Get Yer Pedals Out #4: Starring Grant Widmer (Generationals)

I couldn't quite tell you why, but for the longest time I've been somewhat moderately obsessed with pedals. Since I'm no guitarist I don't really have a valid reason for this, other than the fact that they both make pretty noises and are rather nice to look at. Much, really, like the folks who use them. I've decided to turn my inexplicable pedal fancy into Fuzzy Logic fodder, and I do hope you'll enjoy my foray into the ins and outs of pedal worship.

Ah, Generationals. When it comes to making delicious, chirpy summertime dreamy pop nuggets, there’s pretty much nobody doing it better. Fresh off the release of their latest long player, Actor Caster, the boys from the Big Easy recently came through the DC metro for a pair of shows. Both shows I had the pleasure of attending, both at Iota and down in Richmond, were on the ridiculously excellent side, in no small part thanks to the guitar contortioning of Generationals mainmen Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner. Grant and I sat down post-set for some pedal talk, and I thank him profusely for introducing me to one of my new favorite things...Disaster Fuzz. Makes me giggle every time. Read on for more of Grant’s musings on all things pedalish.

Fuzzy Logic: Which pedal is your very favorite and why?
Grant Widmer: I’d say definitely the Disaster Fuzz…there’s kind of a story that I remember when I think about it, kinda how I got it. I showed up at a show in New York once and I went to step on my fuzz pedal and it just didn’t work at all. So I walked around the corner to a guitar store called Ludlow Guitars and I just asked for a shitty fuzz guitar pedal, and that’s what I got. So I like that one.

FL: Favorite chord?
GW: I don’t play favorites with chords. They’ve all been good to me and they’ve all fucked me over at various points.

FL: Who’s your guitarist icon?
GW: I don’t know…I guess it kinda depends. I like the way Tom Petty plays guitars, I also like Elliot Easton. I also like Britt (Daniel) from Spoon, really interesting guitar stuff. I think Chuck Berry was probably the first guy I ever tried to learn how to play like that, and then it took me a long time to unlearn how to play like that. So yeah. Those are some good ones.

FL: With all the pedals out there, how do you decide which ones to procure?
GW: It’s whichever one is available in the used case at Guitar Center, that’s typically what I get. I learn how to use it after I buy it.

FL: What’s your dream pedal?
GW: Oh man. Once we did a show in Chicago and I left my entire pedal board behind, and I had to get it shipped, but in the meantime we had a couple shows where I didn’t have one. I had to go to Guitar Center and just get whatever I wanted with a credit card knowing that I was gonna bring it back the next day, so I was just like I’m just gonna get any pedal I can think of. I got this fuzz pedal, shit I can’t even remember the name of it right now, I know the guys in Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. have it, one of them has it, it’s like a little rectangle, it looks like a little boutique handmade pedal, and it’s got hand-written lettering on it, multi-colored lettering, it’s some kind of a weird fuzz, but it also has other knobs on it too. I remember I used it for my fuzz and it sounded so awesome. It’s like a $300 fuzz pedal. (At this point I query whether it’s better than favorite pedal Disaster Fuzz) Oh, way better. Disaster Fuzz is disastrous, in that there’s a lot of really shitty things about it. For instance, the volume…there’s two knobs: volume and control. They don’t make any sense. The more you turn up control, it changes the contour of the fuzz but not in a cool way. It’s really lame. And the volume, in the space of what would be one hour, if that knob was a clock, if you have it on, say 9 o’clock it’s too soft, but then if you push it to 10 o’clock, it’s way too loud. That’s your range of acceptable volumes on that entire pedal. And it’s really loose, the knob, so tons of times I’ll go to step on it and it’ll either be way too loud or not audible at all. So I ended up having to just set it perfectly and then tape it down so that it never moves. Disaster Fuzz is actually kinda shitty.

mp3: Ten-Twenty-Ten (Generationals from Actor Caster)


[photo by Megan Petty]

Comments

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