Gearheads: Rocco Renzetti

The Elevator Parade guitarist shows off his gear.

By Brian McManus
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jan. 12, 2010

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Rocco Renzetti of local psyche-pop outfit the Elevator Parade (read our preview of their upcoming record release show in the calendar on page 18) bought his first pedal in 1996 in an attempt to sound like J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. That first pedal lead to a second, the second to a third, and now Renzetti is the proud owner of 250 guitar effects pedals (but only because he just liquidated 50 or so recently on eBay). There are a lot of great musicians in this town playing on a lot of great gear. We’d like to chronicle as much of it as possible before it’s all stolen.

1: Barf bag A circuit bent phaser built by Devi Ever—a transgendered man, according to Renzetti, “no one knows much about”—the Barf Bag does as advertised. Renzetti describes its sound as “vomoutous undulation.”

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2: Swollen Pickle At the heart of Renzetti’s tone is a Fender Jazzmaster guitar distorted through a badass box called the Electro Harmonix Big muff. The Swollen Pickle is, Renzetti says, “a Big Muff on steroids. Enough bass to tear a speaker. Enough treble to shred ear drums. It’s a rampaging wooly mammoth. Corpulent. Corpulent is a word I’d use to describe it.”

3: Axis Fuzz Built by Roger Mayer, Jimi Hendrix’s personal pedal builder in the 60s, the Axis Fuzz is a classic fuzz pedal, named after Hendrix album Axis: Bold as Love . “It’s a bass heavy, liquid sounding, nasally pedal,” says Renzetti.

4: Prunes and Custard “Sort of a sharp, trebley synthesizer swirls and sweeps at the end of the sound. When you hit a note it starts as brittle harsh distortion and at the end it does a moog synthesizer wobble thing—it’s pretty crazy. Super psychadelic, and very hard to master. you’ve gotta sit with it a while.”

5: Dirty Blonde “Like plugging into an old blond tweed 1950s Fender amp. First one ever hand-built by Brian Mena, who now runs Menatone Guitar Effects. The serial number on this one is 001.”

6: Hyper Fuzz The first pedal Renzetti ever bought, in 1996. Still uses it. ■

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