Get Yer Pedals Out: Starring Travis Johnson (Grooms)

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 knew as soon as I clapped eyes on his pedalboard that I wanted to get into the pedal-dentity of Travis Johnson. The Grooms guitarist/vocalist wields quite an impressive setup, it must be said. He's also got a great approach. Pedalheads, take note and read on.  

Fuzzy Logic: Which pedal is your very favorite and why?
Travis Johnson: Probably the Boss PS - 3. I have two of them. It's not as versatile as the Eventide Pitchfactor but what it does it does beautifully. I used to use it for the reverse feedback sounds mostly but at some point I just started putting tons of stuff through it with an octave down and a 4th or 5th up. It creates these gorgeous buzzing thick sounds on top of the harmonies. I think half of the guitars and all of the Juno synth on our new record were run through it.

FL: Favorite chord?
TJ: I don't know what chords I'm playing most of the time but I know I tend to play a lot of major 7ths, and 2nds. I have a tendency to stack up tons of notes in chords, almost to a fault probably.

FL: Who's your guitarist icon?
TJ: It's kinda dopey, but I'd have to say John Lennon. A few of his chord progressions just never leave me for long. On top of having beautiful, strange chords, he could also make some pretty amazing noise. And he wasn't super technical.

FL: With all the pedals out there, how do you decide which ones to procure?
TJ: You find one that sounds like it will open up a new world and hope that it does. The ones that make me want to get them are the ones I feel like I don't immediately understand.

FL: What's your dream pedal?
TJ: Something I haven't heard yet. 

[photo courtesy Travis Johnson]


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