Last Friday (August 26), Muse released their ninth studio album, Will of the People.
Featuring, among other things, Yngwie Malmsteen-inspired solos and brutal metal throwdowns, it's also chock-full of superlative fuzz tones. The thundering new LP, and those fuzz tones, were both on Bellamy's mind during a new interview with Total Guitar’s Amit Sharma, in which the Muse frontman and electric guitar player also revealed that he was developing a signature fuzz pedal of his own.
"I’m actually in the process of developing a fuzz pedal that has a few features I’ve always made use of, all built into the pedal," Bellamy said. "It will have an EQ curve that you can slide from left to right or invert to create more of a scoop. I usually find most fuzz pedals to be a little bit too full-range. Especially in how they sit in relation to the bass, drums and vocals."
When asked what his fuzz "sweet spot" was, Bellamy revealed that it "tends to be around 600 to 900Hz.
"It’s in this low, kind of girthy and middley area that sits nicely above the bass guitar but comfortably below my vocal... which is more classical and theatrical than your typical rock growl," he explained. "I don’t like too much crossover with where my vocals sit. Finding the right fuzz pedal to push that low-mid area was something we spent time on. And even after recording, whatever pedal we use, there will also be a lot of intense EQ work.
"So that’s what led me towards trying to develop something. I haven’t gotten there yet. I’m working with a few people to see how that feature can be built in, and then we’ll make it available for everyone."
Bellamy then confirmed that the pedal would be released through Manson Guitar Works (the guitar company he acquired in 2019), saying "I could probably do it on my own but we have the team there who can check all of the electronics.
"It makes sense to keep it all in-house," he continued. "We don’t have a release date planned yet, we’re still researching. Hopefully it might be something we can come out with later this year. And it will be based on that sound you hear on Will Of The People and Supermassive Black Hole, which both rely on DI’d fuzz."
The Total Guitar interview also finds Bellamy discussing the non-Manson highlights of his guitar collection – namely Jeff Buckley’s famously bright-sounding Grace Fender Telecaster – and how the band's enduring love of '80s metal informed Will of the People.
To read the full interview, pick up the latest issue of Total Guitar from Magazines Direct.