Absolute Drivel

Ever have those days where there feels like there’s something burning your insides out that you just gotta say, but you can’t get a coherent grasp on what it is? Ya, that’s today for me. It feels like the very world is going to hinge (it’s not) on what I’m going to say (nope), but I just can’t get it out. So, I figure I’ll just let words randomly come out of my mouth (yes, I’m one of those people whose lips move as they type…and while they play guitar…and not the lyrics, the notes), and hope that one of the streams of consciousness will be it.

  • Ever play a melody on stage, but then listen in horror as your fingers play something totally different than what is in your head?
  • I like to wear scarves because it makes me feel like a musician, but I live in Southern California.
  • There is a bit of a minority backlash currently going on against the delay pedal. I blame Henry Kaiser.
  • I think Google is taking over the world.
  • I was supposed to see U2 on June 6, and then Bono had to go and break his back. Man, that sucks for me.
  • Remember Ghoti Hook?
  • Playing with confidence can literally jump you up over 50% in skill level.
  • Guitar Center gives me actual literal bouts with depression.
  • Musicians should rule the world. (Whoa, that one slipped!)
  • Again, turn up and soften your pick attack. It’s the sound you’ve been hearing in your head.
  • Am I just fooling myself? Great question to ask regularly. ‘Cause we’re really good at it.
  • Do you think anyone, ever, has read the Bible without super-imposing it onto their preconceived worldview? I think it might be humanly impossible not to. Not that that’s a good thing, but I think it’d be better for us to be able to admit it so that we can work in the opposite direction, rather than pretending we have it all figured out and that everyone who disagrees with us is wrong.
  • And if you disagree with that, you’re wrong. 😉
  • I miss the parts of my life I’ve already lived.
  • I need to make more music, and talk about making music less. But the music I talk about making is usually far better than the music I actually make. Yep, I do talk about making some pretty good music.
  • That last one was totally ripped off. But it’s okay to rip things off if no one knows where they came from, right? Like in church, when every riff I do is some variation on U2’s ‘Love is Blindness.’ Ah, blast, just gave it away. Right when you had no idea I liked U2.
  • Although I am wearing a U2 shirt that makes me giddy every time I put it on, because Edge’s face happens to fall right over where my heart beats. For reals. The face part and the giddy part.
  • So…maybe I’m just feeling nostalgic, and emotionally fragile today, but I just ran across this song…and immediately I was in junior high again. Music is absolutely crazy that way. This song makes me inexplicably happy:

  • Oh, and because you just can’t go on living your life while this exists and you don’t know it yet:

  • Yep. That was it. That last video. That’s the life-changing thing that has been burning within my body. Quite obviously, really. I mean…I pretty much dare your life not to be changed by that.

    So, I’m gonna go ahead and hit publish on this without re-reading it. I like to live dangerously. Or well, at least salvage some sort of emasculated vicarious danger through my computer. And a couple site changes. One, there is now a ‘Worship’ section up top with some of my views on worship, as I get asked that a lot. Feel free to disagree. :) And there is a World Cup section added, because I am hopelessly wrecked right now by the thrill of that competition. Yes. I have a weakness for soccer. Add to that that the soundtrack for the coverage is all U2 songs, and my world is lost. And no, try as I might, I cannot reconcile ‘World Cup’ having anything to do with ‘guitar’ or ‘worship’. Except that Germany did beat England today, so that’s like a triumph for metal over indie. Yep. I’m trying waaaay too hard with that.


51 thoughts on “Absolute Drivel

  1. lol For some reason, I still love that song! haha

    And ya…I was stretching it a lot to try to make soccer fit here. But ya know…the birthplace of metal over the birthplace of indie? Maybe? hehehe

  2. Aha, no one here in the uk is going to relate uk-ish things to the football. It’s all fabio capellos fault as far as we’re concerned!

  3. I think I am in the army for the delay backlash. It’s just that, well, it’s just that everyone is destroying delay right now. Delay is to now what reverb was in the 80’s. Now, the real question is do I have a delay pedal? Yes, but it is a Carbon Copy and I rarely use it. It is nice sometimes but I find myself using it less and less since everyone gets one (or three, ahem), and just leaves them on. I guess since every Christian guitarist right now LOVES U2 they feel it is their sworn duty in the U2 Army to relay that they, in fact, love this band. Which means copious amounts of delay. Things are so ambient I think I am getting sick at church. Like delay vertigo or something. Just my opinion. Some players are better than others but to me it’s hard to sound like yourself when a vast majority of guitarist are doing the same delay fills as everyone else. I am going to get 2 wahs and a stool and change the world. Just wait.

