Much like our cover boy Homer Simpson, we can’t get enough of effects. Buckcherry guitarist Keith Nelson joins our editorship and the lucky Reader of the Month in talking about the stompboxes that make us swoon.

Keith Nelson, Buckcherry -- Guest Picker
Describe the coolest-looking pedal you’ve ever seen. How’d it sound?
I came across a vintage Vox Tone Bender... It looked like something out of a ’60s futuristic outer space TV show, like Lost in Space or Star Trek. It sounds incredible! Authentic Beck and Page for days. It’s now in my collection!

My current obsession is: My current and long-running guitar obsession is sunburst Gibson Les Pauls from 1958-1960. What magical instruments they are. No two are alike, and nothing sounds like them. We started calling it the “Kalamazoo Voodoo” because there’s definitely something that sets these instruments apart.


Pete Walsh -- Reader of the Month
Describe the coolest-looking pedal you’ve ever seen. How’d it sound?
I’m digging the SviSound pedals. Their approach on doing a steampunk look is incredibly eye-catching—I can’t tell you which one is coolest. Who wouldn’t want to look down on their board and see that?

My current obsession is: Finding the perfect fuzz pedal and learning to hum underwater. I’m not fully successful in either venture, but I’m closer with the fuzz.


Joe Gore -- Senior Editor
Describe the coolest-looking pedal you’ve ever seen. How’d it sound?
It’s fashionable to bag on the Klon Centaur now that originals are so absurdly overpriced, and you can get solid soundalikes for under $100. But damn, the bronze-and-oxblood-colored Version 1 still dazzles the eye. That custom-cast enclosure with its sinuous curves and bevels! I’d stare at it even if it didn’t do anything.

My current obsession is:I’m geeking out again over Andy Gill and Gang of Four. I still can’t believe how thoroughly he stripped all rock and blues gestures from his vocabulary, creating an utterly unique voice with face-slapping impact. Wish I was that brave.


Shawn Hammond -- Chief Content Officer
Describe the coolest-looking pedal you’ve ever seen. How’d it sound?
Alan Forbes’ cover illustration from our 2011 Pedal Issue. We need a nuclear physicist to build it, but I’m certain the green goo will take any rig to DEFCON 1.

My current obsession is: The Raveonettes’ new album, Pe’ahi. Sweetly morose melodies, hypnotic textures and grooves, and unique sonics—Jazzmasters and Mosrites into multiple delays and reverbs, and then fuzzes, with no amps—make it my favorite album of the year so far.


Jason Shadrick -- Associate Editor
Describe the coolest-looking pedal you’ve ever seen. How’d it sound?
The first pedal I ever owned was a ’70s-era tan Ross Distortion and although the look and controls weren’t fancy, it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. With both knobs maxed out, I felt the heavens open and the gods of rock smile from above.

My current obsession is: I simply can't get enough of the mandolin masters like Bruce Hornsby’s late ’90s band. The live album, Here Come the Noisemakers, is absolute proof that a piano can rawk.


Chris Kies -- Associate Editor
Describe the coolest-looking pedal you’ve ever seen. How’d it sound?
The pedal Alan Forbes concocted for our 2011 pedal issue is pretty stupendous, but for a real stomp, I’ll go with Yngwie and say the Fuzz Face looks like a land mine and that’s radical.

My current obsession is: Thanks to another Lollapalooza, I’m constantly spinning Manchester Orchestra, Cage the Elephant, and Royal Blood. They were just names on a page before, but now their high-energy, off-the-wall performances are ingrained in my auditory cortex.