Guitar Player Magazine
September 1996

"Space rock can transport you to a three-dimensional place, rather than the two-dimensional place you go to with a regular verse-chorus-verse song," says Helios Creed, the effects-mad guiterrorist behind late-'70s cult icon Chrome. Chrome's corrosive acid punk heavily swayed alternative bands from Nine Inch Nails to the Butthole Surfers, whose guitarist Paul Leary invited Creed to record tracks on "Clean It Up, Bitch" and "The Annoying Song" from the Surfers' John Paul Jones-produced '94 release *Independent Worm Saloon*. Creed's explosive guitar style, inspired by volume freaks like Hendrix and Blue Cheer's Leigh Stephens, sounds like it's been transmitted from a heavily flanged parallel dimension of alien probes (he claims to have seen UFOs on three separate occasions) and hallucinogenic mushroom trips. But rest assured, the man is grounded.

"Before you play on psychedelics, just make sure you're in tune first," Creed chuckles. "Psychedelics can really inspire you though. They're a good experimental tool. You might even hear some guitar effects in your head when you're on a trip before you actually find the effect with your guitar."

When he's not jamming just in headspace, Creed sports a clutch of Gibson SGs and Melody Makers, amping in stereo through a pair of Peavey Mace 100-watt heads and Lab Series 4x12 bottoms. He splits the signal with an MXR stereo chorus and uses an old Morley pedal for left/right panning. His trademark fuzz-wah freakouts and echo washes are produced with the help of a ProCo Rat, an original Vox CryBaby, and an Electro-Harmonix Micro-Synth and Deluxe Memory Man. Since Chrome split in 1986 (plans call for a reunion this year minus singer Damon Edge) Creed's released several madcap albums of industrial Hendrixian mindfuck on Amphetamine Reptile, including *Lactating Purple*, *Planet X* and *Busting Through the Van Allen Belt*. He's also fulfilled his "high school dream" of touring with Nik Turner's Hawkwind, and has recently released the synthy, ambient CD *Dark Matter: Seeing Strange Lights* on Cleopatra. Born in '53 in Hawaii, Creed's been around long enough to remember the Venture's heydey ("one of the first bands to use a lot of effects"), catch Hendrix live ("I saw him three months before he died") and gasp in amazement that the public never seems to tire of big, fuzzy guitar riffs.

"Some Russian scientists did a study in which they concluded that teenagers are addicted to certain frequencies in guitar distortion," he grins. "After reading that I decided to go for as many frequencies and tones as I could to grab all the fuzz addicts out there. Of course I'm a fuzz addict myself."



Images appearing in this article: