Know Your Tone: JANK

“Know Your Tone” is a feature that spotlights the intricacies and processes musicians go through, to develop their unique sounds. 

Name/Instrument: Ruben Polo / Bass

What is your current amp set-up?
Musicman HD130 through a fender bassman 2×15. Bass is 96 squire P Bass

Describe the thought process and journey it took to find your unique sound?
I’ve just done a lot of trial & error. I’d try something for a month then trade for other sounds. I’ve played a bunch of different amp/cab setups that I liked but always came back to musicmans & 2x15s. As far as bass I didn’t find what I truly liked till recently in P Basses. I enjoyed one giant humbucker for a long time because of how smooth it sounded but things change

Tell us about your current pedal board set-up:
Boss TU-2 , EHX Small Stone Chorus, Behringer HD300, Earthquaker Devices Ghost Echo

 Do you prefer a lot of pedal or a few?
For bass I prefer 3 or 4 pedals they may not all get used at every show but I can emulate almost any sound I need from the recordings

What is your thought process behind your pedal board and what does it do for your sound?Nothing crazy or special. Just trying to find the right combination to help me sound full. I want to be able to cut while letting Matts sound be the lead and compliment Sam’s style of drumming

 Is there anything that you have gotten rid of that you regret parting with?
I’ll always miss my old Russian Big Muff

Who/what inspired your current sound?
Brian Cook of Botch / TAAS / Russian Circles Mike Harbin of Burning Airlines Pat Quigley of Stippling Andy Rourke of The Smiths Mike Thieneman of Breather Resist / Young Widows Matt Borlik of Q and Not U All of them flourished in their pockets without being overbearing yet really lender themselves to the structures & melodies

If you could change one thing about your current set-up, what would it be?
Nothing. I’m currently really happy

What is your favorite piece of gear that you own?
BC Rich Platinum Series 4 string pink bass with Pink Strings. Not the best sounding bass I own but I love it

What is your favorite piece of gear that you don’t own YET?
I want an old Gibson Grabber


Name/Instrument: Matt Diamond/Guitar

What is your current amp set-up?
For the last year I’ve been playing through a 2015 Classic Player Jazzmaster that I’ve modded with planet waves tuners, guitar fetish hot wound pickups, and a staytrem bride. I’m currently having a squire VM Jazzmaster with a J Mascis Squier neck on it set up with similar specs. Amp wise I’m currently playing out of a 70’s Peavey Standard Head and a Kustom 4×12 cab, though only up until recently I was using a 70’s Lab Series L7 combo.

Describe the thought process and journey it took to find your unique sound?
I’ve always loved loudness and abrasiveness in guitar tones but I’ve also paid close attention to mid range frequencies, so growing up playing guitar I was always very drawn to the different kinds of tones J Mascis would use on various Dinosaur Jr records. Once Ruben joined JANK he taught (and continues to teach) me a lot about tone/pedals/amps (growing up I ended up getting myself way more into the guitar world of gear) and what I’ve discovered is that I very rarely have a “clean” tone and sounds I use for softer dynamic parts end up being fairly crunchy before I end up putting any intentional gain on. I’ve always been drawn to Jazzmasters because I realized that I love jangly guitar tones and the bodies have always felt the most comfortable for me. I think it’s really funny that Jazzmasters have gotten this bad rep for being the shoegaze guitar when in reality, depending on your specs, they’re some of the most versatile guitars out there. Oh, and one notable thing about my tone journey as of late is that I actually use the rhythm circuit on my Jazzmaster as opposed to the lead circuit, which is considered taboo amongst a lot of the offset guitar community. Throwing a hotter pickup in the neck position gives the rhythm circuit a similar jangle to that of the middle position of the lead circuit with a little more low end and thickness which works well when you’re a three piece and you’re trying to fill out space as a guitarist.

Tell us about your current pedal board set-up:
 Right now I just have a standard boss tuner going into this neat 70’s DOD Preamp pedal that acts as an always on clean boost when it’s turned up to 10. That’s going into an Adventure Audio Siamese Growler which is essentially a tube screamer clone with an added boost button for a little extra thickness. That’s going into an old Japanese Frontline Stereo Chorus which has been going into my roommate’s hall of fame reverb, but I’ll be using a Boss RV5 for our upcoming tour in August.

Do you prefer a lot of pedal or a few?
Definitely a few. I’ve spent a lot of my time as a guitar player just kind of plugging in and playing and not paying attention to effects so a lot of being in JANK has been a lot of playing catch up. In the end small pedalboards give me less anxiety.

What is your thought process behind your pedal board and what does it do for your sound?
In terms of the set up I really try to keep things light because I’m rarely staying in the same place while playing guitar since we try to be a high energy band. In terms of sound I strive to keep my guitar sounding thick while not taking anything from the low end that Ruben is providing. Effects wise I try to keep everything in moderation so we don’t end up sounding like a punk band with post-rock parts so while I do use a thick amount of reverb sometimes, it’s usually just to fill out space during noisy “hit everything” parts.

Is there anything that you have gotten rid of that you regret parting with?
Most of my gear regrets have been guitar related. A few years ago I had an old lawsuit era Ibanez Les Paul in an off-white finish with a maple fretboard/black block inlays and faded gold hardware that I traded for a Japanese Fender Mustang that I also regret trading. Now that I’m slowly getting into the amp game I’m sure I’ll make tons more mistakes. Besides them I’ve traded two MXR 10 band EQ pedals and I’ve regretted it both times.

Who/what inspired your current sound?
My least favorite tone in the world is a telecaster on the bridge pickup going through a twin reverb. That shrillness and my disdain for it has really inspired me to try and stray away from those tones.

If you could change one thing about your current set-up, what would it be?
It’d be nice to have a compact clean boost with more of an emphasis on EQ because no matter what amp I use I never seem to be satisfied on an immediate tone. I was using an Xotic EP booster for a while but I realized it just kept adding on this extra low end that I didn’t want at all.

What is your favorite piece of gear that you own?
My Jazzmaster (which I’ve dubbed the Jazzmango) has been my yearlong companion and will never leave my side (mostly because I’ve torn it apart so much it has pretty much zero resale value) and while I’ve tried out different distortions, the Siamese Growler always ends up pulling me back in, so I imagine that will be a staple in my setup for a while.

 

What is your favorite piece of gear that you don’t own YET?
Since I’m still new to the amp world I don’t have many favorites yet (though I’ve become accustomed to old Musicman and Traynor Heads) one of the guitarists from Lithuania plays an SG with strat style single coils that I’d really love to get my hands on because I love the look and feel of SGs but the pickups never do it for me. Definitely wanna get my hands on a Mr. Black Eterna Gold pedal and I really want to try out one of those Boss Harmonist pedals for fun. Also like 7 Marshall full stacks so I can have more than J Mascis.


Check out their new album “Versace Summer” below! 

Today JANK kicks off their Versace Summer Tour with Boy Rex & Donovan Wolfington in Philadelphia! 

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