Tuesday 29th April 2014
Mia Coldheart from Crucified Barbara
It s plodding to interview people who can inspire you readers , and most importantly satisfy my own curiosity , so this time we have come up with a guitarist who has both the power and energy , named Crucified Barbara’s Mia Coldheart . I saw the band in 2005 just after they released their first album, » In Distortion We Trust » . I remember thinking that the more seedy and metal rocking than this could hardly be . I have followed the band since then , both the music and the attitude impresses . This week they also released the single » To Kill A Man. »
Crucified Barbara started in 1998 and has its vibrant roots in both punk, grunge and metal. Right now , they have been on the mini tour in South America but I still took the chance to ask Mia if I could ask you some geeky questions about guitars. She turned to my delight, yes . The reason I asked is that I am genuinely curious as to where her heavy riffing and clever solos started from ? What she is running on the stuff and how it all started .
Crucified Barbara started as a punk band if I understand correctly , was it what made you started all of this?
We all began to play in different places in the 13-14 years of age, inspired by bands like Nirvana and Hole.
Crucified Barbara was formed 2 years before I joined , and the other was hit by various coincidences, recreation centers and at school and started playing together . I knew them , they were the rock-hard punk chicks from town.
I came from the suburbs and had two big hardrock tshirts and a Squire Strat that my boyfriend had mounted into an Yngwie Malmsteen microphone- a birthday gift. It sounded pretty crisp . They were looking for a guitarist and I was looking for a band , and we met at a party and started talking about it.
How was it to meet punk chicks from the city?
I thought they looked so uber cool and angry out so I dared to talk to the former singer . But we tried to scratch together and then I was just right in place . When we refer to our punk era , it’s mostly simple and agressive sound and music, but we never had something like purely punk bands.
Where did the early influences come from?
It was pretty hard and heavy right from the start , and since all but I came from grunge and punk, it was a bit on the « 3- chord level » and then it evolved as you go. I mostly wanted to play metal and thrash and the band had a very » punkier » and more melodic side that I had left behind me.
Good mix there?
Yes , we quickly found a way to combine these pages, I became much more rock’n’roll than I was initially. Now we are of course considered by some to be more of a metal band , but we’re also a little back to that three – chord level « again , but a little more ground.
How has your guitar playing evolved later , what is there now that did not exist in the begining?
When I started playing guitar , I was completely saved and practiced incredible deal. I sat night after night and recorded the riff on cassette tapes and wrote songs, and practicing solos. The in high school , I put myself totally fearless on stage and played The Final Countdown with solo and everything went well in the end. I did not get it perfect but I was very determined and did not see right away that something was in the way to become the guitar hero.
Not easy to step into a dude -dominated territory?
No. I was together with a very controlling guy who was jealous of both playing in the band and playing guitar better than him. Slowly but surely, he broke me mentally , I lost the desire about everything in life and ended also playing guitar for about 2 years.
How did you get back to your motivation ?
When I met Crucified Barbara , I had managed to break myself free and got back the spark of life and the desire to play the guitar again . Initially, I was a very ambitious guitarist who wanted to play fast and a lot. I practiced even more and loved to sit and preen on the guitar , but after my two years long apathetic break when I started again I played not nearly as » good » anymore. That is where the drive to practice and play fastest was not there, but I played with greater joy and with more energy. So even though I grieve that I put in the middle of when I was like » best » and was going on as a teenager so I regret it because I found a new and » fun » way to play . I enjoyed the gameplay even more when I found a new band to play in.
And then you took over vocal microphone ?
Yes, when I became a singer in the band so I had a minor crisis a few years since I felt the guitar suddenly came in second place. I was offended when someone called me a singer instead of a guitarist. I felt it was a compromise with vocals and guitar live . I thought for a while that I do not care about the guitar completely if I still play like a toad drool when I sing .
Difficult process ?
Yes but now I’ve grown into it more, and I’ve got a better singing techniques . I have also found an amplifier that I feel confident and good with and I have accepted that I will never be any guitar hero and although I sometimes play as a drool toad , I think that » this is the way I am » and I think it works out pretty well after all.
You play with extreme energy.
What has emerged , and the difference from the past is that I play a lot more with my whole body nowadays . I put a lot of feeling in my game , not necessarily nicely , rather aggressively.
What are you looking for in terms of « guitar tone » ?
I want a hell of a lot distortion but it starts to buzz and let the wasp , it will be sticky and swinging while having a fattened chewing and then I want it to come out some strings so there is a subtle balance to find the perfect sound. It does not get easier when I get angry and give up a little too fast when it should be sound on a short festival changeovers , but then usually Klara Force comes to the rescue and help me tune up anything, thankfully. I want it hangs a bit when playing, the guitar responds and sings along.
How does your live rig look like?
I have a Mesa Boogie Rectifier 100w and 2 Rectifier 4×12 cabinets . At the gig as we are not able to bring our own backline and allowed to settle for other brands and models so I feel a little lost .
It will never be the same so, you want to have » their own » sound?
Yes of course. On most loans amplifiers usually I have to use the lead channel comp sounds to have the sound I want, and then I have therefore no solo channel which becomes an extremely boring compromise. And once it ‘s a lead gain channel so they often have common EQ as well, which is crap. Or you get something super complicated digital monsters that do not work because they forgot to include footswitchable or it starts to broadcast radio from the toilets.
