NAMM INTERVIEW WITH MARC OKUBO by TALIA FARBER



1. What was your favorite moment at NAMM?

  • My favorite moment was running into friends at Wes Hauch’s guitar performance.


2. I know you're sponsored with Jackson, Fishman, and Ernie Ball. Are you with EVH and Marshall? What other companies help you out?  

  • I am actually with EVH as well! They make amazing amps and I’m very excited to be with them. I have had help from Ernie Ball strings, Airis Effects and also software companies such as BIAS, Toontrack, Arobas Music, GGD and JST.


3. What was the writing process like for False Idol and how was it different than any other albums?

  • I wrote this album with a new friend, Max Schad. This is our 2nd album with our new vocalist so we wrote a lot of the music to showcase the vocals. False Idol is also lyrically a concept album and that is very new for us.


4. What's your dream guitar set up? or do you already have everything?

  • I am pretty content with my setup at the moment. I just wish I could make an affordable version for young guitarists. I can’t wait to work on some more music!


5. Why do you choose Jackson guitars out of all other companies? Do you have a signature model in the works? 

  • Jackson’s were always the guitars I wanted as a kid. It has been amazing getting custom made instruments from them. I unfortunately do not have a signature in the works but it has always been a dream of mine.


6. What kind of Fishman pickups do you use? How do they compliment your sound?

  • I use the moderns and they sound great. They improve on everything about my old tone while keeping all the positive characteristics .

  
7. What type of picks do you use?

  • I use .70 tortex picks



8. What's your preferred string gauge and why?

  • I use Ernie Ball 12 - 56 with a 70 on the low string. These handle my tuning well without feeling like spaghetti.  


9. How does your EVH head and Marshall amp compliment each other? 

  • I am just with EVH but it sounds awesome. We used it on the Matriarch record.


10. Would you ever use any kind of FX head like a kemper or an axe FX?

  • I use an Axe FX live. Kempers are pretty awesome as well and I can’t wait to try the Axe FX III.


11. What's your go to pedal?

  • I don’t use pedals much in my live rig anymore, but I would probably go with an Airis Effects overdrive and an ISP decimator.


12. How do you get ready for tour and what do your sponsors do to help?

  • I practice along to our set and try and spice it up a little bit. Sponsors like Ernie Ball has sent me strings before tour on a few occasions.


13. Any tips for musicians just starting out?


  • There are so many resources available at the moment! You can learn anything you want with the internet. I would say stay true to what you enjoy and learn to record asap!

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