This weeks installment of our regular mini-interview feature the Hi-Fives finds us catching up with Brian Hamilton of small sound/bigsound. Brian balances his pedal building with a rigorous tour schedule with his band Cymbals Eat Guitars but managed to squeeze in some time to answer our series of random top fives.


Top five things about running a company

1. contributing in some small way to so many different people's projects and musical aspirations 

2. not having a boss

3. getting to write off gear purchases

4. the ability to leave for tour at any time and knowing that i'll have a job when i return

5. getting to connect with lots of really great musicians and other builders


Top five things that interfere with said company

1. my band

2. my fiancée

3. my cats

4. deadlines

5. beer


Top five current favorite fuzz pedals

1. the bitquest (dr. scientist) - not "technically" a fuzz pedal but damn is it an awesome multi-fx with some fuzzy options

2. terminal (earthquaker devices) - gnarly and rad

3. four eyes (fairfield circuitry) - a very cool different type of fuzz pedal, capable of a ton of different sounds

4. super oscillo fuzz (lastgasp art laboratories) - yo wut

5. demo tape fuzz (mid-fi electronics) - these sound amazing and i want one badly


Top five most random places you’ve had to build pedals

1. in a van... while it was driving

2. in a hotel room

3. in a venue dressing room

4. in my parent's house

5. in my dreams


Top five effects to use with keyboards

1. modified dallas rangemaster - perfect for a bit of grit and cutting high end

2. line6 DL4 for reverse loops and weirdness

3. ehx deluxe memory man - a classic, perfectly voiced analog delay

4. smallsound/bigsound TAFM - i probably shouldn't hype my own thing here but it slays for fuzzy keyboards

5. roland space echo - i've ended up using one on every record i've ever been a part of. pure magic


Top five venues to play

1. pretty much any sold out venue or one that has a great staff

2. parkteatret in oslo, norway - an extremely solid venue with great people, great lights and great sound

3. le botanique in brussels, belgium - a super cool atrium style venue within a botanical garden

4. the fillmore in san francisco, CA - a legendary venue with so much amazing history

5. the bowery ballroom in NY, NY - another classic, have played there many times and i always feel at home


Top five meals on the road

1. green juice with lemon, ginger and cayenne

2. the salad bar at whole foods or any food co-op

3. good breakfast tacos

4. sushi on either coast

5. good ramen when i can find it


Top five truck stop impulse purchases

1. cheezits

2. peanut butter filled pretzels

3. goldfish

4. a diet coke

5. any stuffed animal crane game


Top five albums for driving long distances

1. steve reich, "music for 18 musicians"

2. deerhunter, "microcastle"

3. kendrick lamar, "good kid, m.a.a.d city"

4. bill frisell, "bill frissell with dave holland and elvin jones"

5. the cocteau twins, "heaven or las vegas"



Top five riffs to demo pedals with

unfortunately i can't answer this because i never play "riffs" when i test my pedals or demo - i just make stuff up


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