If you spend as much time reading artist bios as I do, you may have noticed that one of the things most artists boast is originality. “Cutting edge”, “innovative”, “unique”, “a sound all their own”—but these phrases have now lost their meaning. For Brooklyn’s Snarky Puppy, however, it’s a badge well-deserved. The closest term that fits them might be—very broadly speaking—“fusion”. But it’s not fusion you’ve heard before. It’s a fusion of music styles from both since and before the early 70s, when the real pioneers of the genre changed music history by combining jazz, rock and funk. In the 80s, fusion became a dirty word, because for the most part it became distilled and homogenized; the inventiveness and daring disappeared. But for their fearless “fusion”, Snarky Puppy draws on hip hop, modern R&B, electronica, alternative rock, world music and other genres to create an exciting new style that is as danceable and vibey as it is virtuosic. They’re building a rabid international following by touring incessantly, releasing great new music like crazy (three projects this year), and connecting with their fans in myriad ways (their CDs are in fact released with DVDs that show the recording performance, in front of a small studio audience).

Bob Lanzetti and Michael League with Snarky Puppy

Michael League, the band’s leader, bassist and main composer, has been enjoying the Bass Fat Drive, Bass Philosopher Compressor, and Bass Envelope Filter. “These pedals RULE!!!” he says. “Been using the shit outta them.”

Guitarist Bob Lanzetti has been rocking the Fat Drive as well as Infinity Looper. “The Pigtronix Infinity Looper is an extremely versatile pedal,” he says. “It has looping capabilities for every need. Using sync multi series loops you can easily loop guitar parts for verse/chorus type song structure and switch between the two by just stepping on one button. You can also layer loops out of time to create interesting arhythmic sound masses while reversing certain loops and not others and adjusting the volume of the loops individually.”

This week, Mike and Bob shot a new video for us featuring most of these pedals… Stay tuned for the finished product next week! In the meantime, check out Snarky Puppy online (www.snarkypuppy.com), experience the band on tour in North America right now… and dig this spacey video that Bob did with the Infinity Looper!