In Pound For The Sound, Phoenix New Times gets technical with local musicians about what gear they use to create their signature style.
Twin Ponies guitarist and vocalist Wayne Jones is a unique type of Arizona native. He was born and raised in Yuma, and moved to the Phoenix area when he started attending college at Arizona State University. However, his music career started well before setting foot at Arizona State.
Jones started his songwriting career at age 12, and he was an electric player from the start. His first guitar was a Peavey Raptor 1. The budding musician learned to play through tablature and by jamming along to some of his favorite '90s rock bands like Nirvana, Green Day, At The Drive In, and Soungarden.
Wayne has gone on to become an active musician in the Phoenix and Tempe music scenes, always being involved with at least one or two projects at any given time. He was in the now-defunct acts Tugboat and Kinch. He also played with longtime local troubadour Matthew Reveles. More recently, he recorded bass with The Gentle Hits for their November 2016 release and performed live with the band.
Jones, and the rest of Twin Ponies, are gearing up for their first full-length release on Friday, October 6, at The Trunk Space. The band's also gearing up for their first run toward the east coast, and they head out on tour shortly after the release show. With all this in the works, New Times was able to squeeze some words in with Wayne about his gear, new record, and upcoming tour.
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New Times: What's the secret weapon of your sound? And how did that help you find your "signature" tone?
Wayne Jones: The sound I have live is kind of a mix of the gear and how I play. I use a Fender Jaguar through a Boss DD-7 delay, a Keeley Modded Boss DS-1, and a Guild Foxey Lady Fuzz, all going through an Orange AD-30R combo amp. I use the delay as slap-back for rhythm stuff and then use the fuzz for heavier moments or leads here and there. It’s pretty minimal.
What's your favorite piece of gear in your collection and why?
I’d say my guitar. It’s nothing special, but it’s a really well made mass produced instrument. A buddy of mine used his discount at a store that he worked at to help me buy it. Whenever I take it in for a setup, the tech is usually impressed with how well made it is for a middle tiered Fender. It’s been super reliable and I love that it has a neck with a shorter scale.
Any special pieces of gear acquired over the years? Any special story, or stories, behind your collection of tools?
Probably my fuzz. I have no idea what circuit was put in there before I bought it. It’s encased in an old Guild Foxey Lady, so nothing besides the box is original. I tried it out at Guitar Tree a few years back, and I know they told me more about it, but I can’t remember. I’d been shopping around for a fuzz and this one just sounded raw and sharp to me and I was impressed with how it cut. It sounds like it’s own thing, and the mystery of it adds to it being rad.
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Just listened to “Great Big Great” off of your upcoming release, Twin Ponies, on an album preview. Loved the heavily distorted guitars all over the place. How did you go about tracking guitars for the opening track of the album to get that mega-gritty tone?
We tracked the record live in our living room with the amps in different rooms of the house. Both guitar amps had an SM-57 on the cab with a room mic a few feet back. Part of the tones on that track are my fuzz and rhythm guitar, but Jacob gets some really wild guitar sounds out of his setup. He’s always tinkering with different stuff and is equally responsible for for the band’s guitar sound.
The band has a national tour coming up following the big album release this weekend.
Have any special plans for the tour coming up? Any venues or cities you are particularly excited about?
It’s our first time heading east as a band, so we’re just excited to play some shows out there, especially at this time of year. We’re playing with friends we’ve made over the years and even have a show in Jacksonville with family.
Twin Ponies is releasing your new album this Friday at The Trunk Space. Any words you wish to share with fans about the show?
We’re stoked to play with our good friends in Dent, Celebration Guns, and The Expos. We are total fans of what they do. The show is actually in the basement and our buddy Josh John will be doing some rad VHS glitch visuals along the white walls, so it should be super fun!
Twin Ponies are scheduled to perform at The Trunk Space Friday October 6. Doors open at 7 p.m.