I worked for Electro-Harmonix three times. Once in the mid 70s, once in the later 70s, and finally when I moved back to New York from San Francisco in the early 2000s. By the last time, DAWS and plugins were a thing and hardware effect companies were cashing in by licensing plugin versions of their products. I suggested to Mike Matthews that he consider turning some of his classic pedals into plugins. He wasn’t into it at the time but apparently has now decided to put a toe in the water. Starting with his flagship effect, the Big Muff, he has launched a hybrid pedal/plugin concept.
I interviewed Sarah Lipstate over a decade ago after seeing her put on a terrific show of solo looping in Brooklyn, over a decade ago. In the years since, she has gone on to open shows for another great aliased modern guitarist, St. Vincent (nee Annie Clark), as well as touring, recording, and writing with Iggy Pop. For EarthQuaker Device’s series, Show Us Your Junk, she waxes at length about her gear and her origin story.
FutureFret: Episode One is the first event in what Vernon Reid and Chris Buono hope to be an ongoing series. The event is this Saturday, May 14th, 2022 and will include a collective of panel discussions, masterclasses and live performances centered around forward-thinking concepts for the modern guitarist. Here is my interview with Vernon about the idea, its possibilities and many other things. Below that is an introductory video and the details.
A few years ago, I was contacted by Andy Summers’ publicist regarding interviewing him about his then new record, Metal Dog, a masterpiece of modern guitar mayhem. Now he has a new book of hilarious short stories, Fretted and Moaning, and a new record, Harmonics of the Night, so it seemed like a perfect time to chat again. We spoke in general terms about gear but he was kind enough to also send me a more specific list, available below.
From the Greek geniuses who brought you the classic fuzz emulations of the Constellation pedal, comes the Crazy Tube Circuits Cylclone. As this video demonstrates they have managed to conjure scary simulacra of some classic phase shifters, including MXR’s Pase 45 and 90 pedals, the Electro-Harmonix Small Stone, and others.