Italy’s What We Lost are celebrating their fifth year anniversary with the release of their new EP, Pretend To Sleep, an emo, and shoegaze-infused, three-song set that combines well with their honest and emotional sound. The EP’s release further emphasizes Italian quintet’s impressive talents, solidifying their position as one of their genre’s true rising talents.
After the release of 2018’s Shades, What We Lost took their show on the road, extensively touring in support of the EP which resulted in shows with Underoath, Fever 333, and Tiny Moving Parts. Since their formation, the band has experimented with different variations of their sound, recently adopting more of an emo and post-rock vibe. They’ve consistently released singles since 2017 and now are looking to further expand their fanbase with a more focused and nuanced approach to their songwriting.
Rather than rehash the details of the group’s early years, we decided to catch up with What We Lost’s lead guitarist Lorenzo Di Girolamo for a special gear-themed chat where we spoke to him about his current favourite musical gear, including the Strymon Blue Sky guitar pedal.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Lorenzo Di Girolamo: “Definitely the Strymon Blue Sky reverb.”
What about it makes it so important to you?
“It’s the only pedal in my chain I can’t play without, it’s almost always on during our set (lead parts, clean parts, intros, instrumental interludes) except for the most of the rhythm guitar parts.”
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album, and for what parts?
“We used a Kemper to record all the guitars and basses for this last EP and then Bob Cooper re-amped everything with real amps and pedals in his studio in Leeds, UK. Regarding the reverb pedals, we used them for pretty much every single guitar part on the record.”
How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set?
“I use a ‘68 Fender Custom Deluxe Reverb amp, Fender Mexican Tele (with a SD Hot Rails bridge SC pick up), and loads of pedals: TCE Polytune, Ernie Ball VP, Boss ce5 (always on, to get that shoegazey sound I love), TCE Alter Ego and, obviously, the Blue Sky. Last but not least, Ernie Ball strings 0.12 and Dunlop Jazz III 1.0 picks.”
What are the major pros and cons?
“Pros: the fact you have total control on every piece of gear, I don’t like profilers and digital amps that much. Cons: Weight.”
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what?
“Yeah, I have an Orange TH30 head with a 4×12 cab, a Fender Strat and more pedals. I love pedals.”
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it?
“I bought the Orange cab back in the days before to leave for my first European tour with my old band, so it has sentimental value and it’s useful to have backup gear too. Would I ever change it? We’ll see.”
Give us your best “gear goes wrong” story.
“We were supporting Tiny Moving Parts in our hometown and during the soundcheck, I realized that my amp had a broken tube. Thanks to Tom from Why Everyone Left who saved my ass letting me use his head.”
How did you come about this piece of gear? (Steal it? Borrow it? Get it from a special shop?) And what made you pick it up?
“I went to a music shop here in Italy to buy a new reverb pedal, I tried a lot of them until I completely fell in love with the Strymon one. Also, I absolutely wanted to buy it since the first time I saw Julien Baker using one of them.”
How easy is it for you to tweak the device and get the tone/sounds you need?
“I know how it sounds and its parameters really well so yeah, pretty easy.”
Are they any major cons to the pedal and how does it fair during regular touring and gigging?
“No cons, just an incredible guitar tone. Thank you so much, it was a pleasure.”
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
“Just hope I didn’t bother you too much (laughs).”