Dennis Mollan is the founder of Pro Tone Pedals.
Sinical Magazine: What bands did you listen to when growing up, Dennis?
Dennis Mollan: Oh man... I went through so many stages with music growing up- as a young kid my folks were into the AM Gold of the 70s. Watch Reservior Dogs for a better understanding.
From there my cousin Tommy introduced me to KISS. A couple of summers later he played Black Flag for me- I couldnt have been more than 10- fuck that was it for me! The combination of cocksmanship of KISS and the pure rage of Rollins. This was '82 or so. Around that time New Wave was coming in and taking over the air waves- and the synth sounds appealed to me, too. I really liked the way that acts like Gary Newman, The Cure, Devo, Killing Joke and Ministry were bringing the things together that I grew up on- showmanship, attitude, with great songs. What was more impactful was that these guys demanded that us listeners not be a passive consumer of their product- but that we actively participate in their revolution.
Sinical Magazine: When did you get started with Pro Tone Pedals?
Dennis Mollan: I launched Pro Tone in May of 2004.
Sinical Magazine: Where is Pro Tone Pedals based out of?
Dennis Mollan: We were based out of Dallas TX for the 1st few years, but 2 years ago I moved operations to Charleston, South Carolina.
Sinical Magazine: What makes your pedals unique from other pedal makers?
Dennis Mollan: Aside from the overall look of our product- which was utterly unheard of in our industry before we came along... I think the primary difference would be that we want to move people and their music forward- rather than help players recreate the tired tones of our fathers’ heroes. Our users aren’t trying to sound like Hendrix or Clapton... they want their own voice- one that is unique and modern.
Sinical Magazine: What are some of your top selling items?
Dennis Mollan: Hands down- the Raven Dirty Chorus- designed for Paul Raven of Killing Joke, Ministry & Prong. We worked with Paul to recreate his tone from early Killing Joke albums, while maintaining a modern edge… seems modern gear was lacking some of the soul his vintage equipment had.
Sinical Magazine: Who does the artwork and graphics for your pedals?
Dennis Mollan: Our primary artist is Sam Shearon, also known as Mister Sam. Sam is a Leeds of London graduate and specializes in "Dark Art". Check his website out: Mister-Sam.com.
Sinical Magazine: Who are some famous guitarists/bands that have used your pedals?
Dennis Mollan: Oh man... we've worked with some amazing people- Ozzy, Deftones, Alice In Chains, Ministry, Prong, Fear Factory, Jane’s Addiction, 30 Seconds To Mars, Periphery... so so many.
Sinical Magazine: What do you think of the current state of rock and metal music?
Dennis Mollan: Some days I’m optimistic, some days I think it’s in the shitter. Luckily the internet has made it possible for so many more bands to be heard. Kids no longer have to rely on college radio, or 3rd, 4th, and 5th gen copies of underground music. Its out there- BandCamp, SoundCloud, ReverbNation all you have to do is go looking. Yeah 95% of it will suck, but you’ll find the gems if you keep searching.
Sinical Magazine: Do you have any exciting products coming up this year?
Dennis Mollan: In '13 we've completely re-branded the company. New logo... new art... new pedals... new players.
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