Matt Johnson’s Tortuga Effects perfects the garage shop
MATT JOHNSON wanted a job that would allow him to create. While toiling in retail, he took a flyer on building kit pedals… blending his own ideas into the mix. The response was overwhelming and an effects company was born.
The no-car garage. It’s a novel concept, but one that’s fairly common in boutique MI circles. Take that couple of hundred square foot space – either attached or detached from your house… a spot that could more than handle a couple of mid-sized SUVs, or at least a vintage hot rod and the tools required to keep it on the road – and render it completely useless for the purpose which it was built. In the US Pacific Northwest, the no-car garage can prove a bit of a hassle, especially in the cold and gloom of winter – forcing any would-be driver out into the elements just to get behind the wheel. Such is the plight of Matt Johnson – founder, builder and all-around lone wolf of Tortuga Effects. Johnson’s spacious garage is Tortuga headquarters. It’s the place he dreams up, designs, builds, stuffs, paints, tests, packs and ships his growing line of guitar effects… even when it’s so cold his iron can barely get hot enough to heat the solder.
This year marks Tortuga’s fifth anniversary and Johnson has big plans – including the release of limited edition anniversary pedals and a return to the very earliest stages of the company by releasing a range of single switch effects. The limited editions, which included slick variants on the
company’s Sasquatch fuzz, Manhattan flanger, Yeti fuzztortion and Werewolf overdrive, sold out to dealers in a day – a result that was fated by the extremely limited numbers built… only 10 sets of the five variants.