KHDK products

Handmade pedal GHOUL JR for Cesar Soto of Ministry

Ministry's Cesar Soto gives up his GHOUL JR overdrive to KHDK's Daniel Kurz for a rework - the resulting "Artifact" is a jaw-dropper of a pedal

GHOUL JR pedal for Cesar Soto of Ministry

Photo credit: Jan Nozicka (@photonozicka)

GHOUL JR overdrive transformed into a dark beauty

There's nothing like having a one-of-a-kind pedal as the crown jewel of your pedalboard. Cesar Soto is now the proud owner of Artifact, a transformed GHOUL JR overdrive. (To hear GHOUL JR, check out the demo by Pete Thorn below.)

So how was this beast of a pedal made? Meet Daniel Kurz, our evil lead designer with a penchant for taking his dremel to KHDK pedals. 

Mad scientist Daniel Kurz puts a pedal to his dremel

Daniel Kurz is the real-life Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A tea drinking graphic designer of a few words by day that turns into a horror-inducing, roaring frontman of his band by night. And then there's his infamous workshop.

Daniel Kurz on stage 

 

"The air was saturated with heroin. Best live show ever."

A Ministry fan since the 90s, Daniel calls their '96 Filth Pig show in Prague "unforgettable, the air was saturated with heroin" and Ministry's Sphinctour is "one of the very few live records I've ever loved."

When Daniel heard that Cesar Soto has KHDK's GHOUL JR on his pedalboard and is coming to Prague soon, he knew he wanted to make a statement for him.

"After creating enclosures for KHDK pedals like "The Great Abyss" for Gojira, "The Third Eye" for Tool and others, my dremel was getting restless. I knew the time to make another monster pedal had come."

Cesar Soto: "Add Roman numerals and UFOs"

GHOUL JR "Artifact" for Cesar Soto of Ministry

 

Cesar was immediately down to have Daniel modify his GHOUL JR enclosure. His request: throw in some aliens and Roman numerals.

Says Daniel: "I needed a story to go with the look of the pedal. So I decided it would be an Artifact brought by an alien eons ago and worshipped by Stone Age humans who carved the alien's portrait into it." So naturally, the pedal features an alien on each side.

"I then imagined the Artifact resurfacing in Ancient Rome, being adorned with numerals and then being lost again...until now."

Daniel knew what had to be done and locked himself in his infamous workshop with the pedal.

"I love making things hideously awesome"

GHOUL JR Artifact: back view

 

Since the GHOUL JR is a glittering purple, Daniel first had to scrape off the paint. He then carved in the ornaments to adorn the Artifact.

"I looked at it and saw that it needs acid. Lots of acid," says Daniel. The final look was coming together. Next, Daniel took the pedal's original knobs and gave them a rough file down for a battered, ancient look.

"The box is something I found in my garage. I gave it a coat of polish but it looked too smooth, so I took my cutter to it and roughed it back up again. Polished, pretty things are made every day. I live for making things hideously awesome," says Daniel.

Cesar: "I can't thank you enough"

Cesar Soto getting his pedal from the KHDK crew

 

Cesar and Daniel finally met at Ministry's Prague show and spent a whole afternoon together nerding out.

"I can't thank you enough for kicking ass and making this killer GHOUL JR Artifact for me," Cesar posted later on his Instagram.

In a highly relatable move, Daniel admits to his inner struggles pre-Ministry show. "I have two young kids at home and was beat as hell that day. But I yelled at my inner self for its grandpa-ness, pulled through, went to the show and thanked myself a million times over. It took me right back. What an incredible day!"

As Daniel says, the story of the Artifact began in the dark corners of the Universe; only time will tell what it has in store next.

Check out the GHOUL JR in a Pete Thorn demo