    • there are those who love using delay and there are some who use delay out of necessity. i think i am in between … i use it out of necessity but i must say, i really enjoy it when i do!

      how about 3 wahs (probe, auto and regular foot-rocking) and, of course, a stool 😀

  4. darn. i really wanna try that now. oh, and I do a agree to a certain extent about delay being overused(i know, it’s really hard for some of us to grasp that concept). because there is a point where to much of a good thing is bad. but oh well

  5. James–I must agree with you there. I actually thought England was going to win it all…but pushing the defense up that early in the second half may have been a mistake.

    Sam–haha You are correct. Although, I do believe that the majority of these shows are scripted, and at the very least manipulated. We’re not seeing real life on that screen, methinks. :)

    Jonathan–I’m in agreement, too. I just think delay can be done better, and that people need to widen their gaze on U2 a bit. There’s many a great U2 song without delay, many a great U2 song with a different delay then dotted 8th, and many a great U2 song with delay that is much more subtle than the way most of us church players use delay. In which case, I think some learning of how to set our dotted 8th delays more subtly, how to use different delay divisions, and of course how to play without the use of delay, would be good for most of us to learn.

    All this coming from a guy who loves delay. hehehe

    Rhoy–so wah is the new delay? :)

    Larry–eup, a third vote for wah being the new delay!! hehe Or maybe the retro delay…bringing it back!

    Nater2–but how can you properly be cool wearing a scarf if you don’t have any delay on? 😉 I do agree, though…delay is starting to get a bad name.

  6. Karl, I’m sure you have, but have you heard the “Best Cry Ever, The Death Metal Version”? I just about fell on the floor.

  7. WAITTTT!! I’m sorry. The Death Metal one is funny, but the best one is The Slayer Edition. That was the one I fell on the floor over.

  8. True….
    “Again, turn up and soften your pick attack. It’s the sound you’ve been hearing in your head.”

    So recently I have been looking for an amp “tube” of course. My recent set up has been a line6 X3L thru a Modded (Hasse mods and a Celsetion V-30) Carvin Vintage V-16. Now don’t go judging on what you read here till you actually here what that combination can produce. Well the search is frustrating to say the least as most of you understand. I mean it is hard to sift thru what you really want versus what you can really afford.

    So…. again… I unplugged all stomp boxes, and modelers and grabbed an instrument cable and plugged it strait to the amp… and what do you know??? I found what I was looking for, I had it all along… For whatever reason I keep ending up back to this very uncomplicated setup… go figure?

  9. David–lol Ya, the remixes are great! hehe

    Sal–sometimes plugged straight in is just what you need. :)

    And I can guarantee that no one who actually hears you play, will eer make fun of any setup you use. :)

    Craig–what’s kind of use are you looking for? Like, a spring reverb simulation? Or ambience after delayed sounds? Weird digital sounds? All around cheap reverb for that price might be the Malekko Spring Chicken or Chicklet, or the new one from Hermida. :)

    KennyG–great reverb for sure!

    • Karl,

      I’m looking for something a little more versatile right now. I may have a line on a pretty good priced Verbzilla. If that works I may just go that route. I will also probably check out the Hermida.

      • Gotcha. The Boss reverbs are pretty versatile, and lots of people love them. Personally, I only like them for weird digitally sounds. Maybe that Hermida’s the way to go. :)

        • The more I thought about it my amp reverb will cover a lot of territory, so I’m looking more for the ambient shimmer stuff. I’m still waiting to hear on the Verbzilla.

  10. I haven’t seen a backlash against delay but I feel like there are a lot of players mining the same sounds: non-ironic rhythmic dotted eighths, washed out post-rock/Coldplay reverb sounds, shimmer/POG/crystals. I gotta find some new sounds. :)

    What did you think about Muse with the Edge covering Streets?

  11. Muse and the EDGE???? When I read that article today, I really freakin’ had the biggest man-crush ever. I mean I reallllllly like U2, but I LOOOVE the Edge, and MUSE is my favorite band ever. Fangirl gasp!

