I am particularly pleased to be able to present an interview today, that, to me, is like an advanced Christmas present.
Although he has got a lot of work right now, Mike Piera, better known as AnalogMan, took the time to answer to my 7 questions.
1. So many famous musicians are using your pedals- is there someone whom you wish he/she would play one of your pedals?
Mike Piera: My favorite guitarist is Jimmy Page, so it would have to be him. I would love to hear how he would use some of our pedals.
2. What do you think about the numerous replicas of your legendary King of Tone?
Mike Piera: I don’t mind if someone builds one for himself, but selling a cheaper copy of something that is still available from the creator, is not very nice. I have seen people in forums and social media saying they did not like the KOT, then they mention it’s actually a clone. How do they know the clone was built correctly?
3. Do you think that a replacement of the IC actually alters the tone of overdrive pedals or is the sonic effect rather psychoacoustic?
Mike Piera: Many IC chips sound the same. But some are quite a bit different. The JRC 2043DD chip used in many old TS9 pedals just does not have the juicy tone of a 4558 chip, it’s easy to hear the difference and I heard it when I first started modifying the TS9 in the early 1990s. We use a chip that was designed for equalizers in the KOT pedal, I doubt JRC corporation would lie about their products sonic capabilities. Also some chips have FET inputs and that can change the sound and feel.
4. Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Mike Piera: Yes, I would have been born rich. And would have kept more of the vintage guitars and pedals that I sold over the years. Luckily I am not much of a salesman, so I stuck many guitars and pedals on the shelf years ago, which I can now enjoy or sell at a nice profit if I don’t need them.
5. If you would have to choose one single pedal, you will have to use for the rest of your life, which pedal would you choose?
Mike Piera: That is a tough one… and very amp dependent. A dirt pedal, compressor, or delay??? I guess the KOT would have to be the one, then I could use almost any amp and get basic sounds I could use. KOT makes an amp into a four channel amp.
6. Is there a pedal of another manufacturer of which you wish, you would have invented it?
Mike Piera: Probably the EHX 9-series keyboard simulator pedals. They are quite amazing, using much of the technology EHX has invented over the last decade.
7. If you find the time to play guitar – what pedals can we find on your pedalboard?
Mike Piera: There are many pictures of my board on the internet, it has most of our pedals on it, plus an EHX C9, vintage phase90, and an Ernie Ball volume pedal. Also a few distortion prototypes that I may finish and market if I get the time. I really build the pedals that I want to use myself, and keep tweaking them until I am happy. That takes a long time, as with the rev5 comprossor. I play all sorts of guitars and music, so they need to be very flexible.
Many thanks at this point again to Mike Piera who was so kind to answer 7 questions of the DelayDude.