Fuzz for Isaiah from Earthless
I've had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with the Earthless guys when they tour Australia. I've known Mario, their drummer for some time after meeting him when he toured with the Hotsnakes a few years ago so it was nice to see him again and meet Isaiah and Mike. To say their live shows blow my mind is an understatement.
If someone described their music to me I would have said "no way" as I do like my "pop" in the form of the Ramones style, as well as lots of other stuff, but "psych, jam, stoner, instrumental, guitar solo stuff" has never really interested me ......... until now. I pretty much go to anything that Rob from HEATHEN SKULLS recommends to me now after him telling me to go to Lightning Bolt (who he also bought out) a few years ago and it changed my life, seriously.
So now when Rob says "you gotta see this band" ...... I do, and usually end up loving it. Heather Skulls brings out some of the most interesting and amazing bands you'll ever see in this country. Sometimes they're bands that no-one (or very few anyway) have heard of, but they're always amazing. Earthless were one of these bands. To be honest I'd never really heard of them before Rob said he was bringing them out but after seeing them live, and then getting their records, released by the equally great Tee Pee records, I'm a huge fan.
So when the guys from Earthless got in touch after the tour asking about my pedals I was keen to work with them. I first sent Mario a Tone Boost to use in one of his other bands that he plays guitar in and I sent Mike a Red Mud and Big Bottom. They both loved them and then I got an email from Isaiah saying everywhere they play people ask about Mikes bass sound and would I be interested in making him a fuzz pedal ?
We got talking and worked out some ideas. When I first started making pedals I thought fuzz would be the easiest of all but I actually think it's the hardest. There's SO MANY versions of fuzz it's crazy. Everything from what I call "sausage sizzle' mid 60's crackly fuzz through to Big Muff or Superfuzz style, thick, solid fuzz.
I asked Isaiah to "describe" which end of the spectrum he wanted so we could work it out. It started with my Return of the Human Fly with a Boost, then went to the Fuzzilla, then , well, we weren't sure. I HATE talking "TONE" by email but after going back and forward I said describe it ........... He told me this !!!
"Hendrix and God=Fuzz"
So, here it is. The prototype that's heading his way. This is my description I sent to him. It'll make more sense when he's sitting in front of it, I hope.
"OK , here's the working prototype for your fuzz.
Guitar comes in to fuzz. This is the RTHF fuzz (60's nasty) onto the boost and out to amp.
From right to left.
Gain is fuzz gain.
Fuzz vol is fuzz volume.
Vol is overall gain vol (cascades gain)
Tone is fuzz tone (active low pass/high pass filter)
Boost tone is boost tone (as above)
Boost vol is Boost volume
Fuzz blend adjusts the "amount" of fuzz in the signal. I did this so you can run the fuzz flat out and mix the amount you want 'cause there's LOTS of volume in this fuzz.
Bass is more/less bottom end "in" the fuzz Boost.
Treble is treble/linear boost for the boost section.
The fuzz and boost can be run independently.
Now, I have also added a bypassable effects loop "between" the fuzz and boost. I wasn't sure where you ran your wah or other pedals so this allows you to run other pedals after the fuzz, but before the boost. Make sense ?
It all runs on std Boss style 9 V centre neg adaptor."
For those of you who don't know Earthless, Isaiah is seriously one of the most amazing guitarists, EVER. He's pretty much the only guitarist I can currently think of who I can watch or listen to play a solo for an hour and not get bored. As my friend Tone said after the show here in Brisbane "That guy just did a 40 minute solo and didn't repeat himself once,or get tacky or predictable, why isn't he talked about as one of the greatest guitarists around ?" If you want to listen to these guys, check my review of their live album that we sell.