    REVERB: for $99 bucks the Hermida Reverb is simple, and very very good sounding. I get a smooth ambient vibe from it and some huge depth depending on what I’m going for. It only does normal reverbs so you won’t find any funny stuff. More traditional, but I was shocked how much i like it!

  12. Dan–I totally agree with you. I’ve been feeling the same strain…trying to find something new that is also good, or at least an inspired way to use the same old sounds. Unsuccessful as of yet. :)

    And I thought that that was very cool from Edge. Felt nice and laid back, as opposed to some of the ‘separatist/best band in the world’ stuff I feel like they’ve slipped into a tad after the relative un-success (by U2 standards) of No Line. So I thought it was rad on both ends, and Muse did a great job with it, albeit their drummer wasn’t quite as tight on that beat as Larry Mullen is. 😀

    That video actually almost went into this post, but I decided to save it for a post of its own. But since that time, I’ve seen it like, everywhere. haha So maybe not!

    Larry–lol Ya, it was quite awesome!!

    And thank for the Hermida review. I have not played one, but have heard great things, and was surprised when it came out by the price. He probably could have gotten away with charging a lot more, and he didn’t. Very cool.

  13. I feel for you Karl. I was supposed to see U2 on July 6th. Can’t they just go on without Bono?

    Also, I still love delay. But I could do without another dotted eighth song for awhile.


  14. When I first got into the worship team as lead guitarist, I thought no one knew what is Coldplay and “chiming guitar”, and I felt so cool for introducing it in every song lol. Well, I soon found out how wrong I was when we began playing Hillsong and basically anything else. 😀

    The other thing is that we all love indie… I have to admint that I’m your archetype skinny/long fringed kid, so yeah I’m called that, I’m sometimes being joked around with I’m being the guitarist on Jesus Culture’s Consumed DVD. So what I want to make out is, that just like Jonny Buckland/dotted 8th delay/AC30/Hot Rod Deluxde this whole indie style is so overused(sounds like a contradiction). WHAT’S WRONG IN THE CHURCHES??? lol
    (altough I still love Jonny Buckland… well as Karl loves The Edge lol)

  15. Craig–ya, for one pedal in that price range that can do shimmer, I think the Verbzilla’s the only option. Maybe the Yamaha UD-stomp, but it’s been a very long while since I’ve played that one.

    Fenderkid67–nice! I’ll have to check that one out! :)

    Padraic–I know! Let Edge dance around the stage for once. hehe 😉 And I hear ya on the delay thing. (Although I’m still gonna use dotted 8ths this Sunday. haha)

    JB–same here! I felt like I was cool for introducing it, and now it’s out of control. hehe But good call on Johnny Buckland…such a wonderful guitarist. And if everyone’s copying you, you’ve gotta be doing something right! :)

    • Yea, I just checked out the Hardwire reverb, not impressed. I’ll probably check the Boss also, but it sounds like the Verbzilla, may be the best option for right now.

  16. YEAH ! It’s a shoegaze thing. lol. They Don’t make em anymore. I got one on ebay for 60 bucks. it was a steel. Kevin Shields of my bloody Valintine is known for using one. it has a few followers goes straight in my fx loop. while my board goes straight ing the input. sounds great!

  17. Hey Karl, speaking of whatever the heck you just said, I just watched “Heat” for the first time yesterday!! Good lord that film is a masterpiece!!

  18. Yesterday afternoon I ran my telecaster > Fender Spring Reverb > Fender Princeton > Leslie Cabinet. This could be the new delay! Uh…well maybe not delay.

  19. Craig–ya, agreed. I haven’t been incredibly impressed with the Hardwire stuff either.

    Fenderkid67–hey, if it works for shoegaze, then right on! Definitely gonna look for one!

    Andrew–yes!! So stoked to hear that. Isn’t it fantastic?!

    Mark–ooh, into a Leslie? I think you’re on to something there! Bet that sounded incredible. :)

    • I thought that some of the “normal” reverbs sounded pretty good (although it was through headphones), but the effecty ones sounded really bad. That was my first experience with the Hardwire stuff and I was not impressed. Hopefully I can hook up with the guy selling the Verbzilla (every time I type that I agree with you more that this may be the worst pedal name ever).

