Adam Jones (musician)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Adam Jones

Img_capt = Adam Jones performing with Tool at the Roskilde Festival in 2006.
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1965|1|15 Park Ridge, Illinois, U.S.
Died =
Instrument = Guitar
Genre = Alternative metal Progressive rock
Occupation = Musician Songwriter Make-up artist
Years_active = 1990 - present
Label = Zoo Entertainment Volcano II Tool Dissectional
Associated_acts = Tool The Melvins
Notable_instruments = Gibson Les Paul Custom Silverburst

Adam Thomas Jones (born January 15, 1965) is a Grammy Award-winning musician, guitarist and visual artist, best known for his work with the band Tool. Jones was rated the 75th Greatest Guitarist of all time by "Rolling Stone Magazine" and placed 9th in "Guitar World's" Top 100 Greatest Heavy metal Guitarists. [ [ BLABBERMOUTH.NET - GUITAR WORLD's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists Of All Time ] ] He is also credited for most of Tool's music videos.


Early Years

Jones was born in Park Ridge, Illinois and raised in Libertyville, Illinois, and played violin in elementary school. He was accepted into the Suzuki program, and continued to play violin through his freshman year in high school. He then began to play an acoustic bass for three years in an orchestra.

In addition to playing classical music, Jones played bass guitar in the band Electric Sheep, with Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, until Jones moved to California (Morello soon followed). According to both of them, the band was quite unpopular at the time. Jones never received traditional guitar lessons, but instead learned by ear.

Film Work

Jones was offered a film scholarship but declined and chose to move to Los Angeles to study art and sculpture. His focus of interest shifted to film, and he began to work as a sculptor and special effects designer, where he learned the stop-motion camera techniques he would later apply in Tool's music videos, such as "Sober" (on which he collaborated with Fred Stuhr), "Prison Sex", "Stinkfist", "Ænema", "Schism", and "Parabola". He graduated in 1987.

After graduation, he went to work at Rick Lazzarini's Character Shop. During the next couple of years, he worked the TV show "Monsters". He designed and fabricated a Grim Reaper makeup and a Zombie head on a spike (later used in "Ghostbusters 2") among others. After that, he went to Stan Winston's special effects workshop, where he worked on "Predator 2", sculpting a unique-looking skull for the Predator's spaceship interior.

Jones worked on several other big films in Hollywood doing makeup and set design, including "Jurassic Park", "", "Dances with Wolves", and "Ghostbusters 2".He did the "Freddy Krueger in the womb" makeup for "," as well as work for "".

He also worked on commercials for salad dressing (never aired), Olympic stain (Albert Einstein makeup), and Duracell (boxers and taxicabs). Fact|date=March 2008

Music career

After Tom Morello introduced Jones and his friend Maynard James Keenan to Danny Carey in 1990, they -- along with Paul d'Amour -- formed Tool.

Jones also toured with the Jello Biafra/The Melvins band and contributed to their albums "Never Breathe What You Can't See" and "Sieg Howdy!". Jones and Melvins Guitarist/Vocalist Buzz Osborne are close friends. Jones also appeared on the Melvins album "Hostile Ambient Takeover" and the Melvins/Lustmord collaboration "Pigs of the Roman Empire".

On "Mr. Show", he appeared as the fictional guitarist of Puscifer along with bandmate Keenan, and can also be spotted in the audience seated at a table with Keenan in the series' first episode.

