Tone Talk with Aimee Steven

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I’m Aimee Steven from Liverpool, England. I’m a guitarist and lead singer who takes inspiration from the likes of The Velvet Underground, David Bowie, and Blondie. I’m currently recording and releasing original music in Liverpool and hope to be touring soon.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
I think tone is very important; it’s almost like your own signature sound. A lot of guitarists are instantly recognisable from their tone, and I think that’s amazing. I didn’t really realise this until I started playing more electric guitar and recording my own music.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?
I use a white Fender Telecaster. I absolutely love it! It’s a beautiful looking guitar and also sounds epic. Everybody always comments on it, which makes me happy. I don’t personally use any pedals, but my guitarist, James Morris, uses quite a few. They really add to the sound of my songs. I especially love a bit of tremolo! In terms of amps, I was using an Orange OR15 last time I played live—it sounded brilliant. I’m after a new one, though, so who knows what’s next.

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Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
I have a really good producer, so I mostly let him take care of the sound, and it always turns out perfect. I like the studio to have a cool vibe; normally, lights turned down, so I’m more relaxed. I love recording with the full band as you always get the energy on the track, which I prefer. I always aim to have a bit of groove in there!

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
My band knows exactly how the songs should sound and are amazing musicians. We practise so that the songs sound as bouncy and as authentic as possible. Obviously, it helps to have a great sound technician when we play live, but they can only work with what they’re given from us!

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What does your practice consist of?
We normally roll up to a room and play for a few hours until we feel like we’ve done enough. I don’t believe in practising for hours and hours at a time—I think people get tired and it’s counterproductive. We normally choose the songs we feel need more work and start with those at the beginning of each session—that way we get the most out of the work. We have a few breaks too—super important for productivity! Most of all, we like to have a laugh.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?
Recently I have seen that the majority of people buying electric guitars are female—how amazing is that? It makes me so happy that we’re finally feeling confident enough to infiltrate a male-dominated industry. I would advise women not to give up on what they want and practise as much as possible. Also, know what is acceptable in terms of treatment in the music industry and look out for yourself and others!

 

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