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"I think Tristan's [Jemsek, guitars/vocals] Craigslist addiction is the biggest influence on the band," says Dogbreth bassist Erin Caldwell.
Dogbreth -- the long-running downtown pop punk combo -- has been around for a while, but 2012 was a year of growth for the band, seeing it make a big transformation from a modest lo-fi pop punk act into a loud four-piece band with a presence in the greater Phoenix scene.
Nowhere is the band's growth more quantifiable than the expansion of Jemsek's ever-growing pedalboard, a process that often finds him probing the depths of Craigslist for deals on equipment that will modify his guitar tone.
His most recent acquisition, a Turbo Rat distortion pedal, brought him to the apartment of the owner of a Gilbert coffee shop where he had played years before. The coffee shop owner remembered Jemsek as a young boy playing acoustic diddlies about his unrequited love for Kate Winslet. That boy has returned a grizzled and rat-tailed young man who may still love Kate Winslet, but loves feedback and fuzz even more.
"There's only so many sounds you can get from the genre of pop punk before you start getting bored with it," Jemsek says. "You have the sound at your fingertips with your guitar, but with the pedalboard, the sound is at your toes. It's like you have more control over it. It's kind of like taking the 'insane' button that's on your [Line 6 practice] amplifier and putting it at your feet."
Jemsek has emerged as one of the most poignant lyricists in the Valley, able to craft small vignettes with each song that point to more universal meaning: "Guest House," from Get Out, flips the classic slacker format on its head, winding up a powerful self-motivation jam (minus the cheese, plus a killer guitar solo and synths).-- Mike Bogumill
1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