Q Tell us about yourself
A I am based in Liverpool, England, in the quarter where the Beatles grew up. I dropped out of high school and spent a few years in the merchant marine. I later went to college and majored in electronic engineering. I worked as an analog EE for about 10 years before being seduced by the dark side of $ales. I wound up working for a company in Torrance CA and almost moved there full time in 2012. Before I could get there, the company was taken over and the new management wanted me to stay in the UK. I still have a soft spot for Southern California.
I like music, especially guitar-led rock, scotch whisky and the Great Outdoors. And football – the English kind.
Q What inspired you to create the Spamp?
A Music, beer and Spam! I’d been to see a local guitarist and when I got home, I was hungry so I made a Spam & egg feast. In that rapturous moment of satisfied hunger, I had my eureka moment and The Spamp was conceived. I made a prototype and used it for a while. I still have it.
Q When was that?
A Back in the early 2000’s. I didn’t develop it further because I was too busy with my day job. I got to travel all over the World so I didn’t have much time to develop my Spamp Man alter ego.
Q So how did you develop the Spamp we know today?
A I wanted to get back in touch with my inner nerd and return to engineering. After years of being a sales guy, people used to see a sales guy. I designed today’s Spamp to demonstrate that I could still do it and it worked! I am now an EE audio specialist for a UK company. During the day I work on industrial electronics and by night I am the Spamp Man! My friend, Woody the Stringman, told me it was as good as a pro amp and I should sell it. So, I did and I do.
Q Tell us about the Spamp.
It’s a cascaded JFET amplifier that gives a warm, clean tone (but yes, I call it chilled!). If you are using it as a preamp, you can turn it up and overdrive your amp. The distortion engine is a soft clipping diode limiter, switchable between half wave (fried) and full wave (grilled).
Whoa! That’s too technical:
It’s a low noise preamp that sounds great with a nice distortion effect. It is an environmentally friendly way to upcycle an empty Spam tin.
Q Do you make the Spamps yourself?
A Yes. I assemble the circuit boards and do all the mechanicals. Every Spamp was built and tested by the Spamp Man!
Q Are there any other flavours of Spamp?
A As well as the original Spamp there is The Spamp+, a Spamp with a speaker; The Spampeko, a Spamp with a reverb/echo effect and The SpamPhaser, a Spamp with a phaser effect.
Q What are you working on right now?
A The Spampressor – yes a Spamp with a compressor – and a Tuna. Need a clue?
Q And do you eat all the Spam yourself?
A No! Well I do eat quite a lot because it is the best foodstuff that ever came in a tin. I have a network of SpamPals who save their empties for me. If I have to buy it, I give the product to friends and family and I donate it to a charity for the homeless. None of it goes to waste.
Q What is your favourite Spam recipe?
A I firmly believe that a pizza Hawaii must be made with Spam but Spam eggs benedict is truly awesome.
Q Do you play guitar?
A Not as well as I would like. Instead of making my fingers bleed, I learned how to do stuff with transistors.
Q Where is your favourite place on Earth?
A A three-way split between Southern California, Portugal and England’s Lake District.
Q Favourite band?
Q Favourite movie?
Q Any inspirational words?
A If you don’t like what you are doing, do something else!