From Vancouver, Canada, ACTORS make waves with a modern take on post-punk. "There's an honesty in good music,” says ACTORS frontman Jason Corbett, who writes, produces, mixes, and masters all of the band’s music at his Jacknife Sound studio. “So, whether it's what you like or don't like–you can hear when it's real, when it's good."
Corbett recently joined the Yamaha Guitars family, playing Revstar RS620 and RS502T guitars. During the band’s European Tour, Corbett took some time out to chat with us about his influences, the story of his first guitar, and what he looks for in a guitar now.
"I was playing air guitar in front of the stereo and my mom asked if I wanted to learn to play guitar. It was a pivotal moment." recalls Corbett, "I remember the look on her face right before she asked me. She’s been so supportive of my musical dreams and ambitions ever since."
Hello Jason, thanks for taking the time to chat to us today! Let’s start out with a little about you and your band ACTORS. For anyone not familiar how would you introduce yourself and the band?
Hi, thanks for having me. ACTORS is a four-piece band from Vancouver B.C. We playfully call ourselves “post-post-punk” with influences ranging from early-‘80s pop music to contemporary darkwave music. Really, I just write what I want to and it comes out the way it sounds. We don’t set out to sound like any one genre specifically.
What first inspired you to become a musician? And why the guitar in particular?
I was just naturally drawn to music. It captured my imagination at a very young age. I was playing air guitar in front of the stereo and my mom asked if I wanted to learn to play guitar. It was a pivotal moment. I remember the look on her face right before she asked me. She’s been so supportive of my musical dreams and ambitions ever since.
That is very sweet! Can you share with us the story of your first guitar?
I was in sixth grade, I came home from school and there was a white Harmony Les Paul copy leaning against the wall. My mom's boyfriend bought it for me for $65 from a friend at work. There was no amp so I used the quarter inch input of the cassette deck in the home stereo. He eventually bought me a small practice amp so I wouldn't trash his speakers.
You cite David Bowie as a “fundamental influence.” Can you expand on this? Has Bowie’s influence informed the way in which you write or perform as an artist?
Bowie has always been there with me. First it was “Let’s Dance”, then Ziggy, then “Scary Monsters” and so on. He had such a wide variety of creative output. I think his attitude towards his art and career is what truly continues to inspire me. He wasn’t afraid to try new things and be himself even when playing a character. And is there really a better song than “Ashes to Ashes”?
You write, produce, mix, and master ACTORS’ music at your own studio. Could you tell us your process?
I work with many different artists from a variety of genres at my studio Jacknife Sound here in Vancouver. What I’ve learned is to not be too precious. Feel the inspiration and see where that takes you. Trust the process and your intuition and you can’t go wrong. There’s something you can hear in that honesty.
When looking for gear, what is important to you?
I’m looking for quality and value, the right tool for the job. Being in a band and being a producer means that I could get pretty carried away with gear if I wasn’t making informed decisions on what I’m buying.
Can you talk us through your current rig?
The Revstar has become my go-to guitar in the studio and on tour. I use the RS620 primarily live as it’s humbuckers work best for me onstage. I also use the RS502 in the studio. Both guitars play great and they ring out anywhere on the neck. I think the jumbo frets are a nice touch.
I’ve used the THR plenty in the studio recording the next ACTORS record as well as with clients. I’m also hoping to incorporate it in to my live set-up, as it’s so versatile and takes pedals so well.
Thank you for your time Jason!
Check out our feature on ACTORS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGKy5larZQ8
Find out more about Jason and the band: https://www.actorstheband.com
Discover the Revstar range: Yamaha.com/revstar
Photo Credit: Barry C. Douglas www.BarryCDouglas.com