It’s All About The Tone – My Rig

Hello readers,

My name is James Dean (yes, like the actor..). I am one of two guitarists for the Australian punk band BARE BONES, and I am here to share with you all that I have learned relating to guitars and guitar gear through my time with the band.


(UNIFY Gathering 2017 – Photo: Brooke Golder)

Welcome to the first instalment of “It’s All about the Tone” – my weekly blog that will take an in depth look into everything TONE! Here you will find rig-rundowns, interviews with guitarists and gear spotlights, where I will take a look at all the new and exciting trends from the gear world.

To start this section off I thought it would only be appropriate to give my own Rig-Rundown, and talk through what gear I use while playing live (and recording) for Bare Bones. So let’s get into it!

For anyone who has seen the band play live before, you would most likely be aware that I have a penchant for Gibson. My main guitar (my baby) is my Black Beauty – also known as a Les Paul Custom. The history of this guitar are unknown to me, I do however know that whoever owned the guitar before me lived in Japan and was very fond of their punk bands given the hundreds of stickers adhered to the case.  The Les Paul custom has served as my go to guitar for both live and recording, with it being the main guitar used on all our recordings.

Alongside my custom, I own a beautiful Gibson Explorer (Golden Axe) and a Fender Blacktop Telecaster. I rarely use the Explorer live as I find it to be a little on the light side compared to the heft of my custom. While the Telecaster was rendered out of action from a live show in Perth and has been on the sidelines for a while now.



Onto my pedal board. I have always been a fan of keeping my board to the bare minimum, not because I am a purist, rather, I am lazy and don’t enjoy carrying a hefty board on tour.
The signal chain leaves my guitar and is send across the airwaves care of a Sony wireless system. I have always been a fan of using wireless; it gives me a peace of mind that my cable won’t become disconnected during the set (usually by an overzealous front man’s size 12 foot).  From the Sony the signal hits the all important tuner, I use a Polytune mini, it’s tiny, it’s got a bright display and it gets the job done.
From there we travel into my custom made tube screamer, essentially it is a clone of a Maxon 808 circuit but in a way more badass enclosure (check my upcoming rig rundown video!). The tube screamer is always on, I mainly use it to tighten up the amp and give it a bit more bite.

After the signal has been nicely boosted it enters the Dunlop Cry Baby Mini, again I like to keep space to a minimum so swapped out my Dimebag wah in place of the mini, but don’t let the size fool you – it packs the same punch as its big brothers. The mini was used for all the solo’s and wah passes from our record “Bad Habits”.

Leaving the Wah the signal hits my EHX Pitch Fork, this is a fun pedal, essentially it operates as a pitch shifter/detuner but I utilise it for two main purposes – a Whammy and an Octave. The Pitch Fork doesn’t see too much action in the live set, but when it does you sure know about it.

Coming in on the end of the chain is a tried and true ISP Decimator. In my opinion this is the be all and end all of pedal based noise suppressors. I have it permanently switched on and wouldn’t leave home without it.

Once the signal has been boosted, twisted, distorted and polished it comes to the coup de grace, the one and only Marshall JCM 800.
My JCM800 sits alongside my Les Paul Custom, and my Nudie Jeans Denim Jacket as 1 of 3 items that I would flee my apartment with should it ever go up in smoke. It is an original 1983 2203 model, and oh sweet merciful Christ is it loud.
I was fortunate enough to come across the JCM by pure miracle; a gentleman was selling the rare amp for a mere $500 (for those playing at home an original JCM800 83 will easily fetch $2k on the second hand market). Needless to say I was at this man’s house within the hour, exchanging my hard earnings and the rest is history.
Once in my possession I had the JCM serviced, with the EL34 standard valves swapped for the much broodier KT88’s. Why? Because Zakk Wylde did it, Kerry King did it, so I did it.

And that wraps up my rig. Leave any of your gear questions in the comments section below, and be sure to tune in next week for the next instalment of “It’s All about the Tone”!



5 Bush Foods For A Healthier You

While native fruits and nuts have been used by the indigenous cultures of Australia for centuries, the majority of us would be hard pressed to name a single one.

However, recent studies are now showing us that Australian Bush Tucker could be among the healthiest foods on the planet. Food Science Australia conducted a study on Australian native fruits which showed they have ‘exceptional’ levels of disease fighting anti-oxidants.

Ethical Trade Group are proud to be leading the charge on this ancient super foods, working closely with the indigenous community to grow, harvest and manufacture an amazing range of Bush Foods.

Over the next few months we will be introducing these 5 Bush Foods that are not only delicious, but are seriously packed with anti-oxidants.


