Berlin’s Kleissonic Guitar Pedals Are Stomping A Distorted Mark On Guitar Music
Did you know, there are people actually making stuff in this city? Believe it or not, Berlin’s ‘creativity’ does actually stretch beyond knocking up a website on a Macbook. Some people are even using their hands to produce stuff. Woah. Theo Kleissiaris is one such guy.
Theo has been creating his Kleissonic guitar pedals since 2010. He’s managed to carve out a name for his boxes of noise and they’ve made their way into the hands of some of rock music’s most interesting musicians. We visited him in his workshop on Torstrasse to learn more about what he does.
These Pedals Screech, Grind & Roar
Theo makes pretty much every aspect of Kleissonic’s guitar pedals himself. An electrical engineer, his workshop is located just a few minutes’ walk down the road from Rosenthaler Platz, and it’s here that he constructs his unique sounding stomp boxes.
A ‘Keep It Simple’ Philosophy
He began small, creating just two designs and selling them over a blog. Everything from the circuit boards to the smooth metal finish has been done by Theo himself. The pedals are based on ideas that came to him whilst listening to music. Everything is very much true to himself and his philosophy of simplicity.
The More Unusual Corners Of Rock Music Influences The Pedals He Makes
It’s Theo’s interest in psych and post-rock music combined with his deep understanding of electronics that make these pedals really special. He’s created pedals based on what he likes to hear. I, a bass guitarist, am always on the lookout for interesting sounds that make me approach my playing differently. Theo’s pedals are the kinds of pedals that coax fresh and vital noises from your instrument – and that’s hugely important.
What do they sound like? The Echolapse pedal perfectly creates the classic echo of postrock, whilst the Tremulant gets that pulsing, echo sound that’ll be familiar to many. Think U2 (or don’t…), that classic 60s guitar reverb sound or Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams. The Screaming Skull does exactly what it says on the tin… she wails like a banshee. Your garage rock band needs this weapon in your arsenal.
Kleissonic Guitar Pedals Help Create The Sound Of Rock’s Leftfield
Own a Kleissonic pedal? You’re in good company. Huge and influential rock bands such as Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Mogwai, Sonic Youth, Moon Duo all gig with these plucky little pedals.
Whilst we talk, Theo proudly puts on the song Lamb’s Breath by Godspeed! and points out where you can hear his Screaming Skull and Echolapse pedals in action. He even custom made a pedal for Mogwai.
These pedals are completely hand built
Kleissonic also offer a repair service at their Torstrasse base. Got a knackered synth that needs resuscitating? Blown your amplifier? We recommend Theo and his colleague Heike.
Kleissonic Guitar Pedals
Camera : Canon EOS 6D
Photos : TT