The Killers dubbed their fan club “The Victims” and rightly so, as experiencing one of The Killers synth-and-guitar-heavy concerts will surely get you aching for another dose. These Grammy-nominated rockers are widely described as, “The best British band to come out of America.” With the extremely successful, multi-platinum debut album Hot Fuss, and the most recent release, Sam’s Town, already following in similar fashion, Ted Sablay knew he was up for a challenge. No big sweat. The multi-talented guitarist/keyboardist has joined The Killers on their current tour promoting Sam’s Town to aid in making the live show sound more akin to the album itself. As Ted explains, “I’ve known the guys for a while, and with the Sam’s Town album, there is a lot more going on instrument-wise than on the first album. They needed someone who could play guitar and keyboards, and since we were already friends, it just worked itself out.”
Finding the right help to take on tour can be an arduous process, but the Vegas-based band knew they weren’t taking a gamble choosing Sablay. “We’re all from Vegas, and I played with drummer Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. in a couple of bands and have jammed with the guys before. It just worked out to the point where I could come out with them, but I’m not the new member or anything. We’re all around the same age, and knew each other from the Vegas music scene.
Shortly after landing the gig with The Killers, Sablay started his own search for the perfect tour companion in a guitar amp. He admits the search was not the swiftest, but like many things, patience is a virtue. “It got to the point where I was at the music store every day trying out different amp combinations, and eventually I got the VOX AC30CC2X Custom Classic. It was perfect, especially for the role I’m playing in all of this. I think that Dave Keuning (guitar) even used some VOX amps for the recording of Sam’s Town.” Ted continues, “We use it for textural stuff, and sometimes I’ll take over a melody line once he has already started it. I just really like it. It’s great when the signal needs to be really sharp, dry, and forceful. We just keep on going back to that AC30.” Although he keeps the AC30 running throughout the show, it’s during Sablay’s favorite song to perform – “When You Were Young” – that he believes the AC30 truly shines. “Once Dave gets over to the lead melody, I’m doing all the chords so you get a lot of the open strings with that chiming, shimmering sound,” he tells us.
Showing absolutely no sign of being a rookie, this is actually Sablay’s first major tour. He reveals, “Now that I’m touring, I wish I had done it sooner. It’s great because music has been my thing my entire life. In my mid-20s, I got to the point where I couldn’t play as much music as I wanted, and now I can again. It was great of The Killers to have me do this.”
Even though Sablay is touring with an internationally renowned band, he doesn’t let the lights and crowds get to his head. “I’ve been in the mindset of keeping a low profile, so to speak. I’m really here to serve their songs.”
For More information on The Killers and their current tour, check out www.thekillersmusic.com
By Andrew Mantuano and Jenn Plonski
Photo: Torey Mundkowsky