Paul Reed Smith explains what possessed him to call one of PRS’s first guitar pedals Horsemeat

PRS Horsemeat
(Image credit: PRS)

Last month, PRS announced its first-ever foray into the world of effects pedals with three all-new stompboxes, Horsemeat, Mary Cries and Wind Through The Trees

Now, as we all know and accept, guitar pedals are often far more freely named than electric guitars, but there’s one moniker from the trio we just couldn’t get our head around: Horsemeat.

But as Paul Reed Smith explains in a new interview with That Pedal Show, there is a solid reason as to why the overdrive pedal was given such a questionable name.

“I can’t name a guitar Horsemeat – in the pedal business, you can get away with murder!” he says.

“We weren’t gonna name it that [originally],” he adds. “The joke was that it ate Klon Centaurs for breakfast. I went into the office of the person who was designing the pedals [and] said ‘You can’t call a pedal Horsemeat!’ [He] quickly said ‘We’re not changing the name.’ I go, ‘You can’t do that!’ [and] he goes, ‘We just did… and we all like it.’”

Smith confirms that despite the pedal’s gory name, no real-life horses were harmed on the production line.

“[Some people] think I’m putting horses in one side of the factory and pedals come out the other,” he says. “That’s not what’s going on. I’m sorry, it’s just a name… get over it! You’ve got some pedals up here with names I can’t repeat on film! We didn’t do that.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Smith discusses how the fabled Klon Centaur inspired his company’s first line of stompboxes.

“It had a kind of asymmetrical, good, throaty distortion but as I turned the gain up, the bass went down. I tried to use it but I couldn’t because it took that beautiful bass of my amp away and I didn’t like that,” he says.

“I said, ‘Well, let’s design a circuit! I want control over the treble. I want control over the bass. I want control over the high mid-range and I want control over how throaty it sounds.’ So, we made one and it ended up being magic.”

Earlier this month, Guitar World Tech Editor Paul Riario got his hands on the new trio of pedals to take them for a spin.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.