"Doesn't make me wanna buy a Strat when you talk to me like that."
A couple years ago, my brother, Erich, and I went with our parents to the Fender guitar factory in Corona, California. I was very excited -- it was my idea to take a tour of the Fender factory on our family vacation. I wore my She Shreds t-shirt and told the tour guide how happy I was to be at the factory, because I play a Fender Jaguar. Instead of welcoming me and treating me like the other older men guitarists in our tour group, the tour guide said, "Wow, you really play? Chicks who play are so cool." He prodded me the whole tour, testing me with hard questions about pick-ups and gear and telling me my Modern Player Jaguar was not a "real Fender instrument." It was hard to be reminded at the place where my favorite guitars are made, You're not part of the boys' club. Later that day, I cried in a hotel bathroom and wrote the lyrics to "Fender Factory."
Now, Cinema Hearts' recording of "Fender Factory" is out on our new record, Burned and Burnished. We've been playing the song live at local shows for a year, and the response has been mesmerizing. My friends, both women and men, love the song, but it especially resonates with my girl friends who also play guitar in bands. Women musicians often get typecast as lovelorn songwriters (which I definitely am), so it's awesome to have a song that's completely different and talks about rejection and heartbreak in an unexpected way.
Last month, I emailed She Shreds Magazine and told them how much I love their publication and how it's inspired me to be a stand-out woman guitarist. They listened to "Fender Factory," and the editor, Fabi Reyna, connected me to the real Fender Factory! Angela, the artist relations manager for Fender, reached out to me and we talked on the phone about feminism and music, and how Fender is taking responsibility to change the music industry by positively promoting diverse women musicians. Angela was the coolest person; she leads the creative charge to make women and girls feel like they are part of the Fender guitar tradition.