      By the way did you see that JHS has a mod for the Bad Monkey? Might be worth a shootout.

  20. Yes. YES IT IS.

    Now may I inquire about the issues of sound quality in your YouTube vids? Why disgrace all that gorgeous gear without proper recording? Breaks my lil heart :(

  21. Okay, not to throw off the discussion here but someone brought up JHS Pedals. I sent my Tubescreamer in to be modded by them and it is 100% better. It has more life to it, volume know sensitive, and actually responds like an amp. I am very impressed with these guys. Their Metal Zone mod actually takes a completely terrible pedal and almost makes it worth buying. If you have already, check these guys out.

    • Jonathan,

      They have my Satchurator right now, and I plan to send them my TS clone when it comes back. There is a long story that I will wait to tell until it is all done. But suffice it to say I think Josh and his folks are good folks. A friend of mine is in the process of doing some demo videos for both their guitar and bass effects which will hopefully be posted soon. Check their web site they modded some cheap Toys R Us pedal just for grins. The good news is they are swamped with work right now, the bad news is how long it takes to get work done.

  22. Hey Craig (all right, take over complete)

    It took me a month to get my TS back and the bass player in my band has been waiting almost 2 months for his bass compressor. I am super impatient but it was worth it. I figured they were really busy. After getting my pedal back, I looked at the rest of my board trying to figure out what can be modded next. They have some dealers now which I guess is good but not relevant if you want a modded pedal. Glad to see someone is making a good product and getting some business though.

  23. Craig–ya, I’ll see if I can give it a try. I tried one modded Bad Monkey years ago…I think it was Humphrey mods or something…and was quite unimpressed. I’ll look forward to seeing what JHS does. :)

    Andrew–Awesome! :)

    And as for the demo’s, I do actual mic’d and edited recordings of songs and pieces that I write. Those are at my Soundclick site, which can be linked to from the ‘Music’ section at the top of this site. And those are recorded in a very old-school fashion, with as little compression as possible…so in order to get the full effect of the recording, you’ll need external speakers with a subwoofer, or a really good set of headphones.

    But I don’t use that mic’d recording system on my gear demo videos for a lot of reasons, the main one being that it is a lot of work to set up the recording gear, edit the recording, match it to the video, and then export it. And unfortunately, I’m not paid to do the demo’s, nor do I own a guitar store like Pro Guitar Shop or Burgerman, in which case doing a really quality demo of a pedal might lead to selling a lot of that pedal, and hence, money. :) I wish I was paid to do my gear demo’s, lol, but alas…I am not. In which case, you’ll have to accept my apologies; but I do what I can in between the two jobs I work. Maybe someday! 😀

    Jonathan and Craig–JHS pedal are great! :) Sounds like they’ve got a real handle on modding, too.

  24. Jonathan,

    In talking to Josh, I know that they are swamped which is great. I also am excited for dealers, especially of they are near me ; ). It also sounds like Josh is considering opening a shop at some point in the future. Like I said I’d have my OD sent in now but I can’t live without some dirt on my board. The JHS guys are great guys and I wish them all the best.

  25. On a side note, I was listening to a CLASSIC rock station and intro to with or without you started to play… Since when U2 became a classic rock!? Am I that old now… Goodness.

    • you know that song has been around for over than 20 years now … depends on what is considered classic rock (60’s & 70’s for most)

  26. Craig–I’ll try to give it a shot!

    Jonathan–that’s the wonder of U2! I remember one time hearing ‘New Year’s Day’ on a classic rock station and an indie station in the same day. :)

    Rhoy–oh ya. Good point! lol

  27. Ghoti Hook and Slick Shoes mentioned in the same post, I am loving your blog more and more Karl. Good Stuff! Those are a couple of my favorite bands from a few years back. My guitars wish they could have some of those riffs come out of them now and again.

  28. Craig–lol Oh! Well if it has a blue led, then I retract my statement. It automatically sounds good now! 😉

    Forgivenick–lol Mine too! I used to live and die by their albums!

  29. Karl the simple solution would be to just sell all your non guitar related belongings to Somalian pirates, DUH. who needs food?! House? Whatever! Lol :-)

  30. haha Doing my best!! Drive a 15 year old Toyota, live in an apartment, and trying to figure out a way that humans can survive without food! hehe It’s the tone junkie way, right? :)

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