One Ton Project are a Las Vegas, NV-based rock band signed to Battleground Records. The group are dropping their debut full-length, Gizzards & Hearts tomorrow, and recently we spoke with guitarist Joe Munoz about some of his fave gear, and how it impacts the One Ton Project sound.
What piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound? Munoz: I use a Korina partscaster that I put together during the recording process of Gizzards & Hearts.
What about it makes it so important to you? Munoz: The work that went into it and the resulting tone make it very special to me. This guitar started as a mid-'80s Japanese made Fender neck. I chose a Korina wood blank body, which I then routed out for P90s. After that, I finished it with thirteen coats of tung oil. The tone is somewhere in between a Strat and a Les Paul.
How was this gear used in the recording of you latest album? Munoz: Unfortunately, I didn't get to finish the guitar in time to record with it on the album. But, it will absolutely be on the next record!
How do you recreate your album tones in your live set? Munoz: I used mostly an american Tele and a Les Paul classic on the album. The Korina Strat, with a bit of tweaking, allows me to get very similar Fender and Gibson tones without having to switch guitars so often on stage.
What are the major pros and cons? Munoz: Pros: It's a very comfortable instrument to play. Not too heavy on the shoulder and the action is smooth. It sounds lively and gets gritty and nasty when heated up. Cons: The P90s are very noisy when used individually. I'm actually considering switching to noise cancelling P90s.
Do you have a backup for this gear? If so, what? Munoz: My first choice as backup for the Korina is my Les Paul Classic Plus, '60s Spec. My second choice is an anniversary american Tele. All of which I run through a modded Carvin Legacy chassis (Mullard tubes, Orange caps). I extracted the brains from a Legacy combo and then fabricated a perforated stainless steel cage for it. It sits upside down on an Avatar 2x12 cab, loaded with vintage '30s.
Give us your best "gear goes wrong story." Munoz: About halfway though a sweaty set at a small venue off The Strip, I pushed my '72 Bassman to its limit... trying to fill the room with no mic. Lo and behold, what we thought was someone burning toast in the back, was my amp... smoking like an old, grizzled french-man. I switched quickly to a Mesa Boogie Mark V Rig, borrowed from the previous band. I neglected to adjust any volume what-so-ever and proceeded to bleed everyone in the first few rows by the ears.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear? Munoz: No matter what your gear, the best tone generators are your fingers.