Last year, Green Day’s groundbreaking album Dookie turned 25. We celebrated that milestone with a pedal that captures the record’s super rad guitar tones—the dirty and punchy yet articulate sound that would become Billie Joe Armstrong’s signature. He got that sound by running his signal through two heavily modified amplifiers—one scooped with a ton of gain and the other with a well-defined midrange. When it came time to mix the record, the band blended the two signals together in different ratios to match the vibe of each track.

The MXR team carefully dissected that sound and created the Dookie Drive Pedal, a stompbox worthy of the name. That pedal was limited in number, but popular demand inspired us to release a couple more with special finishes. The Dookie Drive Pedal V3—bearing the upchucking unicorn from Green Day’s latest release, “Father of All…”—is available now, so get yours while you can.

In the meantime, check out our video interview with Billie Joe below, as well as our printed conversation with master designer Bob Cedro and gear guru Bryan Kehoe to talk about how the Dookie Drive Pedal works and how they nailed the Dookie tone.

Can you tell us about the amplifiers that the Dookie Drive Pedal is based on?

Bryan Kehoe: The Dookie Drive Pedal is based on Billie Joe’s two trusty amplifiers, which he’s christened Pete and Meat. They’re both Marshall 100 Watt Super Lead heads, and each has been heavily modified to have its own voice. Both amps had a master volume control added, while Pete was modified to have a smooth midrange peak, and Meat was modified for higher gain and a scooped midrange.

How did you create the sounds of those amps in pedal form?

Bob Cedro: Once we had Pete and Meat here at the shop, we plugged in and had a great time playing under a number of different conditions to really feel them out. We used our ears and our scopes to measure each amp’s distortion characteristics and tonal response individually and when combined, which is the magic behind the Dookie guitar sound.

From there, we got to work on the circuit design, and created a prototype that we compared with the amplifiers. We all agreed that we wanted this pedal to sound amazing through just about anything you play it through—not just the expensive stuff—so Billie Joe gave the prototype a run-through using a number of popular combo amps.  

He used an outboard EQ to sculpt some final adjustments to the prototype’s sonic profile, and the sound of the album really came to life in pedal form.

This is the second time that you have built a pedal based on the sound of an amplifier. How difficult of a process is that compared to the average overdrive or distortion pedal?

Bob: Both design projects have their particular challenges. With an amp-based pedal, you have the advantage of knowing what the end result is supposed to sound like. The hard work is in achieving it—you either nail the sound, or you don’t. 

In other cases, the way an overdrive or distortion circuit should sound is very subjective by nature. Pleasing everyone is impossible, and if you think that tone-chasing is time-consuming for the average guitar player, just imagine what that’s like for a guitar player who’s also an engineer!

How does this pedal work?

Bryan: Think of it like having the two separate amplifiers—Pete and Meat—like Billie Joe does when recording or when he’s on tour. On the front of the pedal, you can adjust the intensity of the Meat signal, which we call the High Gain signal, and you can also set the ratio of the two signals, adjust the overall output signal and tone, and use the Scoop switch to cut the midrange out for thicker, heavier tones. On the inside of the pedal, you can adjust the intensity and output level of the Pete signal, which we call the Crunch Gain signal.

It’s an incredibly versatile pedal with plenty of tone-chasing options for adding richness, depth, and clarity, but you don’t have to spend a ton of time tweaking to get an amazing sound. This thing will make a little amp scream and sound huge.

My modded Marshall Super Leads have been my live tone since 1994,” Billie Joe says. “The MXR Dookie Drive clones that sound in one pedal.

But the Dookie Drive Pedal isn’t just for Green Day fans—this totally unique pedal provides a full harmonic range of overdriven tones for a playing experience that is full of depth and dimension.