I am very fortunate that I get to live in a musical city like Los Angeles. Although the town is filled with musicians, even those who don’t live here will eventually, at some point in their careers, have to come to L.A. because it’s home to a number of prominent recording studios, labels and film companies. The same applies for music gear designers and builders.
Speaking of these master craftsmen, I was lucky to have Jamie Stillman from Earthquaker Devices come by my studio last week. He and his wife, Julie, drove up with three massive pedalboards filled with Earthquaker Devices pedals and, knowing Jamie didn’t want to do an interview, was trying to think of something we could do for PedalsAndEffects. Just as I was trying to come up with an idea, I noticed someone at the door with a guitar amplifier- it was Mason Stoops, a young, Los Angeles-based guitarist who just happened to have an old Silvertone combo with him. I started to see what was coming…a jam!
Jamie sat at the drum kit and Mason set up so I hustled and get the cameras rolling and, well- here you have it, a jam inspired by the pedals made by Earthquaker Devices. I still plan to make some demonstration videos for some of these pedals but I thought it would be cool to show you how pedals can affect the way you approach playing.
I jumped on Earthquaker’s Sea Machine Chorus right at the start to get a wide textural sound that we could build off. That chorus brings so much depth that it is easy to build a wall of sound. I eventually added some delay from his remarkable Disaster Transport Delay that gets the low end even more spread out but that was further in the jam and didn’t make the video cut.
We jammed for over two hours, stopping once to make some adjustments, but we could have jammed for much longer because the inspiration was there. Great people, inspired musicians and creative gear all make for an phenomenal afternoon of jamming.
On a side note, Jamie had every pedal he makes on this pedalboard, and every single pedal got engaged and changed the direction of the jam. This requires musical ability but using a pedal to change the sound of your instrument does something to your brain and inspires a directional change. All of Earthquaker’s devices have so much creativity put inside them that any player who stomps on one of them will be taken to uncharted territory.