This week we chat with all the boys strumming strings in Interim
WHEN DID YOU START PLAYING?JOCK: Jimmy started learning guitar when the band formed in high school around 16, and I started learning bass from 12. Lachy wasn’t initially in the band but started when he was 13, he was a year younger than us in high school and known as this ‘guitar boy’ shredder protege, but he’s developed more than anyone in that time. He went through a bunch of phases over the past decade on guitar, starting from classic prog/shredder (Vai, Petrucci etc) to more modern heavy music (Meshuggah, Tool etc), to a three year jazz degree and so forth. The past few years has seen more specific phases where Lachy gets consumed by an artist (we’re talking day and night, learning and playing in the band house constantly for months) and by the end cherry picks his favourite attributes - like he went through a massive David Gilmore phase for a year to learn his bending technique, then this big Kevin Parker phase to understand his incredible use and placement of tones, riffs and effects... at the moment he’s on this big Jimmy Page phase getting into slide guitar and Page’s incredible phrasing and right-hand attitude.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY BASS?JOCK: It started out as my mother was a singer and eldest brother a guitarist - I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember and bass appealed to me. It wasn’t until years of playing in bands that I realised how much the bass guitar is a perfect mediator between all of the elements, it’s part of the rhythm section whilst also giving the chordal/harmonic context to everything above it. That’s a great place to be to provide the foundations in a live, recorded or jam setting - artists that are doing this really well include UK based electronic producer/bassist Bonobo, Royal Blood, Karnivool, hell even Tame Impala… and I think it’s really effective across a huge range of genres.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM BASS?JOCK: Warwick Streamer Custom Shop 5, I’m all about their through necks, the pickups, woods and production quality. That said, basses aren’t real guitars so I’d have to say if there’s a dream guitar it’s one of the customs made by Stephen Burnett, the master luthier behind Honey Tea & Maplewood. He’s got this hollow body custom dream-piece in white and gold leaf in his showroom that’s probably the nicest guitar we’ve ever seen. One of a kind shit, hey.
DO YOU USE EFFECTS IN YOUR RIG?JOCK: Yeah absolutely, but our setups aren’t too crazy. Lachy and James play a mix of Line6 multi-effects processors and mixed-bag individual pedalboard setups. I’d say pretty critical effects gear for our sound as a whole would be:
Vox Delaylab, Mastotron Fuzz, POD HD500, Sub’N’Up, Bad Stone Phaser and T-Rex Alberta Dual Overdrive. Like all bassists who play with scuzzy tones in Australia at the moment, I’m massively eying off the new Darkglass Alpha Omega pedal as well, that thing is nuts.
ARE YOU A TUBE AMP OR DIGITAL FAN? HAVE YOU HAD EXPERIENCES WITH BOTH?LACHY: I grew up using digital effects and amps, but lately have found that they don’t make the air sizzle in the same way as tubes and analog stuff - there seems to me a subtle nuance in analog equipment that can’t (yet) be replicated with digital gear. I don’t think it’s the sort of stuff that most people would notice, but I’m a huge believer in that it’s those little things that really make a big difference on a more subconscious level - it helps with the good vibes, the chilly-tingles up and down your spine! If we’ve got a live tv performance, we go 100% digital running Line6 PODs across the board, they’re even handy for larger venues if you’re wanting to play with panning between guitars and dual-channel crushing bass lines. That said, if we’re in the studio surrounded by amazing guitars and pedals from around the world, we’re likely going to chase the tone dragon a little deeper to find something new and saucy. Love dat tone.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR Custom StratLACHY: This strat was a graduation present for uni from my dear mum. I was searching around Gumtree for a mean strat and came across the DRW guitars made my local luthier-legend Dwight Wood. We got chatting and before I knew it he was custom designing me a strat, which has become my most beloved possession. The main influences for this one is of course Dave Gilmour’s strat. I wanted a maple neck for a little more definition, and Dwight was able to find this beautiful tiger wood (it has stripes that glow). He’s given it the most beautiful finish too, a black wood-grain finish with little specks of gold rubbed in over numerous layers, it literally sparkles onstage. I got him to add in a few other little tricks (drop D switch, classic fender trem system), but my main attraction with this guitar is the coil splitting, which has become my favourite thing. Basically I’ve got a couple of switches on the pickguard which allow me to change the humbuckers to single coils. It’s not quite the classic Fender single coil tone, but it comes really close, so if you’re wanting to cut through the mix a bit better with a tighter single coil tone, then you switch from the buckers into single coil territory… with the splitting option on the 2 humbuckers and a 5-way selector, it feels as though I have 9 guitars locked away in this baby. I’m still searching for the perfect pickups though, I’m currently thinking some Seymour Duncan Antiquities, but that’s a few paychecks away haha. The only other thing is that it has huge jumbo frets, more to love I say, and all of the hardware is gold because I’m a pretty modest guy...
