\\\ S H E /// SHREDS M A G A Z I N E I S S U E
On her new album and what to do when youâ€™re stuck in a musical rut
MARY TIMONY And her pedal collection
The nine-year old who shreds like Kirk Hammett
The music industry, living and breathing
A M AG A Z I N E D E D I C AT E D T O WO M E N G U I TA R I S T S
table of contents Letter from the Editor // 3 Staff Picks // 4-5 Four Bassists // 6-7 Zoe Thomson: Kid Shredder // 8 Mary Timony // 9-11 Australia: Scene Report // 12-13 Big Mouth playing at a She Shreds show in Washington, DC.
Marnie Stern // 14-19 EMA // 20 La Maria Antonieta // 21 Le Chic Duo // 22-23 Erin Smith of Bratmobile // 24-25 NAMM // 26-27 Early Guitars // 28 Learning the Pentatonic Scale // 29 Pedal Glossary // 30-31 How-To Build a Pedal board // 32 Gear Review // 33 History: Maybelle Carter // 34 Wildwood Flower Tabs // 35
on the cover Marnie Stern in her NYC apartment. Photo by Meredith Truax
contributors Rachael Bholander p Margaret Crable e Jay Divinagracia p Dani Fish w Leah Franklin e Andrea Genevieve w Francy Z. Graham w p Chiara Grassia w Dario Griffin p Bryn Kepler e Kathryn Kucera e Francesca Lambert e Nora Liebman w Anne Macon p Rachel Milbauer w Katelyn Mundal i William Rihel p Cali Sales i Marissa Seiler w Will Steinhardt i Torrence Stratton w Meredith Truax p Claire Tsuji i Luigi Vermudas p
She Shreds Magazine 1711 N. Going St. (UPPER) Portland, OR 97217
e: editor w: writer p: photographer i: illustrator
Special thanks The Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) Everyone lending a hand with distribution, organizing shows, spreading the word and the love!
sheshreds magdot com
letter from the editor H
ello fellow readers! You’ve picked up the second issue of the world’s first magazine dedicated to women guitarists and bassists. First off, I feel like a proud parent watching this project grow. It’s gone from an idea that would come up in a casual conversation to an entity that is expanding and reaching people around the world. Since the first release of She Shreds in October of 2012, we’ve organized 10+ shows in three different states, have launched subscriptions guaranteeing three issues per year, and are planning the third year of our annual Shred Fest. While we’ve already been dabbling in event organizing, we’re focusing on it now more than ever, booking at least one show every month. In this issue, we’re stoked to be featuring finger-tapping extraordinaire and one of my personal favorite guitarists, Marnie Stern, on the cover, as well as a revamped logo and 36 pages of great interviews, articles, instructional pieces, and more. Again, thank you so much for keeping our heart beating and allowing us to learn and inspire you as well as ourselves.
Fabi Reyna Founder//Operations Manager//Show Organizer
Along with designing this issue’s cover and helping with the layout, Natalie also helps with keeping things moving and in tact. You can consider her a jack of all trades.
Alex dedicates her time to She Shreds by brainstorming content, researching, writing reviews, and interviewing guitarists.
If you like the layout in this magazine, then you can thank Alicia for that. She also reaches out to illustrators and photographers for the visual aspect of the magazine.
Mac is another member of the brainstorming team. He dabbles in interviewing and writing for our print and web presence, as well. 3
Welcome the newest member of the She Shreds team! Through guitar tabs and scales, Dani helps with the instructional aspect of the magazine, as well as writing and interviewing.
Aside from helping with the brainstorming process, Beth also writes and illustrates the instructional section and gives an overall opinion you can trust.
staff p cks What we can’t stop, won’t stop. Text // Alex Hebler & Marissa Seiler
thao with the get down stay down We the Common (for Valerie Bolden) Thao’s newest record holds all the same infectious melodies of records past, but We the Common introduces a previously untapped, loose and dirty rawness. Her strongest album yet, Thao proves her staying power into the new decade. Sing this one at the top of your lungs.
