Whether they are a gear nerd or a gear noob, the type of gear an artist uses has a huge impact on their signature sound. In this regular series called My Gear, Noisegate picks the brains of exciting and diverse artists for a behind-the-scenes scoop on their favourite piece of music gear.
Erica Dunn must be one of the busiest musicians in Australia. Between playing guitar and singing in her indie/punk band Mod Con, backing up Tom Lyngcoln and co in Harmony and laying waste to sonic sensibilities via guitar, keys and who knows what else in the Gareth Liddiard led Tropical Fuck Storm, it’s astonishing Erica found time to chat to us at all. But here we are.
Hey Erica, what’s your favourite piece of gear and why do you think it’s awesome?
I was looking over at a bunch of my gear, and I suddenly thought, I’d be crazy if I didn’t just answer solidly MY GUITAR. My guitar is a heavenly gift, handmade by my talented and astronomically clever friend Jon Shub. He is a luthier who works outta Preston and makes incredible guitars. It has a Queensland Maple body and 22” neck with a Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard. It’s got 22 medium jumbo stainless steel frets with two hand-wound Alnico V P90 pickups.
It’s god damn gorgeous. How did it come to be yours?
I am amazingly blessed – it was a gift from my partner! My only other guitar prior to was a Fender Jag which my dad and I split for my 21st birthday.
Do you think it’s influenced your sound/playing/song writing?
Having this guitar has made me want to play much much more so yes, it’s probably made me a better guitar player in general. Also the difference in having tremolo has impacted the way I play for sure.
Have you modified it at all?
Originally, Shub put in a Gotoh Tune-O-Matic bridge with strings thru the body but I’ve had a vibrato whammy situation put in there to replace that. So much fun!
Got any neat tricks to get getting the best out of it?
Nup. I don’t have any tricks. The one time I played this behind my head at a show in Sydney I almost knocked myself out.
Are you a gear hoarder or do you tend to gravitate towards single bits of gear for long periods of time?
I’m not ashamed to say that before a USA tour last year I sold all of my old pedals to help me get over the line cash wise. I’ve kept a beautiful Tym Guitars Tone Boost and a Holy Grail reverb pedal, which I keep at home for rehearsing. On tour I’m lugging aroung a Line 6 POD HD500X – it’s completely streamlined my touring baggage situation and it’s a wild and versatile sonic tool. It’s pretty minimal all in all haha.
What’s in the foreseeable future for you?
It’s looking like I’m going to spend a fair bit of time on the road – I’m on the road with Harmony for our album launch shows at the moment and it’s looking like Tropical Fuck Storm will spend some more time overseas before the year is out. Mod Con has also a recording date booked so I’m also getting to work writing a bit. Busy is good!
HARMONY – Double Negative Tour
Saturday 11 August – The Tote, Melbourne w/ Fungus Brains, Michael Beach Band & Venetian Blinds – Tickets on sale through Oztix
Saturday 18 August – Sonic Masala Festival, Brisbane – Tickets on sale through Oztix