Playing Style

Adam Jones is known for not predominantly using any particular guitar playing technique, but rather combines many techniquescite web | url=
year=2001 | title=Mysterious Ways | month= June | work=Guitar Player | accessdate=2007-05-02
author=Jon Wiederhorn | quote=Jones isn't a shredder, a pop guitarist, a jazz man, an avant-garde iconoclast, or a blues player, but his performances often include elements from all those genres.
] such as "alternately utilizing power chords, scratchy noise, chiming arpeggios, off-beat rhythm patterns, and a quiet minimalism".cite web | url= | year=| title=Sober Song Review | | accessdate=2007-05-02 | author=Steve Huey] Other techniques used to expand his band's sound repertoire require forms of instrumental experimentation, for example, on the Tool song, "Jambi", [cite web | last =Forlenza | first =Jeff | title =The Making of Tool's "10,000 Days" | publisher =Mix | date= 2006-07-01 | url = | accessdate =2007-05-09 ] Jones uses a talk box. Adam, along with all members of Tool, loves experimenting with new things. He has two synthesizers that are listed below in his effects section. Live , Adam can be seen with a large pedalboard full of effects, including a DOD FX-40B Equalizer (EQ) pedal, Boss BF-2 Flanger, Line 6 D4 delay, and an MXR Micro Amp among others.

Visual Art

Jones created the liner art for the re-release of Peach's "Giving Birth to a Stone", in which Jones's fellow Tool member Justin Chancellor played bass.

He helped Green Jellÿ with their costumes.

In 2007 he received the Grammy Award for 'Best Recording Package' as art director for his work on 10,000 Days.

Adam came up with the Make-up layout the actors wore on the videos for Schism and Parabol/Parabola.

In his spare time, Adam shoots photography that is used for the visuals at live Tool concerts.

Adam draws his own comics, a habit he began as a young child manipulating his ideas into 2-D form on paper.

Personal life

Since 1999, Jones has been married to the artist/singer Camella Grace. []

Jones has experimented with various hallucinogens such as Ketamine and DMT. Jones talked about his use in 1997 RAGE magazine:

RAGE: Where does a man get mushrooms these days?

Jones: [chuckles] Where does a man get mushrooms?

RAGE: Or a woman.

Jones: I'm talking beyond mushrooms, man. Have you ever done DMT?


Jones: Have you ever done ketamine?

RAGE: No. I have to come there.

Jones: Come check it out, man. Fucking changed my life. Changed my whole thinking.

Jones had a pet Jackson's Chameleon and a Great Dane named Eon. But according to an interview with Danny Carey, Eon became ill with cancer and passed away. Adam dedicated the song Eon Blue Apocalypse from the band's 2001 album Lateralus in his memory. Adam's current Great Dane is called Diablo. He and his wife have a great love for the breed of dogs.

According to his MySpace page, he plays the Xbox 360 video game Halo 3 and owns a rare piece of in-game equipment.



Adam Jones famously uses the Gibson Silverburst Les Paul Customs, of which he owns at least 3. Many claim that the guitarist has 5 of the Gibson's (which he may) citing the cover of Guitar World Magazine, the June 2006 issue which features Jones standing with 4 Silverburst Les Pauls behind him and one in his hand. Two of these guitars are "Photoshopped" copies and not real guitars. His main Les Paul has a headstock ornament, it appears to be a blue mirror, which covers the usual split diamond inlay Gibson Les Paul Customs are known for. Another of his Silverbursts is a 1981 model and (as described by Jones himself in an interview in 2001 with Australian Guitar magazine) has an unsightly screw in it that Jones will not remove because doing so may hurt the unique tone of the guitar. (This guitar with its screw can clearly be seen twice on the cover of the above mentioned Guitar World Magazine.) After making these Silverburst Les Pauls in the late seventies and early eighties, Gibson discontinued using this finish after complaints about the metal flaking changing the tone of the guitar. Jones says that this altered tone is part of the draw for him. In a March 1994 interview with Guitar School magazine, Adam states: "I use Gibson guitars; I prefer the Les Paul custom. It's a black guitar with a greenish burst in the middle. They only made them for two or threeyears. I guess a lot of people complained that the metallic finish was affecting the sound. That's exactly why I like playing it. I have Seymour Duncan pickups, and I can't get the same sound with any other guitar, not even another Gibson, without that finish on it. I have two of them. I'd buyanother if I could find one". Adam has admitted that his guitars are customized, but the exact nature of these customizations is kept secret. There is little doubt that at least some of Adam's guitars' pickups are replacements, probably from Seymour-Duncan. Jones stated in 2001 that his pickups were "hot-wired" and would say nothing beyond this. Jones has admitted that the fret wire on the Gibsons is of the heaviest gauge. Playing live, Jones also uses a Natural finish Les Paul when playing the songs "Prison Sex" and "Parabol/Parabola", which are in BADGBE and BEDGBE tunings respectively. When in the studio, Jones has said he has used other guitars, mentioning a Gibson SG electric guitar and a Guild acoustic guitar amongst others. Without a doubt, the Gibson Les Paul Silverburst has been made famous by this man. It is the combination of this guitar, an unusual combination of rare amplifiers, and Adam's unique musical touch that create Tool's Adam Jones' unmistakable guitar sound. A picture exists on the Tool fan page, of Adam holding what looks like a Gibson Marauder guitar. He has never been seen with one live.