The Man Who Died In His Boat
Jessica Pratt of San Francisco, California released a secret sleeper ‘60s time capsule earlier this year. No one saw it coming. No one except for Tim Presley of White Fence, who started a record label with the sole purpose of releasing Pratt’s record. Think Karen Dalton meets Vashti Bunyan meets Stevie Nicks meets Dolly Parton.
Liz Harris continues to capture solitude at its loveliest through wavering reverb, feedback, delay, and ethereal vocals. Listening to this record feels like listening to a secret; Harris creates a soundscape that at once comforts and isolates. Written at the same time as 2008’s Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill but never released until now, the songs on this record share a similar heaviness, but expand into new themes and maintain their own distinct ambience.
Song Recommendations “Night Faces” “Mother Big River”
Song Recommendations “Holy Roller” “We the Common”
Song Recommendations “Cloud in Places” “Towers” 4
southern femisphere Unfurls Her Pluck Each song on here possesses an anthemic quality, a power that lets you know that what you are listening to is carefully arranged without being overworked in the slightest. Tumbling melodies build and shift while harmonies repeat clever lines (when is the last time you heard “liminal, lambent spaces” used in a song? And used so well!), urging the listener to join in. Check out sheshredsmag.com for an interview with this Charleston, SC-based foursome. Song Recommendations “The Wide, Wide World ” “Rebuild ”
Bassists and their gear Text // Rachel Milbauer Art // Katelyn Mundal
NAME: Eva Gardner BORN: Los Angeles, Calif. BANDS: The Mars Volta, Veruca Salt, Pink Eva Gardner grew up in a bass-friendly environment: her father, renowned musician Kim Gardner, was part of the British Invasion. She started playing at age 12, and when her dad realized she was serious about it, he bought her a brand-new Fender Precision. In high school and college, she studied music theory and history, majoring in ethnomusicology. Not surprisingly, Gardner started touring as soon as she graduated. She is currently touring with Pink and also plays in the band Telstar with her own signature bass made by Fender. “It’s a classic Precision with various vintage specs, including the hardware and pickups,” explains Gardner. “It also features some of my tattoo artwork on the twelfth fret inlay. It’s a conglomeration of all of my favorite basses that I have played over the years.” The 34-year old bassist uses a different setup depending on whether she’s on the road or at home. “When I am playing a show in L.A., I use my 1969 Ampeg SVT amp with SVT cabs, but I don’t tour with my vintage rig–instead I use Ampeg SVT2PRO amps,” she says. “In the studio my amp of choice is my hand-built and wired Ampeg Heritage B-15. It’s so killer!” She chose her gear because of its solid, timeless sound. “I love the combination of Fender, Ampeg and Rotosound,” she explains, “because it’s reliable and versatile for various styles of music. Sometimes it’s a little awkward using someone else’s gear, because it sounds or feels totally different, but it can be fun. It keeps you on your toes and you get to experience what it’s like from another bassist’s perspective.” 6
NAME: Paz Lenchantin BORN: Mar del Plata, Argentina BANDS: A Perfect Circle, Zwan, The Chelsea With a musical résumé that defies classification and pushes the boundaries of rock and roll, Lenchantin has a style that stands out regardless of the setting. Currently part of heavy psych-rock trio The Entrance Band, she was an original member of A Perfect Circle and has also played with Queens of the Stone Age, Zwan, Silver Jews, and others. The ArgentineAmerican musician started playing when she was 14 after studying classical violin and piano from a young age. “I wanted to play an instrument that expressed intuition rather than scripted memory,” she recalls. “I love the balance between the melody and rhythm in bass.” Lenchantin tries to keep her setup relatively simple to avoid depending on external accessories. “I’ve been using a Mesa/Boogie 15-inch WalkAbout for years. It’s really light and the D.I. on the tube pre-amp sounds amazing. I love my Fender P [Precision] Bass; I have an old 1970 that looks pretty beat up but sounds great. I put a rose on the end of it.” Lenchantin also helped design her henna-inspired signature bass from Luna Guitars. “I recommend that bass to female bass players. It’s like a P-Bass but more accommodating to a female hand.” About her diverse career, she explains, “I’ve always played music non-stop. I wasn’t a social kid, but I was constantly trying to find people to play with because bass is an accompaniment instrument. A bass player needs friends to play with.”
