Reverb Soundcheck: Wavves & Best Coast

For Wavves and Best Coast, this joint tour is like a blast from the past.

“We did this almost exact tour five years ago,” Wavves frontman Nathan Williams says. And the friendship between the bands goes back even further. Bethany Cosantino, singer and guitarist of Best Coast, even lent Williams her HSS Strat to play their recent Thalia Hall gig in Chicago.

What they don’t share, however, is pedalboard ideology. While Williams has a grand total of four effects pedals on his board, including the MXR Carbon Copy, the Electro-Harmonix Neo Clone and the Analogman King of Tone, Bobb Bruno, Best Coast’s lead guitarist, has more than a dozen pedals and uses each of them every night. And although Bruno has a plethora of pedals — he even added a new one right before the show — his tried and true favorites of the moment are the MI Audio Crunch Box and the Strymon El Capistan.

Wavves has a peculiar practice when it comes to amps. Because of the massive sonic size the King of Tone creates, Williams can’t hear himself sing so he turns all of his amps backwards on stage. And for Bruno, while he uses a Mesa/Boogie on stage, he’s actually an avid collector of vintage Oliver amps, which he typically exercises only on records.

The pair both are Strat fans, but Bruno frequently finds himself playing baritone, like his main Squier Jazzmaster Baritone, which he modified with a Mastery bridge and vibrato. His other, however, is the fairly uncommon Gibson Elliot Easton Tikibird.

To hear Williams and Bruno chat more about the amps they use, how effects influence their playing, their favorite pedals and what informs their pedalboard philosophy, check out our interview.

The pedalboard of Best Coast's Bobb Bruno

Bobb Bruno's Squier Jazzmaster Baritone

Bobb Bruno's Gibson Elliot Easton Tikibird

Bobb Bruno's Mesa/Boogie MKII Combo Amp

The pedalboard of Wavves's Nathan Williams

The pedalboard of Wavve's Alex Gates

Wavve's Fender Stratocasters and backwards facing stage amps

The pedalboard of Wavve's bassist Stephen Pope


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