The amplifiers that Jones uses to create his unique tone are uncertain, as he and the band are known for spreading misinformation about themselves and their music. What is known for certain is that he uses multiple amplifiers simultaneously. Of the amplifers that he has cycled through, two have remained constant since 1994 and can be assumed to be "core" of his sound. These amps are a 1976 Marshall Super Bass amp and a Diezel VH4 "blueface" amp, the blue faceplate models were made from 94-97, and have less presence and a darker tone than the current Silverface that are being made. The Marshall is his oldest amp, and was most likely used on all the Tool recordings, all the way back to "Opiate EP". Adam has stated that this amp is of the "non-master volume" type and has had both channels wired together. He keeps this amp "in the freezer" when not in use to help preserve it. The Diezel has been in his live and studio setup since at least 1994. This is a four channel amp from Germany. From as early as 1994 until the late 1990s Adam can be seen live using a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier 2 Channel amplifier as a third amp. In some interviews from that period, Jones has confirmed that it is a Dual Rectifier. More recently, this Mesa/Boogie has not appeared on stage and appears to have been replaced with another more recent VH4 amp. The new model VH4's have a silver faceplate and are different in voicing and circuitry compared to the bluefaces. Interestingly, he appears to not always use this amp. During some shows, the blue Diezel's 'standby' clearly remains illuminated for the duration of the performance, while the amp is without a doubt on and being used at other shows. Other amps mentioned by Adam include a Sunn Beta Lead which he states he used in place of the Mesa/Boogie during studio recording in a June 2001 interview. More recently Jones has talked about using Bogner, Rivera, and Peavey amps in the studio as well as his Marshall and Diezel. He appears to always use Mesa/Boogie cabinets with his amps. The only exception here is a Marshall cabinet which is always seen sitting under his Marshall.

"Lateralus" may have been recorded with the Diezel amp, along with the Marshall bass amp. Adam has made references to a Sunn head and may have also used his Mesa Boogie rectifier in the studio. By the time of the main Lateralus tour, the only Mesa Boogie equipment in sight was the two Mesa Rectifier Standard cabinets.'s interview with Joe Barresi and Bob Ludwig discuss Adam's equipment and setup for the "10,000 Days" album with great detail. When discussing the amps, Barresi mentions Adam's famous Marshall and Diezel, "a Mesa Boogie", a Bogner Uberschall, a Rivera Knucklehead Reverb, and "several others". In a Guitarworld magazine interview Adam also mentions an unspecified Peavey amp, which is probably one of the "several others" that Barresi mentions. As far as cabinets go, Barresi says that Mesa/Boogie cabinets were mostly used because of the better low end response. The Marshall ran through its Marshall cabinet and the Rivera ran through a Rivera cabinet. Barresi goes on to describe signal chain for tracking. He says that Adam would play through certain effects and then send the signal to a splitter. The sound would then go into three to five amps. The Marshall and Diezel would each get their own track, and a third track would be a mix of the other amps (usually the Bogner and Rivera). Each cabinet would have at least two to three mics on them. Rivera Amps also claims on its web page that he is using a Rivera Knucklehead Rev Mick Thompson model on the recording.