The Quandong, or “wild peach” has long featured in Aboriginal mythology across the desert regions of Australia. These brightly coloured fruits have been a staple in the diet of the Pitjabtara peoples for over 50,00 years.
The health benefits of the Quandong include:
– Twice the Vitamin C of an orange
– A wonderful source of Vitamin E, folate and magnesium
– A valuable source of iron for vegetarians / vegans
– Contains Rutin, a strong antioxidant that can reduce the proliferation of free radicals. Rutin works with Vitamin C to strengthen capillaries, reduce dark circles under the eyes and strengthen the skin from the effects of aging

Native Illawarra Plums
Growing in several varieties, the Illawarra Plum, or Davidson Plum was traditional Bush Tucker for the rainforest Aboriginal peoples. This dark purple fruit with blood red flesh boasts a soft juicy pulp and is regarded as one of the most nutritionally powerful native Australian fruits.

Health Benefits
– Davidson plums are an excellent source or potassium
– A great source of Vitamin E and Zinc
– A unique dairy free source of calcium
– Packed with anti-oxidants, including anthocyanin, which is believed to improve memory function and fight against certain cancers.

Lemon Myrtle
The Lemon Myrtle is a native Australian shrub, whose leaves have been used for centuries by Aboriginal cultures for the powerful oil contained within the leaves. The leaves antimicrobial properties were released by chewing them or crushing them into a paste.

Health Benefits
– The most concentrated source of plant citral (>90%). Citral contains powerful antimicrobial and antifungal properties, which are even superior to those of terpene hydrocarbons found in the renowned tea tree oil.
– An exceptional vegan source of calcium
– A great source of anti-oxidants providing comprehensive protection from oxidative stress.

Finger Lime
Finger Limes are the fruit of a rare Australian rainforest tree and have been a valuable source of food and medicine for the Aboriginal peoples for thousands of years. The fruit was eaten for it’s delicious taste and the ability to fight off disease. The pulp of the Finger Lime was also used as an antiseptic on sores and boils.
When European settlers cleared bushland for farming, most of the Finger Lime trees were destroyed. Luckily, the tree survives in several isolated sub-tropical regions of Australia.

Health Benefits
– Finger Limes are loaded with folate, potassium and Vitamin E
– Each Lime contains three times the Vitamin C found in a mandarin
– The pink Finger Lime boats exceptionally high levels of Vitamin E, one of the most important anti-oxidants in human cell protection and disease prevention


Forming part of Aboriginal diets for more than 40,000 years, Wattleseed was traditionally ground and used as a type of flour. With the ability to survive harsh draught conditions, the Wattlleseed was an invaluable source of protein and carbohydrates for the indigenous peoples.

Health Benefits
– Wattleseed is an extremely rich source of both protein and carbohydrates
– The carbohydrates found in Wattleseed are low glycaemic , releasing sugars slowly and preventing insulin spikes within the body.
– Wattleseed contains high levels of potassium, zinc and iron.

Now that you know about the awesome power of Australia’s own super foods, why not add them into your daily diet. Keep a watch of our website for the latest Bush Food news and products.



The Benefits of Living with Lavender

Lavandula (known by the common name lavender) is one of the 39 known species of flowering plant to make up the mint family.  Lavender is native to Europe, India and Asia but is now found widely across the globe with the most common form being Lavandula angustifolia which is cultivated for its flowers.

Since the time of the Roman Empire lavender has been highly regarded for its health and beauty benefits. The word lavender itself stems from the Latin word lavare which means “to wash”.

Lavender is being increasingly cultivated for the production of the oil obtained by distilling the flowers of certain species of the plant. Lavender oil is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, alongside the ability to treat anxiety, insomnia and even digestive issues such as IBS and vomiting.

A closer look at lavender.

Lavender for wound healing
Celal Bayar University in Turkey carried out a study and published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine comparing the effects of several treatments for wound healing on laboratory rats.
The researchers compared the effect of saline solution, iodine, electrical nerve stimulation and lavender oil on wound healing and concluded that “wound healing closure progressed more rapidly in the nerve stimulation and lavender oil groups that the control or other study groups”.

Lavender for the treatment of Anxiety
The Medical University of Vienna in Austria discovered that 80mg of lavender oil administered orally had an anxiety reducing effect on patients with subsydromal anxiety within two weeks.
The team concluded “”Silexan (lavender oil) had beneficial effects on typical co-morbidity symptoms of anxiety disorders, for example, disturbed sleep, somatic complaints, or decreased quality of life. Except for mild gastrointestinal symptoms, the drug was devoid of adverse effects and did not cause drug interactions or withdrawal symptoms at daily doses of 80 or 160 mg.”

Lavender scent was also shown by researches at King’s College London to help with anxious dental patients.  The researchers measured the dental anxiety of 340 adult patients while they waited for dental treatment.
Half the patients were exposed to lavender scent, while the other half were given not. The team established that those patients exposed to the lavender scent reported lower levels of anxiety when compared to the other patients. The calming effects of lavender were present regardless of the type of dental treatment the patients were having.


