Like any guitarist looking to create any different sounds during the course of a show Billy is no different and this piece of kit is essential in making that happen. This pedal is a four way splitter that allows Billy to use one of four switches to quickly change from one guitar sound set up to another.
You’ll see on the pic above that each Switch has been marked up to reflect the Amp set up that Billy requires. The first MATCH is his Matchless Amp, second JC-120 is his Roland Chorus, the third is his MARSHALL and the forth and last is a Kill Switch that turns them all off.
Billy explains “This one was made by a guy called Bob Bradshaw. In the Eighties every guitar player wanted his rack, his set up. He was a guy in LA who made incredible, complicated guitar racks (systems holding all the effects pedals). Bob built me a guitar rack back in the day and that was the one that I used on the ‘Sonic Temple’ and ‘Ceremony’ tours. I had to have one ‘cos everyone else had one! John Sykes had one, Mick Marrs had one and the Aerosmith guys and Bon Jovi… everyone in the bands at the time.
When I played The Point in Dublin in November1991 on the ‘Ceremony’ tour U2’s The Edge sent his guitar tech along to the sound check to check out my guitar rig because he’d heard I’d got such a good live sound. And after that Bob Bradshaw started to make The Edge’s rather fabulous guitar set up. Its incredibly complex and can be seen in the movie ‘It Might Get Loud’ which also features Jack White and Jimmy Page.
Some guys still use them but to me I think they get in the way of your sound a bit too much and there’s a criticism that the sound is too processed, it’s effected by all the switching and the cleverness and it takes away from the essence of the sound which is best typified on the ‘Electric’ album. That was The Cult at it’s most primal, literally plugging a guitar into an amp, as simple as that. There’s no effects, no racks, that’s very much Rick Rubin his philosophy is purity and simplicity..
Eventually I sold off my Bob Bradshaw rack as not only had grunge come in but we weren’t into doing the big stage sets anymore we wanted to downsize the look of The Cult, we weren’t doing the big arena shows anymore for the most part. I wanted to simplify the sound and the album made in 1994 ‘The Cult’ that was made with smaller amplifiers and a much more old fashioned kind of approach.
Nowdays I’ve gone to a much simpler system so I can be more flexible flying in and out of shows and this pedal pictured here was made by Bob on a more commercial scale, it’s small elements of a whole switching system.”
Billy Duffy – January 2013