You know you’re on to something when a gig is stuffed full of musicians telling you you’re about to witness something brilliant. And dressmaker didn’t disappoint. An adrenaline blast of chainsaw guitar, fuzz bass and drum attack, with tunes as well as sonic menace. They pinned us to the wall with Jack the Stripper, went in for the kill with debut single Skeleton Girl, and delivered a warped and darkly beautiful cover of The Ronettes’ Be My Baby.
Frontman Charles Potashner is compelling and fearless, and batted aside a technical problem with plenty of attitude.
We talked to bass player Tom, and guitarist David, to find out what goes into their brilliantly brutal sound.
I use an Electro Harmonix Big Muff for all the fuzz, and for the noise breakdowns that we do I have a Boss flanger and a dirt cheap Behringer bass synth, just to add more weirdness.
We tend to finish our set in a lot more noise than last night, so for the end I set the synth and flange to run in a loop, with a hell of a lot of fuzz too. I play a Squier Jaguar 3/4 scale Jaguar Bass, only because it’s small and really light, making it easier to throw it around quite a bit!
Our drummer, Jose Quinones, doesn’t actually have his own kit, just some cheap cymbals that keep breaking!
And our vocalist, Charles Potashner, uses his mouth! But also his brain and hands to write the words, and to occasionally flirt with/terrify the audience (delete as appropriate)…
My favourite piece of gear is my Fender Twin Reverb amp, it has the most amazing clean channel that you can get from a guitar amp. The best bit if you are into noise/shoegaze is that you can add as many pedals as you want and play as loud as you can, and the amp doesn’t modify the sound: it always stays clean. And its reverb is awesome.
My favourite pedal is the Boss DD-7, it has an amazing combination of delay + chorus that gives you a unique dreamy sound that I’ve never achieved using any other gear (especially using a Fender Jaguar + Twin Reverb) .
It’s all about the tone
I also love the Big Muff (who doesn’t?) but lately I’m thinking of getting a Death By Audio Fuzz War, which basically is a fuzz pedal with a similar sound but way more aggressive.
From my point of view the most important bit is not the gear, or the number of effects you have, it’s all about the tone, the tone is everything! You can achieve a wide range of different tones just strumming the guitar in a different way or using a different eq.
My favorite trick is to switch on an Auto-Wah pedal (my old Boss AW-2) with all the knobs set to the max just after the Fuzz and the EQ and before shitloads of reverb and delay (add a booster at the end of the chain if you want to melt some walls). It’s just pure destruction!
Fender Jaguar white.
Gretsch Electromatic G5135 CVT
Fender Twin Reverb Silverface 1974
Fender Twin reverb Silverface 1974
Fuzz - EHX Big Muff
Eq - Boss GE-7
Flanger - Boss BF-3
Auto-wah - Boss AW-2
Delay - Boss DD-7
Reverb - EHX Holy Grail
Booster - MXR Microamp
Overdrive - Boss SD-1