We’re a curious bunch here at Silent Radio and decided it was time to start scratching that itch, so we asked Death Valley Girls guitarist Larry Schemel what his favourite piece of music making equipment is. This is what he told us:


What is it?
It’s the BOSS FZ-5 Fuzz Pedal

Death Valley Girls Fuzz Pedal

How long have you had it?
About 7 years, when Death Valley Girls first started I was using a boutique fuzz pedal, I previously had a BOSS FZ-3 Fuzz Pedal and I really missed the Fuzztone I was able to get with it. The BOSS Fuzz was still the one for me, so I went to a music shop to look for an FZ-3 and came across the FZ-5, bought it!

How does it help shape your sound?
It’s my main Fuzz pedal, I use it for most leads and heavier parts in our music, I also have a crybaby wah which I put first in the chain with the BOSS Fuzz right after it. I love the wah/fuzz freakout sounds I get with that combo!

Do you use it live?
Yes, every show, every tour we’ve played, never had issues with it!

Do you use it in the studio?
Yes, even if the studio has lots of fancy distortion pedals to play with I always go back to the BOSS FZ-5 because it’s so diverse. I’m able to get different tones for solos, the 3 settings are all modelled after different vintage fuzz pedals, the Fuzz Face, Maestro FZ-1A & Octavia, I’ve used them all on recordings.

Larry Schemel of Death Valley Girls

What can we hear it used on?
I’ve used it on songs on all 4 of our full length releases going back to our first cassette ‘Street Venom’ to our latest LP ‘Under The Spell Of Joy’. Some songs from each record are ‘No Reason’, ‘Death Valley Boogie’, ‘Disaster’ & ‘Hold My Hand’.

Is there anything you dislike about it or would like to change?
No, I like the minimal design, the level and fuzz knobs give you enough control over the tone. I’ve heard people describe these as “good beginner pedals” Haha! Sign me up! I also like the fact that this pedal is compact and built like a tank.

If the worst happened and it broke down, could you replace it?
Yes, I’ve seen them online, pricier than they used to be but worth it.

Anything else you’d like to tell the world about it?
It’s an underrated Fuzz pedal, there are lots of expensive boutique type vintage Fuzz pedals out there to choose from which are great but don’t dismiss the old classics like BOSS & MXR pedals.

Any honourable mentions of other items that didn’t make the top spot?
Yes, it was tough to choose just one piece of equipment! I really wanted to mention my guitar a 72′ Fender Telecaster Custom which I love and my amp which is an AMPEG GVT52-112. People associate AMPEG with bass amps more than guitar but these amps offer that middle ground between Fender and Marshall that I was searching a while for to find. I stumbled across this amp at a shop at a very affordable price, amazing amps!


Death Valley Girls release their new album ‘Under the Spell of Joy’ on October 2nd via Suicide Squeeze Records. You can hear ‘Hold My Hand’ taken from the album and featuring Larry’s BOSS FZ-5 below.

 Death Valley Girls Twitter | Facebook | Instagram