Nuno Bettencourt has a pedal he can’t live without: “It’s supposed to be a distortion, but I turn the distortion all the way off”

Hint: it’s probably not what you’re thinking of.

Nuno Bettencourt performing

Image: Scott Legato / Getty Images

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Extreme virtuoso Nuno Bettencourt has revealed the one and only pedal in his guitar rig that he simply cannot live without.

Speaking about his setup and the secret behind his soaring riffs in the latest issue of Guitar World, the guitarist said, “I generally prefer going straight into my amp, except for this [Pro Co] Rat pedal that I’ve had for ages.”

“It’s supposed to be a distortion, but I turn the distortion all the way off. It’s there purely to tighten up my bottom-end,” he explained, “especially for single-note riffs like Suzi (Wants Her All Day What?) from Extreme II: Pornograffitti.”

“I’m the only guitar player in the band, so I want to cut through and sound big. The only way to get the response I need is through a Rat pedal. It’s been there since day one and ain’t going anywhere.”

Bettencourt added that he once “tried playing without one and fuckin’ hated it!”

“Other players think it’s not doing anything and would probably wonder if the battery is dead,” he said. “It doesn’t change a single thing except for the tightness of the bass frequencies.”

In other news, Extreme’s sixth studio album, Six, is due for release on 9 June via earMusic. The record’s first single Rise is now out. Check it out below.

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