Saturday, April 23, 2011

Interview with Carissa Spatcher of Brooklyn-based SNATCHTRONICS

Who the heck are you?
My name is Carissa Spatcher. I have three cats. My favorite color is brown. I hate mayonnaise.

How did you get into building pedals?
Well, I basically sucked in school, dabbled in college unsuccessfully, got into music later on, and ended up teaching myself electronics. Yeah, take that, Wheeler! (that's the high school i practically failed out of in Providence, RI.) I guess it just sort of arose out of need, like, a friend would say "hey, this pedal doesn't work. can you fix it?" and I'd open it up, and see a broken wire or something. That's how it started. Then drawing out schematics by hand, looking up what each symbol meant. Then i was copying pedals - not too hard if you sit down with it for a while.

Your overdrive pedal is really big. What's going on in there?
This overdrive (which i call the OvaDrive) has a lot of balls (or ovules). I used full-sized pots, one of which is a dual pot (for the drive), and the board itself takes up a lot of space. I'm working on a condensed version for my next production run which will be the exact same circuit but fit into a smaller enclosure.

You've named your company in the time-honored tradition of naming guitar pedals after female genitalia. Why is that?
I dont know....I guess all of us pedal makers have dirty minds! Well, it just seemed fitting, that I'm a chick, my company is a play on my name and a word for vagina, so why shouldn't my pedals be similarly themed? I had some nastier names in mind (less clinical than OvaDrive), but to try to appeal to a broader audience, I toned it down a little.

There are tons of 'boutique' pedal companies out there. What distinguishes Snatchtronics?
Well, im a chick. Not a lot of chicks build pedals. Also, I'm damn good at it. I dont skimp on components, and everything is put together by hand. Oh, and I powdercoat all of my pun intended.

What's Snatchtronics going to be building in ten years?
Time Machines.

Gnomes or unicorns? Explain.
I've always been a unicorn fan myself, being that I've always loved horses, but something about the combination of the letters "Gn" at the beginning of words I find interesting.

You rock, and so do your pedals!

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