Over the past couple of years, we’ve spoken to a number of tone junkies who hail from all over the world and come from all walks of life. Until now, we’ve yet to explore and share this type of insight from WITHIN Mojotone; I think it’s time we take a dive into the knowledge base that is our headquarters, and see what Mojotone’s own Justin Fox has to say about his journey through music, sound, time, and space.
Yep, you guessed it, we started from day 1…
“I grew up on a farm in Statesville, NC and my Grandfather (Papaw) almost always had a radio on, aside from the fact that my Father was an active musician when I was born. He had a music room in our house and I remember him showing me ‘Abbey Road’ by the Beatles and ‘Rumors’ By Fleetwood Mac. I was probably 4 or 5 then and we always had family sing alongs on Holidays. Each family member would learn a harmony line and eventually pick an instrument. I settled on guitar after many years of listening and watching. It really kicked into gear when my Dad started teaching my best friend guitar when I was 11. I think I was a little jealous so I joined in and became immediately obsessed.”
Sounds like the start to any good story. But with Justin being one of the most gear-obsessed people we’ve ever met, we thought it fitting to see how this fascination with music soon turned into an equal fascination with gear.
“Early on I was learning on a 1972 Martin D-28 that was my Dad's. It was strung with medium strings and needed a setup so I was quite a bear to play. When I really got into Hendrix and SRV I asked for an electric guitar and my parents obliged. I had become so dedicated to the craft that they agreed to buy me a vintage amp when I was 14. We went to Gregg's Guitars in Raleigh, NC and I picked out a 1967 Fender Pro Reverb amp. That really set me off on a quest! I loved everything about it. The look, the smell and of course the sound. My buddies and myself would spend hours taking turns playing our favorite licks and looking at the amp, by the time I was 16 I was playing full time and spending most of my show pay on gear.”
Nothing like a good old-fashioned Pro Reverb to get you fired up! Now, we’ve all known and known of Justin for quite some time, but he didn’t always work with us here at the shop.
Let’s see how he got involved in the Mojotone world…
“I was working and teaching guitar lessons at a guitar shop called Tony's Guitars. Through word of mouth we started hearing about this musical supply company right down the road. After a few months of ordering parts I realized a good friend, David Shepherd, worked there. David was really the catalyst to my relationship with Mojotone. He was always advocating for the products and keeping me informed on the pickups he was designing. Eventually he suggested that I come up to Mojotone and make some demo videos for the new Quiet Coil Pickups, and I enthusiastically jumped at that opportunity. From then on I began making more and more frequent trips to make videos and started using more and more Mojotone gear for my live shows. Mojotone was a really important sponsor for my 2017 ‘Homemade Still’ Tour; they provided amps, pickups, and swag for the tour. When the pandemic shut the live music scene down I was dead in the water and Michael McWhorter offered me a position within the company. I was excited to jump in the fold and we've been rocking steady ever since.”
Ah yes, Michael McWhorter to the rescue; a familiar story to many of us here. Like I mentioned previously, Justin is a massive gearhead.
So now comes the time where we just let him talk about his gear. Seems fitting…
“So, I'm a vintage amp and guitar nut. I started on Stratocasters so I still have a lot of Strats and Teles but, in the past few years I've been on a Gibson obsession and have been lucky enough to get my hands on a 1961 Gibson SG Special as well as a 1964 Gibson SG Junior. There is something different about finding the rock warriors, getting them playing right and putting them into service on the stage. In my opinion a guitar that I can't play a gig with doesn't really light any fires for me. I also have a small army of vintage Fender Tweed, Brown and Black panel amps which I love every one of them. I've used Wilmington, NC made Quidely amps for years and of course a wide variety of Mojotone amps. I'm really excited to get the new Mojotone British 50 with the master volume out on stage.”
Yeah Justin really is one of those mildly insane individuals who is constantly making gear trades, upgrades, and the like. He always has something new cooking. Speaking of “something new cooking,” we’re about out of time here, so I think we should probably see what Justin has planned for the next little while.
Justin, take it away dude…
“Over the past year and a half I've been in the studio finishing up my 2nd full length album as a solo artist. We did 3 albums as Medusa Stone and it feels surreal to be catching up to my younger efforts. This new record was recorded partially in Nashville, TN with North Carolina's own Audley Freed handling production. Audley is not only a wizard guitarist and producer but a great guy as well. Tommy Brothers of Shoreline Studio recorded and produced the other half of the record with Audley overseeing the project remotely. The album will be out in late fall and I think we have decided on "New Southern" for the name. In the meantime, I have released a few singles from the record and you can check them out on all streaming music platforms. For a direct link to the latest release check out https://justincodyfox.hearnow.com/
I'm really excited about the album as a whole and it was just a really fun project from start to finish. I enlisted the talents of not only my band but some outstanding guest talents as well, including Audley himself, Robert Kearns, Fred Eltringham, Jen Gunderman and Rhett Huffman. The album is chock full of Mojotone pickups, amps, and speakers as well! We featured the Mojotone Blackout Tweed on a song called Show Me Your Light. I hope over the next 2 years to continue promoting the album and playing more and more higher quality shows. I appreciate everyone involved with the entire process and I extend a huge thank you to Mojotone!”
You heard it folks. I know most of you have seen Justin jam in our Warehouse Session and our gear demos, which means you’re aware that Justin is a world-class ripper. Turns out, he’s an incredible songwriter as well. So do yourselves a big favor and go check out his latest release(s).
Thanks for tuning in, as always, and we’ll being see you real soon!