mary mary timony
timony "I guess that's part of the point... to make it a little bit crazy."
ary Timony is best known for her guitar work in a handful of ‘90s bands including Helium and Autoclave, and has been a part of both Dischord and Matador Records. She first caught my attention on a mix tape given to me by a high school girlfriend. I would listen to “Pat’s Trick” over and over again, putting down my classical guitar to mimick her hard rock tone. Timony is currently lending her unique style to the power group, Wild Flag. Recently, She Shreds had a chance to get her on the phone and discuss the evolution of her style, her song writing process, and how playing classical guitar influenced her technique in a big way. Text // Fabi Reyna Photos // Anne Macon
She Shreds: How’d you start playing guitar? Mary Timony: I started out on viola when I was nine. I started playing guitar when I was 14 or something. Are your parents musically inclined?
My parents don’t play, but my mom was really good about making sure my brother and I were always taking music lessons and art classes. She really pushed us to do a lot of different activities. My brother started playing [guitar] because he was really into Kiss.
[The guitar] was just around the house, and then I started getting into music, and I was like, “Oh, guitar is cool!” If he didn't have a guitar I don’t think I would have picked it up, actually. Did you take guitar lessons 10
while you were growing up? My brother taught me what he was learning, and I took a bunch of different lessons at first from random people. I didn’t really take guitar lessons seriously until I was a year older [than 14]. I tried out for this arts high school here
But still, it’s your record. Yeah, but I was thinking of these girls. What if you’re working with someone, and it was your first chance to work with someone, and it was a producer that was established, and they’re like, “I’m gonna help you,” but you don’t like what they’re doing. Do you do it anyway? Do you? What’s the main difference between this record and your other record? Different drummer, different studio... The whole thing! It’s totally stripped in terms of space. There’s a lot more space. I mean, it’s still me but it’s more refined. That’s part of why I have a hard time listening to it; I think I associate messy with something good. It’s just taste. It’s all subjective. Do you wish that your live performance sounded more like your recordings? You know what I wish? That I could afford to have another guitar player. I mean, that would be much better. But I don’t make enough money and the guarantees are better. (Marnie’s dog, Fig, ruffles through the cloth guitar bag.) (Baby voice) Who likes sitting on a guitar bag? [Laughs] I feel like I’ve made her deaf. You know, I’ve brought her on tour. When I would record with [drummer Zach Hill], we’d stay at the studio where- you know, his drumming is crazy and he would practice every morning and wake us up, and Fig and I would be sleeping on the couch and then we’d hear (makes chaotic drum sounds) and Fig would freak out. So how did you end up on Kill Rock Stars? I was just playing and playing and playing and nothing! Ugh, it was so frustrating. When I was maybe 27, I remember going out to dinner with my friend. I said, “Fuck this, it’s terrible,” and she said, “Where you are right now is the best you’re gonna be right now, so you gotta just go with that.” [My friend] was a painter and I was doing music and, you know, we both had our day jobs and we just nerded out. I followed all of these bands and they would play and I’d go see them and I felt like, “Oh, I’m outside
of that ‘cool’ world,” and that was a really bad feeling. But at the same time, I was like, “Well, I’m really enjoying this life and if nothing happens, this creative life is really fun and, so, okay.” And then I was 30. Still nothing. You know, it’s a terrible feeling to feel like you have no- what we base our success on, your fucking kids and your car and shit. And I didn’t have any of that. So, my painter friend said, “Walk into [Kill Rock Stars] and give them your demo! Your eyes are shining diamonds and your body’s a brick of gold!” I was like, “Ok, ok, ok, ok, ok.” I’d sent my demo in to Kill Rock Stars for like the eighth year in a row or something, and [Slim Moon] listened, and he was like, “Hey, I’ll be in New York; do you want to meet?” We met and he said, “I can’t release this because you’re older and a solo artist. It wouldn’t make sense for me. By the time you’re 30, you don’t really want to go on tour anymore and this would be your beginning.” I was like, “No, I want to do it,” and he said, “Well, I can help you and give you advice.” He listened to the stuff- I mean, I thought it was a real step, feeling like a part of the “in thing” or whatever. And then he called me and said, “You know, you need to put real drums on these demos.” And I was like, “Well, how do I do that?” and he asked, “Well, what drummer