Mark Morton (musician)

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Mark Morton
Lamb of God-0401-Mark Morton.jpg
Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton at the Download Festival 2007
Background information
Birth nameMark Duane Morton
Born (1972-11-25) November 25, 1972 (age 46)
United States
GenresHeavy metal, groove metal, thrash metal
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar
Years active1989-present
LabelsProsthetic, Epic, Nuclear Blast, Spinefarm
Associated actsLamb of God, Burn the Priest
WebsiteLamb of God website

Mark Duane Morton (born November 25, 1972) is the lead guitarist of the American heavy metal band Lamb of God.[1]

Before Lamb of God[edit]

Morton grew up near Williamsburg, Virginia. His first band was Axis, which was composed of other local youth, one being Ryan Lake of Alabama Thunderpussy fame. Morton played rhythm guitar. The band became a popular local act winning the local battle of the bands competition, known as Stockwood, in 1988.

Morton in Axis, March 1988, winning performance at Stockwood. Ryan Lake on left. Photo by: Michelle Spalding

Biography[edit]

Mark Morton, Chris Adler, and John Campbell met in 1990 at Virginia Commonwealth University where they were floor mates. Several years later, they formed a band under the name "Burn the Priest". Morton soon left to pursue a master's degree, and the band added guitarist Abe Spear, and vocalist, Randy Blythe. After a couple years apart, Morton rejoined the group and Burn the Priest released a self titled full length album. He was credited as "Duane" on the album "New American Gospel" Lamb of God's first major release.

Morton frequently utilizes pentatonic scales and harmonic minor scales, and it has been noted that he has a blues style to his music. He composes and plays almost all of Lamb of God's guitar solos and forms many of the heavy groove rhythms.

Guitarist Mark Morton performing at the Download Festival music concert in 2007.

His performing gear consists mostly of various Jackson guitars, including a Rhoads style and Swee-Tone archtop (both seen in the Killadelphia DVD) and, most often, his own signature model, the Jackson Dominion strung with GHS Boomer Strings 10-46 tuned to drop-D, loaded with a Seymour Duncan '59 in the bridge and a Duncan Jazz in the neck. He has recently developed a signature "Dominion" pickup with Dimarzio, which he is now using in his signature guitars.[2] Onstage, Mark uses two Dual Mesa Boogie Mark V heads amplifiers with Mesa 4X12 cabinets His rack gear includes a Sennheiser wireless system, a DBX 266XL compressor / noise gate, and a splitter box. Mark only uses a few pedals on stage, Original Cry Baby Wah Pedal, MxR Eddie Van Halen Phaser which "makes his solos sear", MxR Overdrive pedal, and a Boss tuning pedal. Recently, it has been rumored that a signature Crybaby might be in production.

Morton is known for writing some of Lamb of God's less conventional songs. These include, "Descending", "Vigil", and "Remorse Is for the Dead". In the DVD documenting the making of Sacrament, he made the point that he likes to "toss in the wildcard, the oddball, 'cause for every three you toss in, one of 'em winds up being real special because it's that different." Morton has also written some of the band's more traditional metal songs, such as, "Now You've Got Something to Die For", "Redneck" and "Walk With Me in Hell".

In March 2012, Morton collaborated with DevilDriver frontman Dez Fafara on a new project called Born of the Storm. Two songs were released, 'Nowhere Fast' and 'Dust'. Dez's vocals are different from his trademark DevilDriver vocals on these songs and Mark's guitar sound is more original and incorporates bluesy rock riffs, a style that Mark is making into his own.

On Thursday, 19 July 2012, Morton released his own song titled 'To Make Sure2'. He announced the release of his song through his Facebook page. He wrote: "heres a tune i worked on with some friends the other night....sumthin different....hope you enjoy."

In December 2018, Morton announced his solo debut album, Anesthetic to be released on March 1, 2019 through Spinefarm Records. A single from the album titled "The Truth Is Dead" was released following the announcement and features Morton's Lamb of God bandmate Randy Blythe as well as Arch Enemy frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz on vocals.[3] The album also features a posthumous collaboration with late Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington,[4] which was teased all the way back to April 2017.[5] The song titled 'Cross Off' was released as the album's second single on January 8, 2019[6]

Equipment[edit]

Guitars[edit]

  • Jackson Mark Morton Dominion[7]
  • Jackson RR5 (Rarely uses it since acquiring his Signature with Jackson. Only used on "Ruin")
  • Jackson King V (Only used on the New American Gospel recordings)
  • Jackson USA Custom Shop Swee-Tone
  • Jackson Warrior
  • Jackson Soloist (used on the recent No Fear Energy Tour)
  • Jackson Adrian Smith San Dimas DK (used on the recent No Fear Energy Tour)
  • Gibson Les Paul Standard Gold
  • Framus Renegade Pro (With neck pickup removed)
  • Framus Camarillo Custom
  • Jackson RR24
  • JAW Custom Les Paul Style
  • Jackson Soloist custom (originally built for Joe Duplantier from Gojira. Seen in Desolation music video)

Amplifiers & Cabinets[edit]

Accessories[edit]

Guitar rig and signal flow[edit]

A detailed gear diagram of Mark Morton's 2005 Lamb of God guitar rig is well-documented.[8]

Discography[edit]

Solo[edit]

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
Main

[9]
US
Rock

[10]
US
Hard Rock
Digital

[11]
"The Truth Is Dead"
(featuring Randy Blythe and Alissa White-Gluz)
2018 Anesthetic
"Cross Off"
(featuring Chester Bennington)
2019 12 37 18
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

With Burn the Priest[edit]

With Lamb of God[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Demasi, Vincent (January 1, 2007). "All God's children: Lamb of God's Willie Adler and Mark Morton spread the gospel of American metal". Accessmylibrary.com.
  2. ^ "Setups - Mark Morton (Lamb of God)". Seymour Duncan. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  3. ^ "LAMB OF GOD Guitarist's 'Anesthetic' Solo Album To Feature Guest Appearances By LINKIN PARK, PAPA ROACH Members". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  4. ^ Kaufman, Spencer. "Lamb of God's Mark Morton to release album featuring Chester Bennington, Randy Blythe, Myles Kennedy, and more". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  5. ^ Rosenberg, Axl. "Lamb of God's Mark Morton Collaborating with Linkin Park's Chester Bennington". MetalSucks. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  6. ^ brownypaul (2018-12-18). "Lamb of God's Mark Morton announces solo collaborative album 'Anesthetic' featuring a STACK OF GUESTS!!!". Wall Of Sound. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  7. ^ Kirkland, Eric. "Jackson Pro Series "Dominion" Mark Morton Signature Guitar". Guitar World. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  8. ^ Cooper, Adam (2005). "Mark Morton's 2005 Lamb of God Guitar Rig". GuitarGeek.Com.
  9. ^ https://www.billboard.com/music/chester-bennington/chart-history/hot-mainstream-rock-tracks
  10. ^ https://www.billboard.com/music/chester-bennington/chart-history/rock-songs
  11. ^ Rutherford, Kevin. "Chester Bennington Returns to Billboard Charts on Mark Morton's 'Cross Off'". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-01-17.

Further reading[edit]