We’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Reverb.com’s effects pedal documentary, The Pedal Movie, and now the day has finally arrived.
The film, which takes a deep dive into the “untold history of the pedal industry’s rise”, is released today, April 30, on iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu. According to Reverb, it’s the most comprehensive look at how a series of recording studio accidents in the 1960s led to the creation of effect pedals, and how those pedals and their builders changed the sound of popular music as we know it.
It certainly lives up to its premise – GuitarWorld.com Editor-in-Chief Michael Astley-Brown described the movie as "a compelling portrait of how pedal builders' creativity and determination captured guitarists' imaginations and changed the course of music history – it will make you fall in love with pedals all over again."
You can check out the final trailer above.
“Over the years, effects pedals have shaped our favorite songs and, along the way, created an entire industry of mostly small businesses working alongside their musical heroes. Despite the wide-reaching influence of these tiny boxes, the full story of how they were created and how they evolved alongside the music they shaped has been largely untold,” said Reverb’s Michael Lux, co-director of The Pedal Movie.
“It’s a story of ingenuity that celebrates pedals as not just a tool, but a source of inspiration and income for countless music makers and fans. It’s a story we felt we were uniquely equipped to tell based on Reverb’s position within the music-making community.”
The Pedal Movie explores how effects and popular music have influenced each other over time, covering more than six decades of the pedal’s evolution through nearly 100 interviews with the likes of Peter Frampton, J Mascis, Graham Coxon, Kevin Shields, Billy Corgan, Sarah Lipstate, Nels Cline, Steve Vai, Steve Albini and more.
Additionally, the film explores how the effect pedal industry grew from a handful of companies several decades ago to a vibrant community that has helped create not only new songs and genres of music, but new jobs, YouTube personalities, and more.
Through conversations with builders and leaders from more than 50 brands – including Chase Bliss Audio, EarthQuaker Devices, Frantone Electronics, Gamechanger Audio, JHS Pedals, Meris, Strymon, Walrus Audio, Way Huge Electronics, Dogman Devices, Z.Vex Effects, ThorpyFX, Fuzzrocious, Caroline Guitar Company, and many more – The Pedal Movie attempts to answer the question: “How did pedals get so big?”
Furthermore, a number of pedal makers contributing to the documentary by creating exclusive limited-edition runs of popular units. Way Huge, Walrus Audio, Z.Vex and Chase Bliss all recently unveiled new-look versions of familiar favorites ahead of the film’s release.
“The initial inspiration for The Pedal Movie was us asking how this strange little pocket of the music world grew into this massive community, with new pedals and companies continuously entering the fold,” said Dan Orkin, co-director of the film.
“Today, there are thousands of builders churning out hundreds of thousands of pedals every year to an ever-growing community of music makers always on the lookout for new ways to express themselves. There are endless possibilities thanks to the pedals that exist today and those not yet created. There’s never been a more exciting time to make music.”
The Pedal Movie is available now on iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu. For more information, visit thepedalmovie.com.