all this. It’s always good to let people know about what we do in the shadows!!

N.B As I write this I am stuck in a hotel in Paris after a show in Zagreb last night and today 2 cancelled flights!!

What got you into Guitar Teching?

I was asked by a close friend of mine called Milly ( who was already working for Paradise Lost and now works with Ghost and Opeth ) to help him as an extra pair of hands with a show for Paradise Lost at Koko in London as they were filming for a dvd release. April 2007.

I turned up at the arranged meet in Bradford and got on a very shiny and very daunting looking tour bus bound for London and met all the band.

As I had known Milly for several years by this point and we had played in a band together, he knew I could set up a show and string a guitar so he asked me to look after stage left bass and rhythm guitar.

All went well, gig was good, no disasters, everyone left stage with all their fingers and toes and the band were happy.

I thought that would be the end of it, great experience and a story for the pub!

Then 2 weeks or so later, the band’s management called me and said Milly was unable to do the next show and would I be available to do it. I immediately said yes without asking any questions then found out it was a show in a football arena in Casablanca to 10000 fans.

It was a baptism by fire, I was utterly terrified all day but I looked after the whole band, 2 guitarists ( one left handed ) bass, vocals, drums and tracks. The gig went without a hitch except I missed replacing the flat battery in the eBow used on one song. Still kick myself about that!!

Then I was asked a month later to do the Paradise Lost Europe tour for the In Requiem album ( which I did ) and now 16 years later I’m still here!!

What does your average day look like as a Guitar Tech?

Are you ready……..

That depends on if it’s a bus show or flying show. Let’s talk bus show.

If it’s a bus show we usually load in anywhere between 8am and 1pm depending on the band, size of venue and size of production. Smaller gigs are a tour bus and trailer so we all muck in to crack the trailer and load in with a few local stage hands. If it’s a bigger gig where we are on a bus and the gear is on trucks then we start set up once the much larger local crew have loaded in all the gear.

Then I build camp X-ray ( my guitar world ) and get the instruments into the rack to acclimate to the room. Then I set up the backline to the bands specs, then restring and check setups and intonations on all the guitars and basses. Then once everything is cabled and the drums are built we line check everything to make sure FoH are getting what they need and I do a rough monitor mix for both wedges and in ears.

Then there is a few hours before soundcheck so that’s the time to grab some lunch somewhere, cheeky beer, buy new socks or whatever you have run out of or left in the last venue!!

Then sound check with the band, make sure they are happy with everything then pull the pedalboards back onto the risers so the support bands can set up and cover the drums / amps in black shroud.

Then, if there is no tour catering on smaller tours, we all decide where to get dinner before doors, this usually takes about 30 mins to decide (as it’s a too many cooks situation! ) or I just get bored and wander off on my own!!

Then we are all back to the venue just after doors.

Once the last support band goes on I start my ritual. I pull all the guitar and IEM packs and wireless mics and check / test all the batteries. I won’t send a pack out with less that 80% in it. Then I go through all the guitars and basses one by one and tune / stretch / tune so everything in spot on in tune.

Then I prep my setlists, towels and stage drinks.

Then I put my inears in and it’s time for changeover.

First 5-10 mins of change over is the support bands clearing the stage, then it’s simply a case of going through every single line to make sure FoH is getting what they got during soundcheck across all instruments so every drum, amp and mic on the stage. The old “ 1-2-1-2”, then put out setlists, water, beer , towels

Then the band come on to ruin everyone’s night haha! During the gig I’m keeping an eye on all the band members for what they need like monitor tweeks, more drinks, getting rid of photographers from the pit etc and just basically acting as band conduit and security at the same time.

Then after the band finish we give out the setlists, picks etc to the people screaming for them then start the pack up. Clean all the guitars, pack up all the cables and amps and everything then get everything back in its cases ( this whole pack down takes up to 2 hours depending on the size of the gig / production )

Then either we load the bus trailer on the smaller shows or crew load the trucks.

Then I go back to the bus to get my bag, shower and get clean, put on my pink flip flops then get a drink and go back to the bus.

I like to sit upstairs at the front of the bus as we leave a city to watch it go by.

And repeat.

Which bands/Artists have you teched for?

Paradise Lost

Tom Grennan

Shed Seven

Phillip H Anselmo and the Illegals



Barns Courtney

My Dying Bride

John Grant

Fireball Ministry



Mayday Parade



Palaye Royal

Send More Paramedics


Wednesday 13

What do you enjoy most about being a Guitar Tech?

