Peter Holmström is nearly as famed for his pedal knowledge these days as he is for being the Dandy Warhols’ innovative guitarist. Okay, maybe not – but dude knows a lot about pedals. I mean, he co-conceived the Malekko Charlie Foxtrot, fer Chrissakes…
Holmström continues to add color to his pedalboard palette at Portland, Oregon’s esteemed Black Book Guitars, where he can be frequently found working behind the counter when not touring or recording with the Dandys, his solo project Pete International Airport (whose album art he cannibalized for the Charlie Foxtrot’s distinctive graphics), or another of his prolific musically adventurous associations. This means he basically has the Pacific Northwest’s cream of both vintage and boutique stomps – a pretty damn cool gear locker, if we do say so ourselves. “I truly admire everything Death By Audio does,” he says. “Their sound and aesthetic are absolutely united. Also, I love a lot of Wren and Cuff stuff, and Vintage FX is cool. Lately, I’ve been getting into the Cooper FX Moment Machine and all the new synth pedals, like the Meris Enzo. Some of those have deep menu dives. I also dig the Boss SY-300 – it’s all over new Dandys stuff, so it had to go on the board. I use it as an eq, too; it took the place of my pitch shifter and harmonizer, too – I do it all with that Boss.”
“I came at music from an art background, though. Music to me was kind of like painting, and pedals were like adding color.”
Naturally, Holmström is tight with the community of local pedal makers, like the mighty Spaceman Effects. “I’ve been friends with [Spaceman founder] Zak Martin since the earliest days,” he says. “Spaceman pedals are ultimate in the way that they look – and the inside almost looks better than the outside! I got the second pedal they ever made, and I’ve been a follower ever since.”
Because Holmström was going on tour, we decided to host our deep dive into his pedal game at his other home/natural habitat, Black Book Guitars, who proved most accommodating.
In the end, Stompbox’s exclusive peek was only the tip of the iceberg for a pedal maven like Holmström. “It’s endless, if you wanted to get to the bottom of it,” he notes. “It could go on for a long while!”
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Full interview and photo of Peter’s chosen pedal will be featured in the Stompbox Book, coming summer 2020.
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