August Burns Red! These guys epitomize talent and hard work. This interview is with guitarist, JB.

Who are you currently endorsed by?

Ibanez, D’addario, Planet Waves, Mesa Boogie, In Tune Guitar Picks, RJM Music,

What was your first endorsement and how did getting that first one make you feel?  

First one ever was Framus amps and cabs.  It was so excited because we had always heard about other bands getting endorsements and getting gear discounted or even free.  Our manager at the time got us hooked up with Framus and we got a couple free amps and cabinets.  We were floored!

You are a patient guy and your band has been on a steady climb.  How have your relationships evolved with the companies you work with from the beginning until now?  

The companies I feel I’ve worked with the most are D’addario (and Planet Waves) and Ibanez.  My relationship with both companies has gotten better and better over time.  Meeting with the artist relation guys and hanging out is always nice because it makes the relationship feel real.  Otherwise it’s just a name with an email or a voice on a phone call.  My deals with Ibanez and D’addario have gotten progressively better over time.  It’s sort of a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” scenario.  It’s cool.

It seems some musicians neglect the give and take aspect and could potentially miss out on better deals as their band’s popularity grows.  What kind of advice would you give to a young guitar player in your ‘scene’ on how to go about getting an initial endorsement and how to develop that relationship so that it grows as the band does?  

I think it’s important to remember to keep in touch with your artist relation reps.  They like to feel in the loop and involved with the bands they’re working with.  If you develop a good relationship with them, you are more likely to get what you need from them much faster.  You become a priority, and a friend.  Don’t expect to get everything free as soon as you get an endorsement.  As your band grows, so will your endorsement level.  Also, don’t get greedy.  Don’t take free stuff just to get free stuff.  Work with the companies you want to work with.  I made the mistake of playing some gear I didn’t prefer just because it was free and it was really pointless.

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