Early Man

Early Man: Two Pentecostalists from Columbus, shielded from pop culture their entire lives, discover rock at the age of 19. Kicked out by their families and ostracized by their friends, their adopted kin are the works of Judas Priest, Celtic Frost, Mercyful Fate, Minor Threat, Diamond Head, Motorhead, and Head of David. Nurtured and warmed, they move to New York City and start a band whose elemental street thrash recalls a time before metal splintered into 54 micro-categories.

Mike Conte alternates between a '73 Gibson SG and a white '84 Jackson Randy Rhodes Flying-V, pre-sharkfin inlay. The Jackson is Sandimas-built, of course. The guitars feed through 2 full stacks: a Marshall JCM 800 and a Peavey 5150. Full German-made Bogner cabs.

Conte occasionally uses an MXR Distortion Plus pedal, but in general, he remarks, "All my distortion is natural -- as it should be." Similarly, he says, "Purposefully (mainly for the sake of pissing off the nu-metal world) I do not use ANY alternate tunings, such as drop-D. If it can sound thunderous in standard tuning then I've accomplished my goal."

Adam Bennati plays a five-piece Zickos glass acrylic drum kit manufactured in 1972 only. It weighs over 500 pounds.

Early Man recently toured the West Coast and Midwest with Mastodon and are in the process of auditioning a new bass player. Following the release of their debut album, 'Closing In,' on October 11, they'll be touring constantly through March of 2006.

MIKE CONTE: guitars, vocals
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