Working away in his laboratory in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Dr.No is a man who is passionate about creating high quality gear that juxtaposes the trends of mass-produced musical instruments. His brand, Dr.No Effects, is becoming well known in the industry due to the unique qualities of each handmade pedal on offer. Chatting halfway across the world, Dr.No sits down with Mixdown to talk about the troubles of a mass-produced industry, and the special bond between himself and the musician’s that use his pedals.
What inspired you to start working with pedals?
As a working musician, I have learnt that a rough sketch needs to be coloured in to fully enjoy a final musical piece. At that time budgets were low, and I was appealed by mostly rare and authentic gear that I couldn’t afford to buy. Besides that, you could find me in music shops all the time, and what was offered seemed disinteresting to me and were not really appealing to use or buy. Around that era, musical instrument producers were evolving into cheap mass-produced, digital equipment, which didn’t inspire me at all. This is where it all started to develop for me, where I decided to create my own pedal brand.
You have a sizable list of endorsees. What is it like to work with musician’s that are using your pedals, and what it’s been like working with them?
Every time that sizable endorsee, or that attic guitar-playing musician chooses to purchase my sonic tools and art, I feel very fortunate and honoured regardless of their status of fame. In the years that passed by I was blessed to work with some of my musical heroes. From starting in my little attic laboratory to all of a sudden being asked to create and install my gear on to my musical hero’s touring rig; it was all too surreal. Besides creating my ‘regular’ collection, I choose collaborators to work on special projects with. These collaborations always result in awesome friendships and a very unique piece of equipment. Best way to put it; some people write books about people, I love to make a personalised pedal for them.
What have you been working on lately that you’re excited by?
I recently started a new collaboration with Troy van Leeuwen of Queens of the Stone Age. That is going to be an insane project. It will be really challenging for me, because this is the first time I have been asked by a musician. Normally I work the other way around. I get inspired by a musician to create something for them and then I approach them. But because I am a big fan of Troy and have been following QOTSA from day one, I decided to take on the challenge. So I have had to do a lot of homework and have plenty of conversations with Troy to create something truly special with him. He is kind of a tone connoisseur you know, so that makes it challenging. I promise you one thing, it is going to be rad.
How long have you been working with Tone ProShop and what is the best thing about this relationship?
I can proudly say that Steve from Tone ProShop was there with me from day one, and never left. He found me on the other side of the planet when I only revealed myself as Dr.No. I have a really good relationship with him, because he’s honest and very passionate about what he likes to sell. He is one of those rare, true passionate retailers, who are in this business because they love authenticity and individuality. And he practices what he preaches, always respecting creators’ artistic expression and fighting against the corporate industry.
For more details on the range of Dr.No Effects products, head to toneproshop.com.