She Shreds is at Pitchfork Paris this week, where we caught up with some of our previously featured artists—as well as some new favorites.

Pitchfork Paris is happening this weekend from October 31 through November 2 at Grande Halle de la Villette. Featuring 50 artists performing across four different stages, She Shreds caught up with some of our favorite performers at the festival.

Jackie Mendoza

What does shredding mean to you?

Shredding is an instance where creativity bursts. It doesn’t have to be fast or complex to be impressive! Some would prefer speed over a nice melody, but I like when the shredding phrase is catchy and alludes to other parts of the song. 

Describe your style of playing in just one word.

Whimsical.

What piece of gear could you not live without, and why?

I could not play a show or record music without my computer. I use Ableton and play my backing tracks from there. Without it, my show would be an acoustic ukulele set and way too many a cappella moments… it wouldn’t be very exciting for me nor the audience.

What is your live gear setup?  

My live setup is similar to my recording setup at home, and it hasn’t changed much since I started producing in 2015. I use my 13” Apple MacBook Pro (2017) and the software I use is Ableton Live 10, a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 USB interface, Kala concert size acoustic/electric ukulele, Akai APC20 mkll controller, and a Shure SV100 microphone with an on/off switch. I run my vocals and ukulele through my interface to my computer so I can manipulate their effects in real time. I used to have pedals with my ukulele but found that I have more options for effects in Ableton, and it’s less gear to carry on my own. This setup is pretty simple and standard for what I do live and the items are very accessible, too. Anyone who produces and wants to play shows could do it right away!

Nilüfer Yanya

What does shredding mean to you?

I don’t really shred so, [laughs] something that I don’t do. Something I can’t do.

Describe your style of playing in just one word.

Wrong.

What piece of gear could you not live without, and why?

My Jazz Chorus Roland amp because it has a really nice built-in chorus and reverb.  It’s quite portable so I can take it to any venue and it’s going to sound good.

What is your live gear setup? 

  • Guitars: Fender Jazzmaster, 2017 Fender Stratocaster (Both guitars are sparkly!)
  • Amp: Roland JC-22 Jazz Chorus
  • Pedals: Boss BD-2W Blues Driver, Boss Delay, MXR M234 Analog Chorus
Check out our interview with Nilüfer Yanya in She Shreds Issue 17.

Barrie

What does shredding mean to you?

Shredding to me means, well okay—to me shredding has always been this loud, distorted guitar solo thing, but I don’t think shredding has to be that. In my mind, shredding is like minimalist, melodic… if you can do minimalist melodic shredding that is truly the coolest. That’s my goal.

Describe your style of playing in just one word.

Minimalist.

What piece of gear could you not live without, and why?

Honestly, headphones [Beyerdynamic DT 770s]. I don’t trust anything I hear until I hear it on headphones. I’m not like a crazy gear head, but I like to hear things pure and I feel like that’s the purest way to hear things

What is your live gear setup?  

I’m not a crazy gearhead. Stuff breaks and I don’t want to deal with having to adjust every single knob; I just like having a clean sound and knowing what to expect.  And also, I’m open to borrowing amps. I have one acoustic guitar and one electric guitar and that’s all I ever need.

Honestly, I’m happy running guitar straight through an amp, and I love making people really upset that I don’t use any pedals. People love to come up and ask, “What’s your chain, what’s your rig?” And honestly, guitar through an amp. That’s all you really need, and I hate the idea of relying on any pedals, sounds, or effects to make it sound good.  [A song] should be able to work on a Squier through some crappy thrift store amp. Yes, it’s really fun to have bells and whistles and make it sound as good as possible, but I love the challenge and simplicity of straight up guitar through amp.  Yes, I’m going to build up my pedal board for certain shows but yeah, I like being like, “Nothing, dude. No pedals tonight.”

You’re going to sound different just because of the nature of you being a different person having different tastes, different ears, different fingers, and different hand size—so it’s like, yeah, effects are cool but having your own sound is really cool, and mostly you don’t need that.

  • Guitar: 1974 Fender Mustang
  • Amps: Roland JC-22 Jazz Chorus, Fender Blues Junior
  • Pedals: Strymon El Capistan, Electro-Harmonix Memory Man

Chai

What does shredding mean to you?

Shredding is noise.

Describe your style of playing in just one word.

Kana (guitar): Freestyle.

Yuuki (bass): ‘Do anything’ or ‘whatever.’

What piece of gear could you not live without, and why?

If we have just a drum machine we can play, but even just clapping hands is okay. It’s not necessary to have one piece of gear to play music because it’s more about expression.

What is your live gear setup? 

Yuuki: 

  • Bass: Fender Precision Bass
  • Amp: Backline bass amp
  • Pedals: Handmade distortion pedal built by a friend

Kana: 

  • Guitar: 2014 Gibson ES-335
  • Amp: Fender Hot Rod DeVille ML 212 
  • Pedals: Boss CH-1 Super Chorus, Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail, Dunlop MXR Phase 90, TC Electronic Polytune 3, Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion, Ibanez Tube Screamer
Check out our interview with Chai in She Shreds Issue 15.