Best known as the guitarist of Queens of the Stone Age, aged 49, Troy Van Leeuwen has been a prolific musician to say the least.
His many credits include playing guitar with the likes of Korn, Orgy, Limp Bizkit, A Perfect Circle, Sweethead among others.
Going down memory lane, he toured with Iggy Pop in 2016 in support of his 17th studio album Post Pop Depression.
He made headlines again in 2018 when he bought a $1.85 million three-acre estate in Camarillo, California. 2018 might be the last time we’ve heard anything about him, mind you.
Nevertheless, he might be most known as the consummate “gearhead”, with several publications covering his love of all things related to guitar, and even listing out his various axes, effects and amps.
And, his collection certainly is something to marvel at, from classic Fenders and Gibsons to Burns and Echopark guitars.
His amp collection is something to be envied too, whether it’s the Vox AC50CPH head, 1963 Fender Bassman or Bad Cat Black Cat 30 combo amplifier.
And of course, he owns a myriad of pedals, exotic instruments and digital effects processors to top it all off.
One certainly can’t fault him for his fascination and obsession with gear. Leeuwen has gone on record to say nothing is sacred and seems like the type of guy that will give just about anything a try whether it’s in jamming, rehearsing, recording, performing or otherwise.
His playing style has certainly changed through the years, and these days, you’ll find him playing with a variety of effects and tones, producing ambient soundscapes.
Dare we make the comparison to the likes of Robert Fripp, The Edge or Jonny Greenwood? Van Leeuwen does have something unique to offer though.
His love of Echopark gear, reportedly, stems from his relationship with former guitar tech Ally Christie, who suggested he check out their gear.
After the recording of Queens of the Stone Age’s Like Clockwork, he reached out to luthier Gabriel Currie and collaborated on the creation of the Echopark De Leon.
Apparently, Currie would often show up to rehearsals with a new guitar and would get him to try them out.
The two also collaborated on amplifiers, which resulted in the use of the Vibramatic 13 combo and the Vibramatic 23 head with 2×12 speakers on tour. When on tour with Iggy Pop, he primarily used Fender and Echopark gear.
Although Van Leeuwen brought five guitars on the road, him and Dean Fertita shared the same area on stage and they would play each other’s guitars as necessary.
Most recently, Van Leeuwen has been active with the band, Gone Is Gone, featuring Troy Sanders, Tony Hajjar and Mike Zarin.
One can only speculate what’s next for Van Leeuwen, whether it’s another record with Queens of the Stone Age, Sweethead, Gone Is Gone or yet another side project.
But one thing we know for sure – this QOTSA ledged’s not one to sit still. It will be exciting to watch where he shows up next.
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