Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The World's Best Bassless Rock Band Hearts Fender Amps

Guitar Player has an interesting interview with Sleater-Kinney about their new, apparently quite heavy album (The Woods), in the course of which Corin Tucker gives her vintage Fender Showman some major props:

GUITAR PLAYER: Corin, how do you manage to fill up so much low-frequency space without being a bass player?

TUCKER: My ’65 blackface Fender Showman is the absolute best amp for holding down the bottom end of the sonic spectrum in this band. That amp is the key to the versatility of my sound. It’s super heavy, flexible, and it has a really low, bassy sound.

If I were a marketing VP at Fender, I'd cut Corin a hefty check right now. You can't buy PR like that. In fact, as it turns out, lead guitarist Carrie Brownstein is into Fender amps now too. She's also got a mean collection of pedals:

GUITAR PLAYER: Carrie, what’s your setup?

BROWNSTEIN: I was using a Vox AC30 up until we recorded the new record, when I switched to a ’64 blackface Fender Super Reverb because I wanted more versatility. The Vox is overpowering. It’s very loud on stage, and although it has a grittiness that I love, the midrange is really pronounced. I feel like the Fender fills out the highs and lows a little better, and it’s a much warmer amp than the Vox.

My main guitar is a 1972 Gibson SG, and I also have a ’78 Guild with a Bigsby. The Guild is kind of brittle and “garage-y,” and the SG has a real warm sound. As far as pedals go, I have a Maestro fuzz, a Boss BD-2 Blues Driver, a Z.Vex Super Hard On, and a Roland AD-50 DoubleBeat—which produces some of the most blown-out fuzz distortion I’ve ever heard.

GUITAR PLAYER: The Super Hard On is an ironic pedal name for a female guitarist.

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah. Every time I set that one up on stage it prompts endless jokes from the front row.

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