Talking Gear and Tone with Jeremy Widerman of Monster Truck

Wes O’Neill


Earlier in 2017 Monster Truck played a sold out UK tour before heading out opening for Deep Purple. This was capped off by a storming performance at Ramblin' Man Fair and later in 2016 “The Truck” headline Planet Rockstock. Album number 3 has been recorded with it due to drop in 2018 and if its predecessors “Furiosity” and “Sittin Heavy” are anything to go by, it will be full of hard hitting riffs and big guitar sounds. If not, that’d be like a BBQ without the meat or beer without the alcohol... can’t see that happening on Monster Truck’s watch.


Guitarist Jeremy has a mind for simplicity and brute force in his gear setup. We had a quick chat with him prior to a show about what gear he is using and his best advice for those looking for their own elusive holy grail tone…


You’re a Marshall man are you not?


“I have two amp rigs, which will make sense in a moment. My European rig is currently a Marshall JCM800 reissue and a Silver Jubilee reissue. I have an endorsement with Marshall which I’m super thankful for. I got really sick of travelling with all my gear across the Atlantic and throughout Europe so having that endorsement really helps as I can just plug and in and rock out where ever you know and not worry about something getting lost or broken in transit which is the scariest thing. Back home I have a 1981 JMP and a custom Morris head made by a guy in my hometown which is all hand wired, they just kill it man.”


There’s something about a Gibson plugged into a Marshall...


“Definitely. My main guitar is a Gibson Custom Shop 1962 SG, of which I have three SG’s but one of them is the jewel in the crown being the custom shop one. The other two are standard SG’s - one of them stays in Europe as a backup, the other at home in Canada as a backup and my main one never leaves my sight, it goes with me everywhere. I have various other guitars sprinkled about that I use for certain small purposes. I only run three pedals as I always keep things to the absolute minimum, less to go wrong that way. All there is is a wah, a phaser and an overdrive.”


What would be the main thing to improve your tone gear wise?


“The thing for most players, and I only got turned on to this a little while ago, is that amps are cool, pedals fine, but the biggest bang for your buck if you’re on a budget, I think everybody's always on a budget you know, is a good pickup. Not a stock one but a good hand wired pickup. For 150 bucks the amount of tonal upgrade you’re gonna get for that upgrade into your guitar, having thrown away the crappy one that came with it and believe you me there’s crappy ones out there in otherwise good guitars, is where a real difference can be made. Honestly, if it’s an old guy in a garage hand winding pickups - try it. All those guys are crazy and awesome and they all think that they’re making the best replica of an original 50’s PAF and you know what? They all are with varying degrees of better or worse. Once you get into that category of pickups made by crazy guys in garages, they’re all good. That’s the biggest piece of advice I can give for getting the tone you want as I have definitely wasted so much time and money trying to find the next pedal or a better patch cable or whatever the fuck it is! You get that pickup with a good working tube head; properly set up, properly biased by a good amp tech and you’re there.”


The third album from Monster Truck will be released in 2018 via Mascot Records.


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