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Filippa Nässil: Bringing the Thunder

As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 21 – Fall 2022

One thing’s for certain: guitarist Filippa Nässil rocks like a mother! As the founding member and axe-slinger for the all-female Swedish rock outfit, Thundermother, Nässil has truly made it her mission to put the rock back into rock.  

Often seen shredding Lzzy Hale’s signature Gibson Explorer, the leather-clad, tongue-wagging show woman is everything you want to see out of a rock and roll star and then some. 

Nässil and her Thundermother sisters, Guernica Mancini as lead vocalist, Mona Lindgren on bass, and Emlee Johansson on drums, have just released a new album entitled Black and Gold, and they’ve embarked on a tour with the Scorpions. With a sound described by Mancini as “AC/DC meets Motörhead,” this band of badasses shines so much brighter than many of the female-fronted rock groups that have become popular as of late. 

We caught up with Nässil to pick her brain and see how she and her bandmates made light of the global pandemic that tested so many entertainers globally.

I have to ask: which female guitarist(s), if any, inspired your playing?
Joan Jett is an inspiration for me in rock ‘n’ roll. I really hope she will come to see us play in LA at the Forum, haha!

From what I’ve heard of your guitar-playing, you tend toward more melodic solos versus overly note-y ones (not that you can’t shred your face off because you obviously can). Do you find that sometimes less is more?
Absolutely. Less is more. For me, it’s important people remember the song, and I want my solos to be remembered. And as I like blues, it should be more about the feeling than how many notes you play.

I see you’re also on tour with the Scorpions. That’s insane! How did you end up with that gig?
The booking agent of CAA in Los Angeles heard our music and contacted us. It was unreal when he directly put us to support the Scorpions. Klaus in Scorpions loves our music too, and agreed it was a good setup.

While a lot of the world was shut down during the pandemic, you seemed to be busier than ever touring — way to turn lemons into lemonade. Did you find that more people ended up attending shows from other places just to get some reprieve from what was going on?
The word got spread that we played. We earned some respect in the industry for not giving up. The seats were limited to up to 50 people, and we played two times a day and also on the roof of a fire truck that was built for us to stand and play on. We also did drive-in shows so people could stay in their cars. Our fans were probably the first ones to buy tickets.

Your colors of choice on tour with Thundermother are black and gold (just like your new album title)! Does the color scheme have any significance, or are those just your favorites?
They are badass colors, and we also have those colors in our satin crew jackets. It inspired the team and became the spirit of the album. Black represents rock ‘n’ roll, and gold is the glamour.

Which songs are your personal picks from Black and Gold? Any fun rock and roll stories that inspired them?
I really like all of them. There’s no favorite but check “Black and Gold” ’cause it’s really fun to play on guitar. I play slide, do talk box, AND do all rhythm and solos. It was a funny, creative moment in the studio. 

We did some arena songs because a soccer team in the Champions League used our song before they played matches, and we got so inspired by that. Sports teams want what we do; it’s really amazing!

There are some amazing new female-fronted rock bands coming out now. Which ones have really resonated with you lately?
Blues Pills are really nice and good friends of ours. We support each other as we both come from Sweden. She’s Got Balls, the AC/DC tribute band, is really good too!

You’ve played in bands with just males and just females. What are some of the parallels and pain points with each?
In my honest opinion, it’s no different for me; people are always just people. Girls might be more doers and go-getters than guys, though, haha.

Black and Gold tracklist:

  1. The Light In The Sky
  2.  Black and Gold
  3.  Raise Your Hands
  4.  Hot Mess
  5.  Wasted
  6.  Watch Out
  7.  I Don’t Know You
  8.  Looks No Hooks
  9.  Loud And Free
  10.  Try With Love
  11.  Stratosphere
  12.  Borrowed Time
Photo by @rawfoto.se

Filippa Nässil Gear

Guitars:

Gibson explorer Lzzy Hale signature 2017
Gibson explorer custom LTD 2017
Gibson SG Standard 2013
Gibson J-45 limited edition 2019
Nik Huber Krautster (blue with Bigsby)
Engelhard Thunder Lady handmade for me with TV Jones Filtertron pickup
Engelhard Thunder X with noise cancelling P-90 pickups (David Barfuss; Mojo Tone)

Amplifiers:

Marshall head JCM800 from 1987
Marshall head JMP from 1975
Marshall cabinet 1987
Marshall cabinet 1990
Spare amp
Skipper amp “Lil’ Hellevator”
Skipper amp “R’N’R Disastor” (custom-made for Filippa)

Pedals:

Pedal Train
Eddie Van Halen Phaser
Cry Baby mini
One control booster
One control reverb
One control orange distortion
Shure wireless guitar system

Alexx Calise

Alexx Calise is an accomplished singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Perhaps best known for her hit song, “Cry,” which became a staple on the show “Dance Moms” and boasts millions of hits on YouTube, Calise’s raw emotion, heart-and soul-lyrics, and unmistakable vibrato have impacted thousands of young girls all over the world. Calise is currently working on new solo material and songs for licensing, and she recently released a new EP with another music project, Batfarm. In addition to her musical pursuits, she also works in public relations and marketing and owns her own party entertainment business. When not playing shows or writing music, she enjoys horror movies, exercising, or taking a well-deserved nap. alexxcalise.net

Alexx Calisehttps://alexxcalise.net
Alexx Calise is an accomplished singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Perhaps best known for her hit song, “Cry,” which became a staple on the show “Dance Moms” and boasts millions of hits on YouTube, Calise’s raw emotion, heart-and soul-lyrics, and unmistakable vibrato have impacted thousands of young girls all over the world. Calise is currently working on new solo material and songs for licensing, and she recently released a new EP with another music project, Batfarm. In addition to her musical pursuits, she also works in public relations and marketing and owns her own party entertainment business. When not playing shows or writing music, she enjoys horror movies, exercising, or taking a well-deserved nap. alexxcalise.net
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