Foxton Kings – Clifford Johnson

Groove? check! Dirty Guitars? check!  Click play and come sit down…if you can…but i bet it won’t be long until you are bobbing your head along to this killer track…

You’re welcome to stick around and geek out with us on the gear behind the dirty riffs of “MOOKAITE” with  FOXTON KINGS guitarist, Clifford Johnson.

Can you tell us about Foxton Kings and your latest release “Mookaite”

Our singer Joel and I had been in other bands previously and after the collapse of the last one Joel wanted to do what most drummers seem to want to do at some point and try his hand at vocals. We’ve been going about 2 years now with various line-up changes along the way. Our latest release “Mookaite”, (which has a B-side titled “Run Baby Run”) was written and recorded among the turmoil of trying to recruit a new rhythm section. We really didn’t want to hold anything back on these and tried to cram as much as possible in. Maybe almost compensating for the frustration we felt at the time.

Can you describe your approach to songwriting — how do you decide which riffs good and which are bad? Any bands in particular you like the style of?

A lot of the tunes come from Joel and I jamming. Although now with new blood Alex Barker on drums and Dane Koek on Bass it’s becoming more democratic. We’ve all got varied taste in music so whatever riffs that we can all agree on are absolute bangers. We’re fans of Jack White, Rivals Sons and RATM.


Tone-wise, what was your recording setup like?

Andy Lawson at Debasser is the man responsible for tracking and mixing our latest release. Amplification duty was handled by my Blackstar Artisan 30 and Andy’s AC30 blended in. I had only just recently picked up a Gain of Tones before this session so I was having a great time playing around with that on these tracks as well. My big yellow Diamond compressor is basically always on and the Boss dm-2w is great for those really short doubling delays that can make me sound like 2 guitars live. Guitar-wise I just used my trusty Duesenberg Starplayer Special. Amazing instrument. Bolt on neck, 25.5” scale. Alder body and they use all their own hardware. Monster of an axe.



A sneaky little fun fact and something I discovered while tracking is that a fuzz factory with sub octave straight into the desk can sound amazing. That’s the secret recipe for the massive ending riff on Mookaite. It’s probably a little bit of my old metal days coming out. But you can definitely get the head moving to that one.


Give us your best “wtf” live show experience…

Trying to use a borrowed AXEFX at a show without having used one before is not a fun time. So many settings….



Thanks for taking the time to give us your insights

You can check out Foxton Kings on

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