The latest Minus the Bear record, Omni, is full of fascinating guitar textures. Guitarist Dave Knudson explains how he created three of them.
“On ‘Fooled by the Night,’” recalls Knudson, “I used an Electro-Harmonix HOG pedal to get the weeping, organlike chords for the verse and chorus sections. Using the ‘Freeze + Gliss’ function of the pedal, you can ‘freeze’ any chord for an indefinite period. I would then finger another chord and use the expression pedal to gradually ‘bend’ one chord into another.
“For ‘Summer Angel,’ I wanted to try experimenting with hard, on-the-beat panning for the chorus guitar part where I’m ringing out chords for two measures at a time. I had my Fender Twin and Verellen Custom amps working with the Z. Vex Box of Rock line boost. I went into the two amps from my pedalboard using an A/B switch. When the chorus part hit, I’d switch back and forth between the amps on each eighth-note using the A/B. A lot of switching, but it has a really cool back-and-forth stereo sound. I added an overdub of the first hit of each chord to beef up the entrance of the new chord every two measures.
“For the song ‘Into the Mirror,’ I make use of three different samples: a chorus sample, a verse sample, and a transition sample. One day at rehearsal, I switched on the main verse sample backwards at the end of the song. It sounded so completely bizarre and cool that we ended up making the song ‘Animal Backwards’ out of the samples on ‘Into the Mirror.’ Two totally different sounding songs, but made up out of the same material.”