First and foremost, Carrie Brownstein should not be defined by gender. As singer/guitarist of Sleater-Kinney and Wild Flag, her wild, visceral talent makes her one of punk-rocks most unique musicians. Her interplay with band mate Corrine Tucker is an art few can craft and it’s her unhinged, sonic assault that makes Sleater-Kinney such an important band. While their latest release No Cities to Love has revealed a cleaner sound compared to previous efforts, there can be no doubt that Brownstein is the real deal.
EPIPHONE SG SPECIAL
From early beginnings, Brownstein used a red Epiphone SG special. Used in the early days of Sleater-Kinney it was not until 1999 that she upgraded to Gibson SG that she is widely known for.
GIBSON SG STANDARD ELECTRIC GUITAR
The Gibson SG is Brownstein’s signature instrument. During an interview on Marc Maron’s podcast, WTF, she stated: ‘I liked the angularity of it and the bluntness of it, I felt like, that was sort of my style of playing and I’ve tried other guitars, but I just like the sound. I like a guitar that has a little bit of growliness to it – one that feels like the harder you play, it will react to that’.
REUBEN COX CUSTOM THINLINE TELECASTER
During Sleater-Kinney’s latest tour of Australia, Brownstein used this guitar almost as often as her trusted Gibson SG. It’s custom made by Reuben Cox who runs a vintage guitar shop in L.A. On tour, Brownstein favours this guitar because of how light in weight it is.
VOX AC30 GUITAR COMBO AMP
Whilst recording, Brownstein uses a number of different amps in order to create new sounds from her Gibson SG. She has name checked Fender Champ and Ampeg as some of the gear she has used to create natural distortion. In a live environment though, she always uses a VOX AC30. The speed and intensity of the amp is essential to her sound.
DIGITECH WHAMMY 4
An essential part of Brownstein’s setup is the Digitech Whammy 4. The effects of this pedal can be heard clearly on Sleater-Kinney classics like ‘Jumpers’ & ‘Entertain’.
BOSS BD-2 BLUES DRIVER
In here later years, instead of using standard distortion or fuzz pedals, Brownstein has used the Boss BD-2 to generate that fierce, wild sound that we have all come to know her for.
BOSS SD-1 SUPER OVERDRIVE
In her earlier years with Sleater-Kinney and during the recording stages of Wild Flag's only LP release, Brownstein was seen using a number of Boss pedals such as the Digital Delay and EQ, however the SD-1 was the most noticiable, creating those warm, natural distortion tones that both acts relied heavily on.