We recently caught up with Jimmy Stafford, who shared his thoughts about the AC30 Custom Classic series. Jimmy will be using the AC30 Custom Classic Head on tour to support Train’s latest release For Me, It’s You. He also explains how he relies on the Valvetronix amp and ToneLab at home when writing new material.
The pros know tone when they hear it. There’s nothing more inspiring to a guitar player than killer tone. The VOX ToneLab has become an indispensable recording and performance tool for many of today’s top guitar players. It delivers the tone and features they need to write, record and perform the way they were meant to. Recently, Jimmy Stafford took the time to tell us about his experiences with ToneLab. Check it out…
Guitarist Jimmy Stafford of the Grammy award-winning band Train is best known for peppering the sonic landscape of the band’s music with a cadre of unique textures. His contributions to Train’s albums and live shows are a large part of the band’s formula for success. From the band’s inception, they have worked tirelessly, both in the studio and on the road, to deliver their own brand of music to their devoted fans. To accomplish this goal, much of the inspiration for the band’s music comes from within, as most artists will confess. However, a portion of the inspiration also comes from external influences. For a guitarist, his instrument and equipment play in important inspirational role in the writing and performing process. Following this model, it is obvious that VOX provides Jimmy with some of the inspiration that he needs.
Jimmy has been playing guitar ever since he was twelve years old, and was a member of several bands throughout the years. Train was formed back in 1994, and has been hard at work ever since. They have toured incessantly, becoming one of the world’s best live bands and taking an occasional break from the road only to write and record new music.
Their efforts have paid off. The band’s music has spent a considerable amount of time on the charts and has even earned them a Grammy. Neither accomplishment is a claim that many bands can make.
Jimmy has been a longtime VOX fan and user. The legendary AC30 tone has become an important element in Jimmy’s sound over the years. When the VOX Valvetronix series was released, it was only natural that Jimmy started playing one as well. “At home, I have my Valvetronix AD120VT. I use it when I am recording and trying to find that ideal sound for a new song idea. The VC-12 foot controller makes it easy to scan through my pre-programmed settings.”
Most recently, the ToneLab has made its way into Jimmy’s cache of VOX sonic weaponry. “I’m constantly experimenting with the sounds on the ToneLab. Depending on what type of sound I’m recording, I might use a traditional VOX amp setting or maybe a classic Brit setting or the tweeds. I really like the reverbs on the ToneLab and use the tremolo quite a bit. It’s amazing how realistic the amp replications sound on the ToneLab. Why own ten different amps when you can have it all in the ToneLab and fit it in your suitcase! I like the versatility and how compact it is. It’s ideal for traveling and easy to dial up pretty much any sound you can imagine. With the ToneLab and the foot controller I can take my sound anywhere in the world! I’m going to take it on tour with me this summer to write on the bus and in hotels with. I might end up using it live as well. Even my guitar tech really loves it!”
The ToneLab’s pure sound and feel make it an indispensable tool for performing and recording. The onboard effects and features make it even more useful to today’s guitarist. That’s a big part of the reason the ToneLab has found a home with Jimmy. Jimmy is a VOX man, through and through. “You know what I like about VOX products? They’re simple. Plug in, point the knobs straight up and everything sounds good right away. I hate when you have to fidget with an amp for a half an hour to get it to sound good.” To keep up with Jimmy and Train go to http://www.trainline.com/