Musician Betty Moon originally hails from Toronto, and relocated to Los Angeles in 2010 to continue the pursuit of her music. Her latest and ninth studio album release, Hellucination, was released on May 17, 2019 and features her latest single “Crazy,” which can be listened to in the interview below. We caught up with Betty about her guitar playing over the years, what gear she’s currently using, her techniques, and her advice for young women pursuing music.
Q: What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
Tone is the truest and most candid extension of your creative personality. I love how you can hear guitar or bass tone on certain albums and know exactly which player it came from or who in the long run inspired it. Over the years I moved from relying on analog equipment including pedals and tube heads to digging more on digital options and plugins on the production side. I’m not particularly attached to a certain tone for my identity, but I for sure dig deep to make sure my tone kicks ass live or in studio.
Q: Which guitars, amps and pedals are you currently using and why?
Currently I’ve been using my custom PRS in-studio and in rehearsal I generally play an acoustic Laravee. I have a small collection of other guitars and basses, and in the past always leaned towards classic Fender and Gibson models. I switch between a JCM 800 and JVM410H live and some of my favorite live pedals include the Big Muff, Micro POG, Digitech Whammy and a Dunlop Cry Baby. I know some of these are pretty common, but I like to stick with what works. I have a vintage Marshall that I’ve had for a hundred years as well.
Q: Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
Yeah, push record and play together. (laughs) I always prefer to track real drums and mic up the bass/guitar while also getting that direct signal case we want to re-amp in post. I use a lot of really cool plugins in Pro Tools so it’s nice to have options and not be stuck with just what you tracked in the studio.
Q: How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
Honestly, I don’t really keep a map or reference of my settings and just go with the flow in the weeks and days leading up to the show. Sometimes I’m in a different mood show to show and am inspired by different things I’m listening to, which then leads to me messing with settings to get a new tone. I can’t speak for my lead guitarist or bassist, but I know they have their preferences and sound great every show.
Q: What does your practice consist of?
We usually rent out a full stage rehearsal spot in the LA area and rehearse the show back to back multiple times as if it was live. Before going into the set we’ll work out any kinks and forgotten parts, and after the run-throughs address anything that needs work. I always expect that the band knows most of their parts before we rehearse, but I’m not too hard on ourselves if we need to improve things during the practice. That’s the point, right?
Q: What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Learn everything you can about your niche of the industry and become a master of it. Everyone will spill their advice on you but it’s really about being a strong, confident (but open-minded) executive who knows what they want. Listen closely to those who are more successful than yourself, but always keep in mind that it’s not the only path to the next level. It’s unfortunate that the world of music making is still slightly male dominated, but I think we’re making a lot of progress by seeing other Women rise to the top.
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