About Stef Burns
From Alice Cooper to Sheila E and Huey Lewis to Vasco Rossi there is one constant in Stef Burns' effects rack: TC Electronic!
Stef Burns has been playing top level guitar for more than three decades alongside some of the biggest stars in the music world including Alice Cooper, Michael Bolton, Vasco Rossi, Huey Lewis and Sheila E. Here he tells us about the TC Electronic effects that he uses on the road and in the studio.
Indeed you could say that with the number of bands that Stef Burns has played in and also the wealth of top artists he has recorded with, it is a good job he started his career at an early age - in fact Stef started playing guitar at the age of six and was in his first band by 9! After playing in various acts doing covers he moved into the Jazz/Rock fusion arena before playing Funk in the band Omega at the start of the 80s. After a stint with Pablo Cruise he joined Sheila E's band and played on two of her albums: Romance 1600 and Sheila E. He was greatly influenced by Prince's funk playing and got to see it close up while playing with Sheila E and opening for Prince for his Purple Rain Tour.
Stef then toured around the world with Berlin (who had a massive hit at the time with Take My Breath Away), and Michael Bolton. He also played in the bands The VU and Y&T with whom he recorded four albums. The nineties saw Stef playing with Alice Cooper for four years and appearing on the Monsters Of Rock tour with Ozzy Osborne, Megadeth and Faith No More. Stef now regularly tours with Huey Lewis and the News and Vasco Rossi, an Italian artist who has released more than 30 albums and has become a huge star in Europe.
With more than 30 years playing with the biggest names around Stef clearly knows his guitar gear, so it's no surprise to learn that he uses a lot of TC Electronic gear…
'I love my G-Major 2,' he says. 'It has all the rack effects I need - like, delay, reverb and stereo modulation - in one unit. It is also very easy to use, which is important for me because I don't like to spend a lot of time messing with gear when I can be playing, writing and recording. The sounds are wonderful and so clean and pure, something that TC always does so consistently. I like to use the harmonizer as well - I can get anything I want in any key for smart harmonies. And with my expression pedal I get great Whammy and Wha, so two less things to carry around.'
'I also use the TC Electronic Octa Screamer and I love it,' Stef continues. 'I kick it in for some solos with my band [Stef Burns Group] and with Vasco and my tone soars up into a screaming high harmonic sound. Just killer! You can use it as a great fuzz with the Octa mix turned down or vice versa using your own distortion and just the high octave effect.'
Finally Stef tells us about his TC Electronic Vintage Tube Primer: 'I love it. It has a natural overdrive without too much color. It is perfect for any live situation as well as in the studio!"