“Just because it’s called the Metal Zone, that doesn’t mean you need to run the gain all the way up”: Joe Bonamassa says the Boss Metal Zone is his favourite dirt pedal

Bonamassa joins a list of players including Simon Neil, Prince, Kurt Ballou and more who have been known to use the classic MT-2 pedal.

Joe Bonamassa playing guitar on stage. He is wearing a suit and sunglasses and is leaning back as he plays with expression.

Image: Scott Legato / Getty

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more.

Featured in this article

Joe Bonamassa has revealed which Boss distortion effect pedal is his favourite, landing on the surprising choice of the classic Metal Zone.

The blues rock titan reportedly owns over 500 guitars and amps, and is known to collect a range of gear particularly across the vintage market. Despite the Metal Zone not being widely associated with use in the blues genre, Bonamassa notes that it has been an invaluable addition to his setup for just a little bit of gain.

The pedal is one of the brand’s biggest sellers, with over one million units sold since its launch in 1991. Despite having a divided reputation among players, it’s known to have been used by artists such as Prince, Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro, Kurt Ballou, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth and many more.

“My favourite Boss dirt pedal – and I know this is going to sound really fucking strange – is the [MT-2] Metal Zone,” Bonamassa says in an interview with Guitarist Magazine.

“Being a child of the ’80s, I really dug the Metal Zone. I was a Metal Zone guy. I thought you could get some cool midrange things out of it with a clean amp. Just because it’s called the Metal Zone, that doesn’t mean you need to run the gain all the way up.”

Back in late 2023, Bonamassa addressed the misconceptions about his gear collection, shutting down the idea that it was “handed” to him: “The narrative is I grew up in a rich family – wrong. The narrative is [that] it was handed to me – wrong,” he said in an interview with Rick Beato.

“It’s sweat equity over 35 years, and I make no apologies for it. All I do is collect guitars and things that I’m into, because that’s what my heroes played.”

Related Artists

Related Brands

Related Tags


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.