KHDK products

How I Built a Custom Pedal for Gojira, by Dan Kurz

Rusty old cogwheels and kickass design shine on Gojira's pedalboard: this is how it got there.

(Written by KHDK designer Dan Kurz) Earlier this year, David Karon came to me with a top secret mission: build a custom pedal enclosure for Gojira. He knows I absolutely love this band, so my answer was HELL YES!

The enclusre was for our Abyss bass overdrive, and Gojira's Jean-Michel Labadie was going to be one of the first guys to get it. I was freaking out and couldn't wait to get started.

From Oceans to Mother Nature

Like the custom Abyss I made for Justin Chancellor of Tool, it took me some time to figure out how to approach this pedal. Respecting the planet is Gojira's core message. My first idea was to work with the theme of oceans and the life within - after all, the pedal is the Abyss, based on underwater crevasses. 

Joe Duplantier from Gojira already has a pedal I made him, Cthulhu, which is also ocean-themed, and in the end I decided to take a different approach this time.

The second concept was the winner: mother nature against the machines

What to do with old cogwheels

Jean-Michel with his custom Abyss

I had these awesome rusty old cogwheels from Mercedes brakes that my dad gave me; I used them for the pedal knobs to represent the machines. Gojira loves to use the symbol of a tree, so the bottom of the pedal became a pained, crying face of Mother Earth with a tree growing out of it.

It's leafless, half dead, and tormented by the cogwheels which are killing it.

Skunky beer and a missed train

The KHDK crew went on a trip to Berlin to hang out with Gojira and I delivered the pedal to Jean-Michel backstage over some Coronas (that tasted like rat's ass). I think the excitment got to me more than I realized, because heading back to Prague I missed the train and almost didn't make it to my band's show that night.

Later in the year, my band, Atari Terror, got a chance to open for Gojira in Prague and seeing the custom Abyss in Jean-Michel's pedalboard was fucking cool!

I don't have many pedals in my setup, but the Abyss is definitely here to stay!
~ Jean-Michel Labadie