The Ottawa, Ontario-based progressive rock/metal five-piece The Kindred are gearing up to release their rip-roaring new full-length album, Life in Lucidity, on February 25th, 2014 via Sumerian Records. Loaded with intense moments and some magnificent guitar work, we managed to grab some time to speak with guitarist Ben John Davis about his key gear and the role it played in this new album.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Davis: That would have to be my custom tobacco burst Fender Telecaster.
What about it makes it so important to you?
Davis: The Kindred’s guitar tone is very different than what most guitar players go for in the modern hard rock/metal scene today. It seems as though everyone uses humbuckers through a very high gain amp or amp modeller. I’m determined to do something different. My musical background is enveloped in classic rock and the blues. While writing and demoing for our debut album Life In Lucidity I wanted our music and production to resemble these influences. The combination of the single coil pickups in my Telecaster with my Marshall JCM 800 makes for a very classic sound that I feel separates us from our peers.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album?
Davis: Steve and I used our Telecasters for every song on Life In Lucidity. The only thing we used another electric guitar for was our doubles on certain tracks where we used an ESP Eclipse.
How do you recreate your album tones in your live set?
Davis: The only difference in my last recording set up and my current live set up is the amp I use. I had the pleasure of using a 1968 modded Marshall JMP for Life in Lucidity that I fell completely in love with. Unfortunately the JMP belonged to the studio and the re-issues I tried didn’t cut it for me. I wanted the classic sound and warmth Marshall’s are famous for as well as the simplicity of a single channel amp. The JCM 800 was a natural transition and it sounds very similar to the modded JMP.
What are the major pros and cons?
Davis: Pro: My rig sounds sick! Con: The combination of traditionally made Marshall’s and single coil pickups make for a lot of feedback problems… and I really hate feedback.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Davis: When it comes to tone always remember that the first place “tone” comes from is your fingers. Your gear should simply enhance what your fingers and picking hand are already doing. If you start there than any amp or guitar you play through will sound great.
Check out the song “Everbound”