Cleveland’s compositions, arrangements, and guitar work here are a fusion of fusions, as he masterfully treads into ambient, avant-garde metal, psychedelia – even protest music. And the layers of sonic energy that emerge are wondrous.
The band includes bassist Michael Manring, drummer Celso Alberti, vocalist Amy X Neuburg, and Robert Powell on pedal steel (the latter proving Cleveland’s commitment to fusion – and how right his taste is). Powell’s playing interweaves through Cleveland’s guitar, supporting and accenting the whole.
Cleveland is a diehard gearhead, and ably works with a range of equipment. His main guitar is a PRS Custom 24 Brazilian run into a Rivera Venus 6 amp through a Palmer ADIG-LB speaker setup. And he likes pedals – lots of pedals. His go-tos include a Euthymia ICBM Fuzz, S.I.B. Echodrive delay, and MoogerFooger MuRF.
On several tracks, such as “You’ll Just Have to See It to Believe” and “Stars of Sayulita,” he used a prototype Moog guitar, crafting mysterious sound colors.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s May ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.