A few names immediately came to mind when we began thinking about content and contributors for the ‘Gear Nerds’ features. Jesse was one of them. Fronting the Melbourne based alt/rock outfit ‘Crying Sirens’ Jesse is a gear modder, buyer/seller, music fan and aficionado. The group released their full length ‘Atsu’ at the end of 2015 and have been steadily gigging since. I recently asked him about his tools-of-the-trade and what he’s using to get the utterly massive sounds you’ll hear on the album and on stage.
MIA: What is your current set up.. the regular workhorse rig?
JD: PRS Custom 24 or Gibson Les Paul Custom ’68 Reissue > modded Crybaby wah > amp switcher > Volume pedal to loop: Guyatone Flip Tremolo pedal > vintage MXR Phase 90 > vintage Electroharmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress > Vintage Electroharmonix Deluxe Memory Man > Mesa Boogie Mark IV head and Mesa Boogie Stiletto 4×12 cab with Vintage 30’s or Mesa Boogie Blue Stripe Mark III head and Mesa Boogie Recto 2×12 cab with Vintage 30’s.
MIA: Do you have a favourite pedal/effect that you just always come back to?
JD: Vintage Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory man. It responds to your picking hand, it’s the most addictive and 3D sounding chorused delay out there. It’s essential to the band.
MIA: We all get GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) from time to time. What’s on your current wishlist at the moment?
JD: Any vintage Electroharmonix analogue pedals. They sound better, thicker and fatter the louder you go. I’d love another Flying V as well. Because Flying Freaking V!
MIA: Ultimate bargain or wisest decision..what’s been one of your best buys?
JD: Free vintage 100w Maton head – blown transformer, but after that it was good to go. Japan rules for bargain gear, the freaky eclectic stuff that just sounds awesome. I also once got a Hiwatt DR103 for under a grand. That was a good day.
MIA: What was your first guitar/pedal/amp set up? How much has it changed?
JD: My first rig was my old Kramer into a solid state Fender M80. It totally brought the chunk. Still have the Kramer.
I’ve always been obsessed with guitar effects. Those old Japanese analogue all-in-one pedal boards are THA BOMB. They sound great.
MIA: How much difference is there between what you use in a studio and what you’d use live?
JD: Not much at all. We want to replicate on stage what happens in the studio. We pay as much attention to the guitar parts as much as the gear. It’s got to sound good and work for the song.
MIA: Lastly.. any tips or golden nuggets of advice for gear heads or new players?
JD: A crap guitar into a great amp will ALWAYS sound better than a great guitar into a crap amp. Do not skimp on your amp.
Have a listen to Crying Sirens here:
Find em on facey here:
And.. cos I pinched her pic..Kate Wehl Photography