Jose Rios has been part of the Free Nationals since it’s inception, he has also produced a number of the tracks across their four album career. Jose has been using the Rockerverb 100 MKIII since it’s launch and has been one of its biggest advocates. We met up with Jose before the band played a sold out show to 10K people at London’s Alexandria Palace in spring of 2019. He was relaxed but excited about the show and talked at length about his influences and how Orange is to him the voice of quality.
What’s up everybody, it’s Jose Rios from Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals.
What inspired you to pick up the guitar?
I picked up the guitar because of Stevie Ray Vaughan, my father listened to quite a bit of his music. That’s the whole reason I play, he introduced me to that stuff and I was hooked immediately. I learned about a lot of other people through him and I realised where he got his style from, through learning and listening to other records. But he is the reason I started playing the guitar. Jimi Hendrix obviously as Stevie Ray Vaughan was influenced by him, I think a lot of soul music, like the Motown stuff, that real clean chordy music. I really loved Jazz music but I wouldn’t consider myself to be a Jazz guy. But I do listen to a lot of that stuff, I incorporate it in my sound.
Why did you choose Orange?
Orange was just gritty, had a big sound and kind of sounded different than the other stuff in my genre/style. The reason I picked it up and started using it. Orange had the 412 and the Rockerverb head and it was a beast. I wanted that specifically, I wanted power!
What is it about the Rockerverb you love the most?
First of all the quality, how it’s made and how it looks, it’s incredible. I think it’s real sleek and clean, it’s built well and good quality all around. Speakers through to the tubes it’s just a solid amp, it’s clean, I don’t use the reverb on it, just the EQ. I don’t even have to turn it up that much because it is so loud! I have never gone past four I don’t think, because it is just so damn loud and i’m barely using the power that it has. But it breaks up nice, it has a nice clean tone basically the foundation for my board , I incorporate my sound through that, that like my medium, that rig and the pedals.
Talk us through your set-up at the moment.
Right now i’m actually using a Mexican Jag, that I put the same humbuckers into that were in my strat. The humbucker sound with that amp combined is like heavy duty man, it’s really powerful. My distortion pedal its a really creamy tone, cut through solo nastiness!
Do you prefer analogue or digital?
I’m just old school, I love the old guys and how they did it. They didn’t use digital, it was like amps, it was like analogue. I don’t know maybe I will one day switch over but right now I love my amp and I love having it on stage, I feel comfortable and i’m still as a player learning about it every day. Like tone and options on stage but right now i’m sticking to my guns and saying I need that 412 with me on the road!