It is worth pointing out that Adam doesn't switch channels on his VH4. He uses only channel 3 when playing live. All changes in intensity are through his pick, his volume knob, or (as of recently) a volume pedal. Also, another point to mention about Adam's live rig is that he uses Mesa/Boogie 4x12 Stiletto Cabinets with a straight side, and slanted speakers which have a lip hanging over them. They are identifiable by the grey piping used around the cabinets grill, as opposed to the black piping used on the Mesa/Boogie 4x12 Standard Recto Cabinets.


According to a "Guitar School" interview in 1994, Jones stated that he strongly disliked using effect pedals. During that time, he only used two pedals, a delay and an equalizer, in part to the reliability of simple live setups. [cite web | url= | title="Tool Guitarist Adam Jones is a Master of Many Trades" | work=Guitar School | month = March | year = 1994 | accessdate=2007-03-03 ] He is known for subtle wah use, to only create slight tone and timbre bends. There is also an older Ibanez Flanger and Digital Delay present on much of Ænima and Lateralus. Flanger is definitely a staple of his live tone. Adam runs these pedals right into the front of the amplifiers as opposed to in the effects loop.

Adam stated that he uses an Epilady, (specifically the Epilady TRIO), an electric hair remover designed for women's legs. "An Epilady is even better than an E-Bow," he said. "It makes great sounds when you push it against the pickups." [cite web | url= | title="Tool: Open Your Mouth And Say "Ugh"" | author=Crisafulli, Chuck | work="Guitar Player" | accessdate=2006-05-09 ]

In the April 2006 edition of "Guitar World" magazine, Jones revealed that he used the Gig-FX Chopper Effects Pedal. He also mentioned that he had several pedals modified, and that he used an altered volume pedal to control the strength of some effects. A newer Ernie Ball Standard Volume Pedal is clearly visible on his stage setup. He also stated that he uses the Foxx Tone Machine Reissue and a Heil talk box on the song "Jambi", that he learned to use with Joe Walsh's help. Adam uses a "pipe-bomb microphone" for the lead recording of the song "Rosetta Stoned", which is a guitar pick-up wrapped in what is believed to be a piece of brass tubing capped at each end, which resembles a pipe bomb. Jones also uses a [ CryBaby BB-535 Wah.] [cite web | url= | title="Adam in Guitar World" | work="Fourtheye" | accessdate=2006-05-09 | author=Smith, Matt | majority edit=Andrew C.] In a recent "Guitar World" interview, he stated that he uses an Access Virus B pedal hooked up to a Moog Taurus (bass pedal synth). As an example, the Access V.B. can be heard in the introduction of the songs "Reflection," and "The Grudge".

List of possibleFact|date=January 2008 and proven effects pedals used throughout the years: []

*Snarling Dog- Blues Bawls
*Snarling Dog- Mold Spore
*Line 6- DL4 Delay
*Foxx- Tone Machine
*MXR- M-133 Micro Amplifier
*Voodoo-Lab- Tremolo
*Boss- BF-2 Flanger (seen also with Boss- BF-3)
*Boss- DD-3 (seen also with Boss DD-5)
*Dunlop- Heil Talk Box
*Boss- SYB-3 Bass Synth
*Ernie Ball- VP Passive Volume
*Korg- DTR-2000 Rackmount Digital Tuner
*Dunlop- Crybaby BB535 Wah
*Boss- PSM5 Power supply/Master switch x2
*Roland- PK5 MIDI
*Access Virus Classic (Redtop)
*Gig-Fx- Chopper
*Boss- CE5 Chorus Ensemble
*StroboStomp Virtual Strobe Tuner
*Buzz Box - Signature Buzz Melvin Distortion
*Colorsound Tonebender Fuzz

External links

* [ Personal website]



NAME=Adam Jones
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Musician, Songwriter, Make-up artist
DATE OF BIRTH= 1965-1-15 Park Ridge, Illinois, U.S.

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