The hosts of YouTube's That Pedal Show often seem to be skeptical about digital modelling for backline tones compared to good ol' tube amps, so it must have been a quandary when they interviewed the guitarist in one of the world's biggest bands about his rig for a run of solo shows in the UK and Ireland, and he was using a Strymon Iridium pedal for an amp.
If the hosts were disappointed or surprised to see modelled tones at the heart of Foo Fighters' Chris Shiflett's solo touring rig, they didn't show it. The modelling pedal amp is part of his recently-built setup featuring a pedalboard put together by TPS host and founder of The GigRig, Daniel Steinhardt.
The Iridium offers sounds inspired by three amps; a Fender Deluxe Reverb, Vox AC30 and Marshall Plexi. "I have it set to the Deluxe Reverb [for my go-to tone] because usually I'd be doing my solo gigs with my Deluxe Reverbs. It's almost like they aimed that right at me because three are the three things that I go to; the AC30, a Marshall or an old Fender combo amp."
It certainly sounds good to us. And Shiflett also has a Wampler Tumnus klone overdrive pedal – so he knows a bargain too. This provides most of the drive and the guitarist cleans up with his Telecaster's volume. So if a Foo Fighter isn't hung up on valve amps for the core sounds on his UK solo tour, what are all the cork sniffers scoffing at with this stuff?
In fairness, Shiflett would usually come with his amp backline but clearly for this UK and Ireland tour he needed a lighter rig. It's certainly an endorsement for the Iridium either way. proving modelling and valves both have their value for different needs sometimes. And the guitarist is clearly a Strymon fan as his 'board is packing a Timeline delay, Deco and BlueSky reverb pedal too. Plus another not-so-secret weapon…
And following on from our recent praise of it, Shiflett is another player who has the DigiTech Drop pedal for tuning ease reasons. He needs it for Black Top White Lines's Half step-down drop D tuning, the first single from his forthcoming new solo album. And it saves him from bringing another guitar.
All this was filmed before the release of the new Foo Fighters song Rescued, and the announcement of new album But Here We Are – due 2 June. And in that band the guitarist is rocking a different setup.
"When I joined Foos, right away there were songs that has specific delays on and flange and stuff. So almost right away I had a couple of things," Shiflett reflected. "And that has grown over the years. Those guys make fun of me for having a big spaceship for a pedalboard – that has just gotten a lot smaller, actually, because Dave Friedman built me a new pedalboard for that to simplify for stage for that – I've got all my pedals off the stage.
"I'll probably have more pedals but nobody will see them and I won't get s*** for it!"