In Pound for the Sound, Phoenix New Times gets technical with musicians about what gear they use to create their signature style.
Sunset Voodoo's Jared Roth has always loved the guitar. He comes from a musical family. His father plays cornet, and his mother was a state champion accordion player in high school (though Roth says he's never seen her play). His little brother Lucas? He plays bass in Sunset Voodoo.
Roth was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and moved to the Valley with his family in 1996 when he was 6 years old. From first grade on, he attended school in Tempe, and now, he considers himself an Arizona boy through and through. He never attended a school he couldn't walk to, and he's still a Tempe resident today.
He has always had a love for music and guitar. Roth got his first guitar when he was 13. His cousin helped collect money for him to get a guitar after he expressed interest in wanting to play. He went on to pursue music classes and study jazz guitar at Mesa Community College.
Most recently, Roth has been playing guitar for Sunset Voodoo. The band will headline this year's Ball-A-Palooza at Last Exit Live on Saturday, April 14. The event is a benefit to support the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation. New Times caught up with Roth to discuss his original Fender Deville amp, how he got his first guitar, and his upcoming show.
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New Times: What's the secret weapon of your sound? And how did that help you find your "signature" tone?
Jared Roth: My Fender DeVille is the only thing that I can think of as “signature” to my tone. The amp is definitely my oldest work horse. It dates back to my teenage years in a band with Brenden McBride, who plays bass in Wyves. Other than that, I would like to think that my tone is constantly evolving as I grow.
What's your favorite piece of gear in your collection and why?
Definitely my Schecter Diamond Series guitar. It is really versatile, and is a gift from a close friend after my Telecaster was stolen years ago.
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Any special pieces of gear acquired over the years? Any special story, or stories, behind your collection of tools?
My first guitar! At 13 years old, my cousin was in town from Indiana. He had brought his acoustic guitar along and I was pretty infatuated already with the idea of learning the guitar. After expressing to him that I was interested, he immediately asked for a little bit of money from our family members. He bought a Hohner acoustic guitar from a pawn shop. It plays great, and I have done the majority of writing in my life on it.
Just listened to your track “Another Round.” Loved the spacey, funky vibe behind the work. How did you go about tracking guitars for that song?
My brother Lucas, who wrote the song, came to me with a riff one day. We really just went to town with it from there.
You had said that Sunset Voodoo is planning on releasing your first full length album sometime before the end of this year. Can you please share some of what your plans are for the release?
I unfortunately can’t at this time. We are really excited about the work we have done thus far for album, but any release dates are tentative at this point.
Sunset Voodoo is headlining out the third annual Ball-A-Palooza this Saturday at Last Exit Live, with proceeds going to the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation. Any words you wish to share with fans about the show?
I have a good friend that survived testicular cancer. It devastates so many individuals, it’s unreal. I think this show is for a great cause. We are all looking forward to rocking the house with everyone this Saturday.