would you like to play with?” I was like, “It doesn’t matter. How would I do that anyway?” He said, “Okay, well, who’s your favorite drummer?” I said, “Zach Hill from Hella.” He said, “Okay, let me ask him.” I was like, “Whaaat?!” and he was like, “Well, I’ll just tell him that we’re putting out your record.” And I was like, “Whaaat?!” That’s so cool. It started, and I had a really hard time at first because I went to play the shows around NYC and all the coolio people that were not nice to me all of a sudden were nice to me. And I couldn’t stand it. I still can’t stand it. I still can’t stand those people, and I have a chip on my shoulder and it won’t go away. I don’t care. I can’t stand those people. They made me feel like such garbage. And I can’t stand the schmoozers in the field. 18
So, when you sit down and write a song, do you ever think, “Okay, this is what other people are going to listen to?”
I think of my best friend, I think of Zach... If there are a couple of people [of whom] I think, “Are they gonna like this?” it’s them. I think, “Are they going to think this is boring?” It’s them. I don’t think of (in a low voice) “people,” but I think of them. Then, a lot of times, I send it to them and they say, “Eh, sounds the same.” OK, so you’ve been trying to leave your comfort zone. Are there a few things you try and do to help with that? Oh my god, thousands! It’s fucking annoying. What are five? Well I call them “operations.” Like, one day I’ll try and write a song where it’s just with power pop chords. Let’s say Presidents’ Day is coming up. I’ll try and think of presidents- George Washington and that time period and that song is all the feeling for that time period. And then I’ll try and do a song where I just start with melody and that’s all the singing. And then I try and build it from there. Or I’ll try and write the words and then speak the words and I’ll try and build something from that. Then I’ll try a thing where I’m like, “Okay, forget about words, I’m just gonna build a stack and I’m gonna try and make this sound like what I think Tom Petty sounds like, or what I think Bob Dylan sounds like.” And then I try and do that. Then I’ll try doing a cover and try taking a piece from the cover and do it from that. Then I’ll do a thing where I like the style of, say, Chuck Berry or something, and try and get the feel of that. Stuff like that. Have you ever gotten anything amazing from doing that? (Shakes her head ‘no’.) What’s your guitar setup like? You know, it’s really weird. I spend so much time playing the guitar, but when it comes to the set up I’m very impatient. Like, I don’t enjoy getting the right tone and spending a lot of time adjusting the tones. I
classical guitar is an old dog. These girls bring new tricks. Text // Natalie Baker Photo // Dario Griffin
The seed of what was soon to be Le Chic Duo was planted at the University of Southern California. Sofia Gleeson had just arrived for her first year of undergraduate studies, and Iren Arutyunyan was beginning work on her Masters when the two were paired up as music partners for a requisite ensemble class. “The professor wanted Iren to take me under her wing and show me the ropes,” explains Sofia. That was four years ago, and the two have been playing together ever since. After stumbling upon a lively, unorthodox performance (that included a classical heavy metal piece written by their friend) by the two at Cordoba Guitars’ booth at the NAMM convention in Anaheim, CA, we gathered together on the floor of a bustling hallway to talk musical roots, the changing face of classical guitar, and the physiological effects of playing guitar extensively. » 22
Erin Smith Erin Smith of riot grrrl band Bratmobile delivered minimal, aggressive guitar riffs that challenged rigid ideals of punk and feminism in the 1990s. The defiant simplicity of Smithâ€™s single-note riffs showed fans that you didnâ€™t need the guitar theatrics of Yngwie Malmsteen to play guitar in a band, or to convey a radical message while doing it. Text & Photo // Francy Z. Graham
She Shreds: When did you start playing guitar? Erin Smith: When I was 15. My brother bought a super cheap guitar and the cheapest Gorilla amp. He’s totally tone deaf, so it wasn’t being used. I was musical, I played clarinet, so he let me play his guitar and I took it over.Soon after, my mom bought me my Kapa Minstrel teardrop guitar for $100, which ended up being my signature guitar. How did you learn to play? I started taking lessons when I was 16 with this really heavy metal guitar teacher–he had a mullet and everything. I brought in tapes every week, like Shonen Knife and Beat Happening. He was open to what I was doing and wasn’t condescending at all, and you wouldn’t expect [that] because in 1988, Beat Happening was completely weird and minimalist. Some people think you should be selftaught or just be punk or whatever, but it’s fine to learn chords from somebody. Then it’s what you do with it.
