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Equipment Used

Musician Magazine - December 1990

 Kim Deal plays a Fender Precision Bass and a Music Man Stingray. For the Pixies' current tour she just got a Trace Elliot amp "but it's the new series and I don't know what the number is or if there even is a number on there. I have four 10" speakers on top, and the bottom I think is a 15". In addition to that I really am a sucker for Peavey Classic 50s: They're punchier, and I like that percussive sound."

Guitar Player - April 1991

 "I have a new Music Man Stingray bass and a reissue '62 Fender Precision. The Music Man is great - sound men and engineers love it. But it's not right for some things; 'Dig For Fire' started to sound too much like a dance song, so I used my Fender for the lazier, growlier sound. It's not as boingy-boingy-sproingy. I always play with a pick. I use a compressor live, but only because sound guys seem to like it when I have one onstage, even if it's on bypass. I don't know what kind - it's black with red lights. I use SWR or Marshall heads. I hate my cabinets - a Gallien-Krueger 4x10 and another one that says 'Joe's Light' on it, which has an 18. In the studio I beg them to let me use my amp. They say, 'Okay Kim, here's your channel right here.' Then it's always, 'Let's try just the D.I. alone for a minute, Kim. Hey, sounds great!'"

Musician Magazine - September 1993 (Interview with Kim & Tanya)


 The Breeders practice in Kim Deal's basement, where she conducts a tour of their equipment. "I usually go through the JCM 900, but Kelley bought a new Marshall cabinet, so now I let her use it and I use an old JCM head and cabinet. I also have a Peavey Classic 50 and an old Sears Tremolo amp that we've pasted the word 'Marshall' on. Tanya used a Roland JC-120 on Pod. I mostly play a Seagull acoustic guitar that I distort through the amp. For electric, Kelley and I play a Les Paul and a Strat."


 "I play a Les Paul and an SG (Gibson), and a Takamine acoustic live. In the studio I play a lot of different things: I go through a Marshall JCM 800 head and cabinet. I use .011 D'Addario strings and a Boss chorus, overdrive and digital delay."

Guitar Player - November 1993

 Kim, the Breeders' sonic mastermind, runs her acoustic guitars through a Marshall amp. Her rhythm work doesn't simply add texture or tension, but shapes the songs into churning walls of fuzz. "I kind of have a problem with clean acoustic sounds, like the Dan Fogelberg thing," she says. "But I don't mind acoustic guitar when it's fuzzed up - the low end can be really terrifying."

 Kelley shares her sister's aversion to clean guitars. She runs her Fender Stratocaster - a Christmas present from Kim two years ago - through a Roland JC-120. "But I don't touch it unless I plug in one of those orange distortion pedals (*probably a Boss pedal*)," she stresses. "I really like that distorted sound."

Guitar World - January 1994

 The Deals take an original approach to guitar sounds on Last Splash. The secret of Kim's big, chunky rhythm sound is the fact that she plays an electrified acoustic guitar through a 100-watt Marshall 900 Series amp. "It almost doesn't matter what kind of acoustic guitar you use," she says. "All that matters is how the graphic eq and electronics are. The acoustic I have now sounds like shit when it's unplugged. But I never try to get a Dan Fogelberg-type of sound with it anyway."

 On Last Splash, Kim doubled many of her rhythms with her trusty early-Seventies Les Paul '58 Goldtop reissue, played through a Vox amp. It's the same axe that Joey Santiago used in the Pixies up through the Surfer Rosa album, and the guitar that Kelley uses for many of her leads in the Breeders. On Last Splash, she also played a Stratocaster and a borrowed Gibson hollowbody. Kelley acheived her fuzzy wild lead tone on "Mad Lucas" by placing her amp in one room. The resultant track was then pumped through an ultra-cheap speaker in a bathroom and re-recorded. "We wanted to make it sound really angry and loud, but really important at the same time," Kim helpfully adds.

 Last Splash abounds in sonic surprises that are definately okay. Kelley tries her hand at lap steel and mandolin - instruments she'd never touched before. The same goes for Kim's subtle touches on synthesizer. Josephine adds some cello - something she definately has played before. An old Montgomery Ward amp of Kelley's comes in handy not only for guitars but also the tremoloed and distorted vocals on "Mad Lucas" and the hit single "Cannonball." The inspiration for the latter, Kim confesses, was Gibby Haynes' bullhorn rant on the Ministry song, "Jesus Built My Hotrod."