Substance is the most authentic New Order tribute in the world. We strive to replicate the New Order sound that both loyal and casual fans love. Many hours have been spent obtaining the same equipment New Order used to create their magical sound. Dedicated fans will appreciate Substance' attention to detail. Casual fans will love that we play all the hits!
Jeff Johnson founded Substance in 2013. He was born and raised in Orange County, California. Jeff has been a New Order fan since he first heard Brotherhood at a friend’s house. He immediately rode his bike to the record store to purchase his own copy. In 1991, his mother bought him a Fender Stratocaster for his 21st birthday and he started learning to play guitar. Jeff then got into programming drum machines and sequencing synths. In 2010, when Jeff was recruited from his cover band to play bass in Love Vigilantes, a Seattle-based New Order tribute, he jumped at the opportunity. After successful shows across the nation, Love Vigilantes entered a lengthy hiatus. Jeff had caught New Order tribute fever and missed playing the songs live, so in 2013, Jeff formed Substance New Order Tribute.
Jeff enlisted friends from local cover bands and the first lineup of Substance played in late 2013. A semi-permanent lineup solidified going in to 2014 and Substance began playing shows almost monthly.
Later that same year, Jeff attended a New Order show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. In the pit, Jeff met Lillian. He was impressed with her extensive knowledge of New Order music and overall enthusiasm for the band, especially Gillian Gilbert. As a piano player, she admitted to having listened endlessly to New Order’s “Power Corruption and Lies” in the mid 80’s because “it was so cool they had a girl in the band.” Although she had never played in a band, Jeff asked if she would like to take guitar lessons and play a few songs with the band sometime. Excited by the challenge, she immediately started learning to play guitar. Six weeks later, Lillian played her first gig with Substance.
JC Trueba ("The Phantom") became a Substance drummer in late 2017. JC was born in Mexico City and now calls Los Angeles home. As a child he was exposed to all genres of music and thanks to his uncle, he was exposed to rock and roll from a young age. His musical influences are diverse - spanning from Queen and David Bowie to Doves and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. JC has performed in practically all of LA’s venues, ranging from the smallest hole in the wall dive bar to legendary venues. Substance are very happy to have JC as part of the band. His chops with a click track are second to none!
David Paleno ("Lapper") has been friends with Jeff since college. Both Lapper and Jeff learned to play their instruments in the 1990's getting together once per week to jam to an Alesis drum machine in Jeff's garage/bedroom/studio at the time. Sharing the same love for new wave and 80s music, they formed their first cover band Element Zero in 2006. In 2018 Jeff was looking for a new bassist for Substance, so he asked if Lapper would be interesting in filling the "Hooky" role. Lapper jumped at the opportunity. It's been a fun ride ever since. Lapper brings to Substance his love of New Order, a strong ear along with exceptional graphic design and video editing skills.
Substance is made up of New Order fans who also love music gear. We strive to make Substance sound as close to New Order as possible. We have spent countless hours researching and obtaining the exact instruments, amps, effects pedals and synths to authentically recreate the unique and infectious sounds produced by New Order. Equipment includes Peter Hook’s Yamaha BB1200S along with a vintage EHX Clone Theory chorus pedal, recreating Hooky’s signature lead bass sound. Jeff uses a Gibson ES335, ES330, Fender Strat, Tokai Goldstar Sound and early Shergold Masquerader played through a Vox AC30 to replicate Bernard Sumner's tones. He also plays haunting melodies on Bernard’s Hohner melodica. With Joy Division's ARP Omni 2 string machine synthesizer, Substance captures the sound and feel of Joy Division and early New Order. Only authentic vintage synths and soft synths of the original analog synthesizers are utilized to replicate our New Order sequences and backing tracks. Audiences will recognize Roland & DMX drum machines, the ARP Omni II & Quadra, Emulator I & II, 80’s era Yamahas, Korgs, Moogs as well as the Prophet V. Substance sequences strive for note for note replications of the original songs. Dedicated fans, as well as the casual listener, will appreciate how well Substance has captured New Order's sound.