It might be hard to believe, but Jeff Waters and Annihilator have been melting faces and rocking stages with their ferocious brand of Canadian heavy metal ever since 1984. More than three decades and millions of record sales on, they’re still a musical force to be reckoned with, and a huge influence to countless metal bands across the globe. So, when Jeff and Co. decided to visit Hughes & Kettner HQ, we jumped at the chance to ask them all about their favorite gigging amps!
The typically tranquil town of St. Wendel, Germany, got a whole lot louder for one week in summer 2014.
Sure, there’s not a day that goes by at Hughes & Kettner HQ when someone doesn’t turn up and thrash away on their amp of choice – it’s all highly important tone-based research, honest – but this was different. Very different.
Because for a few select days, Jeff Waters and the Annihilator crew commandeered our demo hall and used it as a base and a practice space while they jetted (well, bussed) around playing a selection of Europe’s biggest metal festivals.
This was a big thing for us. And not just because Annihilator are awesome, and great people to boot.
It also gave us the opportunity to talk with Jeff and vocalist/guitarist Dave Padden about their love for the GrandMeister, and their readiness to use it in front of 30,000 people at places like the Hellfest.
You see, metal guitarists have a history of using full stacks – they look cool, they’re loud as hell and we often have the impression they’re the only thing that’s going to give us the amazingly fat low-end that down-tuned riffery demands.
So persuading serious musicians that a somewhat smaller 7.7kg head can do the business can be demanding.
We’ll let Jeff and Dave do that for you. In the video, Jeff takes us through his initial impressions of the GrandMeister when he first heard about it, his reaction after playing it, and the response it brings from other bands who come into contact with it.
Take it away, boys:
So, there you have it. Proof – if it was still needed – that a small amp can indeed sound just as huge as something way bigger, whatever your stage.
And what other globetrotting metal band can carry four of their main amps in two small suitcases?
Answers on a postcard please, and do let us know your experiences of live GrandMeister action – we’d love to hear about the onstage experiences you’ve had with this diminutive powerhouse…
See more great live shots of Annihilator with the GrandMeister on our official Pinterest page:
First published: December 12 2014. Most recent update: October 02 2015.