Young the Giant Guitarists Eric Cannata and Jacob Tilley on "Mind Over Matter"

Young the Giant guitarists discuss latest album, "Mind over Matter."

Exploring unique and interestingsounds in the studio is one of the pleasures of getting down and recording new material, and as Young the Giant recently completed album number two, Mind Over Matter [Fueled by Ramen], we asked guitarists Eric Cannata and Jacob Tilley what they considered the important tonal lessons they learned during the sessions.

Eric Cannata

“One of the most memorable lessons I learned from our producer, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, and our engineer, Carlos De La Garza, was to find the exact tone you want before laying a part down. Never leave the magic until afterwards. That goes for anything you record—not just guitars—and it seems like common sense, but, for me, it was an ‘Ah ha’ moment.

“I also learned the importance of segregating our tones on each song. For example, if one of the guitars we used was a bright-sounding solidbody, then the other guitar had to be a thicker-sounding hollow-body. Or if one guitar was very clean and shimmery, the other needed to be dirtier and darker, and so on.

“Of course, space is one of the most important parts of a record. When there are two guitar players in a band, it’s very important to know when to stop playing. That way, when you re-enter the song, your part becomes that much more noticeable and intriguing.”

Jacob Tilley

“While recording, Justin introduced us to the Roland JC-120. Growing up, I was told tube amps are the be all and end all, so I may have written off this amp without Justin’s guidance. The JC-120 is responsible for many of the classic ’80s chorus tones heard on the Smiths and Police albums, and it pairs nicely with digital effects. I found that going with a good solid-state amp is a great way to diversify your sonic pallet. We also borrowed a ’65 Fender Jazzmaster from our good friend, Jason Soto, and it became both my and Eric’s go-to guitar for the record. It has plenty of character—especially when plugging it into surf-y, dreamlike reverbs—and it can cut through any mix for guitar solos. Speaking of reverb and other effects, [producer] Joe Chiccarelli introduced us to Eventide when we were making our first record, and, now, both Eric and I always have the H9 by our feet because it gives you endless possibilities with ambience, delays, pitch shifting, and modulation.”