Preston guitar technician for Biffy Clyro, The Prodigy and Kasabian has seen his electronic creation in demand worldwide
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Richard Pratt used the enforced downtime during the pandemic when bands could not tour to create his own line in effects pedals for electric guitars through his company, Gone Fishing Effects.
And Richard’s latest creation, the Booooom/Blast pedal, designed in conjunction with Simon Neil of Scottish heavy rock band Biffy Clyro, sold out all 200 copies in just five minutes, despite being priced at £299.
Richard, 38, who went to Penwortham Priory Academy and Newman College, said the pedal replicates the sound that Simon’s guitar amplifiers make on tour.
The pedals are connected to electric guitars and then on to the amplifiers which generate the sound at a concert and are operated by the musician's foot.
The Booooom side of the pedal creates an overdrive effect, like an amp being cranked up so loud that the speakers create distortion, while the Blast adds a fuzz effect to the guitar sound.
He has created other effects including a fuzz pedal called Rage of the Tsar, which has distinctive artwork to go with the sound, and he is now working on a new range as well as building more of the popular Booooom/Blasts.
He said: “I have worked for Biffy Clyro for about 18 years on tour looking after the guitars, and Simon and I have always discussed making a guitar pedal. I have always made prototypes and the odd pedal on tour.
“As soon as the pandemic hit and gigs were on hold, I took the chance to build the pedal.
“Pedals come between the guitar and the amplifier and make the guitar sound much better. Jimi Hendrix was one of the original pioneers back in the day, so I took some inspiration from him.
“Simon uses three guitar amps with one always running clean, so for the overdrive we tried to get the clarity of a loud, clean guitar sound, but with all the fizz and rumble of having the other two distorted amps as well.
“The fuzz pedal is an all out noise machine, all frequencies gone square wave, a real doom machine!
“They all sold out in five minutes. Its a hand made product and so it will take me a almost another year to build another 200!”
He said he was now in demand and was now working on projects with other bands too.
The former media studies student aged 38, got into guitar technician work through his sister Judith’s band Fi-Lo Radio from Preston.
He went on tour with them and then helped a band they were on tour with, Oceansize.
When Oceansize toured with Biffy Clyro, Richard took his chance to join them as the man looking after their guitars.
“I have done other bands in between, Kasabian and the Prodigy. I was with the Prodigy when Keith Flint (one of the singers best known for his performance on the hit singe Firestarter)sadly passed away.”
While Richard does play the guitar, he said has always been more into the technical side of the music industry.
“I love fixing things and seeing how they work. A lot of roadies are failed musicians, but I have always been into how things work.”
He said sourcing the electronics from across the world, from Texas Instruments to Taiwan Alpha for example, has been more difficult since lockdown which has caused supply issues for many business sectors, but the printed circuit boards for the pedals are made in Norwich to give it a British base.
The Booooom/Blast pedal has been in used by Simon from Biffy Clyro when the band headlined the Reading and Leeds Festivals this year.