“They’re cheap pieces of sh*t with crappy electronics”: Mac DeMarco on why he’s axed guitar pedals from his recording setup

The multi-instrumentalist has boldly stated that he “hates” guitar pedals, and doesn’t want them “crapping up” his recordings.

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Image: Steve Jennings / Getty

If you’re a guitarist reading this, prepare for some emotional damage. Artist and producer Mac DeMarco has boldly stated that he absolutely can’t stand guitar pedals.

The multi-instrumentalist confessed his disdain for the classic effects that so many guitarists can’t live without while discussing how he has streamlined his recording process, and has stopped buying gear.

DeMarco’s most recent album, One Wayne G, features over 119 tracks. Yes, that’s over eight hours of music and most of the tracks consist of numbered dates with only a few having actual worded titles. So it’s fair to say he’s not one to do things conventionally.

In his new digital cover feature with MusicTech, DeMarco explained why he decided to axe pedals from his setup in the studio: “I was just talking to my sound guy. I was sitting around the table outside and I was telling him how much I hate guitar pedals,” he says.

“They’re stupid. They’re cheap pieces of shit with crappy electronics. It’s just crap in the path. I don’t like crap. I don’t care if it makes you sound like Jimi Hendrix or whatever. I don’t want it. I don’t want it! It just stresses me out thinking about it,” he confesses.

“And the cables that people use in between them. Oh, man. And then the power – crappy. Everything’s crappy. It’s just crappy. And I don’t want them crapping up my shit. No crap.”


For his recent live shows in support of album Five Easy Hot Dogs, he did however have a small pedalboard that consisted of just a tuner, a vibrato pedal and an impulse response effect for his acoustic guitar. “Yeah, no more pedals,” he concludes. “All the pedals should be put in a big pile and we should light ‘em on fire.”

Read the full cover feature on MusicTech.


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