• Rp355 top horiz thumb
  • Stereoreverb horiz thumb
  • Digitech cm 2 top horiz thumb
  • Valvedistortion horiz thumb

Robert Poss

Robert Poss fell in love with electric guitars and basses in 1964 at an age when he still believed one plugged them directly into a wall socket. He memorized the Fender Guitars Catalog and passed through a succession of rock and blues bands before discovering punk in the late ‘70s and staring to write, record and release his own material. He joined Rhys Chatham’s ensemble in the early ‘80s and remained a core member for several years. He also began performing and recording the music of eclectic electronicist Nicolas Collins, whom he had known since the mid-1970s. Eventually Poss realized that the sound of feedback, distortion and ringing overtones was “the cake, not the frosting” and began trying new ways of writing songs by layering simple chord patterns over drones and looped riffs. It was his initiative that gave rise to the wall-of-guitars group Band Of Susans in 1986, and his early experiments became the foundation of their sound. Band Of Susans, which Rolling Stone Magazine described as “adamantly arty, brainy, visceral and bracing,” went on to release two EPs and five LPs (all produced by Poss) before disbanding in 1995. Interviewed in The Wire, Steve Albini stated that “I think Robert Poss…is an enormously underrated guitar theorist. A lot of his approaches to the density of guitar are completely overlooked in any discussion about guitar.….The way he structures the song around the drone instead of finding a drone to fit into the song I think is wholly unique. In 2002 Poss released two companion solo CDs Distortion Is Truth and Crossing Casco Bay on Trace Elements Records. At the time, Tape Op Magazine described him as a “guitar genius, drone meister …the master of treated and manipulated guitars.” Since his 2002 releases, Poss has composed and performed music for choreographers Sally Gross, Alexandra Beller and Gerald Casel, has worked with ex-Band Of Susans member Susan Stenger on a 96-day musical installation for the Musée d’art Contemporain in Lyon, France, performed at the premier of composer Phill Niblock’s “Stosspeng” in Krems, Austria and contributed music to an Albert Maysles/Kristen Nutile documentary, Sally Gross: The Pleasure Of Stillness. In 2009 he performed with Rhys Chatham and Robert Longo at a Metropolitan Museum of Art retrospective and participated in Chatham’s Crimson Grail project for 200 guitars at Lincoln Center. He has also collaborated with Austrian visual artist Margret Wibmer and has written guitar-centric articles for The Leonardo Music Journal. Reviewing his 2010 solo release Settings: Music For Dance, Film, Fashion and Industry, The Wire wrote that Poss’ “abiding love for electric guitar is no casual dalliance or detached Platonic infatuation; it’s an erotic commitment, an obsessive plunge into the instrument’s metallic churn and enveloping drone.”


Artist Website

DigiTech Gear

Three%20hardwire%20pedals%20with%20two%20guitars medium
Robert Poss uses:
  • RP355 My first good multi-effects pedal. Used in situations where my analog pedal board is not practical.
  • RV-7
  • CM-2
  • SC-2