Weekly Interview 12/14/17: Jeff Lewis of Sun Parade - Pedal of the Day

Weekly Interview 12/14/17: Jeff Lewis of Sun Parade

Posted By Pedal of the Day on Thursday, December 14, 2017 in Interviews, News | 0 comments

Jeff Lewis
Northampton, Massachusetts
Sun Parade


Jeff Lewis of Sun Parade - LIVE

How long have you been a musician? How did you get into it in the first place?

I’ve been obsessed with music for most of my life. I started playing guitar and mandolin when I was 9 or 10. My dad was always in bands when I was growing up so I was always surrounded by his and his bandmates’ rehearsals and great vibes. He got me started on both instruments and we played a lot together untilI I was in high school. Mostly bluegrass and folk music.

Who have been some of your major musical influences, past or present?

I heard Revolver and Sgt. Pepper when I was 4. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without that deep soundtrack. Aereoplain by John Hartford came into my ears at around the same time. Spent hours with cassettes in the back of my folks’ car on trips listening to Herb Alpert, The Kinks, The Beatles, Arrested Development, Goldfinger, The Specials, even Dispatch. I had a pretty eclectic taste when I was kid. Lots of stuff that I don’t listen to anymore.

Currently I’ve been super inspired and obsessed with Motown and more soul and R&B stuff. I could listen to Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ for days straight. In college (3 months at Berklee) I was exposed to ‘The Heart of The Congos‘ and other superb 70’s dub reggae. Also J Dilla and Mad-Lib. I’ve been into chill hiphop since high school. I also love Big L. In more recent years, Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and other contemporary psych pop has been fun. I think a lot of the contemporary music I enjoy is heavily influenced by a lot of the same older records I’m into. Right at this moment I’m listening to Salami Rose Joe Louis, an amazing beat maker and singer from San Diego. I’m totally obsessed. That seems to be a theme for a lot of my activities! (obsession) Also have been enjoying My Bloody Valentine immensely. This section could go on and on and on.

What drew you to using pedals initially? Have you been using them throughout your playing career? How have pedals helped to shape your sound, or influence the style that you’ve created?

When I started playing electric guitar in Sun Parade, I knew absolutely nothing about pedals. I actually didn’t own an electric guitar for the first month Chris and I were playing together, and was borrowing one sometimes, mostly playing acoustic guitar and mandolin. After I got a guitar and my dad’s old JC-120, I started trying to make sounds I was familiar with from hearing other people play over the years and on records. I really wasn’t too keen to become a “pedal player” or whatever. My opinions were strangely informed about a lot of things when I was 18. I’ve kept it pretty minimal over the years. My tones are usually pretty clean no matter how much I try to filthify them but I’m getting some good crunch and delays going. Getting spacier recently.

Jeff Lewis of Sun Parade - Pedalboard

Photo by Georgia Teensma Photography

What’s your current setup look like? Take us through your pedal rig (feel free to include amps and instruments as well if you’d like):

I play either a late ‘50s Danelectro U1 or a ’68 Guild T-50 into the Boss Tuner > TS9 Tube Screamer (which is always on with the treble all the way up) > Boss RV-5 reverb > MXR Micro Amp > Danelectro Fab Chorus > Boss Super Overdrive (can’t remember the number) > Boss DD-6 Delay and into my ’68 Bassman which is in a sweet combo my buddy Mike Parham built for me. One 12” Jensen speaker. I just built a pedal board for the first time ever. It’s weird. But I see the appeal. Mostly to protect them I guess.

Favorite type of pedal (drive, delay, fuzz, etc. – more than one answer is always acceptable!):

I think I’d be really screwed without the Tube Screamer and the DD-6. I used to pretty much only use the TS and the RV-5. I like to switch between dry and wet with the reverb (definitely influenced by dub). The DD-6 is indispensable. Very popular with my most gnarly and talented guitar playing bud from Northampton. It’s so fun to play. Especially on the warp setting. I think Chris pretty much said the same thing. I love the tone of a nice neck pickup straight into a nice warm amp so basically I’m trying to enjoy that sound with fun enhancements that become integral to song arrangements.

Jeff Lewis of Sun Parade - LIVE 2

You’re stranded on a desert island – which three (3) of the following do you want to have?

Instruments: mandolin, danelectro, a badass Martin guitar probably a D-18 or 00-18, P Bass
Amps: A blackface Bassman, Ampeg B15… I don’t really know much about amps besides what I’ve used.
Pedals: Does a Roland Space Echo count? Def the TS9 and the DD-6. Not sure pedals would be useful on a desert island so I guess a generator would be pretty essential.

What’s up next for you/your band(s)?

We are touring a new record. Always writing new songs. We wanna make millions of people feel good. Gotta make as many records as we can. I would love to build an amazing studio and spend most of my time there.

The Klon hype: Love it or Hate it?

No idea.

Thanks so much to Jeff for taking the time to answer some questions! Make sure you head over to www.thesunparade.com, and check their tour page to see when they’re headed to a town near you! Cheers!

Check out some other recent interviews here:

Chris Marlon Jennings of Sun Parade

Trevor de Brauw of Pelican

Woody Weatherman of Corrosion of Conformity

Karina Rykman of the Marco Benevento Trio


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