“All the pedals should be put in a big pile and we should light ’em on fire”: Mac DeMarco is synonymous with woozy vibrato guitar – but he hates pedals

Mac DeMarco performs on Day 2 of Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 06, 2022 in San Francisco, California.
(Image credit: Steve Jennings/WireImage/Getty Images)

Mac DeMarco is one of the humble vibrato effect’s most famous advocates. His early albums, 2 and Salad Days, brought the woozy, seasick sound back to indie rock – so much so that he is practically synonymous with warble, relying on TC Electronic Shaker and Boss VB-2 pedals to deliver his trademark sound on live stages. Yet in a new interview, the maverick Canadian singer-songwriter has revealed he really, really doesn’t like pedals.

“I was just talking to my sound guy. I was sitting around the table outside and I was telling him how much I hate guitar pedals,” DeMarco told Music Tech.

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Michael Astley-Brown
Editor-in-Chief, GuitarWorld.com

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.