Adam Thomas Jones (born January 15, 1965 in Park Ridge, Illinois) is a Grammy Award-winning guitarist, best known for his work with the alt metal 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. He is also responsible for most of Tool's music videos.
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 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.
Jones was offered a film scholarship but declined and chose to move to Los Angeles to study art and makeup effects.
Jones' studies began in 1983 at the Hollywood Makeup Academy by learning "straight make-up", because he thought it would help him out. 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: "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, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Dances With Wolves, and Ghostbusters 2. He did the "Freddy Krueger in the womb" makeup for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, as well as work for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.
He also worked on commercials for salad dressing (never aired), Olympic stain (Albert Einstein makeup), and Duracell (boxers and taxicabs).
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.
On "Mr. Show" (a sketch comedy series), 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.
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 recieved the Grammy Award for 'Best Recording Package' as art director for his work on "10,000 Days".
Since 1999, Jones has been married to the artist/singer Camella Grace. He was previously married to Antonia Jones, born Antonia Maria Benyovszky.
Jones had a pet Jackson's chameleon and a Great Dane named Eon. Adam's current Great Dane is called Diablo.
Adam Jones famously uses the Silverburst Les Paul Customs made from 1978-1981. Gibson discontinued them after complaints about the paint changing the tone of the guitar, however Jones says that this altered tone is part of the draw for him. The bridge pickups have been swapped for Seymour Duncan pickups, which are widely rumored to be the SH-4 JB model, but not confirmed by Jones. Jones also uses a pair of non-silverburst Les Pauls for "Prison Sex" and "Parabol/Parabola" which are in BADGBE and BEDGBE tunings respectively. Jones has recorded using a Gibson SG, but does not use 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 two amps are a 1976 Marshall Bass amp and a Diezel VH4 amp. 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 amplifier as a third amp. In some interviews from the period, Jones describes this amp as Dual Rectifier. More recently, this Mesa/Boogie has not appeared on stage and appears to have been replaced with another Diezel amp that has a blue face, most likely a Diezel VH4S. 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. The Tool guitar player 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.
On Undertow and the Opiate EP the Marshall bass amplifier was used, as the mesa boogie dual rectifier and the Diezel were not around in 1993 or before.
On Ænima the Marshall amplifier was used for high frequencies (treble). The Diezel VH4 was used to contribute the bass and mid range frequencies. The two amps were mixed accordingly to level out the frequencies.
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.
Mixonline.com'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. All changes in intensity are through his pick, his volume knob, or (as of lately) a volume pedal.
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. He is known for subtle wah use, to only create slight pitch 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... not in the effects loop. He's also been seen using an MXR MicroAmp.
Many people believe that Jones uses an E-bow; however, he stated that he actually uses an Epilady, 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."
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 Boss 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. On the song Rosetta Stoned , a high gained pitch can be heard in the intro, which was made with Wah-Wah pedal. Many people believe the pedal used was a Dunlop CryBaby 535Q, or quite possibly the, now discontinued, Dunlop CryBaby BB-535 Wah. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.