There’s a certain overarching sweetness that consumes the Denver/New York-based group, Strawberry Runners, but a close listen will reveal a far more complicated sound. The pop-driven arrangements and saccharine melodies support lyrics filled with darkness -a juxtaposition that’s at once uplifting and upsetting. The band recently released a new EP entitled “In the Garden, In the Night.” Emi Night, the singing-songwriting force behind this project, is very much into stompboxes and kindly answered a few questions.
Tell us about your first time with… a guitar pedal. How old were you and what did you stomp on?
My first guitar pedal was a Boss looping pedal. I was 21. It was a ton of fun experimenting with it, and I still use it sometimes, especially when I play solo.
Was there a specific pedal (or two) that kind of changed your life?
My favorite pedal has been the Empress Superdelay for a long time. It was a bit of an investment, but it sounds beautiful and has so much versatility – from a subtle tremolo-type sound to chaotic, backwards, looping echos.
What do you have on your board these days? Please send a picture of the board with a brief explanation of how you use each pedal
I have my Keeley compressor on most of the time.
I use a JHS Morning Glory overdrive pedal and I like it because it’s really light + subtle
I use a Strymon Blue Sky reverb, which was a recommendation from my friend Zac in the band Saintseneca
I keep the Empress Superdelay really low most of the time, but sometimes I like to get freaky with it.
I don’t use the BOSS looping pedal [RC 30] all that much, but once in awhile I need to loop something. I use it a lot in the writing process, but only occasionally live.
And that pedal in the bottom left is actually a TC Helicon vocal harmony pedal. It’s a fun little surprise.
***I put tape/smiley faces on my pedals because I think it’s so rude when people creep up and check out my gear but don’t ever talk to me about it. haha! Maybe deep down, the real me is a little paranoid and secretive, but I’d just rather people got over that awkward, sideways stuff and ask me what I’m using. I also think the smiley faces are cuter and obviously more personal than the original designs 🙂
What’s your favorite pedal on your board right now?
My favorite is still the Superdelay… it’s so fancy and I am still learning new things to do with it.
Are there any stompboxes you are itching to buy?
There are too many to count. I should probably just relax and learn how to use my own pedals a little better, but it’s hard not to admire the awesome stuff that people make. I’d really like another reverb pedal – like maybe the TC Helicon Hall of Fame, and the JHS Moonshine OD pedal for a second little boost. I’ve also been really coveting Earthquaker’s Organizer and Electro-Harmonix Stereo Polyphase for a long time, and I just watched a demo for the Flux Effects stereophonic pedal and it’s so dreamy.
What other like-minded local acts do you guys like to play with?
I’ve only been out in NYC for a little while, but I love playing with my friends in Sweet Cream, The Goodbye Party, and Dump Him. They’re not all super local, but pretty close!