Matt Guminski Flies Hog 4-18 on Cult Tour

Date Posted: 8/31/2022

For The Cult’s 2022 “We Own The Night” tour, Lighting Designer Matt Guminski is once again relying on Hog 4 control to run his lighting rig. Guminski, principal of MG Lighting Design, says the band desired a contrasting look from their last tour. “We started in 2019 with the only production being my Hog 4 console. We used ‘house rigs du jour’, and the staging featured a giant sepia toned backdrop with the white ‘Sonic Temple’ graphics, crosses, and a big mountain, so the rig appeared to float in the background.”

“During the UK tour I suggested to Ian Astbury the concept of negative space. Absolute black behind everybody provides a way to pull things out. I could light upstage and give that depth or make it black for an infinite look where the colors really pop. He liked the idea and we ended up going with it – my challenge was how to present a background that’s vibrant, which I think we successfully achieved.”

After first using a Jands Hog 500 in college, the Hog remains Matt’s console of choice. “I’ve used Hog on every artist I’ve toured with – from Neon Trees to Tesla, JoJo, Evanescence, Alice In Chains, and most recently The Cult. I also use it on fashion shows, corporate events, cruise ship installs, and theatrical designs.”

Lighting Directors are a very loyal species, and Guminski is no exception. “I use Hog 4 for its ease of use - plain and simple. Without a base show file, I can have a show patched and up and running in under an hour. I still love the effects engine Excel style layout. I like the ease of being able to grab any fixture’s attribute and apply any type of effect across it with a simple tap. There is a reason why the effects engine hasn’t changed much since the Whole Hog - because it works. If you know to properly harness it along with Segments and Buddying, it’s as powerful as any other competitors’ tricks. Other aspects that I truly love are plots and the ease of pixel mapping on the console.”

Matt’s set up usually involves a Full Boar 4 and Playback Wing configuration, which he owns and is set up in his studio for Pre-Viz and laying out show files. However, for this Cult tour he is on the Hog 4-18 flagship desk.

“This tour provided me the opportunity to get on a brand-new Hog 4-18 and I’m in love. When I first started with The Cult, the budget allowed for a Full Boar 4 and a Wing. I set up an ultimate punt page with an in-depth scene directory and several docked playback bars. We ran that set up for a three week UK run in the fall of 2019, two weeks in the USA, and a spring 2022 run. When we headed across the pond to do a co-headline tour with Alice Cooper, I upgraded to the Hog 4 full size and a floor package supplied by Christie Lites UK”.

“Having the same rig allowed me to finally program out the whole show as opposed to simply punting the show. That gave me the opportunity to truly dive into moments of the show and focus on specific elements as opposed to broad strokes. When the summer tour was announced, we decided to upgrade the floor package a bit and I reached out to Cosmo Wilson at Gateway Studio & Production Services who was up for the task. During the bidding process, I connected ETC’s Paul Hancock with the GSPS team and that’s where the new Hog 4-18 came into play.”

Guminski spent ten days pre-vizing the show on Capture. The summer tour rig was prepped in St. Louis at Gateway. Matt adds, “One of the many things I loved about using GSPS was that they threw a team of four guys on my tour to prep it and covered all the bases! There was a continuous line of communication, and I could always get someone on the phone to talk through options, possible problems, and solutions. I did not step one foot in the shop for prep - GSPS made sure that it was all handled knowing the tight timeline that I had to get things done. I saw the rig for the first time during our one pre-production day at The Palace Theatre in St. Paul. The team at GSPS did such an amazing job with prep that the first time putting the rig up took about 90 minutes with a small house crew!”

The GSPS team who helped Guminski are Director of Lighting Eric “Sluggo” Eaton, Production Electrician Jason “Attaboy” Stalter, Head Lighting Tech Justin Christian, Console / Network Tech Doug Mirly, and Lighting Rental Manager Cosmo Wilson.

Looking back at his long run with Hog desks, Matt says, “I feel like the fundamentals have always been the same but the way I lay out my files and how I harness the power of the Hog platform has evolved over the years from onsite experiences, speaking with other Hog programmers/designers/operators, working on other show files developed by Hog 4 programmers, and teaching Hog Classes. Punting a show is a different skill set than running a cue list based show file. When I step behind a Hog desk, I feel like I always learn something or discover a new way to tackle a task that I thought I mastered. Hog always allows for an old dog to learn new tricks.”