Jaret, how did it all begin?
I was born in Puerto Rico and moved to the States when I was five. Some of my earliest memories are of my dad and uncles playing me music, those dudes loved Metallica. My dad would also drive me around with Pearl Jam on repeat. All my uncles played guitar, and my grandfather the cuatro, so I had early exposure to those instruments.I didn’t pick up a guitar myself until I was 15 or 16, when my dad finally got an acoustic for Christmas and I got bitten by the bug. Eventually I bought an Epiphone Les Paul for money I’d earned selling candy in high school, and once that was done I stopped doing just about everything else to pursue playing.
I’d recently been turned onto At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta and was like ‘Damn, that dude’s got hair like mine and he shreds, let’s learn that shit!’ My dad also made sure I knew Led Zeppelin was the greatest band of all time, so I guess that shaped a lot of my playing too, Zeppelin>The Beatles
Puerto Rico’s a really musical island, and we like to make noise!
You’re currently keeping busy with two bands, Grave Bathers and Heavy Temple, what can you tell us about them?
Grave Bathers formed about a year ago, bassist Davis and I had been in a surfy psychedelic porto-punk band together for a few years called The Bad Larrys, when our musical tastes started outgrowing what we were doing. So, we decided to get a heavier outlet to create music that resonated more with us. We met Drew, the singer, at a show, and the original drummer in Bathers, Barret, was an old band mate of Davis’. Our other guitarist, Steve, was the last piece of the puzzle, and we had our first show in NY within a month of forming. 2019 was a wild ride with lots of obstacles to overcome as a new band, but 2020 is looking promising with our new drummer Cliff having joined us
Heavy Temple’s been a band for about 7 years, and Elyse played with five different lineups before I joined on guitar and Will on drums. My buddy Zach from High Reeper gave me a heads up one morning that she was thinking of hitting me up to join, and I was sold before she even asked. Some of our bands had crossed paths in the past, so we were familiar. Before joining Heavy Temple, I’d never been on tour or played anything besides bar venues – all that changed this year.
As a guitarist, who would you say is your main influence?
That’s like trying to play FMK with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page.
When it comes to music in general, what bands are on repeat?
As for recent bands, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Monolord, and Thee Oh Sees. Oldies but goodies; Hendrix, Zeppelin, Dust, Sabbath, Captain Beyond and Sir Lord Baltimore.
What would you say has been your musical career highlight so far?
2019, from start to finish. Joining Heavy Temple and hitting the road to play in states I’ve never been in has been amazing. We got to play Union Transfer for Tired Hands Brewing’s (where I work as a brewer) anniversary party with Weedeater and Pallbearer, and I’d say that’s my favorite gig I’ve ever played, thanks Jean! Grave Bathers playing Johnny Brenda’s in Philly for our last show of the year, a year into being a band, let us know that we’re on the right track. THEN I got to join the Orange family! I definitely had to pinch myself a few times in 2019.
What’s your history and experiences with Orange?
My buddy had an Orange in high school, and one night we ate a bunch of shrooms and plugged his SG Custom into his AD30HTC half stack, and my mind was blown in the most perfect way. There was a lot of pedals to make noise with and everything sounded like.. Pink Floyd? Ha. I eventually bought an AD30R combo, before trading it for the twin channel head and cab on the day of my new psych band Tail’s first show.
What do you look for in an amp?
It should sound perfect turned all the way up, and then allow me to destroy that with a fuzz pedal. Beefy bass and low mids, with wooly top end that doesn’t sparkle too much. Everything Orange sounds like to me.
What’s your current set up?
I run either a Tokai Flying V or a Black Beauty Les Paul Custom into my vintage 1972 GRO100, with one or two PPC412’s. I’d play someone else’s guitar before playing a different amp. It reminds me of everything I loved about my OR50, just with more headroom and that crusty mojo. I drove 15 hours on a Sunday to pick that head up and when I found it, or it found me, the new backplate that was made for it had my birthday written on the back.