London-based guitarist Ross Chapman has played with numerous artists including Professor Green, Ella Henderson, Labrinth, and Hailee Steinfeld, to name a few. Ross recently sat down with MusicPsych to discuss his current musical project, his guitars, his new pedalboard configuration, and more. Check out below for a look at Ross’s pedalboard and then visit MusicPsych to read the full interview.
What is your pedalboard signal chain?
Guitars go into a Boss line selector
Digitech Whammy V
RJM Mastermind PBC (tuner built in)
Loop 1 – Barber Tone Press
Loop 2 – Strymon Mobius (pre)
Loop 3 – SM Fuzz & Roger Mayer Voodoo TC Octavia
Loop 4 – Barber Gain Changer
Loop 5 – Free the Tone Gigs Boson
Loop 6 – Suhr Riot
Loop 7 – Strymon Mobius (post)
Loop 8 – Xotic RC Boost
Loop 9 – Strymon TimeLine
Loop 10 – Strymon BigSky
The TimeLine and BigSky are wired up for stereo use but the PBC allows me to switch between stereo and mono ABY outputs without having to mess with cables or anything. For the tour that I’m on right now I’m just running mono into two amps, one of which is on standby, so if anything goes wrong with the main amp I can just switch the other one on and keep playing.
We’ve seen your new pedalboard on your blog, can you tell us a little bit about the process of building it and how you came to decide what pedals to include?
A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into building that board…but it was worth it! The process was the same as with any pedalboard build really; firstly figuring out what my signal chain would be, and then how the hell I was going to fit all of those pedals on there! Initially I thought I was going to get my Expression pedal on there too but there is just no way it would have fit. Most of those pedals had been on my previous board – I’ve been using the same kind of layout in terms of sounds for a while now, i.e. I like to have separate pedals for low, medium and high gain, because I don’t like to fiddle with knobs and settings during a gig. Although this is my first time having two fuzz pedals on the board – I’ve got a Roger Mayer Voodoo TC Octavia for that classic octafuzz sound, and then an SMFuzz for the all-out fuzz attack. I’ll be honest, neither of them get used much in the Ella set but they’ll get their moment one day! The brain of the board is RJM’s new Mastermind PBC and it’s amazing – incredibly customisable and easy to use thanks to the software editor they developed.
What guitars are you playing at the moment?
It kind of depends on the gig, but at the moment with Ella I’m favouring my Duesenberg Fullerton TV and my Nash T-Master. They kind of cover all the bases sound-wise for that one. I also have my US Tele, one of those John Mayer signature Strats, a Cabronita Tele, a PRS CE-22 and a 2003 Les Paul Standard which I fitted with a bigsby. Heaviest guitar in the world but looks awesome.
Who are you working with at the moment?
At the moment I’m playing for a girl named Ella Henderson, and have been for just over a year now. I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the world with her during her promo campaign, and we just recently finished our first tour supporting Take That on their UK arena run.
Is there any advice you can offer to people starting out on their musical journeys?
Aside from the obvious stuff like meeting and playing with as many different musicians as you can, and practicing and whatnot, I’d genuinely say – and this will sound ridiculous, but, just be cool.. Seriously! One thing I’ve realised is that being a musician is a hugely social job – you spend so much time traveling and whatever with other people and if you’re not easy to get along with or accepting of others then you probably won’t get hired, no matter how good you are. I’ve just realised that makes me sound like I’m calling myself cool – that’s not what I meant! Ah forget it…
Read the full interview here.