Featured KRK User Billy Morrison

Jeff Waters

One of the most dynamic and powerful rhythm guitarists on the music scene today, British-born, California-based Billy Morrison, has been a part of Billy Idol's group since 2010, where he and longtime Idol guitarist Steve Stevens make for one of the most exciting twin guitar-attacks in rock. Meeting Stevens has been a musical revelation for Morrison in many ways; it was through him that Morrison first heard and is now hooked on KRK monitors. "Working with Steve Stevens at his studio turned me on to the clarity and power of KRK monitors," says Morrison. "The mixes that he comes up with are so powerful and he always manages to nail every frequency. When I came back to my studio, I just wasn't hearing the same depth when I would play those same mixes at my place."

While Morrison's place in Idol's group and its busy international touring schedule would be enough for any musician, Morrison is also part of the super-group Camp Freddy. The band comprises Morrison, Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Sorum (Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver), Donovan Leitch Jr. (an actor and son of 1960s music icon Donovan) and Chris Chaney (who has played with Jane's Addiction, as well as Slash, Alanis Morissette and Tommy Lee).

Although he is widely admired, Morrison didn't become a sought-after and respected musician overnight. He first became interested in the guitar after seeing the Sex Pistols on television when he was a teenager. "I never had a lesson in my life," he says. "I persuaded my parents to buy me a Gibson L6S and taught myself a few chords." He counts artists like The Clash, the Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop and David Bowie as influencing him.

He started out with his first band Stimulator in the mid 1990s, then played bass for the legendary band The Cult in the early 2000s. In addition to Camp Freddy, he is also part of another super group, Circus Diablo. The band was formed by Morrison, Sorum, Billy Duffy of The Cult and Fuel vocalist Brett Scallions.

Morrison is also well versed in recording, starting out on a small four-track machine and eventually graduating to Pro Tools. "Since I added the VXT8s to my home studio, I've noticed my bass-end has become so much tighter," he stated. "I ended up dialing back my subwoofers because the KRK monitors were giving me a really tight bottom-end. The high-end separation also really sparkles now. Things like hi-hats and cymbals come across sounding live. Vocals also cut through well. Above all, when I burn a CD and play it in my carŅI notice that the mix I created in my studio sounds just as accurate on my car stereo."

Morrison found it very easy to incorporate KRK monitors into his home studio setup. "My studio is for demos, not a finished record, so I don't need racks and racks of gear. What I do believe in is quality. Now with the KRKs, my monitoring matches that quality." Music and sound aren't just a job for Morrison; they are his life's passion. And recently, he has added acting to his repertoire. He has appeared in many films and on the Showtime television series Californication.

The Billy Morrison Gibson Les Paul signature model guitar was designed by Morrison and is one of the few Les Paul guitars to feature a white headstock. For more information on Billy Morrison, go to his site at: www.billymorrison.net

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