LostAlone's Steven Battelle talks custom Star Wars pedals

15th Sep 2012 | 09:00

LostAlone's Steven Battelle talks custom Star Wars pedals
Steven Battelle shows off his force-powered pedals

Steven Battelle of Derby power trio LostAlone has a rig unlike any other thanks to his one-off custom Star Wars effects pedals.

Built by his old friend and former guitar tech Jimi Woolley, we dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of his pedal board to take a look...

LostAlone's Steven Battelle talks custom Star Wars pedals
The Han Solo Boost: shoots first

Steven Battelle: “Jimi and I were watching Star Wars one night when we came up with the idea for these pedals. Then a group of us started coming up with all these Star Wars-themed names for effects.”

Jimi Woolley: “This Han Solo Boost is the first idea for an effects pedal we had...” Steven: “I’ll use it every time you see me play a guitar solo. A lot of boost pedals slightly affect the tone – they do something [to it], even though they claim not to. This is a true boost. It just rams your sound and drives the valves.”

LostAlone's Steven Battelle talks custom Star Wars pedals
The MPi Strikes Back Fuzz is strong with the power of the dark side

Jimi: “It’s a beast...”

Steven: “I can’t use it in Europe legally, it would hurt too many people! One of the in-house sound engineers said to our sound technician, ‘He can’t use that – it’s not fair!’ It’s beyond a Big Muff. We have a song called Do You Get What You Pray For? and I put that one on when the riff kicks in. It’s full on; it takes it to another level.”

LostAlone's Steven Battelle talks custom Star Wars pedals
Steven stays on target with the A-B-Y X Wing ABY amp switch

Steven: “I normally have a three-amp setup and this is for switching between them. I always have my Marshall JMP and early Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier on at the same time, apart from a couple of intros where I use the Mesa clean. I don’t have the third amp today – a Carlsbro 50 Top head – because the venue is too small.”

Jimi: “There was a bit of hum and I worked out that by making it an active ABY as opposed to just a passive, there was a way of reducing the hum. So I turned up with a little PCB and all the wires, and it was a case of opening it and popping it in. Luckily, it worked!”

Steven: “These pedals have been used in most of the arenas in the UK when we’ve supported My Chemical Romance and 30 Seconds To Mars. We’ll be setting up and these American crew guys would come over and see the pedals and say, ‘What the...?’ It becomes a talking point.”

LostAlone's Steven Battelle talks custom Star Wars pedals
The Klaatubescreamer Overdrive is our kind of scum

Steven: “We went really deep with this one – Klaatu is a lesser-known Star Wars character.”

Jimi: “Steven had a Tube Screamer but it didn’t sound quite right, so I took its schematics and changed a few components, like the capacitors to tame out the fizziness.”

Steven: It’s between my hugest sound and my cleaner sound. I use it to kick into the chorus before the bigger pay-off at the end. So I’ll move from the Marshall JMP on its own with the Mesa clean, then bring the Klaatubescreamer in to dirty it up a bit. It’s a stepping stone.”

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