It's episode 6 of Pedalpocalypse, the show from Guitar World, MusicRadar and Guitar Player. Produced in LA by British guitarist Robin Davey and Growvision, and inspired by the bad old days of lockdown, every episode we ask guitar players: “If you could only take three pedals with you into a future lockdown, which ones would they be?”
This month Eric Krasno, the Soulive and Lettuce co-founder, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and two-time Grammy Award-winning guitarist who blends elements of Herbie Hancock and Curtis Mayfield with chops worthy of Grant Green and Wes Montgomery, shows us how he gets his gorgeous tone.
"I think I've whittled it down to three," says Eric, "though there's been a little bit of cheating..."
Cheating? "Well, the first one is the Eventide H9 Harmonizer pedal, which could potentially be a cheat because it does a lot of things. The thing that I use it for the most is that I have this vintage delay setting that I love. One of the coolest things about it is you can really use the expression pedal in cool ways. When I have the expression pedal pulled all the way back it's just barely in there, right but then if you push it forward you get all of this trail. So you can kind of choose when you want those trails to happen and it kind of makes you play in a different way."
Second pedal? "So this is one that I use a lot of my new record, Always, the guys at MXR sent this one to me: it's called the Super Badass Variac Fuzz. I guess the most unique element of it is that you can adjust between five volts and 15 volts. On the five volt it has that sputtery kinda early Cream sound, basically emulating different degrees of a battery dying.
"Every time I use a fuzz it feels too thick too bass-heavy, but this one cuts through when I'm playing with the band in a really cool way."
And pedal number three? "The third pedal is kind of the pedal that I bring with me if I'm like sitting in with someone, I just have one thing. It's kind of like the amp fixer, but it also just such a great-sounding pedal. It's the Analog Man King of Tone. It's pretty simple. It's just a boost function. It's just a killer sound and always kind of battles the backline situation that I might end up in. But it also just sounds great with my actual amp."
Watch Eric demonstrate exactly what he means in the video.
- Eric Krasno's new album Always is out now.
Previously on Pedalpocalypse:
Episode 1: Blues-country-jazzmaster and all-round tone wizard Josh Smith
Episode 2: British blues guitarist Scott McKeon
Episode 3: Legendary virtuoso Steve Vai
Episode 4: blues wizard Kirk Fletcher
Episode 5: bass supremo Fabrizio Grossi