[interview] BrickTone: Javier Roa

Here's FXDB's interview with Javier Roa of BrickTone:

How did BrickTone start?

It was very natural. As a guitar player I had the need for good gear that many times was out of my economic possibilities. After many years building my own pedals I started building them for friends, then for local bands and after that I decided to start the bussiness.

Of course I was inspired by others. I don't think any of the modern boutique builders can claim all of their credit to be totally won by themselves. We have a lot to thank to great people who have shared their knowledge through the web. R.G. Keen is one of those people, but there are many who would deserve much credit as well and is not fair to name many if I cant name them all. On the other hand there are many anonymous builders that keep contributing everyday to this great world. Places like Free Stompboxes are huge R&D sections that none of us could afford if we had to pay for their wages as employees. So I have many influences, I have been helped by many and for that I want to thank them here.

Where does the logo come from?

We think of the sound as a building. Each of the elements you use are part of that building, and all need to be as good as possible, otherwise the building would fall down in pieces. Our pedals are the bricks to build that tone so the name came out easy after a couple days of brainstorming.

We were looking for a clean logo, but it had to be recognizable at first sight. We were looking for something like Apple's logo. With clean lines, that could be printed in solid colors. The co-founders of BrickTone are pilots so the logo of Spain's main airliner, Iberia, came to mind and we modified that to fit our brand.

What sets BrickTone apart from other builders?

The manufacturing process and the quality of our components is what makes us different from many.

How do you start on a new pedal?

It starts with an idea of a kind of pedal we would like to build. After that we listen to as many pedals of that kind as we can get a hold of. Once we have an idea of the sound we want, we think about the features we would like to have in a pedal of that kind and then the development starts. It can take from a month to many months to get the final design as we don't start production until we love the sound.

How do you name your pedals?

They all start with Dr. We just liked the way it sounded!

Can you tell us something about the production process?

Everything is done in-house. We are two builders.

How important is the look of your pedals?

VERY important. When you buy something expensive you need to get a "round" product, this means any part of the pedal has to be outstanding. The design is a part of the pedal and so has to be closely looked after.

Is parts selection important?

We always try many types of components in some parts of the circuits, but that's part of the "magic" inside our pedals!

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?

The Dr. Screamer would be the one. It's been our most successfully pedal and people keep coming back to talk about how they love their pedal, so that makes you feel like you are doing something good.

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

Probably some copies of the Mu-Tron III that we did some time ago. The components are hard to find and there is a lot of tweaking before you get the right sound. But right now it's almost ready for sale!

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

Again the Dr. Screamer. I think the great versatility that the fat and gain switches give to the pedal makes it fit in any kind of venue. We even have some customers who will travel without an amp and just plug it to the PA!

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

We have people using our pedals from blues to heavy metal going through pop and rock, so I guess they're not only for specific genres.

We don't have any famous users yet, but hopefully I will update this in the near future!

What does the future of BrickTone look like?

Right now BrickTone has many projects going on, from more pedals like a trem and a wah to a new amplifier line, if you would like to know more about it you should check our Facebook page from time to time!

Are you working on any new products?

Yes. A wah, a trem, an analog delay with tap tempo and a kind of Mu-Tron III.

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