Here's FXDB's interview with Jan Detremerie of Big John:
How did Big John start?
First of all I wanted to build some pedals for me... Then my guitarists in the band heard and saw the pedals and ordered some for them... After a couple of weeks the first Belgian shop takes a couple pedals in stock... The rest is history...
We had no help from others, it's just me and Stijn... DIY
Where do the name and logo come from?
John is just the translation of my name, "Jan". Big stands for my beer belly ;-))
All logos and pedal designs are made by a great Belgian bassplayer called 'Phillippe De Vuyst'. Check him out, he's great with Photoshop and Illustrator and is a great photographer too!
What sets Big John apart from other builders?
We are pro musicians and make sound designs that WE want to hear. I think that sets our apart from other builders that have mostly a great technical knowledge but not being that good on the guitar or bass guitar (not every builder of course!!! ;-))
Our pedals are used by Beck, NIN, Paul McCartney's guitarist, Muse, Dub Trio, Victor Wooten and lots of others...
How do you start on a new pedal?
Hours of trial and error...
How do you name your pedals?
Hairy Balls sounds like Hairy Balls ;-))
Granny Puker sounds like farting Puking Granny's...
Obama Wah sounds like obamawah obamawah obamawah obamawah...
And the Lil' John series series just fits into every guitarists pedalboard ;-))
Can you tell us something about the production process?
All pedals are totally made by hand in-house. Hand Wired point to point circuits and enclosures with strong stickers on the top side.
How important is the look of your pedals?
Which of your pedals makes you most proud?
All of them because they sound sooo over the top...
Which of your pedals is the most popular?
The Hairy Balls because it's the first Big john effect and it's the most 'NORMAL' one.
Who uses your pedals and for which genres?
Our goal is to make great sounding pedals for guitarists, bass players and synth-tweak-freaks. The sound is situated between Nine Inch Nails and Squarepusher.
Our pedals are used by Beck, NIN, McCartneys guitarist, Muse, Dub Trio, Victor Wooten and lots of others...
What does the future of Big John look like?
We plan some new BIG & LIL john series for 2012 and try to optimize our current designs too!
We both are fulltime touring musicians too, so we need to find time ;-))
Are you working on any new products?
Yes, we are currently working on a distortion pedal with 3 band EQ and an envelope filter ;-)