Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Sounds with ZVEX

I played a show at a brand new club in Minneapolis called Sauce Spirits and Soundbar in the Uptown area. With some help of some very good opening acts, it attracted plenty of live music lovers, hipsters and some of the Twin Cities most respected musicians such as, Heath Henjum bassist of The Hopefuls, Jonathan Freeman of The Magnolias, Ed Ackerson who heads the popular guitar driven Susstone record label and Adam Levy of The Honeydogs.

It was a really great night, lots of people in a fresh new atmosphere. Afterwards I got to go out to meet and talk with people who came to the show, sold cd's, T-shirts and stuff. One guy introduced himself as Zach Vex. He owns a boutique guitar effects company called ZVEX. I've heard about his products and know quite a few people who swear by them. His products are wordly renown. Among many others, people like Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, Joe Satirani and Jack White use his effects pedals. Each of his stomp boxes are hand painted and signed.

Zach said "I watched your performance and thoroughly enjoyed it, and thought it would be a good idea if there was some ZVEX on your pedal board." I was totally amazed and honored. In fact I had a hard time sleeping the next couple of nights thinking about the opportunity to visit the company and try out some pedals.

After a few e-mail exchanges, I found some time to get over to ZVEX. I didn't even know he was local. Zach's assistants set me up in a room with a beautiful Vox amp and two pedal boards with about 12 or so effects on each. I got to plug in my guitar and and try them out one by one. Most of them were fuzz and distortion. Some impressive octave and wha-wha effects as well. Really fun getting to play them and have each explained as I pressed through them all.

What I liked most was a fuzz pedal that worked similar to a Theramin. When it was on, as my foot approched the pedal, without even touching it, the amount of effect got greater, or lesser as my foot backed away. It was incredible. There where a couple of others I also found very interesting. I was looking for something unique, modern and versitile to create with. Zach said he was hoping I'd use them live at shows. After the test session my ears were ringing and I was buzzed with excitement. Zach gave me a special deal that made my jaw drop and I got to take my favorites home with me. Since then I've been spending alot of time at home and in the studio experimenting with the new sounds. Totaly inspired.

It's experiences like this that remind me to always give it my all at a show. I'm grateful that people want to come out and see the band play. You never know who could be out there. Thanks Zach, I'm thankful to have the generous support of ZVEX.