As music fans there are moments in your collective memory that stand out more than others. Moments that we all have where music changed something in your life that you will never forget and, when heard years later, still moves you or makes you think of that time when you first had your DNA changed by it.
For me there are too many to mention them all. Hearing Stranded for the first time or the opening chords to Anarchy in the UK, the drum rolls in Safe European Home, the descending lead in Just Like Heaven and the opening to New Day Rising are a few of mine.
New Day Rising was my second experience with Husker Du after Metal Circus as I was going through my hardcore stage of mainly listening to Minor Threat and Dead Kennedys and had deemed Zen Arcade as "too prog" for my purist beliefs at the time. After reading a review of New Day Rising I figured it was "OK" to buy this new Husker Du record as it was being described as catchy melodic punk crossed with hardcore.
I remember distinctly the feeling of amazement and confusion again when, after the short drum intro, the sound of those swirling, biting, distorted guitars kicked in and just pummeled their way through an entire album of catchy, psychedelic, abrasive pop punk. These albums changed everything for me. When I started playing guitar in a band I wanted a Gibson copy and an MXR Distortion +.
Even though I was a bigger Ramones fan, I hadn't even considered owning a Mosrite and a Marshall stack. Bob Moulds tone seemed more, achievable somehow ? I ended up playing an SG copy through a Dist + reissue into a solid state Fender combo and more than one sound guy told me my guitar tone was "too trebly" during line check but it always worked in a full band.
Bob Moulds guitar tone changed little over the course of Husker Du and even when he changed guitars to a Strat later on, one pedal was still a constant as his main distortion sound. Running through Sugar in the early/mid 90's and into his solo career, if it had distorted guitars, it was his trusty little mustard yellow dirt box.
After periods of releasing albums of everything from acoustic to electronic, in 2012, Bob released his first album on Merge records, back as heavy melodic three piece in the form of Silver Age. Very reminiscent of Husker Du and Sugar it had that distinct buzzsaw guitar tone back in full flight. Catchy, punchy, faster and heavier than previous outings for years, Silver Age was a sign of things to come and in 2014 he released another classic sounding album in Beauty & Ruin.
The artwork for the Bob Mould signature distortion is based on this album artwork along with a pedal I had made in homage to Bob and Husker Du, that I had given him one of, while on tour here in 2013 to just say ........ thanks. The story of my St Paul Distortion is HERE, but suffice to say, I got into MXR Distortion +'s through Bob and since I made a version in my pedal line up, I thought it was only right I made one in homage of the man who got me into them.
Bob emailed me a few months after the show with a nice compliment about the pedal I'd given him.
"Bob Mould here. Finally got a moment to try the Tymexar pedal. It's really neat sounding — I'm playing a Strat into a small Airline amp. It's got great character and responsiveness.
Thanks for bringing the pedal to the Brisbane show. I am flattered and honored.
We started talking about gear and eventually the idea of doing a signature version of this pedal came to light. Bob was into the idea and I was honoured to be in a position to do it for him.
So, I am flattered, yet again to offer you another Tym signature pedal by one of my all time heroes. Someone who has changed my life, and hopefully yours and provided the world with so much great music.