Photographer: Paul Archer
Playing guitar for both Pendulum and Faithless is undoubtedly the pinnacle of anyone’s career. After reaching these heady heights you would be forgiven for becoming complacent. Peredur ap Gwynedd, the musician with that honour, is anything but. Always on the hunt for the latest innovations in music and technology, it didn’t take long before he stumbled upon the Basslet. So we thought it was a good time to catch up and discuss haptic innovation, his favourite gigs, guitars, and what he plans to do with his Basslet.
How have you integrated the Basslet into your studio and live setups?
We’re recording at the moment but I can’t wait to use the Basslet live on stage. I have used it to mix a tune, to check the subs. It will be most advantageous for live gigs. In the studio, you get the surge you need, but on stage, if you’re just using in-ears like we do, you tend to miss the subs - you’re not feeling it in your body. When I tried it, I tried it on many parts of my body, and my favourite spot so far is the back of the head. You know when you’re in a club or venue and hear the subs and your eyes begin to vibrate and the image goes a bit weird and wobbly, I was getting that with the Basslet. I was like oh my God, this bloody works!!
Have you used the Basslet in more casual non-performance settings?
The first song I tried is one of my favourites - Rowla by Underworld. The kick drum and the bassline are quite upfront - and it was just like being in a club 20 years ago. So, when I put on the Basslet, hit play and the kick drum came in, I actually shouted out loud, “FUCK!” - it was such a physical response. I thought “FUCK this is amazing!” It was that good. It’s weird to feel that. A strange, strange concept, but it does work. I’ve got really good headphones that provide a great listening experience, BUT listening to music with the Basslet changes it so dramatically. It gives a totally different aspect of the music.
Please describe the Basslet experience in a few words...
As I said before - “F-U-C-K!!!” But to expand on that, I’d say you’re getting a live sub-bass experience in your own home or walking down the street. That’s how I would describe it because that’s what it is. If you want the experience of standing in front of a 40-kilowatt PA system you are probably going to get it with the Basslet.
If you had the chance to send the Basslet to three other people - who would they be and why?
It would have to be Rob Swire, Gareth McGrillen, and KJ Sawka - my bandmates in Pendulum. We’ve talked about something like this to use live before, so if it helps us on stage, we’re for it. It will enhance the experience of being on stage because if there is one bad thing about being on stage with Pendulum, it’s that we don’t get the kick of the subs like the audience does. They’re getting kicked in the guts with the subs and we don’t get that feeling on stage, but, I think the Basslet will come close to us experiencing that.
Could you tell us what was your favourite gig ever?
Being in the audience, it was seeing The Who at Wembley Arena in 2000, they did most of “Who’s Next,” then being at Glastonbury in ‘97 with Radiohead and Prodigy headlining. As for gigs I’ve played myself - Download Festival 2008, which was the first time we were invited to play a rock festival. Another highlight would be the second time we played Glastonbury, and we had the sunset slot. It was a clear night, and we were on stage watching the sun go down and it was truly magical. That was one of the best moments of my entire life.
For us, the Basslet was just the start of our journey into haptics and we’re busy working on even more applications of this technology. We’d love to hear what you think could come next?
I would love some sort of haptic audio system where you feel the music and hear it at the same time, but it’s all hands-free - I’m a cyclist and am always on the hunt for something like this.
If you could play in any band - past or present, which one would it be?
Thin Lizzy, because in the end, I’m a rock guitarist. Seeing them on TV as a kid - I just thought, “Wow that’s amazing.” I love all the guitarists who played in that band - they’ve all been a massive influence on my playing. I would also love to play with Roger Waters or Rush - I actually couldn’t even choose between those two.
What’s your favourite guitar that you own or want to own?
Gary Moore’s 1961 red Fender Stratocaster - it’s one of my main iconic guitars from childhood. I own over 60 guitars so I have quite a few to choose from, but I’ve got a 1968 Les Paul Gold Top that I use live and in the studio and also a PRS Custom 24. PRS guitars are the best you can buy.
Lastly, what’s next for you and where will we see you performing next?
In the first half of 2018, Pendulum will start gigging again and we’re in the studio right now so watch this space!
We couldn’t ask for a more talented and passionate fan than Peredur. We are looking forward to 2018 and hearing more music from him - this time with the assistance of a Basslet.