David Catching

Desert Eagle
David Catching
David Catching: Scott Witter.

Producer and owner of the enigmatic Rancho de la Luna studio in the California desert, guitarist David Catching has been touring with Eagles of Death Metal since 2004. In November of 2015, the band was performing at the Bataclan Theater, in Paris, when three gunmen burst in, killing 90 concert goers and injuring more than 200.

In February ’16, the Eagles of Death Metal returned to Paris to reboot their performance. The event was recorded and filmed for the double album and DVD, I Love You All the Time: Live at the Olympia Paris, released earlier this year.

“I don’t think I’ll ever play a show quite as heavy as that,” David Catching said. “That was definitely the hardest live show I’ve ever played. A lot of folks that were at the Bataclan gig were hanging out with us that night, so it was fun, but there were a lot of people that were still scared, including ourselves. It was a lot to deal with and it took us a minute to get into it because it was just so strange and surreal, but it turned out really good and it was good for us to do it.”

With Eagles of Death Metal, Catching uses just a few guitars.

“My main one is an Echopark Albert Flying V. My friend Gabriel Currie made it for me and I think he makes the best guitars out there today. The neck was broken during the attack in Paris, so Gabriel put a new one on it and that’s my main guitar. My other main guitar is a mid-’80s Les Paul Black Beauty. I love that guitar, but it’s so heavy I can’t use it on every song. I also still take my late-’70s Flying V; I was looking for a pedal in different closets at my studio one day and there was this V in there that was missing a pickup, tuning gears, and a bridge. I found out a couple years later that someone had left it here, and that was my main guitar for the first nine or 10 years with Eagles prior to the Echopark.”

The band tours with Orange amps.

“I use an OR50s. The amps sound so great and they’re workhorses. I have a really cool Zinky Mofo and a Supro head I use as backups, and sometimes we switch up the sound with one or two amps, or use two or three.”

He prefers a 2×12 cab.

“I like smaller amps behind me because I don’t want stacks blowing my head off. Though I’ve been thinking maybe it’s time for us to use giant stacks; that would look pretty cool.”

Catching uses a handful of pedals.

“I keep one pedalboard for all the bands, but with Eagles, I don’t use a ton of stuff. I’ve got the Dunlop Wah and Rotovibe, a TC Electronic tuner, and the Spark, which is probably my favorite overdrive. It’s a great pedal for leads because it doesn’t really color, it just boosts signal. I also have a Creepy Fingers Buzzaround, which is a model of a Burns Buzzaround that’s like an octave-y kind of thing that sounds amazing. I also use an Earthquaker Dispatch Master reverb and delay, and it’s another favorite. I started using a Dunlop Echoplex for slap-back stuff, and on a couple songs we have long delays, so I ramp it up for that. Jesse (Hughes, EODM frontman) goes straight into his amp, and I use the coloring tools.”

For other projects, Catching draws upon his hearty guitar collection. “When I play with Mojave Lords, Earthlings?, and Masters of Reality, I get to play my number one of five Les Paul that was customized into a double-cut in the early ’70s, my ’72 Tele, a ’61 Melody Maker, a black ’84 Flying V, a ’57 Supro three-pickup, my ’57 Strat, and an early-’60s Teisco Spectrum 5.”

When not touring with EODM, Catching keeps busy with Rancho de la Luna.

“I don’t ever have a break. I just produced the new Earthless record; they’re amazing and it’s a serious guitar record. I’m working on some new Earthlings? recordings, I’m recording and producing Jakob Nowell’s band, LAW, producing a band called Battery Electric, and Chris Goss and I are doing an album with Gene Trautmann of Queens of the Stone Age on drums.”

This article originally appeared in VG January 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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