[interview] Roadrunner: Laurent Hassoun

Here's FXDB's interview with Laurent Hassoun of Roadrunner:

How did Roadrunner start?

The first effect made was the Supersonic Fuzz.We produce this effect till 1994. Some artists as Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Jon Spencer, Money Mark, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) use it (to name a few).

My inspiration comes from the 60's, the work of M. Matthew , Bob Moog , English and Italian companies as Jen, Vox,...

Where do the name and logo come from?

The name comes from a Bo Diddley song.

The first logo was inspired by "Clay Smith Cams", but a skull version.

How do you start on a new pedal?

Usually I need to have a... special sound and I can't find it .

How do you name your pedals?

Muscle cars, custom culture heroes as Von dutch, Barris E.Roth, surf shapers, Picasso, French cubism, work wear designers, Bo Diddley, the Gories, Beastie boys, soul music, Rock 'n Roll, Sun studio,... the list is too long!!!

Can you tell us something about the production process?

We designed the ICs and enclosures, we're making a prototype and handcraft the enclosure model.

For the production we get help from 2 companies in the Nancy area, one for the original ICs production and tone for the die-cast enclosures.

How important is the look of your pedals?

Oh yes, it's essential. It has to work and be pretty.

How important is parts selection?

When it's possible I try to use domestic or European components.

For the rest like I told you everything is made in France.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?

Supersonic Fuzz and Dr Freeze Tremolo.

Some artsits as Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Jon Spencer, Money mark, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), King Automatic, Billy Childish (to named a few) use them.

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

The Flexitone.In 1997 it was impossible to find a "compact" a multi range Q filter with an independent distortion.

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

Supersonic Fuzz and Dr Freeze Tremolo.

I think because of the external design and the versatility of the sound and controls.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

The pedals are not really made for specific genres, but many rockers used our effects, ah, ah!!

Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Jon Spencer, Money mark, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), King Automatic, Billy Childish, Mark Ford, Mooney Suzuki, ICP Studios Brussels, Studio Mas Argentiere, Silmarils.....

What does the future of Roadrunner look like?

We're working on a new fuzz box, guitar booster and distortion in original square die cast.

We still produce the Supersonic and Dr Freeze Tremolo.

Are you working on any new products?

We're working on an new fuzz more radical in term of sound than the Supersonic (maybe as the A. Adkins sound), and "sweet" distortion and guitar booster (essential in an effects set).

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