Some people equate simplicity with “they don’t know how to play,” but the same kind of criticism was leveled at Beat Happening. My brother and I always quote this: “If anybody can play like Beat Happening, why don’t they? If it’s so easy, then why aren’t there better bands out there?” I just played singular notes and regular chords in regular tuning, only power chords maybe later in the reunion records. What kind of gear did you use? My Kapa Minstrel guitar was pretty much
How do you feel when current bands call themselves a riot grrrl band? I feel honored. I will always consider that a positive thing to call somebody, so I don’t always understand when people are bothered by it. In my opinion, it’s kind of revisionist history to have a problem identifying with it because without riot grrrl, some opportunities or just the ability to go onstage and be taken seriously as a woman may not exist for the people who are complaining about being called riot grrrl. I mean, the work is not all done, but
Were there any moments you felt discriminated against as a woman playing guitar? I had a big memorable failure trying out for my high school talent show, trying to do a Beat Happening cover with all girls. I think things like that set the stage for riot grrrl, because the boys were making fun of me. I will always have that inside me. Some people say, “You need to let those things go,” but it’s kind of good to have that fire inside of you always. Once you started playing guitar, did you have the urge to be in a band right away? I liked Duran Duran, and Andy Taylor was so great. But I originally thought, “I can’t do this, because who else ever has?” Madonna and Cyndi Lauper didn’t play instruments, and I didn’t really have anyone [else] to look up to in that way. What influenced your guitar style for Pottymouth? I was into a lot of mid-60s garage punk, and I watched a lot of old beach movies. Were people ever critical of your minimal guitar riffs?
all I ever recorded with for the whole life of Bratmobile. At the start, I used a Silvertone amp with the head that can store in the back of the cabinet. For the later reunion records, I used a white Marshall cabinet and a Traynor head. I used a Marshall Guv’nor pedal for the last two records. Sometimes, I had guys tell me, “You don’t know what you have,” and I was like, “Yes, I do.” They would tell me about my Vox guitar, but they were always wrong because it’s a Kapa, which is a Maryland-made guitar company.
