If music is language, Delicate Steve‘s mother tongue is electric guitar – with an assorted stompbox accent. Few contemporary guitarists master the six strings’ vocabulary the way he does, unafraid as he is to experiment with tone, effects, and parts. Edgy and forward looking artists like Paul Simon to tUnE-yArDs, Mac DeMarco, Dr. Dog, Lee Ranaldo and Built to Spill, realized that, asking Steve Marion to play or record with them. The NJ based musician made ears turn in 2011-2012 with two instrumental records (‘Wondervisions‘ and ‘Positive Force‘) that showcased his imaginative, world music infused compositions. After a lot of touring, and a live album dated 2015, Delicate Steve is about to return with his third full length, entitled ‘This is Steve’ and scheduled for a January 27 release on Anti Records.
We asked Steve to run through the effects he currently has on his pedalboard.
“I’m not a big gear guy. I just need gear to make the sounds that I create. And here is what I’ve got right now:
My favorite pedal right now is the Mu-Tron Phasor II. I used it a lot on the record because it was up at the studio where I recorded my album, The Outlier Inn in upstate NY. I had to get one for the live show since I used it on almost every song.
Other than that, got my Digitech Whammy which I’ve had since I was probably 16. Same with the Big Muff. For the last two Delicate Steve albums I used the Whammy a lot in the “Octave Up” setting and now I’m using it in the Harmony Octave Up setting.
Since snapping this pic I got a few custom pedals that I’m going to keep a secret for now… but also in this pic, I have my Dunlop 535Q Wah which I’ve also had since I was 16.
All the pedals are going into an RJM Mastermind PBC controller, which is a next-level piece of gear that people like The Edge and Joe Walsh probably use.
I love the Boss Acoustic Simulator pedal (AC-2), it’s a very underrated piece of gear. Strymon pedals for delay and reverb (BlueSky, Lex and TimeLine), and Leslie simulation.
Then the classic BOSS DS-1 for distortion and JHS Colour Box for DI sounding distortion. I used a lot of DI guitar on my new record (check it out!) and this box allows me to recreate those sounds live.