Tone Talk with Jules

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As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 19 – Spring 2022

Jules (she/her/they/them) is a high school student just outside of Toronto and guitarist of the riot grrrl band NOSEBLXXD (pronounced nosebleed). A self-described “low key metalhead,” Jules grew up listening to bands like Radiohead and U2 and cited Paramore, Nova Twins, and Via as their more current influences. She noted, “I grew up listening to bands with few or no female, BIPOC, or queer members.” Their band is working to create change in the music scene to help folks feel more included than they all felt.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
My definition of tone is a unique blend of strings, pedals, and playing style. The tone of your guitar can completely change the feel of a song. The amazing thing is that there are almost an infinite amount of different tones possible. When I first started out with guitar in 2020, I favored a classic rock-style tone with a fair amount of distortion and reverb. As I discovered different styles of music, I got really into Riot Grrrl and punk and changed my tone to match. With a lot of gain and distortion, I usually play with a neck pickup.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
Currently, I’m using a Squier by Fender Stratocaster. I love the feel of the frets, and I really like the pickups. I feel comfortable playing standing or sitting with the body and the weight. I also play a Taylor acoustic. For amps, I’m using a Line 6 Spider IV 50. While the presets of different songs are super fun to play around with, the distortion settings are great because, as I am fairly new to guitar, I haven’t purchased any pedals yet. As venues are opening up once more, I will definitely be checking out pedals within the next few weeks before my band’s first shows. 

What about strings?
For strings, I stick with D’Addario EXL120s for my Stratocaster.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
Unfortunately, I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of recording guitar in the studio yet. Hopefully, I’ll get to soon this year!

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
Because I started playing guitar during the first COVID lockdown, I haven’t been able to play on stage with my band or my electric guitar. I have played a few shows with my acoustic, which isn’t too hard to balance the sound of while playing live.

What does your practice consist of?
I try to play every day. I’m constantly learning new riffs in different styles. I play metalcore, punk, grunge, emo, and many other genres, which really helps in terms of writing. Because I’m learning so many different things, I have a lot of options to pull from while writing my own riffs. I also usually try to focus on something else while I’m playing, usually watching a movie. This helps with not having to look at my picking and my fretboard as much, which will definitely come in handy during shows where I also have to sing. 

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Don’t hold back! Ever! There will always be tons of people saying, “You don’t belong here” or “You’re not good enough.” I know how hard it is, but do not ever let them stop you. Put yourself and your music out there! Do it anyway! Prove them wrong.

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