Stuyedeyed is an alternative worldview presented through noisy and loud psych-rock, led by Nelson Antonio Espinal’s exuberant blues-inflected vocals. Their music is grounded in the punk DIY scene and the NYC garage tradition, and their personal revolt against the disingenuous and the gentrified shines through with each howl of rage. With fuzzy layers so thick you can practically wrap yourself up in them, the Brooklyn-based band delivers a serious ’70s guitar rock feel and loads of lo-fi goodness.
Tell us about your first time with… a guitar pedal. How old were you and what did you stomp on?
If I remember correctly I was 15 and my brother had just bought his first set of pedals. I don’t remember what the others were but I very distinctly remember being amazed by the Delta Lab Delay (blue casing with a blue LED light). We ran everything through that little blue box haha. Vocals, bass, I think some drums too.
Was there a band you listened to when you were younger that made you become curious about guitar effects?
Before I ever even picked up a guitar I remember being mesmerized by the soundscapes that were being created on “No Quarter”. I hadn’t heard anything so organic or lush before that. That led me down the rabbit hole to Hendrix ripping solos in reverse. In my later teenage years, I found myself extremely into The Antlers “Undersea” – to this day it’s one of my favorite collection of songs. Truthfully, I think I always found myself less intrigued by guitar effects specifically and more so by how you were able to effect EVERY instrument on a track through the use of pedals/effects.
Was there a specific pedal (or two) that kind of changed your life?
My good friend Fred who plays in a killer band called Spirit Of… had lent me my first pedals I ever used live. The Holier Grail and a Boss DD6. The looping capability of the DD6 is how I wrote most of our original songs: it lets me work out parts in real time. Reverb and Delay sometimes get a bad rep in the punk/garage community but honestly, they helped to show me that guitars can sound like more than just a guitar. It was the first time I got to expand on parts I’d written for my own band sonically. Changed the game for me. And then someone showed me what a Russian Big Muff sounded like… haha.
What do you have on your board these days?
EQD Hoof: My main squeeze and by far one of my favorite fuzz pedal. I use this for all my parts containing chords and lead notes.
DBA Interstellar Overdriver: I use this mostly as a boost for solos and on some chord based parts on our new record. On Funeral I was using a blues driver for this purpose.
Cry Baby: When you just need to fill space and pierce some eardrums, kick this lil’ jit on and keep it dimed. This thing is also all over the next record.
Way Huge Aqua Puss: My personal video game emulating, lush water toy haha… I use it all over the place. Interacts with my settings on the cathedral really well and helps to lift leads.
Ross Phaser: the best gift I’ve ever received, I use it on Miscarry On on the outro solo. I use this pedal more in recordings rather than live. Provides a nice added layer of movement that you can only really get with a full sounding phaser.
BSS TS-2 Tremolo: mainly used on our track Funeral. Live it’s used for noise in between songs. Think yelling into a fan running full blast.
EHX Cathedral: Screaming in a Church.
TC Helicon Mic Mechanic: My vocal processor. From basements to Webster Hall, my vocals always having the same sound is a must. Takes away the guessing game of working with sound engineers who think they have a better idea of what effects your vocals could use, ha!
What replaced what, in your board(s), in the last year?
I went through a couple of changes this year- mostly guitars. As for pedals, I went from using a TS-9, to using a Blues Driver, to my current overdrive, the [Death By Audio] Interstellar Overdrive. I even toyed with a Danelectro Fab Tone for a while but those things come in WAY too hot for my taste. I took my Epiphone Casino and stomped out my Holy Grail at a show at Trans Pecos, so was forced to move on from that staple. Now I’m running an EHX Cathedral, which is an absolute dream. That DD6 had gotten replaced with a Way Huge Aquapuss.
Is there a person outside the band that’s been important in perfecting your guitar sound?
I’ve always had a mentor in some way shape or form. So many people in our musical community have influenced how I’ve approached my tones. I would definitely say the main influencers would be three people: Fred Nicholson (Spirit Of…), Seth Applebaum (The Mad Doctors, Ghost Funk Orchestra), and Robert Granata (Beast Patrol, Twin Danger, Blackstone). They’ve each added a component to the way I play guitar, to the effects that I use.
What other like-minded local acts do you guys like to play with these days?