Dr. Dog is not your standard rock band. Their alluring psychedelic aesthetic and smart pop sensibilities carve the band a unique spot in today’s musical tapestry. Their debut album Toothbrush was released in 2002 and in 2004, they hit the road with My Morning Jacket. Since then, the fan base has continued to grow, following the band’s evolution from local West Grove, PA rockers to national Billboard charters.
2010’s Shame, Shame received much praise and the currently touring band is talking about the release of a new album next year.
VOX got to catch up with Dr. Dog’s guitarist and co-founder Scott McMicken to talk about his VOX Virage and AC30 amps.
VOX: Let’s start from the beginning…how did you get into playing music?
Scott McMicken: My grandfather bought me a guitar when I was eleven. I immediately loved it. He wanted me to just get good enough to accompany him while he played old romantic Italian tunes on his tenor banjo. Then I met Toby, he bought a bass, and we started Dr. Dog many moons ago.
VOX: All Dr. Dog members have a nickname and I’ve heard you say that “the names are symbolic of a separate identity for ourselves that is completely within the band and the ideal world that is Dr. Dog”…how did you get named “Taxi”?
SM: I stole it from the Andy Warhol book “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol A to B.”
VOX: OK, cool. So, the new record - are you approaching it with any particular idea or method in mind?
SM: Live sound. Rock and roll. Casual free fall. Less thinking.
VOX: Nicely put. Let’s talk about gear…what drew you to the Virage?
SM: I’ve always felt most comfortable with semi-hollow body guitars. I’ve tried out a few different models, but now I really like the VOX. It feels great and it’s very versatile.
VOX: What are your favorite features? What separates it from other guitars you’ve played?
SM: It has a lot of character in its clean tone. It sounds like itself, and nothing else I’ve got sounds that way. It’s very clear and woody and it’s great for full-fisted chord playing. It doesn’t get all mushy sounding.
VOX: Any favorite pickup settings for you?
SM: I almost always use it with all the toggles pushed down.
VOX: And you play AC30 amps too…How did you get into them?
SM: I’ve tried them out a few times on the road in the past and I’ve always really liked them. Again, they are very powerful in a reasonably clean application.
VOX: Is there anything you’d like us to mention?
SM: Our favorite band is Floating Action!
VOX: Is there a general quote about the Virage or VOX in general you’d like to leave us with?
SM: I have been so surprised by how often we have been grabbing them to use on our new record! They really get the job done in a very unique and satisfying way and they feel so good to hold.
I’m taking these guitars on the road and definitely spreading the word on how awesome they are! Peace!
Thanks, Scott! Peace!
For more about Scott and Dr. Dog, please visit www.drdogmusic.com.
Photo Credit Forrest Reda