The man behind Fuzzhugger FX and ilovefuzz.com; Tom Dalton is the subject of this week's edition of the Hi-Fives. Read on to get his take on our serious of random top 5 interview questions.
Top 5 things about running your own company
- Being my own terrible boss. The devil you know...
- Doing exactly what I want to do (when I'm not being a jerk boss).
- Unscheduled micro-breaks to hang with family.
- Allowing inspiration and whims to set my schedule and business plan.
- Getting to play a part in musicians' creative processes.
Top 5 best named pedals of all time
- Big Muff Pi. I'm assuming any other answer for #1 would be wrong. In the pedal world, it's the double-entendre that all double-entendres are judged against.
- Pulsar. Space stuff is cool, and the name fits the tremolo effect perfectly.
- The Super Hard On...maybe I'm being generous (if we're talking ALL TIME), but I think it deserves a mention, because the name sure sold a ton of pedals!
- Sex Drive. I love puns, even the easy ones. Sex Drive may be obvious, but when you're the first to lock down that obvious pedal name, you're the lucky winner!
- Occam's Phaser. I'm gonna be "that guy," and mention one of mine...only because naming a pedal often feels like picking a Gmail address--all the good ones are taken. I was shocked that it wasn't taken. I'm not saying it's one of the best of ALL TIME, but it's the perfect name for a stripped down phaser, and was one of my personal luckiest name-grabs of all time!
Top 5 modern fuzz pedals that you wish you had come up with
- Dr. Scientist Frazz Dazzler. It makes me smile, has a unique feel, and is flexible. People should be clamoring to get one. (And they might be! I rarely know what's going on outside FuzzHugger.)
- Devi Ever US. It's a nasty, unforgiving, ugly, raw, fuzz for ragged rock and roll.
- Mellowtone Wolf Computer...it's always been under the radar, but it still captivates people. Mellowtone had a cute handmade vibe, and looked like toys, which always gets me lusting.
- This is hard because for the past 8 years, I've been so focused on FuzzHugger that I've been living in a bubble...but maybe something from Black Arts because some of their imagery really pleases my eyes.
- ...oh, the Fix'd Fuzz, because ants and poppies. (I owned one of the first 10 that were made!)
Top 5 favorite pedals you’ve made but never released
- The Frequency F***er. The grossest sounding frequency multiplier. I'd sell tens, possibly fives of them!
- The Envylope Filter...inspired by the Mu-Tron Micro V, it was going to have a mean looking antelope head on a green enclosure. An iPhone app with this name killed my plans, but the circuit will live on!
- The AB-Synth: Thujone Extract. The idea was to make the AB-Synth more extreme (a difficult task!), with a momentary-switchable noise mode and the ability to feed random computery bleeps into the noise mode. I built two by special order, but it was never released as planned. Maybe later this year it'll get a slight revision and a second chance...
- The Anthill. Overdrive / fuzz based around the Muff OD...a big elaboration on a simple dirt circuit.
- The Snowclone. A few people will pick up on the reference. Maybe I should pull the trigger!
Top 5 strangest message board threads
- "ILF Anime Thread OK321LETSJAMBADABADABADABADABAAAAH!!!!!!!" (Thread title seems like it was written by an anime character.)
- "Sim City on Super Nintendo." (When pre-internet things are discussed on the internet.)
- "Did you guys get your free Quiznos? (Not Spam)" (I like that they had to mark it as not spam.)
- "Women's Roller Derby" (Strange because it only received ONE reply. Like it or not, only one person had a thought worth sharing?)
- "Indoor Hammocks and such." (Yes, actually a straight-faced thread about hammocks indoors. ILF welcomes all topics of discussion. Not just fuzz, but super important life altering things like hanging a hammock inside.)
Top 5 things about living somewhere remote
- It's easy to get work done. Any distractions are self-created.
- Nature. My house and workshop are under a canopy of trees, bordering on 13,000 acres of protected state forest. It's a green, subtropical paradise in the summer.
- That incredibly rewarding feeling when winter's over and you survived.
- It gives me excuse for being a hermit.
- Well, there are at least four good things about it.
Top 5 things to do when not building pedals
- Write songs. I'm hoping to record an album this summer and get some ILF (ilovefuzz.com) friends to guest.
- Sit down with my acoustic guitar. I eat and huff electrics and fuzz, so a lot of downtime is acoustic.
- Enjoy a few minutes of quiet. If you can't savor silence, you probably don't have kids.
- Drive somewhere (often the post office), listening to music with my family.
- Test pedals, which often turns into mini jam sessions.
Top 5 foods to be avoided at all costs
- Cole slaw.
- Cottage cheese.
- Five foods?!? I like food so much it'd make the greatest stoner blush. I don't know...insects?
- Rotten food?
- Roadkill? You hear stories out here in rural PA...
Top 5 things people wouldn’t know about you
- I can crush a soda can between my shoulder blades. The circus wasn't impressed.
- A couple times a year, I play at folk venues/festivals.
- I was born blind in my left eye, but it tracks, so most people don't know. But if you're sitting on my left, I'm going to seem rude. And sometimes I clip door frames.
- I sold my first pedal to a rock star when I was 17...not a FuzzHugger, but a rare Boss pedal I sold on eBay. The winner contacted me, saying he noticed I lived in PA and that his band was playing there in a few weeks...it was Tim Wheeler from Ash, and I was already a fan of his band. He guest-listed me and some friends, and I delivered the pedal to his bus after his show. I got to pay him back a decade later by sending him some FuzzHugger pedals.
- Despite loving many forms of art, I'm totally film-illiterate...name 20 classic films and I probably haven't seen 18 of them. I've just never been able to find the time to watch movies.
Top 5 guilty pleasures
- Modulation. Sorry, fuzz, but sometimes I cheat.
- Quirky Fenders. The more oddball, the better.
- Emerald Guitars. I don't feel guilty about loving Alistair's work...the guilty parts is how I want to own 5 or 10 of his creations. He's an engineering master.
- Thinking about making pickups.
- Mandolin. Guilty because I'm drawn to them, love looking at them, fight the urge to buy one every few years...but never get too into playing them and don't love their high, barky tone (I do love the tone longer-scale mando-like instruments).
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