[now] if a girl is playing onstage, it’s not all people talk about. How do you feel about Girls Rock Camp? I’m totally supportive of it, because the fact that it exists is kind of earth-shattering. I was privileged that my parents thought that I could play these instruments, didn’t think it was weird, and wanted me to be successful. But there are all these girls who grew up thinking that they weren’t allowed to be a girl who yells, or screams, or sings, or plays drums or whatever, and if this gets eight-year-old girls thinking they can do [those things], that’s really cool. \\\
pedal glossary >>
Text // Beth Wooten Art // Beth Wooten & Natalie Baker
o many pedals, so many variations for connecting them, and so many sounds to be made. Yet sadly, often there’s so little breathing room in guitar shops to test a stomp box out. And pedals usually live in glass counters with hardly any explanation as to what each has in store for your tone. Here’s a list of the more popular and general types of pedals, in the conventional order that they go in your signal chain (the order from guitar input to amp output). However, don’t let convention hold you back! And definitely don’t be afraid to experiment until you find your signature sound. Let this glossary be a reminder of what happens to your guitar signal when you turn a given pedal on. Ask the store if they have a return policy, so you can take a pedal home and test it with your own guitar and amp. »
Gear Review Text // Dani Fish, Fabi Reyna & Torrence Stratton
Mastotron Fuzz Pedal
Studio ISD Cable
The best thing about the Zvex “Mastotron” fuzz pedal is that there are zero bad sounds. No matter how you dial it, you’ll get an interesting and cool tone. The fuzz is thick and growly without being harsh. In addition, there is way more control and variance than you usually get with a fuzz pedal. Aside from the regular knobs (volume, tone, and fuzz) you have knobs to control subs, waveform, and how much input your pickups send through the pedal. With the Pulse-Width (waveform control) knob, you can get a really short sustain which is perfect for super fast shredding if you want a choppy and sharp sound. If you turn the tone all the way off, you get a pretty clean guitar sound with fuzz in the distance (perfect for a noise band or 90s emo throwback). “Mastotron” pairs well with guitar or bass and I really think someone should use it with a vibraphone or farfisa.
When it comes down to it, buying an instrument cable at the price of a pedal seems kind of silly doesn’t it? Obviously you’d pick the pedal first but if you’ve got the extra cash and want to get your set up sounding crisp and clear then investing in nice heavy duty cables wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Upon picking up a Kirlin Studio ISD cable you can immediately tell you’re getting yourself into some professional territory. Overall the cable feels and proves to be stirdy, reliable and strong. When you plug it in directly from your guitar to the amp you can hear the tone of your guitar increase in warmth and clearness. However, with an average price of $90.00 + I’d say if you’re not a touring or studio musician and just play 1 or twice a week you should stick to the cheap cables with a lifetime guarantee.
Like all Zvex pedals, the Instant Lo-Fi Junky looks good and is solidly built. But better yet, the Instant Lo-Fi Junky is a uniquely versatile pedal. I was able to create a wide range of sounds within a couple of minutes. The pedal is part-compressor, part-vibrato, and when those two effects are blended: a chorus pedal. Basic control of these features is done using the Comp/LoFi knob, with “Lo-Fi” meaning vibrato. The tone, speed, depth, and waveform (square, sine, triangle) of the vibrato can also be controlled. With all these options, the pedal is a great tool for experimenting. For the guitarist on a budget, you can get a really good quality compression-vibrato-chorus pedal for around $200 and it includes a generous warranty.
Malekko Heavy Industry Spring Reverb Pedal Price: $139.99 Owning Fender’s tube reverb unit would be wonderful. Except that it’s as large and heavy as a lot of amp heads, it’s fragile, and it’s hella expensive. Malleko’s digital spring reverb does a fine impersonation in a smaller (and I mean tiiinnnny), more affordable (and pink) package. The tone is bouncy and is most impressive when both mix and dwell are cranked. “Spring” is perfect for surf, rockabilly or dream-pop. The ideal setup for this pedal would be a Fender Super Reverb and a telecaster. It doesn’t pair very well with really heavy or distorted tones. This reverb is simple and not washy at all. If you need more ambience, try pairing this pedal with the built-in reverb most of you have in your amps!
“Wildwood Flower” is the perfect example of Maybelle Carter’s guitar style.
It’s a little tricky at first so check out these tips: Try learning the chord progression (rhythm) first. The chords are marked above each measure. Play along with the song. Once the chords feel good, try playing the tab.
= Down Strum V = Up Strum
Maybelle played with a thumb pick, but this sort of melody + rhythm combo can be played with just your fingers, a thumb pick or a regular guitar pick. When two notes are connected with a curved line, it means “hammer-on” (which means to “hammer” the note 35
with your fretting hand instead of plucking the note with your strumming hand) Take it one “phrase” at a time and you’ll get it! //