Welcome to the latest edition of Feedback, a look (down) at the pedal boards and equipment of some of our favorite musicians. Today, KEXP's Owen Murphy talks to his bandmate Adam Vernick, guitarist for New Age Healers.
New Age Healers play tonight, Friday, April 26th, as part of the Seagaze Festival, a four-day shoegaze, post-punk, and psych-rock extravaganza held on April 18–19 & April 24–28 at the Lo-Fi Performance Gallery. If you missed the four-hour celebration of the genre on The Morning Show on KEXP, you can still listen via KEXP's Two-Week Streaming Archive [stream expires: 5/9/19], and check out previous editions of Feedback for more gear geekery.
For me, the most fun and interesting aspect of playing with pedals is the effect that different combinations of pedals have on the overall sound of my guitar. If there’s anything unique about my board, it’s that over half of the pedals I use are different types of distortion/fuzz, and I often have more than one running. The other thing I like about the pedals I use is that they’re all pretty simple and straightforward to use, which is especially helpful if/when I hear something I want or don’t want while playing live or at practice. I also like that I bought most of my pedals used, and that I’m not afraid to leave the house with some super expensive/vintage/breakable pedal.
One of my favorite sounds that I use frequently in New Age Healers is to mix a short/slap-back digital delay with a longer analog delay. This is an old trick that I’ve seen used in various genres and bands, and I always wanted to experiment with that sound before joining New Age Healers. Another go-to combination for me has been to mix fuzz pedals (usually a big muff) and/or distortion pedals (shredmaster or tubescreamer) with a klon style overdrive/boost. I think interesting stuff tends to happen when you start stacking gain pedals. Suffice to say, I always have at least one dirt pedal on, and often at least one delay or reverb accompany that distortion sound to add some atmosphere.