The Deli #56 - Altopalo, NAMM 2019, Queens takes over Brooklyn

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ands + Gear<br />

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<strong>Deli</strong>cious-Audio.com<br />


Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri, active in the NYC scene<br />

since the mid aughts, released music separately through Hooray<br />

for Earth (Noel’s first breakout project, disbanded in 2014)<br />

and Zambri (the electronic band Jessica still plays in with<br />

sister Cristi Jo) and became the two creative forces behind<br />

Mass Gothic. <strong>The</strong> two musicians share an interest for dark atmospheres<br />

and edgy arrangements. <strong>The</strong>y found themselves<br />

involved in a romantic relationship that soon developed in an<br />

involved artistic collaboration, which fully bloomed in Mass<br />

Gothic’s sophomore album, entitled I’ve Tortured You Long<br />

Enough, released earlier this year through Sub Pop records.<br />

We asked Noel to share some thoughts about the creative<br />

experience and the gear behind it. (PAOLO DE GREGORIO)<br />

<strong>The</strong> new album sees Jessica join you as creative/songwriting<br />

force, how did you develop the idea that an “equal power”<br />

collaboration was in the cards?<br />

Jess influenced the first Mass Gothic album via proximity, we were<br />

always together while I was recording. <strong>The</strong>n with Sup Goth she<br />

ended up finishing a lot of the vocals, writing and recording. Around<br />

that point we realized we were making a band together. Natural<br />

progression when two people spend 24/7 in each other’s company.<br />

Overall, the new album sounds less electronic and more guitar (and<br />

bass!) based than the debut, what influenced this sonic direction?<br />

We toured a great deal playing these songs so when it came<br />

Death By Audio Exit Index Prototype (housed in Apocalypse<br />

chassis) / BOSS PS-5 / Death By Audio Echo<br />

Dream 2 / DOD FX56<br />

Indie Rock<br />

time to record we played it as it is live, so you’re hearing that.<br />

Cristi Jo (Zambri) handles a couple samplers full of sounds/<br />

parts we recorded earlier, much of it in demos. I think most often<br />

it’s either Josh’s (Ascalon, co-producer) MS20, ARP2600 or it’s<br />

vocal samples of our own.<br />

What guitar pedals were particularly inspiring while working<br />

on the new record?<br />

<strong>The</strong> DBA Echo Dream 2 is on, literally, all of the time. I put it in my<br />

setup a few years ago to replace a Memory Boy, which I used to<br />

run almost all the time. When I hooked in the Echo Dream it just<br />

did so much work that I ended up unable to turn it off, or else my<br />

sound would basically die. That’s what happens with hugely bold<br />

sounding pedals. <strong>The</strong>y ask to crash on your couch for a week<br />

but before you know it, oops they’re on the lease now.<br />

What other pedals do you use a lot?<br />

<strong>The</strong> BOSS PS-5 has also ended up becoming a permanent fixture.<br />

It started because my guitars are tuned too low to reach<br />

the occasional high note, so I throw the pitch up and octave<br />

or two with that. Jess and I like this DOD metal pedal for bass<br />

and guitar. <strong>The</strong> footswitch is awful though, so we just record<br />

it. Finally, I was gifted a Death By Audio prototype by Travis<br />

Johnson. It’s housed inside an Apocalypse but it’s actually the<br />

first prototype of Exit Index, a signal sensitive tremolo/fuzz. I’ve<br />

started using that extensively for solo. With mega low tuning,<br />

treated correctly it becomes quite scary.<br />

26 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong>

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