With a sound both meditative and gothy, Brooklyn duo Surf Rock is Dead pairs sunny melodies to melancholic tinges, ala the Drums. Their guitar sound, although not distorted, has heavy shoegazer leanings, a genre that’s tightly connected to the use of stompboxes. Since guitarist Kevin Pariso confided us that he often gets asked about the secrets behind his uber dreamy sound, we just thought we’d give him an opportunity to come clean.

What’s on your board when you play with SRiD, Kevin?

TC Electronic Tuner –  Smash this right before the drop….

HOF Mini Reverb – Foundation reverb to give everything space.

Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-5 – Continuing the pattern of fatter tone.

Boss Digital Delay DD-6– Fatter tone for leads. Hold the pedal down for a crazy swell effect

Boss Reverb RV-5–  Instead of having a slamming overdrive distortion for impact I use this pedal.


Let me get this straight, a reverb instead of an overdrive for impact?

I choose to use the Boss reverb as boost rather than a distortion pedal because reverb can give a massive sound that is powerful yet clean and beautiful at the same time.

Why do you have a reverb at the beginning of the chain and one at the end?

I actually don’t recall why I have the reverbs spaced apart from each other in the chain, but I’m sure they are there for reason when I did some initial trial and error in chain placement!

Are you dreaming of any new pedals at night?

Sam, the guitarist in The Jezabels, with whom we just wrapped up a tour, was telling me about the Line 6 Helix he uses.  It’s like an all-in-one super computer with every effect imaginable at your feet.  Interesting enough you can go direct in and bypass an amp entirely during a show for a super super clean sound.  Kind of a piss in the face of a lot of amp/guitar purists.