Get Yer Pedals Out: Starring Matt Klimas (The Snowy Owls)

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.
I've probably mentioned it once or twice, but I've got the extreme good fortune to be sponsoring two of my most favorite bands/bands of people in a show they're putting on this very Thursday in lovely Richmond, Virginia. When
Mittenfields and The Snowy Owls get together, friends, wonderful things will happen. Guaranteed. Mister Matt Klimas, purveyor of pedally and vocal wonder for those delightful Richmondians Snowy Owls has been known to make a loud noise now and again on that guitar of his. Read on to see what floats his boat when it comes to the wonderful world of pedals. And as for Matt's particular sound ambition (please refer to the last q+a), I heartily approve.
Fuzzy Logic: Which pedal is your very favorite and why?
Matt Klimas: I don’t think my ProCo Vintage Rat has ever left my pedal board since I bought it in the late 90s. Still my favorite distortion pedal ever, it’s been my workhorse for heavier tones and some gorgeous feedback. I like keeping it pretty cranked so it becomes something fun to unleash – either riding it like a wave or wrestling it back into the bottle. It plays nice with my Red Llama overdrive. <3

FL: Favorite chord?
MK: I really like chords that have a lower fifth as a root (and this is really the extent of my music theory). Especially using just the three lowest strings. So the C chord would be G-C-E. Nothing flashy, but it gives familiar chords a new harmonic quality that I find very pleasing.

FL: Who’s your guitarist icon?
MK: Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo. He does it all, and better than just about everyone else. There’s an emotive quality to his playing that puts him way above even the most technically proficient guitarist. It pretty much destroys me every listen.

FL: With all the pedals out there, how do you decide which ones to procure?
MK: While seeing what other artists are using definitely piques my interest, knowledgeable friend recommendations carry the most weight in the end.

FL: What’s your dream pedal?
MK: My friend and pedal-smith, George, is working on a dual channel Red Llama clone with some additional tone and voltage-sag controls. Hopefully it will get me closer to the “speaker-is-going-to-explode-but-in-a-very-nice-way” sound I’ve been chasing recently.

mp3: Yr Eyes (The Snowy Owls from Yr Eyes)

[photo by Matt Klimas]


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