Ha ha ha …
Yes, all those things can happen. But when I get to choose , it is of course a Rectifier that i apply for.
I want to keep the pedal table as simple as possible. I have a Boss stage tuner, a Boss delay pedal and a Dunlop Cry Baby 95Q . Then I also have a hand countryside Ego- Boost pedal that I use sometimes when the psyche requires.
We all have our EgoBoosts …
Your Rectifier , it’s a factory model or modified ?
Factory Model . However, I have still my first amplifier, a JCM 800 , which is modified . It stand and has got dust in a corner for many years now but it ‘s actually a little here and there on the last disc , it sounded really good in the studio.
What is your favorite guitar?
My Gibson Gothic Flying V ’01 always . It is me. I bought it in 2004 and since then it has been my only guitar on stage. Have tried a couple of guitar changes sometimes have a few nice other guitars , an SG and a Les Paul called horror . They are great fun to play on but it never feels quite full one hundred until I put on my V .
Once V always V , recognizes that …
Yes, it is so stable , needs so less repairs even after a flight across the Atlantic. It has go sustain and so it hangs very well balanced. I play a little hitting solos on it if I compare with the times I tried Klara’s Explorer, but it does not help , I and V are stuck together. Once upon a German festival , I had the SG set only, ‘V’ was serviced at home, and I got mail from a lot of fans who asked where my guitar was . So of course it has been really weird not only for myself, apparently.
I have been looking for a Gibson Gothic V for a long time , once can i get to test it ?
Absolutely, you can get to try V sometime at your convenience ! There are not many who have played it, but my guitar tech likes it like crazy, he always tend to praise it when it is contained in the 1000 km service .
During your tours , which of course is getting impressively comprehensive, have you met guitar players that you have been inspired by ?
Yes there have been some tours and you meet lots of people. I rarely become how impressive , but when Phil Campbell from Motorhead came on stage and played the entire Killed By Death with us on a last gig in London in front of 3000 people in the audience , I had goose bumps while I sang . It sounded so damn powerful and it was sick fun . It’s very inspiring to hear him play live , it’s so damn loud, dirty and clean at the same time. But those who inspire me in general are those that have something of their own , a charisma , or just beautiful people that inspires to go their own way and not look so much worry over how and what others do and think all the time.
What is your worst guitar gig memory so far ?
We played in Italy’s biggest metal festival Gods of Metal 2006, and it was nearly 12,000 attendees in the audience and everyone was shit stoked on our gig. We went out when the intro was started but had not taken the giant scene so we had to start running to catch up until the song would begin. In the middle of the song Klara comes up to me screaming that I should stop playing. I continue to play but pulls down the volume , so she continues to wave at me to stop playing , and I try to show that I turned down the volume while I’m trying to sing. When the song is over , I understand that there are problems with mood , because it’s brilliant sun and midday so none of us can see anything on the vocal apparatus , the display is not visible in direct sunlight. So we run all the way back with the guitars and throwing them on our guitar technician who walks away and tally them . How do we get back with the guitars but it still sounds monkey together. As the stage is as so big as we are scattered so far apart that we can not hear each other amplifiers on stage or communicate very well either. We tried on another song but it was just a bloody hell.
Then what happened?
During « In Distortion We Trust » , it’s suddenly just me and Nicki playing while the other is behind and trying to sort it ou . The result was that the audience wonders what is going on , so we just run back and forth across the stage . It was like a fucking nightmare where one runs and runs but never arrive . The difference was that this was for real, for 30 long minutes . What had happened was that Ida had checked on the mood on the base and found that it was sued in the wrong key by our guitar tech, so she had sued the « right. » But he had consistently enough sued all our instruments wrong , so when Ida’s bass was « right » it was our guitars a whole step down . And when we ran out and asked him to sue again so he sued down the same wrong key again .
How is that possible ?
Most likely , he had sunstroke . Today we had probably handled the situation a bit more professional and not so panicky but we were pretty inexperienced then and furthermore , we put too much trust in our guitar tech . There were not many more gigs with him after that, perhaps mainly because he could not wring one single small attempt to apologize afterwards.
Do you have any advice for anyone struggling to become better as a guitarist ?
Do not ever think that it’s too late . I found that I started playing too late though I started when I was 14, and that was over me the whole time. I still feel that I should be better for my age.
I had not thought that much about it so I would have been better today I think.
Then I’d also like to give the same advice as our first producer Mankan Seden Berg gave to me ; play with fire . When we recorded the first album so he thought I ‘m lame , that there was no glow . Actually I was just anxious to play wrong so it was well a bit cautious maybe. Eventually he rooted out a packet with a frozen ready meal , which must have been of some strong variant of it had a fire on the package, and it tore him out and taped up on the mixing desk where I sat and played . Play with fire , he said . And I played until my fingers bleeded . And it makes me always like this since. Nothing stable , energy will flow and the muscles to work , chipping nails meat , bones and strings to fly! It becomes so much more fun to play the guitar if you take in a bit .
I saw you at Sweden Rock in 2005 , there will be some festivals in Sweden this summer?
We have the most international festivals but we have some gigs in Sweden also , at this writing , I have not confirmed the date but it will . We release the new album in the fall so we will be well heated for next year’s festival summer anyway.
Thank you for giving Gitarrzombien little of your time .
Original version in swedish here