Jean-Michel opens up about his sound and why KHDK's Abyss has a special place in his rig.
One of our favorite bands, Gojira, has been a part of the KHDK artist family since the early days. Joe Duplantier is a fan of our pedals and we, of course, can't get enough of Evil Mario and his killing spree.
Recently, we met with Jean-Michel in Berlin to deliver our bass overdrive, Abyss. To do it in style, we also built him a custom enclosure (more on that soon!). Jean-Michel knows a good thing when he hears it...and so the Abyss found a permanent spot in his rig.
Jean-Michel, what's your role in Gojira's sonic spectrum?
Bass in Gojira is almost like a third guitar, staying rhythmically in sync with Mario on the drums while also hitting some harmonies with both of the guitar players.
Why did you include the Abyss in your rig?
The Abyss adds a layer of precision and punch to my sound. It's the type of pedal I can dial in and leave on for the entire show. I don't have many pedals in my setup, but the Abyss is definitely here to stay!
How do you approach your tone crafting, both live and in studio?
My preference has always been to take sound that is a bit muddy and dirty and make it clear and precise.
Combined with a huge clean bass sound and making that a bit grungy and mean [laughs].
Some songs sound a bit dirtier than others in the studio, but live it's a consistent crushing tone from start to finish.
What are your tone secrets?
Very simple. Take a killer amp, Fender Super bassman, plug it into the Abyss, then into an old-school Ibanez TS-7 tube screamer and straight to the speakers.
Jean-Michel's Full Rig:
FENDER AMERICAN ELITE PRECISION BASS -> SHURE UR4D WIRELESS -> BOSS TU-3 (STAGE) -> BOSS TU3 (RIG) -> KHDK ABYSS -> IBANEZ TS-7 -> MXR SMART GATE -> FENDER SUPER BASSMAN AMP -> FENDER SUPER BASSMAN STD NEO 8/10 CAB
Do you spend a lot of time fine tuning the rhythm parts of bass and drums with Mario?
It has always been a very natural process of locking in the rhythm with Mario. We are not the type of band that has the bass guitar and kick drum sounding totally identical.
My tone sits right on top of the kick much like a third guitar; it compliments his kick patterns well, and we've always been locked in rhythmically since the beginning.
Stay tuned for a unique look at the process of creating Jean-Michel's custom Abyss enclosure...