TELL US ABOUT YOUR Spanish AcousticJOCK: I was travelling around Barcelona in 2014 before moving to the UK and had wanted to get an acoustic for my 6 months away from the band. I ended up finding this little shop where the luthier had been making guitars with his family for 57 years. I tried them all and settled on my favourite darker toned acoustic and at the end of the year brought it back to become the band’s go-to acoustic. In 2015, Nigel Weir - our big loving canadian lumberjack, exchange student, astronomer, and ginger giant died from a fall off a balcony at a party in Brisbane. Our close friend Amber Forbes painted the guitar with a mural in memory of Nigel, and since then the guitar has become a signature part of the band’s instruments.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR Fender P-BassJOCK: I’ve played on a range of cheap basses and guitars through high school and uni when I couldn’t afford anything better. I’d be this teenage kid taking the bus up from Toowoomba to spend an afternoon with my brother who’d moved out to study in Brisbane, and the guys would jam covers for hours on their little setup, from Ani Difranco to Rage Against the Machine, Outkast to John Butler Trio. His housemate Dave ‘Panda’ Cleary was the bassist for The Masons around then and had this delicious American Fender P-Bass… Some 5 years later Panda was a lawyer and had no need for it, I bought it off him and it’s been my main live bass since. The only track on the album that features this bass is Moonshine - playing active pickups felt wrong on the song and the thing that’s so present about this bass is the sound of the wood coming through the passives. It’s not as clear or heavy as the Sadowsky that got used mostly for the album, but the sound of that wood sits in this beautiful space on the frequency spectrum for that style of scuzzy blues track.
YOU ARE ABOUT TO RELEASE AN ALBUM, WHAT GEAR WAS USED IN RECORDING?JOCK: For bass we were mostly running a Sadowsky 5 string through a 65Amps fridge and playing between the Line6 gear and a dual channel setup; first channel going clean low and warm into the amp with the second channel getting octaved with the old Sub’n’Up and a mix of Bigmuff and Mastotron fuzz, you can hear it heavily in tracks like “Old Thrills”, “Voodoo” and “Daytripper” on the album.
LACHY: For the recording process at Airlock Studios in Brisbane we played a mix of our own, friend’s and studio owner Ian Haug’s (Powderfinger) range of guitars and pedals. Ian’s collection reignited our love for Gibson guitars (especially the ES-335), whilst also working my custom strat and our mate Simon Foster’s American deluxe strat heavily over the fortnight in the studio. We used a bunch of Strymon pedals for a lot of the luscious and more atmospheric effects, and found heaps of rare canadian and danish fuzzes and overdrives in Haug’s ‘pedal library’ that was pretty integral. We also used Electro Harmonix pedals a lot for the modulation, the small stone and small clone have since become two of my must-haves. Some of our biggest guitar tones on the album (“Moonshine” is a good example) come from putting the most massive tones possible through the smallest and most fucked amp we could find (a little Orange 12V beast with a single 6-inch speaker). Sometimes the worst shit’s the best, ya know?
JIMMY: I use Line6 pretty heavily for a lot of this - I have played a James Tyler Variax 89 through a Line6 Pod HD500 for the past 5 years in the band, it’s been our recording and live staple that’s allowed me to go from shimmering tele sounds to phaser-laden acoustics to crushing drop tuned overdrives at any point.