Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Changing tastes

In my youth, I enjoyed oddball-sounding effects pedals for guitars -- ring modulators and the like.

But I was browsing YouTube this evening for demos of guitar effects pedals, and I realized that the oddball pedals don't appeal to me like they used to.  Maybe -- as I age -- I actually prefer things that sound pleasant, rather than jarring.  Or maybe I'm no longer worried about conformity:  I'm willing to have a "regular" guitar sound ("typical" distortion, flanger, phaser, chorus sounds).

On the other hand:  a few days ago I discovered, by accident, this interview with Tom Morello, guitarist for Rage Against the Machine.  Among other things, he discusses how he gets his odd sounds.

One of the things that I appreciate about his approach is that he trys to get interesting, unique sounds:  he says that most guitarists, when they first get a pedal, they turn all the knobs to the most extreme settings and revel in the joyous cacophony.  But then, once you're in a band setting, they tend to dial things back to better blend in with the rest of the band.  In contrast, he tries to keep things in the "joyful noise" zone.

Relevant insights start around 2:10, and again at 4:39.  Although I benefitted from the whole thing.

Also:  great quote at 5:40.  :)

Most  (or all?) of his guitar work in Rage Against the Machine is non-complex (although innovative and clever).  But, as shown in the segment starting at 18:00, he has the capacity to "shred" -- he (apparently) just chooses not to.

BTW, he also seems like a swell guy.  Although his voice is not at all what I expected it to sound like:  I'd always imagined him with a New York-y accent.




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