I am very proud that I make a show happen. This is what I do. Whatever calamity may occur ( and they do ) as long as I have breath in my body, the show will go on!

I am employed by the artist to make it happen and come hell or high water it will always happen.

I also love being a ghost. That suits my personality perfectly, I am a very private person, I have zero social media and I just get on with the important job of existing!

If I can go to a random country and make a gig happen then leave and no one knows I am there then I have done my job.

What does accommodation look like when you’re on tour? Is a tour bus your home for the tour or do you stay in hotels, and how is tour life?

Much like the “day in a life” it depends on the tour. If it’s a bus tour then you essentially get a coffin on a coach for several weeks and hotels on days off. If it’s a flying show you fly out on day 1, gig on day 2 and home on day 3 so 2 nights in a hotel.

The bigger the band the better the accommodation generally!

Do you get to see much of the countries you visit while touring?

Only on days off. If it’s a show day you see a car park, a venue, a restaurant and then leave. I have basically been to every major city in Europe and seen very few of them sadly!

Where do you look forward to visiting for the cuisine?

I like Germany for the food. That’s my kind of Bratwurst!! Greece is also great for the feta and olives.

What do meal times look like when you’re out on tour? Do you have catering?

If it’s a bigger tour with full production then there is catering which is mostly very nice. If it’s a bus tour then it’s either in house catering or buyout so you get given some money to buy your own food. I generally opt for a margarita pizza as that’s a safe option

Favourite Guitar you’ve played?

A 1980s Gibson 335 owned by Paul Banks from Shed Seven. Amazing and very special guitar.

Favourite amp you’ve played through?

Hands down a Custom Audio Electronics PT100 ( first edition )

The best sounding amp I have EVER heard. It makes you play better because it sounds so good!!

As a Guitar Tech, do you have input on equipment the artist might use in the future?

To a point yes. I can suggest improvements or additions to a players setup, but then it’s up to them to follow through on it!

Any funny tour stories you can share with us?

Being on tour is a laugh a minute if you get on with everyone on the tour. It’s a ridiculous abnormal job and we are mostly ridiculous abnormal people. The funniest stories generally come from a day off when everybody can relax because there isn’t a show to play. But I would be breaking the code if I revealed those kind of things!

What do you look forward to most when you get back from tour?

Seeing my beautiful wife and my two awesome dogs. I am very lucky to have a very understanding and very supportive wife who is my world and understands what I do and why I do it.

Being out on Tour is all well and good, it’s my job and my income and my passion, but in reality you’ve got to have a home and someone you love.

What are you currently listening to?

The new releases from Gaslight Anthem.

What’s your favorite album of all time?

The Holy Bible - Manic Street Preachers

What hobbies do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I am a prop builder “by trade” and make lots of unusual things from fibreglass tigers to mock buildings. I do love carpentry and making furniture

Do you play any instruments in your own time?

I am a bass player. But also a songwriter so I play guitar and keys

Do you have any of your own bands/projects you’d like to mention?

My band High Parasite have actually just signed a deal with Spinefarm records so next year will be looking pretty busy for that I hope!

Please can you tell us about the Guitars and Amps etc you own personally?

I have a lot of guitars, my favourite being an amazing 1996 Gibson Lucille that my wife bought me. I also have…

2008 ESP Phoenix

2007 Gibson SG

1979 Ibanez Roadster Bass

2013 Gibson 335 Bass

2008 Musicman bass

1979 Rickenbacker 4001 bass

2001 Gibson Blackbird Bass

2013 Gibson Thunderbird bass

1997 Gibson J200 Acoustic

1996 Fender P Bass

Amps wise I have…

1994 Marshall JCM900

Orange AD200

Marshall VBA400 ( x 2 )

Darkglass Alpha Omega 900

Is there anything you’d like to mention?

The common misconception of what we do is that it is all sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. It is not. It is very hard work, very long days and specialised knowledge. It’s a very transient life and it can have a terrible negative effect on your home live and relationships, unless you are very lucky.

It is not just a job, it is a life, I fell into doing this in 2007 and I’m still here 16 years later but all that time was not without its cost. I have had 2 failed marriages and numerous other issues. This is not a job for somebody who wants to work 9-to-5 and have the weekends off but if you are willing to go all in it can be a very rewarding life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.


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