Norway's Årabrot sprawls the shadows between stomping rock riffs and brooding Nordic noir, but when we meet guitarist / vocalist and founder Kjetil Nernes we find a pedalboard without excess and full of potential. It combines his bass and guitar rig with every component utilised for maximum efficiency as the band take their experimental sound around the world.
"I'm playing an Electrical Guitar Company baritone and basically the idea is I have a guitar rig and I have a bass rig combined," Kjetil tell us. Let's take a closer look.
Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner
"I'm also using this as a splitter. So one side goes out to the bass rig and then the other one is the guitar rig."
"This is a pedal I've used for so many years. I play HiWatt amplifiers and for me at least, the Electrical Guitar Company guitar into the OCD, into the HiWatt is basically what makes my sound. That's the main sound and it works really well.
"I've tried a bunch of other pedals but I always come back to the good old OCD. I think this probably is the fourth one because [pedals] break down and there's always something. Also I've heard some people say the earlier versions are different and better than the new versions. But honestly I can't tell any difference – they're all good aren't they."
Gamechanger Audio Plasma distortion
For some songs I need that extra: you go from loud to even louder. Or from ugly to even uglier. Welcome, Mr Plasma from Gamechanger Audio. This is a really interesting pedal. It has this Xenon filling that somehow charges it.
"There are certain sections where I play a solo, or whatever you would call it, and that's when I kick in this guy. Also there's a couple of other song that just need that extra grit and this is a phenomenal pedal. It's crazy – that's what it is, and you can get a lot of very cool sounding grit out of it."
Electro-Harmonix Superego Synth Engine
"This is the only effect pedal that I'm using, and I'm using it as a sort of reverb really. There's a lot of sonic stuff you can do with it; you can freeze the tone, all kinds of latching but I'm keeping it quite simple. It creates this lush kind of reverby sound that I'm using for certain sections.
"So there's a couple of bit where I'm using this guy but mostly it's all amplification and the OCD. So that's the guitar side…"
Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi
"I set it to a normal setting and what I do, to put it simply, is run it to the bass side for the verse and then kick it in on the guitar side for the chorus. That's usually how it works and the setting for it is also quite simple.
"Through the set there are a couple of songs that need a little more dirt and then I open up the tone and the sustain.
"I try to keep it as simple as possible because I'm also singing. I found out if I have more pedals than four or three or one I start to forget words and I need to remember those words!"
Pedalboard tour with Maybeshewill's Robin Southby and John Helps