Interview with Brad Davis from Creepy Fingers Effects/ Fu Manchu
Hey Brad, thanks for join us for this interview. First time I know Creepy Fingers Effect is from Guitar Player Magazine “All about Fuzz”, there is one knob fuzz pedal name Fuzzbud! And whoooaaa that is cool! Tell me about that pedal? That I our own circuit?
The Fuzzbud was inspired by the fuzz circuit found inside the old Colorsound Fuzz Wah pedals. Due to some small changes it has a much different sound than the original. I liked the way it cleaned up with the guitars volume control so I thought it would be fun to keep it at one knob. I’d like to bring that one back to the line up in some form.
How you start making pedals? Is that on pre internet era?
I couldn’t stop buying fuzz pedals off Ebay. I read somewhere that you could buy kits for them so I thought that would save me money haha. First one was a BYOC MkII Tone Bender. After building a bunch of circuits I was way into it and have been ever since.
Lets talk about bass. You plays finger style bass, and thats unique! Its like your bass sound jump on the overall band mix. You know what I mean, just like me listening The Descendent, the bassist also plays finger style, and its easy to recognize that band sound. Why you choose finger style? Any tips for amateur bass player like me?
I was a guitar player first and used a pick all the way up until Eatin’ Dust. After that there’s the occasional song with a pick but mostly fingers . My favorite bassists are Geezer Butler, Paul McCartney, and Chris Squire. I’m influenced by the way they will use whatever approach sounds best for the song.
Why you choose G&L bass?
I didn’t own a bass when I joined Fu Manchu. I borrowed one from a friend to play a show at the Roxbury in Los Angeles. The bass was stolen by the opening band (found years later). I had to pay my friend for his bass and then scramble to buy one so I’d be ready for the next show. I worked at a music store in El Toro California so I picked the best bass we had which was a G&L Sb-1. It played amazing and I loved the sound. I’ve owned many throughout the years and am really excited that they’re in the middle of making me another once.
I always love bass guitar with fuzz pedal, what is your favourite bas fuzz?
In Fu Manchu I don’t use any distortion or fuzz on the bass. Its mostly just G&L MFD pickups into a cranked SVT. I did use my Acoustic 360 on the Eatin’ Dust EP with the fuzz on. That was in stereo with an SVT though. For people who like heavy fuzz on bass there some cool pedals out there. The Colorsound Bass Fuzz has pretty thunderous lows and crazy gain. The Foxx Tone Machine is great on bass and the octave is fun.
You know Im a kid from nowhere, small city, and when first time I hear Fu Manchu is from Mixtape cassette, share by punkrock community, got it by mailing friend from capital city, never have the ideas how the band look like,hahahaha..And the album is Daredevil! Did you ever think if that album will listen by kids from half globe? Tell me how you guys records that album
The first time I heard Fu Manchu was also on cassette. My bandmate in my first band made a compilation of all sorts of stuff I hadn’t heard and some local bands. I was hooked.
We recorded Daredevil in Humbolt California. All four of us drove up in my Toyota Minivan with a bunch of gear. We recorded for Bongload records. Rob Schnapf and Tom Rothrock produced and recorded it. Beautiful studio in the forest. I used their silver face Ampeg SVT which led to me getting my own shortly after that. We brought Rubens blue Ludwig Vistalites. Hill had his Boogie and Fender Jaguar. Eddie had his SG and Marshall.
Back in those days my friend told me if Fu Manchus genre is “Grunge” and I think its not grunge its “punk metal”,hahahaaha…there is no “Stoner Rock Genre“ back days.. I always become opposite from my friend, when people listen to Nirvana and Soundgarden, I really love underrated band like Melvins and Fu Manchu,haahaha…what is your musical influence, “non-popular band” I have too liten to?
I liked a lot of Seattle bands but by far the Melvins have influenced me the most. When I joined the band there wasn’t a scene for what we were doing in Orange County Ca. Stoner Rock came way later. I always thought grunge was more of a Seattle thing. So tell your friend we’re not grunge haha you win.
Talk about you bass sound, what is on your pedalboard? Or its pure bass and amp?
I always need a Dunlop bass crybaby. I use it here and there and hopefully it makes the occasional bass solo bearable for the people listening. Its just that and a tuner with the occasional phase 90 or Ibanez Flanger if we’re getting weird. The rest of it is just G&L basses and old Ampeg SVT’s.
You make tribute for classic fuzz pedal, like fuzzface, one superfuzz and many more, but you know in my opinion your pedal always sounds unique, I think its all about builder teste, what do you think? For me when i build some classics fuzz I just make it with whatever component I can find, and let myself surprised, you know, hhhaha..i dot care about exact same clone,
The earliest fuzz circuits helped birth rock music. People wanted to wield that crazy angry sound. There’s aspects of vintage fuzzes that appeal to you when you hear them. I think as a builder when you make a recreation of a vintage circuit you’re making a version of what you personally like about them. That’s what makes your sonic imprint on them.
Im a huge fans of Japanese germanium transistors, I love them lots, it has more gain and punch! And I saw you using them on your pedals, why you choose them?
I find they sound great in lots of circuits. I love Japanese fuzzes also. Like any pedal builder I tend to select transistors based upon multiple reasons. Its usually more about the needs of the circuit than where the transistors are manufactured. Some fuzzes love certain makes of transistors though.