Monday, March 26, 2012

Get Yer Pedals Out #11: Starring Oliver Ackermann (A Place To Bury Strangers)

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'm sure I've told this little anecdote before, but I feel it needs to be brought up as a point of emphasis. When I drove up to Philly a couple years back to see A Place To Bury Strangers one sultry summer night in Rittenhouse Square, I made the mistake of taking my earplugs out as soon as the band had left the outdoor stage. The instruments of delicious doom, still emitting waves of skull-splitting noise, left my hearing iffy at best for about a week, so intense were the vibrations. And that was after only about two minutes without earplugs. The things this band can do when plugged in and letting loose are sometimes beyond comprehension; So furious, so ferocious, and so very wonderful. This is not noise-making for the sake of making noise, mind you. It is the sound of confusion, combustion, calamity, and it is undeniable. Given the way he leaves it all on the stage, as well as the way he crafts pedals that make serious magic happen through his Death By Audio venture, Oliver Ackermann of APTBS has plenty to say on the matter of pedals. Fans of loudness, take note.

Fuzzy Logic: Which pedal is your very favorite and why?
Oliver Ackermann: My favorite pedal right now is the eventide pitch factor pedal. I don’t own it but one of my housemates owns it and it is amazing. I like it because it sort of makes you look at music in a different way and creates songs and sounds on the fly which are really interesting. It does the whole amazing arpeggiation thing which is rad from synthesizers, but then doubles that by having a counter arpeggiation for an infinite number of really interesting results. I would never use such a thing for A Place To Bury Strangers but I sure do like new technology!

FL: Favorite chord?
OA: I have invented this chord which takes two hands to hold down and then is strummed with the thumb. It is an O major 7th held.

FL: Who's your guitarist icon?
OA: Jimi Hendrix. Not for his effect work or his song writing, but for the way he played the guitar by beating it up and fucking it. He would brutally yet gracefully with no effort make the guitar scream wildly as well as always do everything on the fly. It was new and fresh every time.

FL: With all the pedals out there, how do you decide which ones to procure?
OA: I don’t get pedals any more, I just design new ones for me. It has just turned into a personal quest where if there is something I want, I design it.

FL: What's your dream pedal?
OA: I have created it. It is a copy of a dream I have had. It echoes that dream. It’s called the Echo Dream. We just can’t keep them in stock and were forced to raise the price because we realized we were losing money on making such an intense pedal.

mp3: So Far Away (A Place To Bury Strangers from Onwards To The Wall)

A Place to Bury Strangers "So Far Away" from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

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