For more than a decade, Reverend Horton Heat (aka Jim Heath), thehigh priest of psychobilly drama and musical excess, has ripped up thenation's highways, bringing his music to the faithful with the help ofbass-slapping “Jimbo” Wallace and drummer Scott Churilla.Speaking to Mix from the Pearl Street Ballroom (Northhampton,Mass.), FOH engineer/tour manager Dave Allen explains how he tries tokeep things under some semblance of control.
What is the essence of a Reverend show?
Basically, it's pure balls-to-the-walls music, but not your standardthree-chord power trio either. On any given night, one song might be aLatin ballad-flavored thing, the next an in-your-face punk tune andthen a Johnny Cash cover. They just never let up.
How do you hang on?
I do everything I can in advance to make sure nothing's going to getout of control. We have an upright bass with a pickup and it's amonster when it comes to low-end punch. I have to be on top of that;otherwise, it will come back and bite me in the ass.
What's your choice for vocal mics?
Since coolness counts in this application as much as performance,standard issue for vocals is a classic Shure 55SH Series II mic with anSM58 capsule. My all-time favorite vocal mic is the SM58. You can'tbeat it. The SM57 is my favorite all-purpose mic; you can use it forjust about anything, and it works.
When you're not with the Rev, where are you?
Outdoors! I love hiking, water-skiing, snowboarding — all sortsof general play outside. On my time off, I'm the last guy you'll see inany smoke-filled venue. I like nice, clean, fresh air.