In Pound for the Sound, Phoenix New Times gets technical with musicians about what gear they use to create their signature style.
Adero Silversmith is the lead guitarist and co-songwriter for newly formed Phoenix rock 'n' roll band ADERO. The family-taught musician comes from generations of players. She has music in her blood.
Born in Flagstaff, Silversmith lived the early part of her life in Ganado, Arizona, and then grew up in Phoenix. She started singing in church at the age of 4. When she turned 7, she received her first acoustic guitar. Her grandfather taught her the basics, but as she got older, she became more interested in rock.
Adero loved the blues. Discovering Led Zeppelin's music pushed her over the edge. Once she got her first electric guitar at 14, she began hanging more with her uncle, a pro lead guitarist. She credits him as her second teacher — and the one who really taught her how to play rock.
Eventually, playing in bands became her artistic goal. And after posting videos of her playing guitar on Snapchat, Silversmith was contacted by vocalist Robbie Maldonado. They had a social media-only relationship for six full years before meeting in person and starting what is now ADERO.
Flash forward a year into the project, and you wouldn't guess this was Silversmith's first band, based on her creative drive and playing abilities. ADERO are scheduled to perform on Saturday, March 31, at Valley Bar. New Times caught up with Silversmith to discuss her gear, feelings about the Arizona music community, and straight up rock 'n' roll.
Phoenix New Times: What's the secret weapon of your sound? And how did that help you find your "signature" tone?
Adero Silversmith: I keep a very simple rig; simplicity is my weapon. I want to conquer the guitar, really make it do what I want only using my hands, a simple overdrive pedal, and a wah pedal. And it works for me. I get the sounds I crave. It also makes expressing myself so much easier, and without a doubt, I get more intimate with what I play. I don't want to have to worry about 10 pedals that I'm only gonna use for that one bridge in that one song. Finding my tone comes purely from my will to get it from a raw setup.
What's your favorite piece of gear in your collection and why?
My current favorite piece my SG. I call her Rosie after the AC/DC song "Whole Lotta Rosie." She was a gift from my Uncle Sonny. He taught me a lot about music and how to express myself in piecing together my own style. We just got done with a gig a couple months back and practice rolled around the next week. I opened the case to find the neck snapped right under the headstock. I froze in disbelief. Luckily, I had an amazing friend fix her right up and ready for the stage again. She means so much to me — a constant reminder of my uncle.
Any special pieces of gear acquired over the years? Any special story, or stories, behind your collection of tools?
My '06 American Fender Stratocaster. It was given to me by my grandmother on my 14th birthday. I always admired the standard Strat. The day it was given to me, I screamed and cried a little. My idols Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan both played Strats! I can't resist them. I call him Fillmore after my favorite character from the movie Cars. Just last year, I was gifted Texas Special pickups to put in it, and sometimes I just can't put it down. What makes it all the more special is that it is signed by one my favorite childhood bands, Los Lonely Boys. They were a huge inspiration to me growing up. The signatures are almost faded completely off, but that Sharpie put up a good eight-year fight.
My favorite pedal has always been my TS808, which was a Christmas gift when I was 15. I get the perfect amount of grit pairing it with those Texas Specials. It's very Stevie Ray Vaughn, but hey, his tone was impeccable. Most of my gear was gifted to me, I’m truly blessed to have such amazing people supporting me.
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Just listened your demo of “Vegas, Baby.” Big time rocking with some heavy guitar work present here. Super fun and wild. How did you go about recording the guitars for this track?
What I had written when we first went into the studio was only the rhythm guitar. I used my strat plugged into Fender Hot Rod Deville for all the rhythm. Day two in the studio, I got to record the leads, which I wrote there in the studio that day playing on my SG, giving it that full rounded rock 'n' roll sound to the whole song. It's definitely one of our favorites to play, a high energy, in-your-face song.
You had mentioned in our conversation that joining ADERO, and now being a part of the Phoenix music community, has changed your life. Can you expand upon that thought please?
Phoenix is filled with an unmeasurable amount of talented people! The music community we have out here is truly remarkable. My life has changed for the better since meeting a number of these incredible souls. I’ve become intrigued with their stories and their kindness that I find myself trying to change for the better both in spirit and how much work I put into my art.
ADERO have a show coming up this Saturday March 31 at Valley Bar with Wyves and Coyote Tango. It is definitely going be a super rocking night. Any words you wish to share with readers about your upcoming performance?
Keep supporting your local music. And thank you to Wyves for having us on this show! We gonna rock and we gonna roll! So come out to this show!