Windu Boost Prototype for Mark Graham
Joe is the front-man in Sheffield three-piece Killer Joules, and former guitarist in Stonerun (along with yours truly), The Lizard Kings, and MidKnight Rider to name a few. Over the years of being in bands with Joe, I have seen more overdrives and fuzz pedals on his pedalboard than you could expect to see at NAMM - from big brands like Boss, through the big boutique names like Fulltone and Robert Keeley, right the way through to smaller British builders like MadeByMike and The Tone Gnome. It would be fair to say he's a good candidate to develop an overdrive with, and our work together led to the creation of the Darklighter.
"As anyone who has played in a LOUD band before knows all too well, you need to have mids in you sound to be heard over everyone else. This tends to be a problem if, like me, you have an inexplicable attachment to guitars with single coil pickups. We tend to get a bit drowned out by.... well... the band. Throw into the mix a nice clean Fender amp and you've got a bit of a bit of a conundrum. Solution - buy a Tubescreamer. Problem: you sound like everyone else who's ever played through a Tubescreamer, ever. Everyone knows that sound, and great as it can be in the right hands, it defeats the point of trying to stand out. I tried every variant of Tubescreamer that I could get my hands on, from the lowly to the expensive, looking for one with that something extra. So when Tom tells me, one band practice, that he's looking into designing and building pedals, it was like all my Christmases had come at once! Now after various overdrive prototypes have sat on my board, I settled on one little grey box with white splotches, red knobs and holes in the chassis."
Onstage with Killer Joules using the prototype Darklighter