UK post-rock band Maybeshewill began with university friends Robin Southby and John Helps back in 2005 before expanding into a five-piece. The band disbanded in 2016 and fully reunited four years later. It's great to have them back, especially as they've brought their pedalboards to guide us through.
Forget the idea post-rock is all about huge 'board full of complex niche effects pedals; Robin and John illustrate it's often about how you use classic units, and the former has actively downsized his. Although one particular ambient reverb pedal from Walrus Audio actually inspired the tones on 2021's appropriately-titled comeback album, No Feeling Is Final.
Let's take a closer look with the video and interview below…
Robin: "I recently downsized my 'board. I had quite a big one before with a bunch of space on and a few pedals I never used. I was kind of into the idea of having a bit more of a minimal setup. I've gone with really basic stuff – just the bare essentials."
TC Electronic PolyTune Mini
"This is great in terms of space saving."
Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini
"This is also really good from a size point of view but sounds just like the full-size Tube Screamer. So I use that in conjunction with the OD-3 for my distortion sounds. The Tube Screamer Mini boosts for lead parts."
Boss OD-3 Overdrive
"The OD-3 is the main drive and between this and the Tube Screamer they can sound pretty heavy, to be fair. I used a REVV G3 for a while and it coloured the sound quite a lot – a bit too metal sounding. This is more of a transparent sort of thing and it still goes gainy and sounds pretty heavy."
Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
"The DD-3 is usually set with feedback on max. For the end of a lot of our songs I just kick it on and it does a noisy swell and then you can flick between the modes and get a cool glitchy cutting in and out sort of thing. Then you can play with the delay time and it sounds noisy and nice."
Electro Harmonix Canyon Delay
" The Canyon is a pretty sick pedal – it does a bunch of different delay sounds. I use it mainly on the Memory Man setting which has got a nice emulation of one. It's got tap tempo as well which is pretty cool. This provides the main delay sound."
TC Electronic Hall Of Fame Reverb
"'I've had this for ages. It's basically on the Church sound which has got that real big post-rock reverb, which is great. Sometimes I take the level down a bit for different songs.
"This 'board is pretty simple but it covers all the bases. You can get quite a lot of versatility out of the Canyon especially as it does other delay sounds. So that can be pretty useful.
"You just plug this pedalboard in, it does what you need it to do and I'm really happy with it."
John: "I use a Marshall JVM 410 head which does most of the heavy lifting in terms of tone in my setup so this footswitch is doing most of the work while we're playing."
There's clean, drive and distortion across these switches and the JVM head lets you set a preset in the head. It has a clean channel, drive channel and two distortion channels. Each of those can be three different stages of gain so it gives you loads of control over the tone on every level of gain.
"I have a reverb set on the fourth switch but I don't really use it to be honest."
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
"It has lovely bright lights on the display which is wicked in hazy dark venues!"
Electro-Harmonix Slammi Plus Polyphonic Pitch Shifter and Electro Harmonix Pitch Fork
"These are pitch pedals. The Slammi is used in a couple of songs for whammy-type pitch effects, but not a great deal.
"The Pitch Fork I basically use as substitute for down-tuning the guitar for specific songs. I don't really like to change the tuning for the guitar – most of our stuff is in drop C# but there are a few songs where it needs to go lower so we use the Pitch Fork to get the guitar down an octave and make it all a bit heavier when it needs to be."
Boss DD-500 Delay
"From there everything else is in an effects loop and we come back to the DD-200 Delay in the amp's effects loop. I basically have one delay setting which I don't really use during songs but use it for tails out of sections and songs to sustain things a bit. It's way more complicated that it needs to be for that.
"But it's nice to have something that's versatile because a lot of these pedals get used in the studio as well as live. So this is kind of a delay workhorse."
Walrus Audio Slö Multi Texture Reverb
"This is my main reverb, though it's perhaps a bit washier than I would like. But it's the reverb that we used on almost all of our new record. Loads of tone were done with this Slö from Walrus Audio. It's really great; pretty versatile and sounds really good."
Boss RV-5 Reverb
"I always have it set to the Modulate reverb mode – we've always described it as the I Like Trains sound, if you know that band their reverb has a very distinctive sound and that is all the RV-5.
"When I'm playing live I choose between [this and the Slö] depending on how I'm feeling in the song. I don't really have a set one I go to. They're relatively similar but the RV-5 has more of the wavy, modulated sound."
JHS Pedals Mute Switch
"It just switches my sound off completely. We have a few songs where it's just a real abrupt stop and that lets me just do that without worrying about the reverb tails.
"It's a really simple setup – I have had much more complicated pedalboards in my time but for this most recent album touring cycle this has been the one I've gone for."
Maybeshewill are releasing their first two albums – Not For Want Of Trying and Sing The Word Hope in Four-Part Harmony – on vinyl for the first time. Preorder both at mybshwll.bandcamp.com
Maybeshewill play Portals Festival in London on 28 May. More info at maybeshewill.net