Can you give us a brief history of your playing career?
I started playing rhythm guitar in high school in a punk band called Hermaphrodite Whore. Then I moved on to bass and played in a band called The Hundred Flowers then I got my first professional gig playing bass guitar for singer/songwriter Mark Mallman. I also played drums for him until I realized how much it sucks to set up, tear down, and move them night after night for 2 months straight. I played guitar in a band called Ouija Radio and left to play with The Melismatics. My whole experience has been wonderful and enlightening. I think it will continue to get more interesting as it goes on.
What inspired you to start playing guitar?
I always wanted to play the guitar since I was six. It started when I saw the movie Purple Rain and noticed Lisa one of Prince’s band members–I wanted to be her. When I was 12 my friend showed me how to play “Come As You Are,” by Nirvana on the guitar. She also described to me the concept of tablature. I picked it up rather quickly. I begged my parents to buy me a guitar. One day my father came home with a guitar he had bought at a garage sale for $5. I have been playing ever since and I would have to credit “commercial” grunge music for fueling my inspirations even further.
What was your first electric guitar?
I got my first electric guitar for my sweet 16th birthday. It was a cherry red Fender Duo-Sonic. I was petite so I got a petite guitar. I don’t need the petite guitar or the red color anymore.
What are your top 5 favorite records?
I’m more of mix- tape person, but if I had to be stranded somewhere for a very long time I’d take these 5 with me:
Joy Division – Substance
Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town
Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
Patti Smith – Horses
I choose these because I can safely say I like all the songs on these records.
What was the proudest moment and/or performance of your playing career?
Playing Lollapalooza and all the work it took to achieve that moment.
How did you hear about Reverend?
I heard about Reverend through my husband, website, and then the vendor. In that order. I was physically introduced to them when the very cool Reverend rep came to a Melismatics show in Ohio. I strapped a couple on during sound check and fell in love instantly. I couldn’t decide which one I wanted.
What Reverend guitar(s) are you using?
What do you like about your Reverend guitar?
The look and the tone. I personally think tone is the most important aspect of a guitar and Reverend conquers that aspect. The sound cuts through and is easy to manipulate with the toggle switch settings. The neck feels really good. The roundhouse is a really awesome classic guitar. I also like the Jetstream because it is unique.
What amps and pedals do you currently use?
I play through a Vox AC15 and trust me, its plenty loud. There is a Tremolo and Reverb footswitch for the amp and I use those sparsely. For Distortion and Boost I play the Box of Rock by ZVex. That pedal is a staple in my guitar playing.
Do you have any unusual hobbies, skills, or pastimes you’d like to share with us?
I practice Bikram Yoga and was recently asked to compete in Minnesota soon. Depending on my tour schedule I may or may not do it. Bikram Yoga is a type of Hatha yoga that consists of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises in a room heated to 105 degrees for 90 minutes. I practice 5 times a week. It helps my concentration which helps my guitar playing and stamina on stage. It gives me so much energy that I only need 6 hours of sleep a night. The only downfall is that when I perform on stage my body physically goes in to that hot yoga mode, which means that I can’t wear pants because I sweat so much that they get heavy and stick. But I don’t think anyone has any complaints about that.
Do you have any advice for up and coming players?
Practice and play with people you know you’ll learn from. There are some people that excel fast and some people that get better with time. In the big picture it doesn’t matter what rate you develop your skills as long as you play with passion, confidence, and love the craft.
Please tell us about any of your current projects, tours, cds, etc. we should know about:
I currently play guitar, sing, and synth in the Melismatics. I am on their latest record release which is the Acid Test, produced by John Fields. I am really proud of this work. Currently we are writing new material for the next album to be recorded this fall.