My Rig: Cosmic Psychos

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My Rig: Cosmic Psychos

Cosmic Psychos
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

They've been doin’ it since the early 80s and have informed a generation of Australian punk, rock and a raucous good time.

Over the years, it’s no surprise that the Cosmic Psychos settled into some key pieces of gear to perform and record, their sound becoming instantly recognisable. We know our dear readers wanna know, so we asked ‘em!

Thanks for taking the time guys! Let’s start with Knighty: you’ve got a unique fuzzy bass tone. What are you using to achieve it?

A fuzz pedal I bought in high school. a Shin-ei Companion fuzz wah.

Read up on all the latest interviews, features and columns here.

How and where did you buy this pedal?

I bought it from an op shop in Kyneton (my hometown) in 1978.

Why this tone?

‘Cos it is the sound that came out if it, and I can’t play guitar. I like it. It sounds like a sick tractor.

Has it ever let you down?

No but I’ve let it down several times. There’s not many left around so any time we find one we buy a backup!

You’ve played P-Basses almost exclusively with the Cosmic Psychos for a while now. Have you got multiple or are you usually playing the same one?

Just got a new one. Played the same one for 33 years but have a new one now. ‘Cos it’s a bit lighter and I’m an old man.

What is the year of manufacture is/are the basses and is it a specific model? When and where did you buy the main one?

The original was a 1967 Fender P and the new one is a Dark Knight Fender P bass. It was the bass nobody wanted to buy, discontinued. Fender hooked me up with that one.

How was working with Kink Pedals on the Dozer Fuzz?

That was unreal. It’s my main backup if the other one ever lets me down. Love it. I was surprised how perfectly it replicated it. We named it the D13 – the biggest bulldozer Caterpillar ever made was a D11, so we went up a couple of sizes for the pedal.

Macka – have you got a favourite guitar to use with the Cosmic Psychos?

2022 Gretsch Malcolm Young copy with a single TV Jones pickup. The signature has been taken off the headstock.

What amps do you pair this with? Is it the same amp all the time or does it depend on the guitar?

Generally I use Marshall JCM 800 head x 2 with Marshall 1960A cabinets I have used several amps also including Fender Hotrods a Marshall Major JCM 200 watt (really fuckin’ loud!!!)

Yamaha 212 and 112 and also Sound City 50 and 100 watt heads. Cabinet of choice is generally a Marshall 1960 A or a 1960 B setup on milk crates so I can hear it properly!!

Is there one bit of gear that never leaves your side?

Fender Stratocaster 1979 in Brown guitar – similar to the one used by Larissa Strickland in Laughing Hyenas. The only time it leaves my side is when it is transported.

I checked it out on guitar nerd sites and it seems known as the worst Strat ever made. It was made in the CBS factory.

Are you using pedals as well? If so – what and why?

I use a Big Muff black box version: a Jim Dunlop CryBaby and an analog delay pedal the name of which escapes me.

What has led you to the guitars you’re playing today?

I have used guitars with humbuckers and with single coil pickups. I generally find that if I am playing in a band I use guitars with humbuckers and if on the odd occasion I play in solo mode I use guitars with single coil pickups. I have probably used up to a dozen guitars over the years and it has just sort of morphed this way.

In order these are the guitars I have played: Charvel Jackson Strat, Gibson SG, Fender Mustang, Gibson The Paul, Gibson Explorer, Ibanez Roadstar 11 Series, Fender Stratocaster 1979, Gibson SG, Gretsch Malcolm Young copy MIJ.

Have you experimented a lot and found a home with them or did you naturally gravitate towards them and never deviate?

There has been some experimentation with all of this but it has gravitated towards happening through trial and error generally on the stage from gig to gig. Cheers Macka.

Keep up with the Psychos here.