Fryette and a Pittbull prototype, ca. 1987.
In a way, there are two entirely different
perspectives in there. One is just a technical
perspective—engineering, selecting components and arranging how they’re going
to fit together, making the idea work... that
brute, engineering aspect. The other is just
the being-in-the-moment sort of process.
In reality, those two things don’t exist separately. They aren’t necessarily paid attention
to equally, but they have to co-exist for
the product to exist. I think the difference
between one product and another has a lot
to do with which perspective gets how much
time applied to it—how much you are willing
or able to go into that other zone.
Fryette testing a prototype Deliverance.
sound, and people have this idea that he’s settings. The sound just got bigger, and bigger,
blowing up the stage all the time. He came until I was amazed—he had transformed from
over here one day, and he started playing the regular guy coming in the front door into
pretty quietly… just this little rhythmic riff, the Page Hamilton that people see on stage,
over and over again. It was really a small, little- and respect and strive to emulate… the
sounding riff, but he kept playing it, and after whole vibe in the room changed, and that’s
about three or four minutes, it just got bigger. the creative interaction with the gear that
He didn’t really change anything so much—and turns into something that’s greater than the
he didn’t change any amp settings or guitar sum of the parts.
And there’s no manual for that zone, no set
of specifications to follow. It’s entirely intuitive and you just have to really love music
and respect the people you work with to
surrender yourself to that.
I do listen to players, and inMteract with them—
jam with friends and artists… our key artists
are also friends, so the artist relationship is
more than just somebody wCMho’s playing our
gear. We’re inspired by the music they make;
they’re inspired by the gear we produce.
There’s a synergy there that gets the conversation going and creates theCMi Ynterest on their
end to explore the gear more fully and to ask
questions, and really get into it and learn how
to get the most out of it. For us, too, to get
inside their heads, and see how they’re doing
it, how they’re solving their problems, and
where they’re drawing their inspiration.
A case in point is Page Hamilton. He uses the
Ultra-Lead almost exclusively, and I’m always
amazed that he has the master volume turned
down kind of low, and he uses it in half-power
mode. But he has this big, huge, dynamic