Singer, songwriter and guitarist Annie Clark of St. Vincent stopped by “Breakfast of Champions” at the 2016 NAMM Show. Clark had come to the show to launch her own signature guitar through Ernie Ball. During “Breakfast of Champions,” she discussed guitar game-changers with NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond.
Highlights from the interview:
On her unique approach to the guitar: “I guess I always looked at guitar as a noise-generator,” Clark said. “It could be a monster, it could be a shield, it could be very gentle. So I kind of just tried to explore the full palette of what guitar means and try to reinvent it for the 21st century.”
On designing her signature guitar: “I like to think of this guitar as an equal-opportunity ergonomic guitar. I made it for myself. I was like, ‘It needs to be light because I’m a small person, and I don’t want to have a chiropractor travel around on tour with me when I’m playing 200 dates a year.’ From a design perspective, I’m a big fan on Klaus Nomi, and I thought, ‘What if it’s very triangular and is … very Memphis design movement?’ And then I wanted it to have the super, super-friendly neck. A lot of guitars that you get, if they’re not friendly and you’re learning, you really discourage people from learning. So I thought it was important for people to have a great, very friendly neck. And then tone—a lot of tone flexibility.”
On her own musical game-changers: “When I was very young, Nirvana came and changed the world. So that was my first hero. Then, as I grew up a bit, David Bowie [became] my ultimate hero.”