Troy started out as a drummer at the tender age of eight, but when he turned thirteen, he began dabbling with guitars. He didn’t take traditional lessons – he simply sat, listened, and experimented. Of course, he didn’t stop there. “Anything I can get my hands on, I’ll try to play,” he laughs.
Today Troy is skilled at multiple instruments such as the bass, keyboard, and lap steel, and is constantly learning and refining his chops. His expertise has been sought after by many admired rock bands such as Failure, A Perfect Circle, and now, the acclaimed Queens of the Stone Age. He also fronts his own band, Enemy, which released their debut album in 2005, entitled Hooray for Dark Matter.
For Troy and Queens of the Stone Age, inspiration can strike at any time. They’ve approached each album a little differently. For Lullabies to Paralyze, they gathered material while on the road – always a challenge – and then took it into the studio to track. And for 2007’s celebrated Era Vulgaris, they walked into the studio with nothing prepared and worked from raw ideas to finished tracks, writing and recording on the spot.
Troy himself is frequently writing with other up-and-coming artists such as Sun Trash (which Troy also helped produce), Serrina Sims and her band Sweethead, as well as chipping away at releasing some of his own work. He explains, “There’s a whole record of material that I just have to have a week off to record at some point.”
One piece of gear that continues to inspire Troy throughout these projects is his VOX AC50CPH Classic Plus head. “I just got introduced to the AC50CPH before we left on tour. It’s something that I really think also works well with the lap steel, which is one of my favorite new instruments to play,” he reveals. In regard to the high gain channel, which is new voice for VOX, he says, “It’s hard to find modern amps that stay true to the idea that tone is more important than gain. Too much distortion is just too much distortion! The Classic Plus maintains the VOX legacy of tone.” He adds, “Anybody can get a forgiving tone with something that has really high gain and that doesn’t really stretch you as a player. It just covers up all of your mistakes and I’m not into that. I like to flaunt my mistakes!”
No matter what Troy’s playing, he flaunts a lot more than that; tonal diversity, raw passion, and a style all his own. Stay tuned to what Troy’s up to next at www.qotsa.com/, www.myspace.com/queensofthestoneage, and www.myspace.com/enemymusic. Be sure to also check out Sweethead and Sun Trash at www.sweethead.net/ and www.myspace.com/suntrash!
Queens of the Stone Age’s latest release Era Vulgaris is in stores now.
Words by Anna Doria and Evan O’Brien, Photo Credit: Keith Smith