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7 Sep

For some time now, I’ve been on a quest for the ultimate overdrive pedal. In recent years, I’ve been rocking Visual Sound’s Route 66 pedal; and while it’s rad, I felt there were better pedals out there. While in New York last week, I began hitting up the local guitar stores with the intention of picking up a vintage TS-9 Tube Screamer—a classic pedal that’s become known as ‘the standard’ for overdrive. Enter the Interstellar Overdriver Deluxe.

Death By Audio

I stumbled across this pedal while browsing the cabinet at Main Drag Music in Brooklyn. Not only does it have the greatest name of any overdrive pedal, but it looks radical. I asked the attendant if I could try it out and he led me to the live room. The second I started kicking out the jams on this thing, an earthquake hit New York (literally). Sold!



27 Aug

Black Fox have parted ways their Marshall JCM900 amplifier. The 100 watt rig (which features heavily throughout Line Of Sight) was originally procured second hand by young deadhead Leigh Mullens circa 2004, only to be later traded with Daniel’s Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (which also features throughout the album).

‘I didn’t really use it that much because I had other amps, however brought it out late in the Blood Orange sessions and it was wild … I believe I played it on Midnight and Wasted Years,’ says Daniel. ‘Not that anyone really cares.’

Recently recovered photographic evidence may suggest otherwise…

In the end it had an excess 80 watts, unused channel, extra speaker, faulty reverb, missing footswitch, was 15 kilos too heavy, had sustained structural damage (allegedly by teen pinup Hazy) and the reverb was in need of a service.

‘I sold it to a local youth for an undisclosed sum.’

The awkward youngster — known only as ‘Ben’ — rolled around to Relaxo with a metal influenced guitar and proceeded to cut sick; grindcore style.

‘Do you want to tune that thing?’
‘Fair enough…’
‘I don’t know what to say…’

Daniel (with a tear in his eye) helped Ben load the Marshall into his automobile, then fudged the proceeds into his back pocket.

‘I crashed my last car.’

We’ll endure to follow his progress via this link to his solo material:

Live the dream, Ben.


18 Aug

I pulled out Dane’s Roland Juno-106 analog synthesizer on Marcel — the precarious tale of a rolling stone. Stemming from a creative purple patch, Marcel (along with Chinatown) was written and demoed over the course of an afternoon in my Nishi Okazaki ‘El Escapo’ mid-2009. The opening chord progression was originally intended for piano, but Leigh’s always played it on guitar live with The Smoke and Black Fox. Cop that.

Anyway, back to the Juno; it carries the intro to the inevitable smack of Fergo’s snare — launching Marcel on its way. Other Juno sounds are splattered all up and down the remainder of the song. Due to the fact I can’t sing, the Japanese demo was as much spat out punk story-telling as it was melodic, and all on overdriven acoustic guitars!

Take a breathe, take a step. With the beat in your head. Pick a fight, tell a lie. To the man in your head

The Juno-106 provides a lot of Cure-ish (who also used one) atmosphere to balance it all out. Money and I saw Cut Copy about five years ago in Richmond with one of these onstage. The New Electric, too. Such a rad synth.


10 Aug

This is our Yamaha TX7 FM expander; on loan from HT Nebauer. It’s the rack version of the Yamaha DX7 — probably the most famous digital synthesizer of all time. Dane and I pretty much always program our own synthesizer sounds on the Oberheim OB-8 and Roland Juno-106. Therefore, we never really paid the TX7 any attention….Until now!

There are countless patches available for the DX7 series, but needless to say, I’m still hooked on the factory presets — especially Strings 2, which sounds more like hazy brass…Anyway, I’ve squeezed Strings 2 onto just about every song on the record; usually blending it with AC1 Trumpet Ensemble from the Oberheim OB-8, which actually sounds more like strings…Another DX7 preset on the record, is Marimba; featuring in the bridges of both Monarch and Beatles Party. I’m predicting a comeback for early FM synths. So rad.

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