South Florida heavy metal outfit, Forty Winters, released their sophomore album Rotting Empire on July 22, 2016 via Dead Truth Recordings (buy here) and today we get to share some details on how the band achieved their vocal sound. Vocalist Xavier Vicuna took time out of his busy schedule to email us details about his Shure SM58S (on/off switch) microphone. Rotting Empire was recorded by Jesse Kirkbride (Black Tongue, Aversions Crown, Enterprise Earth) at Kirkbride Recordings in Cape Coral, FL and features special guest appearances by Chad Ruhlig (For the Fallen Dreams) and Adam Warren (Oceano).
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound? Vicuna: I use the Shure SM58S (on/off switch) microphone to obtain my signature sound.
What about it makes it so important to you? Vicuna: There are many reasons why this particular piece of equipment is so important to me. It was the first microphone I ever owned and purchased. It's insanely durable, the sound is super-crisp and always on point. I can manipulate it to my needs as far as grip and cupping go. I'm just used to it, and comfortable all around. It's a part of my performance in more ways than one.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album? Vicuna: I actually used the Shure SM7B on our last record. I have used the SM7B on our last three releases and I don't plan on changing that precedent any time soon.
How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set? Vicuna: We are very much a "plug in and play" band. No triggers, no effects, no samples, no backing tracks. The same gear used to track is normally the same gear we use to perform. It's all about not overdoing it in the studio and keeping the sound true.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what? Vicuna: I do have backups, anything can happen on the road. I have a standard Shure SM58 without the on/off switch, a second Shure SM58S with on/off switch, and the Shure Beta 58A.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it? Vicuna: I have been using Shure microphones for over 10 years now. I use my SM58S for all live shows and all touring. In the studio, I only use the SM7B.
Give us your best "gear goes wrong" story. Vicuna: We were in Tampa, Florida closing out a full U.S. tour a few years ago. I went to unplug my mic after our set (mind you, I'm soaking wet when I play) and the XLR connector slipped out still attached to the cable, exposing all the inner wiring. I got shocked so hard, it was so brutal. I was freaking out. Luckily, no one got it on film haha!
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear? Vicuna: Shure is the only brand that I can trust and rely on for my signature sound. Shure microphones are extremely durable, dependable, and I will not use any other microphone, ever.