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350 West Bowery Street
Akron, OH, 44307
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Official website for EarthQuaker Devices. We build guitar effects by hand in the quaint landlocked city of Akron, Ohio.

Show Us Your Junk! Ep. 9 - Mario Caldato (Beastie Boys, Jack Johnson)

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Show Us Your Junk! Ep. 9 - Mario Caldato (Beastie Boys, Jack Johnson)

Aaron Rogers

Mario C likes to keep it clean!

It’s not every day we get invited to kick it with producers immortalized in Beastie Boys lyrics. We met up with Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and Hello Nasty engineer / producer Mario Caldato at his Hollywood home studio to dig through his endless collection of gear, in search of the perfect party rockin’ piece. And we found something. Mario C is the lucky owner of the original Check Your Head collage.

Mario remembers the creation of the collage as it took shape over the two-and-a-half years in which the album was recorded. “Everybody brought in pictures…the wives would work on this while we were in the studio,” he recalls. Seeing the handmade collage up close, one can only imagine what a blast those recording sessions must have been. A real family affair.

Speaking of Check Your Head, in the garage we found the original Emu SP 1200 sampler used as sketchpads by the group during the recording of the album. “We all had one…at home, so we’d work on stuff at home and bring it in,” he says.

We spent hours looking through bin after bin of amazing gear: vintage Mu-Trons, MPCs, a Roland TR-303, you name it. But we couldn’t leave without a little Transmisser jam time. Aided by bassist and pedalhead Juan Alderete, we hooked up our resonant reverberator to record some ambient bass. “You get your sound and you kick in, like ‘Boom!’ I’m there.”