If you don’t know Fuzzrocious pedals out of New Jersey, now you do…
First memories getting into music and playing instruments?
I’ve been “into” music since I was a kid dancing around the house to Hall & Oates, Steely Dan, and Doobies records as a kid, but didn’t pick up an instrument for real until I was 25. I sang/screamed in bands from the age of 17, but never had the urge/need to play an instrument. I had too much fun being a wild frontman and screaming my throat out to get tied to an instrument. About a year after I was kicked out of a band for being too cool for school, I was asked to play bass in a shoegaze band called On Mono. This type of music was a good start for me because it didn’t require much movement and allowed me to learn about making a melody behind the rhythm. When I got bored with that, I moved over to Herbert West, a techy, angular punk band that allowed me the freedom to play bass more like a guitar player and two hand tap a lot of my bass lines. When this band went south, the guitarist and I started Cavale, a downtuned, heavy, space band. The band came to a chaotic, abrupt end, as many bands do, so Beth (drummer) and I began PLUTONIAN. It’s just her and me and it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever had a chance to do musically. I’ll stop here…I could go on forever about playing and writing in a loud, noisy two piece band…Oh, I will add that PLUTONIAN afforded me the opportunity to pick up a baritone/Bass VI to add to my arsenal!
How long did it take you until you started opening up pedals/gear to tweak them to your desires?
My stock answer for this is that my bandmates in Cavale encouraged me to build a GGG BMP (big muff) clone and it was all downhill from there. My dad taught me how to solder in an afternoon and I built GGG/BYOC kits for a yearish. I felt like a schlub building kits and wanted to take design further, so I started building new and modded designs. Building circuits on veroboard first really helped me learn “what does what.”
How did the concept for Fuzzrocious come together?
It all just kind of fell into place. I wanted to build pedals and make cool shit for bands/friends/musicians whom I looked up to/inspired me and my wife was schooled as a painter, but not professionally in that field. Painting on pedals was the best way for her to be able to do something she loved, so here we are!
What drew you towards the Fuzz sound?
Initially, fuzz appealed to me because it was loud and nasty. Being in heavy, loud bands most of my life was partially being able to just be loud, weird, and crazy. Well, now I can make pedals that let musicians be loud, weird, and crazy…works for me! The longer I’ve been playing music and building pedals, the more I have branched out with my personal effect usage and what we build. Technically, we have one and half fuzz pedals in our lineup. I guess we should change that?
What pedal of yours are you most proud of, or best characterizes the sound of Fuzzrocious?
Most proud of: The Demon and Rat King pedals – I found a niche market that no one else was really doing. I’m able to give people a pedal in a little larger of a box that has two extra mods on footswitches on them. For the Rat King, the second distortion mod (middle FS) turns the pedal essentially into two pedals, allowing people to knock another board off of their pedalboard and save some real estate. The gate/boost mod on the Demon/Demon King is the coolest mistake I ever made in design. Nothing out there sounds exactly like it!
Favorite piece of gear from your collection that you either currently own, or at one time owned and regret selling?
Guitar/bass: My custom Sandberg California w/ P/J pickups is my baby. I love the tone, play, feel, etc about it. I don’t have a bad thing to say about it. I protect it like it came from my sperm.
Pedal: Moog Freqbox. I don’t use it much, but when I do, I can make obnoxious, loud, weird sounds. Best investment into pedal gear I’ve made!
Anything exciting or new in the works this year for Fuzzrocious?
We’re getting ready to drop the DARKEST DRIVING next. After that, something reverb-related.