Thalia Zedek Interview

photo via flickr by incase

Thalia Zedek writes some of the saddest songs I have ever heard.  Her voice is low and plaintive, her guitar melodic, and her lyrics often mind-blowingly poignant and devastating.  She’s been an active musician since the 1980s with bands such as Live Skull, Uzi, and Come, and has been doing memorable solo work for the last decade.  I tracked her down for an interview through the very nice people at Thrill Jockey Records.

When did you begin playing and why?

I started playing when I was 12, after realizing that it was easier to form a rock band if you played a guitar , rather than a clarinet!

What was your first guitar, and how did you get it?

It was a Gibson Marauder, and I bought it and a Peavy Classic from this girl called Maura in high school with money I earned babysitting.

What equipment do you prefer now?  Which guitar? (From photos it looks like you have a Gibson SG?)  What amps, cables, pedals?  Why?  Has this changed over time?

I play a black Hagstrom 1 which I totally love, and use a Fender Twin Reverb amplifier

What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m writing and working on new material with my band for a new record.

Name one or two (or more) artists (musicians, writers, visual artists) you find inspiring.  Why?

Patti Smith for her singing, writing , and sheer guts. Leonard Cohen for his beautiful songwritng and sense of humor. Tara Jane O Neil for being both an amazing musician and singer as well as an awesome painter. Janet Bean from Freakwater and 11th Dream Day for general awesomeness and ferocity.

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