Lavender and Premenstrual Emotion Symptoms

Researchers from Shitennoji University, Kyoto University and the Center for Advanced Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, all in Japan, carried out a study to determine whether using lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) aromatherapy treatment might help alleviate premenstrual emotional symptoms.

Although PMS is extremely common, no single treatment has been universally recognised as effective, with many turning to natural therapy.

The study involved 17 women with an average age of 20.6 years with mild to moderate premenstrual symptoms. The women spent one menstrual cycle without the use of lavender aromatherapy, and the other cycle with.

The research concluded “The present study indicated that lavender aromatherapy as a potential therapeutic modality could alleviate premenstrual emotional symptoms.”


With more and more individuals turning to natural therapies for a myriad of ailments, it is clear that lavender is a hot contender for a one stop herb. At Ethical Trade Group we are proud work closely with France’s leading charitable organisation purchasing picked and packed lavender bags supporting youth unemployment outcomes.


What Is Fair-Trade Coffee, and Why Should You Be Drinking It?

If you are one of the 46% of Australian’s who enjoys their daily morning coffee, you may have come across the term “Fair-Trade Coffee”, and wondered what exactly fair trade coffee is.

The coffee industry is largely dominated by multinational companies supplying cheap and generic coffee in supermarkets and fast food chains. For these large companies the quality and taste of the coffee beans comes second to price. It is this type of coffee, grown as cheaply as possible, that leads to the unethical practices.


The farmers who grow the coffee for the large multinationals will often resort to cheap labour, exploiting not only workers but also children on the plantations. Alongside this, large areas of native trees are cleared in order to grow as much coffee as possible, using cheap synthetic pesticides.

Over the past decade there has been a growth of specialty coffee roasters who have worked to raise industry standards, and inform consumers of the process from farm to cup.

These specialty roasters are offering “Fair-Trade” beans, ensuring that the farmers have not been exploited and a minimum price per kg is paid – with additional premium paid for organic coffee.


Through ethical trade production of coffee, specialty roasters’ desires for quality over quantity is passed onto the farmers, who are becoming aware of what cafes are looking for in their beans. As the roasters and farmers work together to improve the quality of the beans, the coffee attracts a premium price well above the fair-trade minimum.

At Ethical Trade Group we only source quality beans from fair-trade sources. We travel overseas to visit the farms where the beans are sourced, to ensure the growing conditions meet our ethical standards. We love to share what we learn to our customers, and help to break the cycle of poverty that has shadowed the coffee trade for decades, while providing the most delicious coffee beans you will ever taste.


10 Ways To Live Sustainably Day to Day

Looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint on the day to day? We have some ideas!

    1. Convert incandescent light bulbs to modern LED bulbs. LED bulbs are 4 to 7 times more efficient than the typical incandescent or halogen equivalent, have a lifetime of 15,000 to 20,000 hours. For more information on which LED bulbs to select, head over to


    1. Start a vegetable garden and plant fruit trees. Growing your own fresh produce is an extremely rewarding activity, and will save you hundreds of dollars a year off your grocery bill.


    1. Coffee drinker? Every year more than 2.5 billion disposable cups are thrown away, as most cups end up in landfill, this equates to 25,000 tonnes of waste. Make your difference today and purchase a reusable coffee cup to use on your daily commute or at your favourite coffee shop. Jump over to to have a look at some great reusable cups!


    1. Purchase a reusable grocery bag. Australians use 3.92 billion plastic bags a year, that’s over 10 million new bags being used every day. An estimated 3.76 billion bags or 20,700 tonnes of plastic are disposed of in landfill sites throughout Australia every year. Australians dump 7,150 recyclable plastic bags into landfills every minute or 429,000 bags every hour.


    1. Opt to have you bills sent via email rather than having paper copies mailed. Not only will this reduce paper waste, but also reduce your carbon footprint by eliminating the need for vehicles to deliver your mail.


    1. Donate your unwanted clothing items to charity. Donating clothing helps reduce the amount of new clothes being put into circulation, while also assisting those less fortunate.


    1. Drive to work? Dedicated two days a week to walking, riding , or catching public transport instead.Australia’s 11 million cars produce more than 46 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), so your choice of car and how you use it can make a huge impact.


    1. Choose Fair Trade certified goods when possible to support companies dedicated to sustainable production and paying laborers a fair wage. Buy organic food whenever possible; it may cost a little more, but it keeps harmful pesticides out of our land and water, protecting farm workers, wildlife and your family.


    1. Reduce the amount of meat you eat. The meat trade is one of the most environmentally destructive industries on the planet, responsible for pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and habitat destruction. Even cutting out two meat meals a week can help create a more sustainable environment.


  1. Shop and eat local food. Most meals we eat travel great distances, sometimes around the world, to end up on our plate. Locate a local farmers market and purchase local organic food to help reduce the carbon emissions from produce transport. You will also be supporting small business, win win!