John Loland is the bassist of Boston-based band The Jauntee, which is known for its exploratory type 2 jamming. John is a very adaptable bass player, able to switch between the many different styles of music The Jauntee plays, and he has a more active style of playing, akin to Phil Lesh’s “avoid the root note” style (to my ears at least). Check out his playing from this opening slot The Jauntee performed during Dopapod’s Paradise Rock Club run last April, footage courtesy of mkDevo.
SDGR SR-905 5 String
Mesa M9 Carbine > Gallien Krueger 410MBE 4×10 & Mesa Powerhouse 1×15
Gallien Kruger 700 RB
Signal Chain- Boss GEB-7 Bass Equalizer > Boss CH-1 SUPER Chorus > Moog Moogerfooger Lowpass Filter (with Dunlop VolumeX as EP for envelope amount) > Boss DD-7 Digital Delay (with Moog FS-1 footswitch for tap-tempo). The Tuner/EQ footswitch runs directly into the back of the head“I put that brick under the pedalboard because the clearance between the bottom of the foot of the board and tip of the power switch is so small, if I put it on a soft enough carpet, the switch gets hit and turns off the power brick.”
InterviewPhoto credit to Luke Suvino Design & Photo (youenjoymydesign.com)
Behind the Gear: Did you take any inspiration from some of your favorite artists when you were building your current board?
John Loland: Definitely. I’ve really always liked the envelope filter and wah kind of sound. Flea was one of my earliest influences. Jimi Hendrix too. Then I got into Funkadelic shortly after. All of these artists used those type of sounds and turned me onto them. Also, the low-pass was the only pedal on my board I chose to purchase. The rest were gifts/hand-me-downs. So, there’s that. But I like ’em all!
BTG: Who are some of your inspirations as a bass player?JL: Oh boy. In no particular order:
Phil Lesh, Bootsy Collins, Jaco Pastorius, Paul Jackson, Marcus Miller, Flea, Louis Johnson (The Brothers Johnson), Arthur Barrow (Frank Zappa), Stanley Clarke, Les Claypool, Brian Wilson, Mike Gordon, Rick James, Bakhiti Kumalo*, Michael League, Paul McCartney, Thundercat, Esperanza Spalding, Chris Squire, Tina Weymouth, Stevie Wonder (synth and electric bass), George Porter, Chris Wood, Victor Wooten, and Nathan Watts
(this dude especially; he played on “Graceland” [whole album]. If you’re not familiar with him, listen to the album called “Rhythm of the Saints” by Paul Simon. This is easily one of my top 3 favorite albums ever. If I submitted this without mentioning his name, I would’ve been kicking myself)
Honestly, most of the time, I can walk into any open mic night in Denver and be inspired by some kid I’ve never seen or heard of before. Tucker McClung of Cycles and Chris Duffy of The Magic Beans definitely inspire me!
BTG: What is the one pedal on your board you couldn’t live without?
JL: I’m not a parent, but this is like picking a favorite child. Unless, of course, you have a child you favor (which, seemingly, is not uncommon). But for me, it’s very difficult to choose between the low-pass filter and the chorus. It would have to be the low-pass filter. I’ve had it for longer and it can do more than the chorus.
BTG: What are some of your favorite pedal combinations to play with?
JL: If you can get the chorus sounding good with the low-pass filter, that’s the pinnacle combination. But it’s hard for some reason. They can almost cancel each other at points, leaving me with this undesirable, wet, muddy low end. I haven’t figured out the trick yet, so it’s something I never really do in a live setting.
BTG: Do you remember the first time you exposed to the use of effects pedals?
JL: I think the first time I heard an effect and recognized it as an effect was when I was about 10 years old. My cousin showed me “Sir Psycho Sexy” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The song kicks off with a super fatty bass line. Flea was using a Mutron on that (rumor has it the battery in the pedal was nearly dead, so it produced a grittier sound). But I was completely blown away. I’d say that song/album changed my life.
BTG: Who are some of your favorite contemporaries on the scene currently?
JL: Tucker McClung (Cycles), Ben Pickering (Mister F), and Chris Duffy (The Magic Beans) come to mind. Garrett Sayers (Motet) is also a very bad boy on the bass. I’m sure there’s one or two who will pop in my mind after I submit this.
BTG: The Jauntee has a couple different iterations, such as JauntGrass, and you guys seem to strip away some gear when you play those gigs. How does your rig usually change?
JL: It is indeed stripped down. Very stripped down, compared to our electric set up. I use a U-bass, which is like a little ukulele sized thing. But it’s tuned normally, has black rubbery strings. and sounds like an upright when plugged in! I love it. Also, I only use the Mesa 1×15, and I use a Gallien Kruger 700 RB head. The Mesa head is a little too crisp for that bass. The single 15″ speaker rounds out and beef-ens up the bottom end.