The Current's Guitar Collection: Angelica Garcia, Fender Starcaster reissue

Angelica Garcia performs in The Current studio
Angelica Garcia performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
Play/Pause
Listen:
Angelica Garcia describes finding her Fender Starcaster
Download MP3
| 00:45
  • Angelica Garcia describes finding her Fender Starcaster 45
  • Angelica Garcia - Orange Flower (Live on The Current) 03:47

When Angelica Garcia visited The Current for a recent in-studio session, she performed three songs, using different instrumentation for each. After the session, Garcia took some time to tell us about the guitar she used when performing her single, "Orange Flower."

What kind of guitar were you playing on that song?

This is a Fender Starcaster, and it's one of the reissues. So it's not one of the original ones, because I think they started making them in the '60s, and they stopped making them for whatever reason. Only recently did they start making them again.

I saw mine in a used guitar shop a little less than a year ago, and I was like, "What is that thing? I've never seen one like that!" Before then, I was playing a Gretsch, but I love the Starcaster.

Where was the guitar shop?

It was in Wilmington, North Carolina. We were actually on tour with the Violent Femmes, and we just took a second and were like, "Hey, let's go into this music shop and see what's up."

I'd been kind of looking at getting a new guitar because as much as I love the Gretsch, it has the Bigsby tremolo on it, so it's a little less reliable as far as keeping it in tune, and I was trying to find something with personality that fit me, and I saw that instantly. I was like, "That's amazing! I love it!" It looks so wonky; it kind of looks Dr. Seuss-ish to me.

We were late to the show because I was playing it so much. I loved it. And you know — I'm young, I don't have that much money saved up, so I was like, "Should I buy this thing? I don't know, I don't know …" And I did it. Seize the moment.

You mentioned the Gretsch, that's the one you play in the "Orange Flower" video, right?

It is, and I do love the Gretsch, but I think for what I'm doing now, the Starcaster is a little more appropriate-slash-reliable, because the Gretsch has got a little more ringing-ness to it, and I tend to play with a little more distortion and more lead parts now, and it makes more sense on the Starcaster, at least for this album.

And I really like the tone of it, too. And the neck is super smooth, whereas the Gretsch was rosewood or something, so my fingers caught on it a little more. The Starcaster has a maple neck, and it's great. It's a very glossy finish, and it's nice if you're moving your fingers really fast.

The volume and tone knobs stand out — is that your modification?

Yeah — that's me! I just replaced the factory volume and tone knobs with these bright neon-pink knobs that I saw at our local guitar shop in Richmond, Va. I just really liked the pop of color against the black. I'm always drawn to black guitars, but then I always wear black, so I'm like, "It can't be all black, I've gotta do something to it so I'm not just a walking funeral."

You wrote the album Medicine for Birds on an acoustic guitar originally. Since you've had this guitar, have you been working on any new ideas with it?

Yeah, I have. I've actually been cross-pollinating, so I've been working on different arrangements for these demos on an electric guitar and on this Starcaster. You see, I also have a Loar LH-302T, a hollow-body electric, that's great. They recently sponsored me, so I've been getting used to that and I'm starting to play it a little more on the new stuff. They make great guitars.

The Loar one is awesome and it also rings very nicely, and it's very lightweight, which is nice for me. If a guitar is too heavy, it kind of weighs me down. It's just one less thing to think about, really.

Resources


Angelica Garcia - official site

Fender - Starcaster reissue

The Loar - Angelica Garcia page

Related Stories

  • Angelica Garcia performs in The Current studio When it comes to making music, Angelica Garcia describes herself as a bit of a recluse. Now touring in support of her album 'Medicine for Birds,' Garcia embraces the new experience of studio recording and of performing in front of people. 'It's been great, and it's really helped me grow as a person,' Garcia says. Listen to Angelica Garcia's recent in-studio session at The Current, hosted by Sean McPherson.
  • DJ Pick of the Week: Jade - Angelica Garcia, 'Orange Flower' Having grown up in Los Angeles and in Virginia, Angelica Garcia's personal history has informed her musical style, blending urban street smarts with eerie Southern storytelling. This bewitching mix is in evidence on Garcia's single, 'Orange Flower,' and it's Jade's DJ Pick of the Week.

4 Photos

  • Angelica Garcia's Fender Starcaster guitar
    Angelica Garcia's Fender Starcaster guitar (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Angelica Garcia's Fender Starcaster guitar
    Angelica Garcia's Fender Starcaster guitar (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Angelica Garcia's Fender Starcaster guitar
    Angelica Garcia's Fender Starcaster guitar (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Angelica Garcia's Fender Starcaster guitar
    Angelica Garcia's Fender Starcaster guitar (Nate Ryan | MPR)

comments powered by Disqus