Pro Audio

Psychedelic craft: pedal talk with buried feather

There’s no shortage of quality psych bands in Australia, but Melbourne’s Buried Feather are a cut above the rest. Their second LP Mind of the Swarm dropped earlier this year, boasting an impressive display of blazing, agitated guitars reminiscent of Moon Duo or Dead Meadow.

As a riff-heavy psych band, pedals obviously play a central role in Buried Feather’s sound. We reached out to frontman and lead guitarist Steve McLennan to chat what kind of gear they’re using at the moment.

buried feather

Buried Feather are one of Australia’s most impressive young psych bands making music today. We caught up with frontman/lead guitarist Steve McLennan too see how they craft their swirling, psychedelic guitar sounds.

Can you run us through what’s on your board at the moment?

I’ve had the same setup for a few years. My board looks a bit busy because it has my vocal effects on it as well as my guitar stuff.

For guitar, I have a Fulltone Clyde Deluxe wah, Fuzz Hugger octave pedal, Tym Big Mudd, Throbak Overdrive Boost, Subdecay Liquid Sunshine overdrive, a Blackout Effectors Whetstone phaser and a Malekko Echo 600 Dark delay.

My vocals run into a box which sends to a Boss Space Echo pedal and a Dr Scientist reverb.

What are we hearing on Dust?

I think we recorded the fuzz guitars on Dust with my Jaguar into a Fulltone ’69 (Fuzz Face clone), the Throbak overdrive and the Whetstone phaser. The lead guitar part I played on an Epiphone Casino with a wah and a Roland RE-201 tape delay. All the electric guitars on that song were recorded through a Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb.

The acoustic guitar part was recorded with a Maton acoustic owned and built by our friend Boogie who works at the Maton factory.

What was the first pedal you bought?

My first pedal was one of those black Russian Big Muff pedals. I’ve been through quite a few Big Muffs since then. I’ve always used one – I like how warm and thick the Big Muff circuit is. The one I use right now is a Tym “Violet” Ram Head with BC108 transistors. I have the regular Tym Ram Head as well, but the violet version has a bit more midrange and “fizz” which cuts through better live.

What’s your favourite pedal under 100 bucks and why?

I bought a parametric equaliser / boost pedal on a Facebook forum for $100 maybe a month ago. It’s the first pedal I’ve bought in years – a “Rocket Boost” made by this brand VFE Pedals. I hadn’t heard of them before, but they make really cool stuff.

What do you have on your board at the moment that really shapes your sound?

I don’t know how much it shapes my sound, but I’ve had the Subdecay Liquid Sunshine pedal on my board for about 8 years and it’s always on. It’s a great little pedal – very musical and it was cheap. It adds a lot of warmth and smooths off harsh frequencies.

Do you switch pedals in and out often?

Not really. I like experimenting and mixing things up in the studio but my live setup pretty much stays the same. I don’t feel the need to mess with it.

Who are some of your favourite pedal builders?

There are so many people making pedals now it’s crazy. I’m pretty out of the loop with the whole boutique pedal thing. I really like the stuff by the Canadian company Empress Effects but they’re expensive and I have too many pedals already.

Do you have any particular ethos when it comes to using guitar pedals?

Spend more time playing guitar and making use of what you have and less time looking at gear demos on Youtube.

buried feather

Photo credit: Jules Valentine

You can check out Mind of the Swarm via Buried Feather’s Bandcamp.