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Pedalboard Feature: Danny Black

Daniel Schwartz of Good Old War has a new acoustic solo project named Danny Black. Below he shares two presets he used for his new album, and he gives us some additional insight into Danny Black and Good Old War. Read more below.

Pedalboard Feature Danny Black

Please share some pedal settings that you used on Adventure Soundtrack.

Having been a fan of Strymon pedals for a while now, I knew that their pedals would play a significant role in the recording of my first solo guitar album. Being mainly an acoustic guitarist, I knew pedals would have to be used tastefully to fit in with rest of an album of mostly acoustic songs. The greatest thing about these pedals is the versatile tonality they have, and I wanted to make sure I was playing to their strengths.

The two pedals I featured on Adventure Soundtrack were BigSky and Mobius. They were featured heavily on two songs, “First Light Part 1” and “First Light Part 2.” As you can guess by the titles, they are working off of similar themes. I left the BigSky on the Plate setting for both songs. I plugged in my surf green Strat and wrote both songs on the spot because the sound was so inspiring. It’s got a perfect decay that detunes slightly at the end and swirls around in a surreal, dream-like manner.

At the end of “First Light Part 2,” it gets a little bit dissonant. I wanted to make the guitar feel a little bit unstable and strange, so I brought in the Mobius on the Vintage Trem setting. I love the tap tempo feature that adds a beautiful sense of intensity, and I was speeding up the tremolo while playing.

The sound of Strymon’s BigSky and Mobius helped define my songs by allowing the parts to be ethereal and moody. Thank you Strymon, I couldn’t have written these songs without you!

What pedalboard do you have?

I use a Pedaltrain 1. The BigSky is never off. I basically just change the decay from song to song. It comes after my looper but before my delay.

Danny Black Pedalboard

Could you share a bit about what motivated your acoustic solo project?

I am really into going on adventures. Rock climbing, trail running, hiking and things like that. I wanted to create soundtracks for these activities and also showcase some other things I love to do with the guitar that I can’t necessarily fit into the song structure of Good Old War. Plus it’s always been a dream of mine to be able to make a full album of guitar instrumentals. I was very careful to have lots of different kinds of feelings and styles on there to keep the listener engaged and not just waiting for the vocal to come in.

And tell us a bit about Good Old War?

Good Old War has been my life for ten years now. It’s the most rewarding musical experience I’ve ever had. The three of us have worked so hard to create a very special vocal blend that is the center of our band. In fact, we’ve been very dedicated to the idea of being able to play a show anywhere from a stadium to a living room. The key has been to write songs that at their core are complete with just my guitar and our voices.

Danny Black

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