Justin Emord of Love and A .38 NAMM Interview by Talia Faber!
Justin: I am Justin Emord from Love and A .38 and I’m sponsored by EMG Pickups, Deans Guitars, Graph Tech, Hipshot Products, Boulder Creek Acoustics, Hercules Stands, Stage Ninja Cables, and a whole bunch of others.
TALIA: I didn’t know you had so many!
Justin: There’s about twelve of them, including Jagermeister.
TALIA: You recently got picked up by Dean Guitars, how is that going for you?
Justin: Dean’s a fantastic company, they’ve been around for decades and they’ve just always had a really impressive roster of artists like Michael Schenker, Dimebag Darrell; so to be able to work with them it’s fantastic. They’re a great company, they make great gear and I’m honored and thrilled to be working with them.
TALIA: So do you have a signature bass or just custom shop?
Justin: Actually right now I’m using a Dean John Entwistle bass, it’s one of their signature models for John Entwistle from The Who and when they sent it to me I just completely customized it and made it look and play/feel the way I wanted it to. I customized it myself and made it the way I want it to be.
TALIA: Would you hope for a signature model by Dean one day?
Justin: I would love to have a signature bass from Dean Guitars, I’d love to work with them
TALIA: Would you make it look steampunk like the one you’re using now?
Justin: I’d probably do a steampunk one for myself, but a production model would probably go a little more mainstream just to appeal to the largest audience we could.
TALIA: Out of all guitars you’ve used, what seems to be your favorite type of wood and why?
Justin: I’ve got my Dean which I’m really growing fond of, but I designed a bass just a couple years ago, my white one. That’s probably still my favorite just because I designed it to be exactly what I wanted. It’s got everything I want in a bass, mahogany body with an ebony fretboard.
TALIA: Now I remember that bass took a while and there were some problems with that bass at first, what exactly happened?
Justin: The company took a lot longer to make it, and they had some hiccups just getting all the parts and everything for it. Once everything got rolling it was fantastic and I’m still completely in love with that bass.
TALIA: What’s your dream set up?
Justin: My dream set up is exactly what I’m running right now an Ashdown amp with some Ashdown pedals, Stage Ninja Cables, EMG Pickups; the only thing I’d change is the signature Dean guitar, but that could potentially happen so we’ll see if I get my dream rig.
TALIA: Is there a specific favorite pedal you use and what brand?
Justin: Yes, my favorite pedal is probably going to be my Ashdown distortion plus pedal or my Tech 21 Sansamp, both of them have become completely instrumental in getting me the sound I want and when I turn either one of them off my bass doesn’t sound like my bass anymore. So both of those are probably really closely tied together for my favorite.
TALIA: So I know about the band, but what can you tell readers about Love and A .38?
Justin: Love and A .38 is just a straight up rock band and we’re influenced by a lot of different bands. We don’t like to pigeon hole ourselves and say we are a certain kind of rock and roll because we’re just all over the board. We have a bunch of influences from bands like Aerosmith and AC/DC, but also go all the way across the board to bands like My Chemical Romance, Rise Against, and The Black Keys. Anything rock and roll is just a game for us.
TALIA: Who is your biggest personal influence?
Justin: The Beatles, they’ve always been my favorite band and have always had a big influence on how I play and who I am. They’ve been my favorite since third or fourth grade, I’ve always been a diehard Paul McCartney fan, so it’s always been him and will forever be.
TALIA: You can never go wrong with The Beatles. How long can it take you to write/find a tone?
Justin: It all depends, a lot of time the tone I go for is pretty much straight standard. I don’t usually change too much when it comes to song by song, in the studio for recording we actually run a guitar amp so we do that to get some more overdriven tones. In the mixing process that’s when we go and dial in how much bass and how much of the guitar amp we do. In a lot of settings, it’s basically going to be the same, the only thing that ever really changes are if I’m using a distortion pedal as opposed to a fuzz pedal.
TALIA: Do you have a specific string preference and why?
Justin: I use D’addario chromes, I use 50-105 which is a medium-heavy set and they just sound great, it’s the kind of gauge I like. I like a thicker string, I don’t like a flimsy 40 or a 45 set. I like my bass string to basically be ropes, I feel like it gives me a better tone and the chrome and brightness I get out of the D’addario’s is exactly what I want out of my bass sound.
TALIA: Is there anything else you can say about your sponsors and tips for musicians trying to get sponsored or endorsed?
Justin: I would definitely say if you’re trying to get sponsorships make sure you’re trying to get with companies you really want. Don’t try and go to twenty different guitar companies and see which one is going to pick you. If you have a really big preference as to what company you like then stick with them, keep emailing them/talk to them and see if you can get a deal. If they say no, that doesn’t mean no forever, it just means now is maybe not the right time. Keep trying and keep going for it, the best things will happen for you. Don’t give up just because you hear a no.
You can find the Entwistle series here: http://www.deanguitars.com/subcategory?series=john_entwistle_series
You can find Love and A .38 here: https://www.facebook.com/Loveanda.38