When CHON guitarist Erick Hansel wants to get dark, he steps on his Transmisser. “Whenever you hold a chord . . . this thing has this darkness about it. It’s, like, really awesome to hear it underlying, behind all the music,” he says.
“Darkness” is not a word that comes to mind when listening to CHON’s music. The band’s latest album, Homey, conjures images of convertible top-down cruising and sunny, palm-lined California highways, not oppressive ambient darkness. But it works.
When Hansel engages the Transmisser during bandmate Mario Camarena’s guitar solos, it’s like Camarena is in the driver’s seat while a lone cumulus cloud cruises in front of the sun, imparting just a little bit of darkness - all thanks to one perfectly timed (soft) click of a silent footswitch from Hansel. As we saw in part one of this video, Mario is more than happy to return the favor, using his Organizer to set the stage when it’s Erick’s turn to solo in the tune “Here and There.”
Like Mario, the Warden compressor is Erick’s always-on pedal, crucial for making the band’s speedy single note runs and tricky two-handed tapping licks really pop. Elsewhere, Erick steps on the Bows for a solo boost, noting that it “cuts through . . . [and] doesn’t get too muddy.”
For modulation, Erick uses the Depths, Sea Machine, Night Wire, and his secret weapon, the Arpanoid. “This is one of the craziest pedals,” he says. “I hit this on noise parts, and it does crazy sweeps with just one note. It’s pretty cool.”